In our business, being perturbed is a constant. You don’t wait to be frustrated you just know you’re going to be. What gets up my nose most is being forced to watch companies create marketing solutions that I know won’t work. By now you’ve probably decided that I’m an arrogant son of a bitch and you don’t care if I’m perturbed – well that’s OK but before you blow me off forever, hear me out!

Would you feel perturbed if every day you had to watch some character or another walk in front of a semi? Sure you would, because you know that a human being is no match for a semi – well that’s exactly how I feel. Today was an interesting one for me, I attended a trade expo for the first time in years and, as is my want, I spent too much time observing and listening. Someone I knew was negotiating with a local representative of a television station the placement of their company on the small screen . My overgrown ears strained, reminiscent of a drone’s radar as I squeezed every audio muscle to tune into the conversation. That represented an enormous mistake on my part, for it not only caused the usual gut wrenching frustration but a monumental attack of dyspepsia.

She was considering a package deal which looked just wonderful on the cost side but from a potency viewpoint had as much chance of impacting her target audience as a slap in the face with a wet jelly.

Internally, I’m screaming, “Get some expert advice… please!” – Externally? – I’m, looking like an angel from the Philadelphia Cheese commercial, gently smiling, as if I haven’t been listening. So why am I so peeved? It isn’t my business, why should I care, I ask myself? Well, I really can’t answer that, but I do care. Perhaps I’m just an old pro marketer who really likes people to win through the successful execution of sound concepts. Maybe I’m a pillock; perhaps I’m unsound; whatever, please stop this madness.

Buying media like it was your weekly shopping is not the way to go in this techno savvy world folks and like all of the marketing disciplines today there’s a right way and there are thousands of wrong ways to do things.

Let me explain and try to be constructive for you ‘do it yourself marketing’ lovers. Perhaps I can persuade you that buying media is a lot like trying to rebuild the foundations of your house while you’re still in it. Let’s ask a few pertinent questions; what do you know about ‘frequency’ and for that matter ‘reach’? Do you know who watches what shows and who is it you’re trying to impact? Do you understand psychographics; socio economics; gender balance and socio typing? What’s a TARP or a CPT?

What’s that – you’re lost? Why not, it’s a ruddy minefield and it takes someone who knows; an expert to ensure you’ve got the right station; programmes; mix; CPT; frequency and reach, not to mention value for money. Just to really impact you, let me close by recalling a moment of satisfaction some two years ago. A client who had previously insisted on buying his own media asked us to prepare a proposal for him, meantime without us knowing he toddled off and negotiated what he thought was a splendid little deal, direct with the TV Station’s local reps. Total value for the year $100,000. Total cost $100,000!

On presentation he was surprised to learn that our proposal was for $241,000 worth of television for a $100,000 spend. Our fee in total? $700.00.

Professionalism has real value and if that doesn’t perturb you, nothing will. Keep watching!