As any hospital marketing director knows, media buying is essential to the success of a marketing campaign. But one overlooked skill in buying media is negotiation.
Negotiating is key because ad budgets are limited, and the better the rates you can get for your placements, the more reach you can effectively generate. Also, advertising space is not unlimited, which creates a need for negotiating and being selective when choosing channels.
Here are tips for negotiating during your media buying process to get the best deals from your vendors.
Negotiating Radio and Broadcast
Generally, rates for radio are negotiable because there is a fixed amount of inventory. Competition drives prices for these rates up; a lack of competition pushes them down. Fortunately, there is usually a wealth of radio outlets in a given market (if it’s large enough), which means you will more than likely have several chances to reach your target audience. This helps you because you can play one station against another and get lower rates.
For broadcast, that same principle applies. Another principle is timing. Since many broadcast outlets publish their fall schedules in May, buying at that time can give you special deals and packages in an effort to convince you to pay early in the year.
Negotiating with Print
Print is a different animal than broadcast and radio because there are few opportunities to negotiate on rate. Rather, what you’re negotiating for is what comes with your buy i.e., other services they can include, such as additional ads, special positioning, reader response cards, free color, and so on.
Since many print outlets are now also digital outlets, there are even package deals with their online properties and ad networks that can be negotiated for. (Often this works in reverse, too; if you are placing ads digitally with them, they often offer special incentives to place ads in the print edition as well.)
Hiring a Hospital Marketing Agency
The best all-around negotiating advice is to leave it to the professionals who negotiate regularly with media buying representatives at outlets. Agencies are advantageous for hospitals because they not only have experience, but also have established relationships with outlets over the years that can be used to your advantage.
Managing media and ad buying is not easy. Hire an experienced hospital marketing agency to help you develop your marketing network and manage your media purchases. Learn how with Jimmy Warren at TotalCom Marketing today!