Media Approval Times

Media approval timelines – why they matter?

Never have enough time. When it comes to media planning and buying, tight deadlines can cost you dearly. How? It robs you and your agency the opportunity to plan and negotiate the best media deals in the market. So, what to do if time is tight? Find out here with Media Minutes.


DARREN: Welcome to Media Minutes. I am Darren Woolley
STEPHEN: And I am Stephen Wright
DARREN: In the next few minutes we will share with you our thoughts on approval timelines and why they matter. Stephen, what are the issues with media timelines?
STEPHEN: When I was working at agency’s in media one of the most frustrating questions, we used to get from marketers was ‘When’s the latest I can give approval by?’
DARREN: Well Stephen, isn’t that a valid question?
STEPHEN: Sure, it’s a valid question… but it’s the wrong question to be asking. The latest approval deadline is the one that invariably delivers the least value.
DARREN: So, Stephen, is there a rule of thumb for timelines?
STEPHEN: Different media have different lead time requirements but with every medium, it is the premium and most cost-efficient environments that go first.
DARREN: So, does early advantage apply to media buying alone?
STEPHEN: Not at all, Darren. The longer you have for strategy and thinking the greater the capacity to study the market, study the competition and find ways to challenge the ‘status quo’ and deliver a point of difference.
DARREN: So ‘First in best dressed’. For both planning and buying, there is a correlation between booking early and the value achieved?
STEPHEN: Absolutely, marketers need to provide their agency partners with the longest booking lead times they possibly can, and the opportunities extend beyond the media area alone.
DARREN: What do you mean by that.
STEPHEN: The communication marketplace is now far more complicated. Media Agencies are often responsible for coordinating activities across the Paid, Owned Earned and Shared spectrum. Locking in a high-quality media schedule early allows you to more effectively leverage the paid component.
DARREN: Is there a cost implication with booking your media late?
STEPHEN: Booking late you can only ever hope to match the value achieved booking early and will need to invest considerable time and negotiation skills to achieve this.
DARREN: OK that’s fine for many clients but what about those clients that can’t give approval early? How do they get value and mitigate against having to pay a premium?
STEPHEN: The key in those instances Darren is to plan ahead for booking late. To talk with the agency and determine an approach and strategy with them.
DARREN: So, Stephen, you recommend working with the agency?
STEPHEN: If cancellation lead-times permit you can always book activity upfront and cancel free of charge when plans change.
DARREN: Are media owners happy with that?
STEPHEN: They would much rather you book in activity provisionally based on genuine intent… However, you might be called out if you cancelled right on deadline and booked it all with a direct competitor. You need to consider media owners as working partners and treat them respectfully.
DARREN: It all seems so obvious…
STEPHEN: It does indeed but in the work we do helping agencies and advertisers work more efficiently together, poor timeline management is the number one issue. And by poor timeline management, I mean marketers having no legitimate reason for not providing approval earlier.
DARREN: Thank you, Stephen. No revelations, mostly common sense but a useful reminder to marketers on how they can help themselves.
STEPHEN: Indeed Darren. DARREN: Now for further enlightenment, make sure you subscribe to Media Minutes. A weekly snack on all thing’s media. Until then. I’m Darren Woolley, and he’s
STEPHEN: Stephen Wright
TOGETHER: And this is Media Minutes.