• Marina Shafiro

5 Tips to Negotiating Media Buys in 2021 and Beyond

Updated: Sep 22, 2020

Media planning and buying offer many exciting and essential tasks. The ability to take a Client through your vision of the brand and how you will help it grow by running media across certain channels is rewarding, but what media specialist doesn’t love interacting with partners and publishers, building relationships and negotiating the best deal possible on behalf of the brand/ client. While many media buyers and master class negotiators have their own true and tried methods, here are some techniques we find have worked very well for us and our clients over the years.

Research: Do your research and understand the market and similar publishers and technology rates. If there is a premium cost, ask why? What makes this buy different? Is there a more sought after engaged audience or unique data points that are hard to tap into programmatically? Can higher and better performance metrics be expected?

Planning: Booking early (especially with traditional media) is important because there are limited avails in TV and radio programs. Many reputable digital publications will also limit the number of brands on their site so as not to overwhelm their audience and maintain credibility. By planning ahead of time you can also negotiate better placements within those day parts/ programs, website placement. Here you might not be saving a lot in terms of dollars, but you are negotiating valuable prime time real estate. On the flip side, sometimes waiting to the last minute has its advantages where sites and stations are offering steep discounts. This happens in the broadcast and digital space as unsold inventory is lost revenue opportunities for salespeople and organizations and remnant buys become available.

Confidence: Check your ego at the door, if you do not ask, you will not get. Too often junior buyers and associates with little experience ask for the rates and promptly agree to those terms. At DMM, we have nearly 30 plus years of negotiating experience ensuring clients are getting tremendous value. We use past performance, the size of the buy, the frequency of our orders and we rely heavily and pride ourselves on our likability to negotiate stronger and better rates.

Compromise: At the end of the day, both sides will usually have to give a little to get the business transaction done. Anticipate compromise – if you want 20% off their rate card, ask for 30% with the notion that they aren’t going to give you what you requested as that is actual dollars they are losing out on.

Relationships: People want to do business with people they like and who are fair. Make sure to be organized, factual and make the hand off as easy as possible to show that you are strong partner/ company to work with.

At the end of the day paying the right amount for media is pivotal as it directly ties to ROAS (return on advertising spend) and CPA (cost per acquisition) goals. By researching, planning being confident and willing to compromise you will create positive long lasting vendor and client relationships which will help you success and achieve positive ROI (Return on Marketing Investment) .

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