What to Look for in an Insert Media Broker
By Dan Plunkett
What should a marketer who is new to insert media look for in an insert media brokerage? This is an extremely important question, because success can depend on the assistance a marketer receives from its brokerage. As a former marketer, I remember that testing a new medium held a number of risks, not the least of which was the risk that I would be held responsible for campaigns I recommended and initiated. New test budgets were scrutinized, and failure in the initial test tended to kill any further funding. So what is important when considering an insert media brokerage?
Media buying for this medium should be the primary focus, not a sideline. Why do you go to a brokerage in the first place, rather than using your traditional ad agency? Because your agency tends to focus on advertising copy and design. A marketer who is looking for an insert media brokerage should search for a company that specializes in the medium—not one that approaches it as an offshoot of its list, space, or copy and design business.
What should you look for in a brokerage that specializes in insert media? First, a dedicated and trained staff focused on this medium. The staff should be efficient and demonstrate an acceptable level of professionalism. With the exception of the support staff who manage accounting and other day-to-day functions of running a business, the majority of the brokerage company's staff should be devoted to insert media planning and execution.
Planning and execution are more than just placing orders and following up on shipping. The brokerage should be able to offer solutions and ideas that influence the offer and creative of insert media campaigns. For marketers merely testing insert media, this insight is invaluable. A good brokerage can direct marketers to successful offers and formats, and help them avoid mistakes.