5 Things: Five reasons networks make the media plan but not the buy

Jan. 20, 2012

By Jennifer Bolt

SVP, Chief Strategy Officer, rVue Inc.


It's happened to most networks at one point or another. Your network was selected for an early media plan or RFP, but never made the media buy. Here are the five most likely reasons why this occurs:

1. The buy never happened.

Odds are, you didn't make the buy because it never happened. The DPAA Strategic Media Planners Survey released last year asked media professionals what percentage of their digital out-of-home plans are approved. According to the results, only 10 percent of DOOH media plans make it to the buying phase. For advertisers and agencies, goals and objectives can change on a daily basis, so it's not uncommon to see inquires, RFPs or plans made but never approved and executed.

2. The advertiser needs local market inventory and the network is only sold on a national basis.

Advertising trends are migrating to local and hyper-local markets. The ability to customize messaging designed to reach targeted consumers are driving this trend. Some advertisers employ a mix of media on a national basis, with local and hyper-local overlays to produce better results. Other advertisers have unique distribution patterns that drive their media selections to local and hyper-local geography. The ability to reach targeted audiences in a specific market or location can be a crucial factor when determining which networks are on the media plan and buy. Networks with the technological capability to sell and manage their inventory on a local and hyper-local basis will benefit from a larger pool of advertisers.

3. The network doesn't negotiate off rate card.

Less flexibility on rates often translates into a deal-breaker for advertisers and agencies, especially if they can buy other networks willing to negotiate and still reach the campaign's objectives. It is far easier for a network to hold firm on rate card, but the reality is every other medium will negotiate or offer discounts for frequency contracts. Advertisers and agencies are used to being able to negotiate. This is one barrier a network may wish to consider removing to gain advertiser confidence and adoption.

4. The buyer chose networks more closely aligned with their target consumer for greater relevancy.

Network audience profiles are a critical factor in the media planner and buyer's decision. The more information a network can provide about their audience, the more likely they will be selected for the media plan and buy assuming the audience aligns with the advertiser's target consumer. Provide as much information as possible regarding the demographics and psychographics of the audience and location of the screens. However, be prepared to acknowledge when your network may not be the best fit for the target. This will be greatly appreciated by the advertiser and their agency and save you valuable time. There will always be another opportunity!

5. The network didn't offer substantial proof-of-performance.

This week's announcement from the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A's) and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) regarding embedding metadata in creative to traffic and track ads across all forms of media, demonstrates where media often considered traditional and analog are headed in terms of proof-of-performance. While our medium is a digital native, we are still providing analog reporting for the most critical information a network can provide any advertiser for their campaign.

The ability to offer proof-of-performance in a format and frequency meaningful to the advertiser and agency can mean the difference in being included on the buy. Digital media has the ability to provide real-time or near-time data. Real-time analytics provide advertisers a competitive advantage as it enables campaign and creative optimization during the flight. Digital out-of-home has the opportunity to provide this level of campaign reporting. The moment is approaching when the new goal and eventual standard set by the 4A's and ANA, will be attainable for all DOOH buys.

Until that day arrives, ensuring proof-of-performance is delivered as frequently as possible during a campaign and immediately following a campaign, positions your network for inclusion in the next plan/buy. It elevates your network's status to a partner who can be counted on to provide proof their advertising dollars were effectively placed.

While some of the reasons listed above are out of the network's control, a couple of them are within the operator's grasp. Making your network easy to plan, buy and track results will help increase your odds of inclusion in more media plans and the achieving the ultimate goal of sustained, repeat business.

Bolt, a longtime agency executive, now serves as senior vice president and chief strategy officer for advertising technology and media services company rVue Inc.

Read more about DOOH advertising.

Topics: Advertising , Audience Measurement , DOOH Advertising , FAQ , Networks

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