What do media agencies actually do and why you might need one for stage 2!

What do media agencies actually do and why you might need one for stage 2!

An old CEO-friend of mine was asked the question ‘what do you actually do?’,  by a client very sceptical of media and specifically media agencies delivered what I believe is the most succinct way of explaining what we all do….to the point my Mum even understood it!


The answer:  ‘We find your audience’


Unfortunately, this was somewhat diluted. When in the taxi back to the office, he added ‘make sure you do it in our current trading deal structure!’.


But no one’s perfect!


My view on this – now unencumbered by any trading deals and fire breathing trading directors – is we find a brand’s target audience, as cost effectively as possible in whatever the most effective media channels to drive action.


What I mean by that is if you profile an audience via say TGI, you’ll get a view on media consumption that would dictate when and where to reach them. However, if you take this too literally you may end up with a plan that reaches them, but it no way influences them to find you and ultimately buy from you. Audiences must be found in media channels that drive action.


That’s where brands needs an experienced agency to guide them and ensure they’re investing hard-earned budgets in to the right channels that reach and convert consumers.


We know most businesses are on the ‘crack’ that is digital media – hooked by the high of perceived accountability. In no way are we saying digital isn’t the best place for a brand to start….but I guarantee it’s where their growth will stop if they don’t look to offline media investment.


Far cleverer people than me tell us:


· You have to target the whole market to grow, so reach trumps frequency. Thanks, Byron Sharp.


· Broadcast media channels, primarily TV, outdoor and radio, are the strongest at delivering business impact.

Thanks, Les Binet and Peter Field.


Therefore we can conclude brands must reduce their dependency on digital media.


Offline done properly– that’s planned audience first will always trump piling more in to digital when growth has plateaued. And it will plateau. Trust us.


And if you don’t trust us, look at the big digital players who tell you day in and day out not to invest in offline….Nielsen states across 2021 Google, Amazon and Meta (FB and Insta) invested, on average 58% of their media budgets, offline.


So, the online giants with huge reach and therefore opportunities to deliver content to audiences need offline media to drive them forward and importantly to communicate in a way online channels don’t allow.


Imagine the power it can have for your business if it can impact theirs.


Offline can be targeted to your core target audience if you work with a partner that isn’t shackled by deals or the inventory they sell. Media is all about balance. I’ve NEVER seen an optimal plan that only has one media partner on. I’ve NEVER seen an optimal plan for a stage 2 brand that’s built on a large agencies trading shares.


Offline can be measured accurately if you plan logically. You don’t need a national approach, when key channels allow for regional testing and therefore the most robust measurement methodology – control and expose.


Offline doesn’t need to cost millions to get a learning if planned around your business insights. This will also ensure you reduce budget wastage. Media still is, and will always be quite simply…..right message, right time, right place. User your data to drive the media plan and be famous for the 15 minutes you need to be.


Offline doesn’t need to be a gamble if you work with a partner with the experience to give a robust forecast. Your partner should know your audience, sector, and product well enough to be confident to give you a clear forecast on the effectiveness of the media recommendation. Be wary of anyone who doesn’t – in-fact demand one!


Offline creative doesn’t need to be gorillas playing drums if your partners are aligned on what your test has to deliver. I’ve seen a £10k TV ad smash all forecasts consistently for 3 years!


Investing in offline will step-change your growth – we guarantee it. But we also appreciate there are many misconceptions and that can make it seem like a pretty scary world.


Hopefully I’ve been able to reassure you but if you have any doubts or questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.