Stewarding your local media buy is an important element that can be easily overlooked, but one that can keep your partners focused and your advertising on track.
So much time, energy and preparation is spent planning and placing where your local media buy will air, that it’s easy to think your work is done when you see your commercial, gain new customers and of course … pay the bill.
However, it’s the middle of the process where you can increase or decrease the chances your campaign will succeed.
Here are a couple of easy ways to keep your local spot buy intact and delivering up to expectations.
1. Collect Daily and Weekly Spot Logs
All television stations can provide a log that lists when your spot is scheduled to air. This is your first line of defense and your best offense.
Have your stations send the log at the beginning of each week. You want each station to have you top of mind, to start the week.
Review the logs and consider the following questions:
- What is important to you as an advertiser?
- Are you in breaks before prime shows, or actually within the prime programming?
- Are your spots running at the same time everyday?
- Are you getting the fair and equitable rotation you requested?
- Are you scheduled in a program you didn’t order or want?
Skimming the logs can get you ahead of any problem, any pre-emptions and any poor schedule placement. It’s easier to game plan up front and throughout the flight, than simply waiting for an invoice and then reconciling for errors after the fact.
2. Utilize Nielsen Overnights and Station Trends
At some point, your TV partners have guaranteed your schedule will deliver a certain amount of ratings points or TRPs. These points are estimated and based on trends and Sweeps ratings. You have agreed to these ratings.
While you may not be able to conduct an “official” post analysis until all invoices are in, and the proper ratings book has been released. You can see how programming is performing on a household level on a nightly and weekly basis. The simple term for this one-sheet report is an “overnight.” In larger markets, you may be able to drill down to your specific demographic.
Have your station submit a Household post after each week. This “pre-post” is a great indicator as to how the schedule is performing and most likely will perform for the duration of the flight. If a particular program is failing, request a makegood or additional spots to make up for the under-delivery.
Make sure you get equitable or preferably more points than ordered if your spot has to be moved. Do not allow more than 5% of your scheduled TRPs to be shifted from week to week over the course of a 4-6 week flight.
Tracking your local media investment, throughout the life of your local media buy, is an invaluable step in the overall advertising process.