3 Tricks to Up Your Media Buying Game

It really doesn’t matter quite where your direct response media campaign takes you. It could take you to a local radio market or a national broadcasting network, but a core reality will remain the same regardless. You’re about to make a serious investment, and ROI is probably top of mind.

Whether your goal is getting visitors to your website or callers to your sales team, or simply to increase overall brand awareness, media buying can be tricky business.

That’s why we always say, “Successful direct response media buying is part art, part science, and part following your nose.”

And that couldn’t be truer. There’s certainly an art to a perfectly crafted television spot, and there’s a science to a good CTA. But perhaps, more than anything, you need to follow your nose.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of platforms, offers, and markets where you can direct your media buying. Not only do you need the ability to sniff out the worthwhile ones from the rest, but you also need to ensure that you capitalize on your placement and knock your direct response media campaign out of the park.

That’s where we come in.

3 Tricks for Upping Your Media Buying Game

There are fairly simple ways to improve your direct response media buying; keep them in mind, and you’ll just about guarantee yourself greater success with your advertising. So, we’re going to walk you through three tricks for upping your media buying game for good.

1. Fold your campaign into your larger strategy.

Without a clear objective to your campaign, every single one of your strategic decisions will take a serious hit. For example, the difference between creating brand awareness and driving sign-ups is huge. If you aren’t clear about your goal, driving sign-ups, you may target your media buys in the wrong markets, produce an unclear commercial, and end up bungling your direct response campaign. Let’s be honest: A new espresso machine would be a better investment.

However, many marketers neglect to think of their campaign’s objective within the organization’s marketing strategy at large. And that leaves your media buys with untapped potential. For instance, if your goal is to drive sign-ups for older viewers, consider how that builds into your larger goals for marketing. By thinking of your direct response marketing as an ecosystem, you open up a realm of potential for creating cohesive, parallel campaigns that work independently as well as together.

2. Try to incorporate primary research.

There’s no replacement for market research. None. In order to create a winning direct response campaign and make smart media buys, you need to research your target market. However, your method of getting that research is pretty flexible. You can perform the research yourself, which is called primary research, or you can search for research that’s all ready been done, called secondary research.

Secondary research is often much, much cheaper, which makes it very tempting. And for some target markets and certain direct response campaigns, it may suffice. But there’s no substitute for primary research. If your budget has some wiggle room, it’s worth considering how you can supplement your secondary research with your own.

3. Don’t settle on an agency.

Strategy and research are only small components of executing a successful direct response media campaign. You’ll also need to: get your media selected, negotiated, placed, logged, audited, and more. That’s why enlisting help from a media-buying agency is an attractive option for most in-house teams. When the time comes to outsource, however, don’t rush your decision or settle on an agency that is “good enough.”

With extra hands comes extra cost. Moreover, you’re putting your ROI (now based on a larger investment) in the hands of a team that doesn’t know your company from the next one. Don’t short yourself the opportunity for success by settling. Instead, invest your time searching for an agency that comes highly recommended, has worked within your industry, and has created success for similar direct response media campaigns.

Successful Media Buying: Easy as 1, 2, 3.

Whether it’s your first media buy or your fortieth, the basics are what separate a winning media campaign from a losing one. That’s why we apply the hard-won fundamentals to all types and formats of media buying—including satellite TV broadcast, national cable networks, local or spot markets, addressable and under addressable, programmatic, and online affiliates.

We don’t start and stop with the buy. We tune the creative, offer consulting, and more. That’s why we don’t think you should think about media buying only in terms of its challenges. You should think about its opportunities, too.

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