You need to utilize the right tactics to ensure the best possible local media rates.
You might think that simply asking your media vendor if these are the “lowest rates available,” you have done your due diligence when finalizing your local media schedules.
Many vendors will hold you to higher rates, unless they are challenged to go lower by utilizing some key negotiating tactics.
1. Know The Current State of The Economy
Local media rates are largely based on supply and demand. Make sure you know the current state of the economy and how it is affecting advertising budgets. Industry research can tell you if vendors are anticipating a higher volume of spending, and therefore charging higher rates.
Know how your local market is expected to react to economic factors, and if there are any local factors that are pushing rates higher. Many times the local market may have additional spending that is not directly affected by the economy.
Local car dealers or new retail locations can drive up prices, as they eat up inventory.
2. Use Benchmarks to Compare Vendors
Resources like SQAD are used during the planning process to project local media costs in a particular market. This will help you determine the type of increases or even decreases anticipated for a certain time frame.
If these resources are not available to you, use your costs from the previous year as a benchmark for your current schedule. Regardless of market conditions, a station should not double their rates from year to year. You should pay close to the same rate you have paid in the past.
Pricing should be very similar for vendors across the same medium. For example, if you are purchasing a radio schedule, the #1 and #5 station should deliver a similar cost per point (CPP).
Remember, it is not just about a low rate. You need to look at the cost per point, or the cost per thousand, to compare and negotiate your local media options.
3. Use Aggressive Vendors to Drive Down Rates
Many vendors are hungry for additional dollars, and will be very aggressive when quoting rates. They may look for a specific dollar investment from you, and will go to great lengths to achieve those goals.
By working with these aggressive vendors to achieve their goals, you will drive down your other partners in the process.
When negotiating your local media schedules, make sure you employ these tactics with your local vendors, so you can be assured of getting the lowest rates possible for your media schedule.