When you approach a media company to learn more about advertising, typically you will find that you are either put into contact with a "media salesperson" or a "media consultant." It soon becomes clear that each of these refer to the same job, which is to help your company advertise. However, there is a big difference between the approaches of a media consultant and a media salesperson. One just provides the basic service with no frills or individuality, while the other takes care to give you the services that best meet your needs and budget.
What Will a Media Consultant Do that a Salesperson Won't?
When you deal with someone who lives up to the title of media consultant or media specialist, you aren't just given a sales pitch for whatever can be fit into your budget. Instead, the person will ask several questions about the goals for your project, your overall marketing strategy, who you want to reach, and more.
Knowing your goals is important when determining the components of your campaign. Not all options work well, so customization is a key to success. For example, if you want to promote a concert series, it makes sense that your advertising schedule contains programming that reaches the target demographic of that particular concert series. Alternatively, if you want to let people know about a sale on hardware, it's likely better to put the word out during television programming that appeals to DIYers.
Other elements of your marketing strategy should also be considered. For example, if your company serves a particular area, it is a good idea to make sure your campaign reaches those who live or work in that particular area. Many people prefer to do business with local companies. Other image-related ideas you may want to consider include branding yourself as community-minded or environmentally friendly. Not all of these apply to every company, but many can add at least one "general theme" of this sort to their marketing.
Does Every Media Consultant Offer this Level of Service?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. While any media salesperson can use the term "consultant," many do not live up to what that term implies. A media salesperson could try to push options on you whether or not they are appropriate for your goals and budget. Those who are overly sales-oriented may not even give you many details about the options, and will respond to your queries with hard sales pitches instead of real explanations.
One way to find the right consultant is to ask your peers for their experiences. People tend to complain loudly when they aren't satisfied, so they'll be quick to point out those who are "only in it for a buck" and aren't actually helpful. On the other hand, those who are highly impressed with someone will talk about them, too, when asked. One media company that is often mentioned on the positive side is Meredith St. Louis.
Notably, a true media consultant will often suggest choosing more than one type of advertising medium. This, however, isn't merely to upsell you. It's because a multi-pronged approach typically works best. What makes the consultant's suggestions better is that the proposition will involve true synergy between the elements. A regular sales agent, on the other hand, doesn't really focus on how well the parts will work together.
Because of these differences, it's worth finding a media company whose consultants truly work with you to devise an effective multi-channel ad campaign. Your satisfaction and your results will both be better than they would be otherwise. With the collaboration of your team and your media company’s consultants, you will be able to create authentic advertisements with a strategy to reach your target audience at the right time.