“You don’t pay the plumber for banging on the pipe. You pay him for knowing where to bang.”
It’s a great quote that while erroneously attributed (in one form or another) to many authors; is a large part of the agency pitch. This came to mind not long ago after I worked on a traditional media recommendation for a client who was concerned about a downward tick in sales.
I had compiled a presentation juxtaposing the active campaign schedule, media choices, programming, and budget with my recommended media choices and budget. Not surprisingly, my recommendation was very different from the existing campaign, which was reflective of substantial client dictates.
My recommendation took into consideration the competitive landscape, and presented data-supported rationale for each station choice, piece of programming, and overall budget. This illustrated the expected efficiency and effectiveness to be gained by making the changes. Unfortunately, it fell on deaf ears, and the succeeding campaigns continued with no changes. Not surprisingly, sales have not changed.
The truly unfortunate piece of this is that the suggestions were not to satisfy any industry or competitive politics. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon, as we run into this dynamic quite frequently. We often find ourselves with plans meant to satisfy the media and programming preferences of the client.
It is the human condition to assume others are similar to us, and to that effect, watch the same programs that we do.
The fallacy of this rationale goes against virtually everything that an advertising agency considers when making recommendations. The consumer base of most businesses is highly diverse, and this must be taken into consideration when choosing a medium for your message. While there is a bit of instinct that goes into a media recommendation, it is mostly based on first, second, and third-party data. This data leaves little to a guessing game, allowing us to make rational decisions for media buys.
With so much data now available to us, we can get as granular or broad as needed to deliver a message to as specific of an audience as desired. Advertising agencies have access to this data, while most clients (or potential clients) typically do not. Having this data, and the knowledge to read and interpret it, is one very big tool in the agency toolbox that helps us assists clients in their growth. While our first priority is to help the client, the idea is that they pay us for knowing how to help.
So, if you are unhappy with your self-directed or previous media efforts, give some attention to the rationale behind your new recommendations. At Miller Ad Agency, we know where to bang the pipe. Give us a call at 972.243.2211.