Friday, February 27, 2015

Evaluating vendor promotions for your client

And, this is a good promotion because? Sometimes clients will come to a media buyer/planner and ask if a vendor promotion is a good deal. It becomes the buyer’s responsibility to look at the promotion and evaluate it to see if it makes sense financially. In addition, it needs to serve a purpose for the client’s audience.

First, it helps to research to make sure that the investment spend is worth the estimated exposure. For example, a vendor may say that a client will receive 20x mentions weekly that are :30 seconds in length. They may run this for three weeks and give the client a value of exposure at $5,000 gross. This breaks down to $83.33 per mention for the full three week run. As a buyer, you know that :30 inventory is actually valued at $50 per spot with this vendor. This equates to a buyer not recommending the promotion. However, the :30 inventory could be valued at $100 per spot, and this opportunity is a good value.

A buyer will also check ratings or impressions on the opportunity by putting together a dummy schedule within the same parameters. That way, a buyer can really see if there is value.

Now, a buyer has to look at exposure in a creative way. Does it make sense for the client to give out coupons on-air in exchange for on-air and online mentions? Is this vendor a major media source for the client’s target audience? Can the client allow winners to stay the night at the place of business? Will the client provide airfare to send winners to a grand prize vacation? There are a lot of details that need to be discussed between the buyer, client and vendor.


It’s key to make sure all parties are aware of his/her responsibilities for a promotion. At the conclusion of the event, it is highly recommended to track the success with pictures, air-checks, enter-to-win databases, and increase in sales and foot traffic during the specified timeframe. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Teens listen to music more on online streaming than radio

How do US teenagers primarily listen to music? Radio? Streaming? Owned music? For advertisers, it can be extremely important in knowing how a target audience seeks out media and entertainment. eMarketer recently reported on a fall 2014 study conducted by Edison Research. The focus was discovering how teens listen to music.

The study considered teenagers to be people between the ages of 13 and 17. As of fall 2014, online streaming platforms like Spotify and Pandora are ranked with more time spent listening than terrestrial radio. Teens spend about 64 minutes per day listening to online streaming and spend about 53 minutes a day with radio. In most other age categories, radio outperforms online streaming. In addition, teens have access to music through downloaded/owned music, etc.

With teenagers having a relatively easier access to computers, tablets, smartphones, and MP3 players that have Wi-Fi than traditional radios, it’s not surprising that there is a shift in listenership. Think about a bus commute, the time going to and from school on a bus could be new time spent listening to music.


It will be interesting to see if the gap between the time spent listening between radio and streaming will broaden over time as this age group matures out. The introduction of driving on a more regular basis where traditional radio is readily available may play a factor overall. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Research ranks top favorite TV shows currently running

If you ask any group of people what TV show they like to watch the most, more than likely, you will get quite a few shows mentioned. Harris Poll recently surveyed a little over 2,000 American adults to see which television show earned the top spot.

MediaPost reports that after all responses were tallied, current favorite TV programs ranked as follows:
1.      “NCIS”: CBS-TV
2.      “Big Bang Theory”: CBS-TV
3.      “The Walking Dead”: AMC
4.      “Scandal”: ABC-TV
5.      “Game of Thrones”: HBO
6t.     “The Good Wife”: CBS-TV
6t.     “The Blacklist”: NBC-TV
8.      “Modern Family”: ABC-TV
9.      “Blue Bloods”: CBS-TV
10.    “Criminal Minds”: CBS-TV

Not surprising is the fact that the three top favorite current TV shows are also heavily re-run in syndication.


Also, the poll does relatively reflect standard Nielsen TV ratings. For example, “NCIS” had a reported 19.8 million average viewers during original episodes airing. So, the high Nielsen ratings are pretty much corroborated with the general TV viewing public.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Decoding media planner/buyers terms

The advertising industry, like all industries, speaks its own language and uses terms in everyday conversations that most spell checks flag as incorrect. Here are a few of those terms defined by a media buyer/planner:

Spots and Dots schedule: This is a term that buyers use to refer to a schedule where the TRP goals are not as important as creating a schedule with a lot of spots in the dayparts being purchased. Buyers may use this to reach mass audiences when there is time sensitivity like an amusement park opening for the season.

Traffic: Advertisers use the term traffic to reference sending out creative elements and instructions to vendors. Traffic can used for all media platforms like TV, radio, outdoor, print, online, etc.

A Creative: Account executives and media people tend to call the copy writers and designers creatives. It’s just a quick term to distinguish the working rolls within the agency.

Specs: Probably out of sheer laziness, we have shortened the term mechanical specifications to specs. Basically, we need to let the creatives know how to size the ad properly for whatever medium is being used.

Stripped: Typically in reference to a broadcast schedule, this means that a buyer has put too many spots in a certain week during a certain time period. When this happens, it can be a gamble because if a spot gets bumped out of a day, the sales representative will not have the freedom to move the spot on another day within the week. Some buyers prefer to leave a little wiggle room in the schedule to account for such situations.

Heavy Up: It’s pretty self-explanatory, if a buyer deems a schedule is not substantial enough to be effective for the client, more spots or stations are purchased to increase the frequency, reach, and impressions. Thus, the buyer is bulking up the schedule or heavying up.


The next time you hear an advertiser talk to a creative about the specs for traffic in a spots and dots schedule, you’ll be able to decode the speak.

Friday, January 30, 2015

An example of billboard creative controversy

Controversy isn’t something that most advertisers like to deal with when it comes to creative messaging. However, it is something that can come up, and advertisers and vendors alike must handle it quickly.

Recently, some billboard creative has caused offense in neighboring communities. According to MediaPost, some of the outdoor vendors have chosen to remove the creative that has incited the uproar. One example is from Texas where there was an ad for “reparative therapy.” This is largely known as “ex-gay” therapy. It was removed soon after initial posting.

Anecdotally, we had a client that once had a campaign that was very tongue-in-cheek to advertise new small plates on the menu. While the creative translated well on outdoor, print, and online campaigns overall, the positioning of one billboard near a church did not. After complaints, the outdoor company approached the client and us. To alleviate the tension, we moved the creative to another board. While the creative was not meant to offend anyone or any affiliation, it did. This situation was handled relatively easily because the campaign did not suffer because of the board location shift, and the gesture from the outdoor company and advertiser ended the matter on good terms.


Overall, advertisers have to remember that pushing the boundaries for creative can have a big impact. It can be good, but it can also cause problems. It’s up to advertisers to handle each situation accordingly.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Mobile devices show more traffic on e-commerce sites on Christmas Day

On Christmas Day 2014, did you make any online purchases? If yes, was it on a desktop computer, mobile phone, or tablet? Research from IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark showed that while PCs had less e-commerce traffic than mobile devices on Christmas, PCs did account for more final transactions. In fact, desktops had an estimated 65.2% of the total online sales.

The Center for Media Research reports that e-commerce traffic from mobile devices was approximately 57.1% followed by PCs at 42.6%. The average order value for a desktop purchase was about $107.72. Mobile devices only had an average order value of $88.70.

The report further breaks down the mobile devices into smartphone and tablet traffic. Smartphones had about 40.6% of the online traffic and 16.3% of online purchases. By comparison, tablets had 15.9% of the traffic and 18.4% of the online sales.


The mobile traffic has increased from years past, which makes sense considering more of the population is obtaining mobile devices, is becoming more comfortable with mobile purchases, and the fact that it was Christmas, and people may not have been near a desktop to browse e-commerce websites for deals. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Don't let your email marketing end up in spam

Sometimes good intentions can get you sent to the spam folder. For advertisers who send out email marketing, the headline is very important. Advertisers have one line of copy to grab the attention of the audience and entice them to open the email. A hazard of the job is avoiding terms that will send an email straight to a spam folder.

Spam and phishing emails are very creative and deceptive, which can make it difficult for genuine advertising emails to break through the clutter. Keywords or phrases that an advertiser may want to use in a headline may trigger that email going straight to a junk or spam folder. According to the Center for Media Research, a new report from MailJet tallied some of the words that can get an email flagged as spam.

For retailers, be careful of using words like “Buy,” “Clearance” and “Discount” as spammers can heavily use these terms.

For marketers, spammers over-use words like “SEO,” “Web Traffic” and “Sign-up Free Today.”


Overall, advertisers work really hard to have a message reach a potential customer; therefore, don’t let the hard work go to waste by sitting in a spam folder.