How to sell to a media buying agency

How to sell to a media buying agency

Forward and Thinking‘s Group Sales Director Darren Clewes was invited by Bauer Academy recently. He shared insights on how to best represent themselves to a media buying agency. Bauer Academy is the training provider owned and located inside of Bauer Media, one of the world’s biggest media businesses. 

As an agency, we are absolutely committed to doing what’s right for the client and scheduling media that will deliver the best results. This takes a lot of investigation and hard work from the planning team.

Our points of consideration:

  • What media delivers the best audience?
  • Which location delivers the largest audience?
  • What media mix will likely yield the best results?
  • How do the different media options overlap and complement each other?

Focusing on our client, what do we (as a ‘small agency’) require from our suppliers?

1. Provide insight, insight, insight

The insight behind your product is what gives it most value. Far too often a brief is answered with a simple product and cost. As an agency we have to justify any media choices to our clients. Without ammunition in the form of data and insight this is harder than it needs to be. Especially, when we are challenging tried and trusted media choices that the client is already familiar.

What is often overlooked is that most of the time we are not recommending a single product. We all know that a marketing mix is best as it speaks to more people in more environments. How does your product complement other media?

Show us the evidence, help us to make the plan watertight.

2. Be first to respond

Granted, only one person can actually be the first. However, all too often a we need to delay plan because of a supplier. In a competitive environment, this is often the reason why a supplier won’t be involved in the media plan. Especially, if there is an oversupply of a certain media.

Building a reputation for being quick and accurate ensures that agency planner will most likely keep you on their plan. In contrast, if you’re always last and always delaying, you’ll very quickly slip off the contact list unless your media is vital to the execution of the brief.

3. Ask the right questions

I’ve been on the supplier side and seen some pretty ropey briefs, with no detail, like, “what have you got in Nottingham?”. This is poor from the agency, often showing a lack of focus and client knowledge. To simply answer this brief without question only perpetuates this. Ask, “Who is the client?”, “What do they want to do?”, “Who are the audience?”, “When do they want to advertise?”, etc..

If you didn’t receive a booking – ask why. We shouldn’t be afraid to answer this and the supplier shouldn’t be afraid to ask. To add further to this, we’re answerable for results in the same way as the supplier. Therefore, asking about results is important. If you don’t want to know the answer to this, then you’ve probably proposed the wrong thing.

4. Be front of mind

This is one of the more difficult things. There’s a difficult balancing act between being regularly in contact and being the person that never goes away. Try to be the former. Ask how to best keep in contact, ask how often you should share exciting and innovative information on the industry.

If we are just an appointment in your diary then we’ll quickly see through it. We don’t need another presentation on how great your company is. We’ve likely seen it three times already.

Oh, and donuts go down well in most offices 🙂


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