The goal for year 1 was simple, find a way to make their dollars work more efficiently.
We started with a couple test markets and found that the strategy used by the previous agencies was to buy broad rotators. This strategy allowed them to buy commercials at a low spot rate so they could then buy more commercials. However, it was very ineffective at reaching the target audience because you had no control over when the commercials would play or what programs they play in. When we started looking at all markets we found that this was the strategy used across the board. We implemented a new strategy that focused on buying specific programming that targeted the client’s primary demo and then negotiated spot rates to prevent an increase in budget. We also found that there were several markets where the top stations were not being utilized at all and we were able to add those stations to the buy and drop the underperforming stations so there was no wasted budget.
Year 1 Results:
DECREASED spend by 15%. Total number of commercials INCREASED by 171%. Reach Percentage (Percent of our target demo that was reached) INCREASED by 13%. Frequency (The number of times each person saw our commercials) INCREASED by 26%.
The goal for year 2 was to keep the budget flat but try to get more for our money.
This would have been a difficult enough task in any given year because we were able to get such good results from year 1. However, this was a HUGE challenge in year 2 as it was 2020…a political year. What that means in terms of placing traditional media buys is that the stations know that they will be getting large amounts of political dollars (at least in 6-8 months of the year). Because of this, they increase their spot rates across the board and the rates are drastically increased in programs that target an older demographic, which happens to match up with the demo that our client was targeting. It is MUCH more difficult to negotiate with stations for political years because they KNOW that the money will be coming in. Even with both of those obstacles we were able to slightly decrease the spend and either increase or hold the main categories that we look at.
Year 2 Results:
DECREASED spend by 1%. Total number of commercials INCREASED by 32%. Reach % stayed flat. Frequency INCREASED by 14%.
The primary goal for year three was to cut 20% from the spend.
The secondary goal was to make that cut while holding our schedules as close to year 2 as possible. Obviously, that’s a difficult task. With the strategy utilized in years 1 and 2, we had effectively changed how the marketing dollars were being spent and made the schedules much more efficient…getting more for less. Trying to go back and cut an additional 20% from the budget meant taking a step back and re-working the strategy. We knew that placing within specific programming that targeted our primary demo well was still the best approach and we did not want to go back to running broad rotators. Capitalizing on the relationships that we had built with the stations and, more importantly, the reps, we spent four months negotiating rates and schedules and were able to create a plan that allowed us to decrease the spend again and still increase the number of commercials and the frequency.
Year 3 Results (compared to year prior to taking over account):
DECREASED spend by 25%. Total number of commercials INCREASED by 279%. Reach Percentage INCREASED by 10%. Frequency INCREASED by 36%.