What have media rates got to do with the price of milk?

This post is by Stephen Benrad, a Senior Consultant at TrinityP3. Stephen  is
passionate in helping clients manage decreasing marketing budgets through
driving greater efficiencies in their media investment.

Q Magazine had a regular section where they would ask famous musicians a host of questions that included “How much does a pint of milk cost?”

The same question is also asked by Empire Magazine of movie stars.

The purpose of the quiz was to highlight how in or out of touch these identities were with everyday purchases.

Generally the bigger the star, the less they knew but occasionally you would have a successful artist who would get it right.

Most of the time they would have no idea.

Of course it would depend on where you shopped – the supermarket would be cheaper than your corner store and of course it depends on the type of milk. But generally it would be reassuring to see they had their finger on the pulse and were not quoting the price of Cognac.

Media rates

So how much is a 30 sec spot on TV?  Well that’s difficult to answer.

Let me start again, how much should a 30 sec spot in Nine News Sydney next Thursday 5 December cost? Let’s not focus on where it runs – time shifted viewing is not a huge consideration with the evening news – but preferably in the last break.

Well it would cost more than the price of milk but the point is that advertisers should still have an idea. It’s your money, no matter how big you are.

Excuse me, I think you’ve overcharged me for the oranges…

How many times have we been to the supermarket and checked the receipt on the way out and thought: That was more expensive than usual!  I didn’t even buy any organic, free range, hormone free, hipster chicken.

Ah, the oranges are from bloody Florida and I got the carbon neutral mustard.

I’m not suggesting you religiously check your spot list (although why are you paying for 3 spots in Baywatch at 5am?) However the importance of an overall health check should never be underestimated.

So how does that Nine News spot compare to the market? TrinityP3 can benchmark this “pint of milk” and tell you if it’s reflective of what others like you are paying for it – or if you should be crying over it.

The cousin of cost, value, should not be forgotten here.

That carbon neutral mustard may actually be worth the extra investment. If I fill my trolley with cheap products laden with salt and additives that only have one thing going for them – a low price – then I’m going to become fat, flatulent and alone.

The importance of placing value next to cost

Here are two things which can harm a focus purely on cost from both an investment and remuneration perspective:

If you buy a $9 sale fare with an airline, do you really expect that gives you the right to sit where you want, eat what you want and bring whatever baggage you want with you? If airlines sold their entire inventory for $9 they would go out of business. Ancillary revenue will not cover a $9 fare for every passenger.

In much the same way, the revenue management models of media owners will treat advertisers with one dimension (eg a deep discount) differently from those who have different facets to their investment (eg a focus on value, partnerships and content)

And the same applies to agency remuneration. Your agency, having collaborated with TrinityP3, is trading how they should be – happy days!

But when you call to thank them for moving those 3 spots out of Baywatch, the phone rings several times before Work Experience Shane picks up and takes a message.

Hmmm. Maybe the team has gone to get some milk.

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About Stephen Benrad

With a strong trading background, Stephen understands the importance of extracting value beyond the transactional merits of any negotiation. He is passionate in helping clients manage decreasing marketing budgets through driving greater efficiencies in their media investment. Read Stephen's bio here
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