It may seem like a good idea to buy your own media time for TV commercials. You can save the 15% advertising agency commission and you can save a lot more than that if you end up with an unscrupulous advertising agency that substantially marks up the media time and then charges a commission on top of that.
The truth is that buying your own TV media time is a huge mistake, unless your law firm is large enough for an in-house professional media buyer. Buying your own TV media time is equivalent to your client being his or her own lawyer. Not only does it require experience, knowledge and services you don’t have, but it is much more work than you think, requiring time you don’t have.
An advertising agency will research all lawyers advertising on TV in your market to determine which TV stations and programs competing lawyers advertise on; how many commercials they air per month on each TV station; and the amount they spend for each commercial. The advertising agency will periodically review your competition. You probably thought that you should advertise where there is less competition, but a good advertising agency knows that you want to be where the competition is.
A good advertising agency will not only have the knowledge and experience to choose the right stations, TV shows, days and times for your particular advertising goals, but will also do all of the scheduling work for a changing environment. TV stations are constantly changing TV shows and times. Additionally, ratings and prices are always changing. A media buyer must constantly stay on top of scheduling.
An advertising agency will monitor your advertising campaign to make sure that your TV spots are run when they are supposed to. The advertising agency will periodically analyze results to determine if expectations are being met and whether scheduling changes need to be made.
If you choose to buy your own TV media time for your law firm, assuming you had the experience and knowledge, you will have to do all of this work yourself. It’s hard to imagine many lawyers who have the extra time to do all this. Additionally, you may want to subscribe to expensive services to provide you with research and monitoring services.
When you call a TV station directly, your account will be given to a salesperson whose job is to sell media time on only one TV station. The salesperson at a TV station will not provide you with advertising agency services, except producing an inexpensive and ineffective TV commercial to get you on the air. Additionally, you may get a good, experienced salesperson or you may end up with a salesperson that is either not experienced or more interested in commissions. Just because you are speaking with a salesperson at the TV station, that does not mean that the salesperson is knowledgeable about your business or even the TV station’s broadcasts.
When you call a TV station to purchase your own media time, you will be quoted a retail rate while an advertising agency will be quoted a wholesale rate. Any advertising agency should be able to purchase media time at least 15% less than you can. A good advertising agency will be able to do even better. Consequently, you will get advertising agency services for free. With a good advertising agency, not only will you get the services for free, but you will pay even less for the media time.
When negotiating the price you will pay for TV spots, you are at a substantial disadvantage because you do not do this for many clients on a daily basis. As a lawyer, you do not know how much you should pay for different TV spots; whether you are entitled to free bonus spots; or how many. A 30 second spot is not the same as any other 30 second spot. There are many differences affecting the value, too many to mention here. Imagine allowing a personal injury client to settle his or her own case.
Hopefully, you have decided to have an advertising agency create a TV advertising campaign for your law firm and do your media buying. Should you call the TV stations so you know what you should be paying before you call an advertising agency?
Again, that would be a mistake. When you call a TV station, you will be assigned to a sales representative who will quote you a retail rate. When you later call an advertising agency, the media buyer at the advertising agency will call the TV station and be assigned to a different sales representative who will be quoting a wholesale rate. Now, the TV station has a problem. There are two sales representatives fighting for the account and one has quoted a retail rate, while the other has quoted a wholesale rate. Which sales representative do you think will get the account?
I have even seen a situation where a law firm called a TV station and six months later called an advertising agency. The TV station had a record of the lawyer calling six months earlier and told the advertising agency that they would not sell TV media time to the advertising agency. They told the advertising agency to tell the lawyer to call the station. The lawyer is now forced to deal directly with the TV station.
Persons interested in learning more about our Public Relations Services should contact Sales Secret at 954-271-1140.