If you’re an entrepreneur building a direct response company, you hear all sorts of talk, claims and flat out boasting from the media agencies claiming that they have the best “strategic media” approach.
Since the majority of expense in a direct response TV or radio campaign is media expense, it makes sense that those companies are shouting the loudest for your business.
But what is “strategic media,” anyway? At the root of “strategic” is the word “choice,” so I guess it’s the media choices that are made on a marketing campaign. Not that difficult, really. You already make strategic media choices every day—with your TV remotes and radio dials, right?
So, you’re an entrepreneur and you have a hot product idea. Do you call the people shouting the loudest about strategic media? Maybe, but you probably have a few more fundamental questions to answer first, like:
- What’s the best name for your product? First, you need to actually figure out what you’re going to call the Next Big Thing. Think about who you envision buying it, and why. Then, test some names out.
- What benefits will sell? Your product might do a million things, but what features are the most marketable? Figuring out the most valuable benefits of your product will help guide your media strategy. For instance, if your product is impressive in action, you better include visual media channels, like TV and digital.
- How will consumers respond? Okay, you’ve figured out the best benefits your product has to offer, now you need to think about how consumers are going to respond to what your product can do. What are the adverse responses you wouldn’t want to see?
- What’s the competitive set? It’s time to do some research. Who are your industry competitors? Learn about what other products are already on the market that are like yours. If something is too similar, you need to decide how yours is better and how to make it stand out.
- What’s the best price/offer strategy? First and foremost, you have to make sure your cost structure makes sense. How much does it cost to make your product? What type of media do you want to use? Also, looking at the price points of competitors’ products might be helpful when setting your own product prices.
- What methods of payment will you accept? Your product and the audience you’re trying to reach (and through what channel) will depend on the payment types you’ll accept.
- Will you offer terms? This will likely hinge on your product type. Consider your product benefits, claims, warranties and other conditions that you may be legally bound to after consumer purchase.
- What are your best creative approaches? If you only have one, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. The secret? Don’t ever throw any of ideas away. You never know what will spark the winners.
- How will you test all of this? This is an important one. The best way to create a successful media strategy it to test varying channels, and then test again. At Marketing Architects, We test creative and conversion concepts, as well as media intersections, so we can identify what creative/media combo works best.
- Oh, and what about returns? Guarantee periods? Regulatory? Raising capital? Hiring people? Information technology? Operations? CRM? Customer service? These are things you need to think about!
Who do the great direct response marketers talk to on the path to their next huge hit? It’s not the “strategic media” people. Your strongest advocate for your success is a little more elusive to find. Listen closely and you will not hear them talking about media. But, you do enough of that at home, anyway.