Six reasons why regional advertisers should choose a specialist media agency

Six reasons why regional advertisers should choose a specialist media agency

By David Price, Managing Director

The marketing trade press is dominated by news of the major national advertisers and their agencies. You could be fooled into thinking they represent the majority of the market. But this is far from reality – 99% of advertising spend is by brands with budgets under £3 million.

In fact, the top 10 to 15 biggest media agencies are now largely focused on the top 1% of advertisers. They have become specialist agencies for the biggest brands. So, if you are one of the 99%, does that mean you have to join the back of the queue?

It certainly doesn’t. There are smaller media agencies out there that are dedicated to regional and SME clients. Agencies that understand there is a big and exciting world beyond the top 1%. Agencies that know what regional brands need. Agencies that are, frankly, experts in real world media.

So what can an agency, dedicated to the 99%, offer?

Well, first of all, a better, dedicated service from senior people that understand your world. Specialist agencies are invariably smaller and client-centric. Everything in the agency is done for the benefit of clients and you can avoid the endless layers of hierarchies that slow down the big players. You will be working closely with people that care and do what is right clients – not what is easy. It’s all about integrity.

Second, a wealth of experience in your marketplace. If they don’t, you’re with the wrong agency. So make sure you look for a proven track record of regional success. Ask the agency if they have the expertise and the research tools to help plan and buy 400+ regional campaigns annually. And check that they have regional offices so they can stay close to your business at all times.

Third, relationships with all the right media owners. All the big national and international players, but crucially all the regional media. And specialist media too. Whisper it, but media is still a people business. Expect teams of real people – experts that have nurtured contacts at every level on the media owner side. And enjoy access to inventory, traded at preferential rates.

And these people have expertise in real media. That’s the fourth benefit. Regional media is fragmentated and complex and clients need help navigating through it to make the right business decisions. They need experienced, passionate practitioners who roll up their sleeves and get stuck in. They need joined up, common sense solutions that avoid ‘one size fits all’. Real world media specialists are comfortable solving micro campaign objectives one minute, and helping digital businesses upscale through classic brand building the next.

All sounds good, doesn’t it. But there’s more. Fifth, understanding what digital and tech can offer smaller clients. This is all about leveraging the power of data, tapping into addressable media to unlock the potential of connected TV, and getting the most from the biggest platforms, like Facebook, Google and TikTok. Digital can be daunting, so you need a partner that can cut through the ‘smoke and mirrors’ to identify the platforms that will deliver real results for your business.

And finally – and this is the real pay-off – getting smaller budgets to deliver bigger results. It’s about being smart with local knowledge, knowing the best page to appear on, the best OOH site to deliver maximum exposure, and understanding the idiosyncrasies of micro audiences targeted digitally. Spend £1 in the wrong place at the wrong time and you’ll never get it back. A specialist agency goes the extra mile to buy the right media at the best price. Every time.

Photograph courtesy of Damian Siodlak @ Unsplash