5 Ways to Know You’re Working with a Media Expert

Malorie

With the rise of digital media and self-service platforms, we’ve also seen a rise in the number of media professionals. Sometimes these people have outstanding credentials, but other times they have little-to-no experience. So how can you tell if you’re working with a media veteran or just a hack?

To help you distinguish if your media expert is, in fact, an expert, make sure you’re hitting these five points.

1. Your media expert regularly provides explanations of best practices.touch-screen-1023967_640

A seasoned media professional is well versed in best practices for whatever types of media they plan or buy. When questions arise, or you begin a new project, your expert should spend some time explaining to you the best practices. Most media processes are pretty indepth. There’s more to analyze than meets the eye. There should be some level of explanation of the process, the media variables and the common incorrect assumptions that are often made.

When discussing best practices for purchasing a television schedule, for instance, your media expert should provide you with some outline of the process of working with the reps, reviewing ratings information and selecting spots. They might also explain that some posers may be purchasing packages on your behalf without being able to provide any analysis of cost or ratings through typical media tools. This shows your expert really knows the best practice and can explain to you the things you should look out for.

2. You receive expected outcomes as part of your media plan.

When your media professional provides you with a media plan or proposal, this should include some level of expected outcomes. You should receive a media plan that incorporates more than just a simple budget and timeline.

Your professional should have some estimating tools and industry benchmarks that would allow them to provide you with some expectations of what you can achieve with the budget that you are planning to spend. If you’re planning a television or radio campaign, you should receive an estimate of GRPs or spots that you would be able to purchase with your budget.

The most frequent offense that’s occurring is in digital advertising. Across the board — whether you purchase display, video, paid search or social media campaigns — you should be receiving some expected outcomes based on the audience and budget you’re planning to spend. Utilizing digital planning tools and industry performance benchmarks, your media professional should be giving you an expectation around impressions, clicks, conversions or other KPIs.

That’s not to say your expert will achieve this goal 100 percent of the time, but they should provide some analysis of why they cannot achieve the goals. The audience may have changed, or the budget dispersed differently from what was originally planned, but there should be some goals to begin the campaign.

3. The media expert explains what optimizations have been made on a campaign (and why).

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This particular point can send a mixed message. To be clear, I’m not suggesting your media expert should have to provide you with a full report of what exact changes were made to a campaign each and every time these are made (especially in the digital space, since these optimizations should be happening very frequently).

What I am suggesting, though, is that if a campaign is under performing and they’ve mentioned to you that they’ve made optimizations to improve it, they should be able to tell you what types of changes they’ve made.

Often times when we see conversions are low for a digital campaign, I might let the client know at our reporting meeting that we’ve made some optimizations to improve performance. It might be something along the lines of:

  • “We’ve changed creative versions — version C was performing better than A or B, so we removed them.”
  • “We removed five of the underperforming exchanges that we were originally purchasing and added eight more in their place to test performance.”
  • Or, in an extreme case, “We are unhappy with the performance of this vendor and have decided to move from vendor one to vendor two.”

All of these changes include a specific problem that was isolated and a solution that was explained to you as the client.

4. You’re receiving consistent reports that provide metrics that matter to your business.

Regardless of the type of media that you purchase, your media expert should be providing you with reporting at regular intervals that shows how the campaign is performing against the goals that were set in our second point. Your reporting can be weekly, monthly, quarterly or even annually, but they should provide you with some sense of what the campaign is achieving.

These reports could include an analysis of the money the media expert has saved you, the pacing against the final goal, number of calls generated or the ROI based on your company’s sales. No matter what the report is, it shouldn’t just be a summary of clicks. It should directly tie to your business objectives and the objectives of the campaign.

5. The expert stewards your account and can explain in detail what they are monitoring.

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This is probably the single most important thing that your expert should be doing for you and your campaigns, but it’s frequently the most overlooked. Whenever media professionals sell services, we focus on things like strategy and negotiation. We often fail to mention how important stewarding the campaign is and the role that we play within this.

A true media expert should be verifying that the creative is actually running in the right place at the right time and at the agreed upon price. This process includes gathering screenshots, tearsheets or spot records from our media sales representatives and reviewing them for accuracy against our ordered campaigns.

If something didn’t run correctly, we should be following up with the salesperson to get some added value for the client or a makegood of some kind. These errors happen more frequently than you would think. A good media person can be invaluable if they are regularly catching these errors and ensuring that you’ve gotten what you paid for on a campaign.

Want to talk more media? Tweet us @QuinlanCompany or contact us to set up a one-on-one meeting.

5 Reasons to Stop Handling Your Own Copywriting Now

Jessica

We all know copywriting is used to persuade people to think or act a certain way. Every piece of writing in a company’s marketing efforts is part of a brand and should be treated with the same importance. That includes everything from traditional materials, such as brochures and print ads, to digital outlets, like websites, emails and even social media.

As creative professionals with experience building content that works, we know there are too many smart marketers wasting time developing content that simply won’t push their business forward. Why? Because they choose to handle the copywriting themselves instead of trusting the professionals.

To set the record straight: that’s not to say marketers or business professionals can’t write. We know plenty of clients and colleagues who are passionate about their brand and have the writing skills to communicate their products or services to their customers. The downside, though? They’re not trained to write specifically for advertising.

Still not convinced? Here are our top five reasons to hand the copywriting over to a professional.

1. Digital demands more.keyboard-561124_640

We all reminisce about – or at least remember from Mad Men episodes – the days when all you needed was a killer tagline and a rockstar photo to make your year-long campaign take customers by storm. Oh, the good old days (or so we’re told).

All too often, we work with clients who continue to focus a lot of time and energy on developing copy that’s very traditional in style. A content writer, on the other hand, is trained for digital media and will use a number of approaches to activate the campaign’s message. Additionally, content specialists are constantly changing copy on digital tactics based on the message’s performance.

2. Good copy alone won’t get results.

People are exposed to around 5,000 brand messages per day. The majority of those brand messages are completely tuned out. Even the most loved commercials often suffer from a lack of brand recognition, (meaning we remember something about the spot) but we don’t recall what company it’s for. Unless you have a multi-million dollar marketing budget, copy that’s good just isn’t good enough.

An agency content writer knows how to write for all sorts of brands, under many circumstances and for many audiences. They are experts when it comes to taking what you know and love about your brand and making it meaningful for the end user. It’s not to say an in-house team can’t write awesome copy, but we typically find that our clients are so ingrained in their products on a day-to-day basis that they have difficulty developing copy that is truly customer-focused.

3. You’ve got more important things to do.computer-1185567_640

This may seem like a no-brainer, but unless your sole focus is writing, you probably have some pretty important things on your agenda. Many in-house marketing managers are tasked with everything from internal communications, to managing the CRM system, to developing sales presentations and more.

Creating impactful content takes time, and even the most skilled writers run into writer’s block. It can be a huge time suck and most likely it’s not the task that is most vital to your organization. So ditch the writing and start working on that big idea you’ve been meaning to pitch to the CEO for eight months.

4. You could be missing out on SEO opportunities.

We hope if you’re reading this you’re aware of the importance of SEO when building digital content. However, many in-house marketing teams do not have the resources or tools available to create content that will drive organic traffic. The days of stuffing your website with keywords are long gone. You must know how to use those keywords within rich content that answers a question or solves a problem for the end user.

Our media and content teams work together to ensure that our clients’ content is SEO-based. Changing a keyword or phrase even slightly, for example, can dramatically change your chances of being found in search. We take into account things like search volume, competition and what’s trending in order to make your content work harder.

5. It’s time to take some risks.workshop-2209239_640

When it comes to writing, greater risk often means greater results (in fact, we did some research on creative risk to prove this theory). Now that you’ve accepted that good copy isn’t enough, it’s time to go all out. That’s where an agency comes in. Agencies are known as the kooky creatives, you know – they wear jeans way too much and have Nerf gun fights in the office.

But seriously speaking, allowing an agency to do their creative thing takes the pressure off you and your team. Let a group like Quinlan come up with the ideas that will never pass the board’s approval and you can help to find a middle ground. You might just find that there’s an idea worth trying.

Ready to get a little weird with your copy? Tweet us @QuinlanCompany or contact us for a free evaluation of your favorite content piece.