Special Report Insert Media Buying Guide
Benicewicz advises any marketer brokering its own insert deal to make sure someone is involved who has experience with insert programs to make sure the right questions get asked.
You Snooze, You Lose
Given that few marketers can satisfy their insert volume needs with one or two programs, new insert properties are hot commodities.
"For the big advertisers, it's a continual challenge to find volume. Their brokers have standing orders with managers to say they'll test anything new on the market in their categories," says Zuckermandel.
Thus, the reason why many new insert programs get snapped up fast is because you've got sophisticated insert users that fight to get exclusivity on a particular category. They tend to have detailed history on what they can afford to spend on any type of program, so they're able to quickly negotiate tests, evaluate test results and lock up that space.
Of course, it does depend on the perceived quality of the program owner launching the new program. If the company already runs a successful insert program of one type, Benicewicz explains, marketers are more apt to trust that any other insert opportunities it presents are valuable, too.
Or, if the new program is from a company that is taking inserts for the first time, marketers will consider the company's reputation and brand name. Still, when it comes to category exclusivity, competition is fierce on most programs.
Benicewicz points out that some programs are seasonal in nature, which makes it difficult to get accurate counts for each month. And if your insert is seasonal, it adds another layer of complexity. Working with such programs means marketers have to stay on their toes to ensure they have the volume they need at all times for their insert media plan, she explains.
The following insight might make you feel better about your chances to gain access to good programs—or it might convince you that the insert media sector is like the wild West: Henry finds that the insert media business still is an unregimented medium where participants make up their own rules, following the standards that make them feel comfortable. As such, he explains, not all program owners, or their managers, offer the right of first refusal. So that category lock-up might only exist because the claimant made the best offer.