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What happened to the big media buys?

June 21, 2018    |     Jennifer Choo

Where have all the big orders gone?

The days of year-long media buys with ad placements in every newsletter or magazine are extinct. The digital era has created a new pattern of spending marketing dollars between products and sectors in monthly or quarterly segments, analyzing overall return on investment for each mini-campaign to measure subsequent buys.

Although this may seem a bit scary, since it seems clients are not replicating their large media buys of decades past, if you are staying ahead of marketing trends you will see that clients are actually often spending more—it’s just spread out in smaller segments throughout the year. The truth is that buying cycles are changing and evolving as a result of the rising popularity of performance based marketing. Many marcom managers are realizing that marketing companies are measuring success through actual marketing performance, and are measuring their budgets and ROI accordingly.

So what does this mean for marketing companies?

This affects those of us at agencies and marketing organizations in a few ways. The first, and most important, is that we have to push the limits of our abilities to ensure that the return seen by our clients is more than enough to invest in their next spend with us. Which means we have to prove our worth every month or quarter to keep them as a client. We no longer let a sales representative get a signature and then sigh in relief for 12 months. The new buying patterns are keeping us on our toes, and will continue to do so.

But stay with me here, because this shift is not a bad thing.

As a marketer, your number-one priority is always to deliver the client the best results possible while simultaneously educating them about the best methods to meet their goals. If you are doing this, and utilizing all of the latest and greatest tools and methods to do so, the return for your clients should result in them renewing with you time and time again.

This new buying method gives your clients more flexibility, which then gives you the ability to suggest and try new marketing methods. Smaller purchases in smaller time frames allow you to develop completely different relationships with clients.

Some of the smaller businesses that were once afraid to approach you may suddenly find the budget to start a smaller campaign, which may grow into a larger relationship once you help increase their revenue.

Larger companies that have historically used dedicated agencies may start using multiple agencies to hone in on different audiences or specialties because they can split out their year into segments.

Medium-sized organizations will find themselves in the unique position to leverage against both larger and smaller companies, and will need your help to play ball in the newer, wider arena.

Overall, all of these companies answer to investors and owners who are looking for results. As long as you can provide, you’ll soar through the new marketplace and find your revenue growing alongside your clients’.

- Jennifer Choo

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