Felica Sparks, founder and owner of Ad4! Group, among other things, is an expert media buyer. She has placed television, radio, billboards and other types of advertising for local and international businesses over the years.
Because she’s such a straight shooter, no-nonsense professional, I was able to sit down with Felica during a five minute break between business meetings and get great advice on media buying both for business owners and for media buyers.
Pro Tips: Media Buyers
1. When buying media use the term “Media Partner” instead of “Media Rep.”
“When you go into a new market or a new area or even your current local area, when you’re hooking up with a new media partner – refer to that representative and the station as your media partner, not ‘rep.’ Don’t call them “reps” because they are your partner.
They need you as much as you need them. It’s very important to extend that respect from the very beginning and you’ll have a friend for life.
And they’ll look after you, ya know? You’ll get better business considerations.”
2. The most important thing you can earn is a client’s trust.
“When a company comes to us, to start a new relationship. The most important words that I can hear go way beyond money.
I’d rather hear that you trust me and you’re going to trust me 100 percent. That’s more important to me than anything. It’s more important than the money. More important than anything else you can look at because I need people to trust me and to give me three- twelve months to turn things around for them. It will work, but nothing happens overnight.
I need to hear that you trust me.”
Pro Tips: Business Owners
As a business owner you need to hear these questions from your Media Buyer when discussing a new campaign.
1. What are your goals for this campaign?
“Be specific. It’s not always ‘to grow my business in sales.’ Ask the question, ‘what are the desired goals of this campaign?’”
2. What media entities have you run with in the past?
“You need to discuss what worked and what didn’t work?”
3. Do you have the capacity to handle the influx of new business we’re about to generate?
“Because when we go to work, we’re going to work hard. We’re going to do a successful campaign as best possible – if allowed. But I’ve got to know that you can support the increase of business.
You’d be quite surprised the number of people who can’t. They don’t have an effective roll-over system within their answering phone or maybe someone forgets to check the messages during the day and only remembers at the beginning of the next day. And in some cases people want to have their calls returned today.”
Last, she left me with advice for business owners contemplating buying media for the first time.
“Come to us. I don’t want to slight the media partners of the world, but they tend to only want to sell what they are selling, which makes sense. And I’d rather see you understand better what your brand promise is going to be.
If you’ll focus on that as a client, then I’m going to tell you the best place to say it or show it.”
Special thanks to Felica for giving us an insider’s view into media buying from different angles.
***Photos were taken on my 5 minute break in a historic neighborhood off of 6th Avenue in Decatur after going to see our lovely client Innovative Eye Care.