It’s hard to believe that 2011 is drawing to a close and soon (if not already) holiday ads will appear only to remind us of how many days are left until Christmas. If you’re a business owner or in charge of marketing for your organization you probably need to square off some time and plan your media buy for next year. If you wait until January (or later) to plan your media buy, you should reconsider this approach. If you sit back and wait, your competition will have negotiated better rates, placement, and be in a better position to gain market share.
Consider that almost every single rep in media sales is required to forecast sales throughout the year and annual buys are coveted not only by sales reps but also management. Even good sales reps struggle in Q1 and Q3 periods and will be eager to work with you if they know they are working with an annual buy that could improve Q1 and Q3 forecasting rather than clients considered month to month. By knowing a few good techniques you can leverage this information to your advantage, which can get you amazing discounts and even free (yea I said free) advertising. Even better, they will come to you and offer you the best deals and be eager to negotiate on rates, terms, and even placement, including the Holiday season.
If you are new to media buying or you don’t feel comfortable taking on this task you may want to consider enlisting the help of professionals like the ones you’ll find here at Jajo. If you are ready to take on this task, writing a marketing plan should be the very first thing you do. A marketing plan is a written document that spells out the goals, strategies and tactics that will guide your business to maintain market share as well as help achieve positive growth. Think of it as your road map for the year and if done correctly, will save you a lot of time and money. Next, you will need to establish a budget. Establishing a budget will take some effort and there is no one size fits all approach. Every business is different and therefore marketing budgets will vary depending on the target audience, goals, strategies and tactics. Some accepted schools of thought are the percentage of sales approach and the year over year average by industry approach. Unfortunately many businesses place a low emphasis on marketing and use the “whatever we have left over after overhead is paid” approach. In addition, establish how you will evaluate whether or not your marketing is working and if needed, have steps in place to refocus your marketing efforts when necessary. By doing the up front work now you can get a leg up on your competition and with the right partners you can reach your 2012 business goals.