Three Things Direct Vendors Will Never Tell You

If you’re looking to do a billboard or radio spot or TV commercial or ad in your local paper,your first instinct is probably to call up the platform that you want to advertise with (e.g., the billboard company, the radio station, the cable provider, the newspaper). These platforms are also known as direct vendors. Before you call them up, it’s important to know the three things that direct vendors will never tell you:

“You can reach the same amount of people at a lower cost by investing in a different advertising solution.” Or: “For the same price, you can reach a lot more people by investing with a different advertising solution.”

This should go without saying, but too many business owners explore only one advertising solution. When you do this, you don’t know whether or not the solution you’re investing in is the one that’s going to offer you the BEST value for your money. You need other advertising solutions to compare it to. Calling up multiple vendors and asking how much it costs to place an ad can take up a lot of time when you’re doing that on top of the day-to-day operations of your business. That’s why JS Media is here to do that work for you.

“You can better target your ads geographically by investing in a different advertising solution.”

This is especially important for business owners who only need to reach one or two counties. Last year, I wrote about a Congressional candidate in Long Island who bought millions of wasted impressions by investing in local broadcast, which can only be targeted to an entire DMA, while she should have invested in local cable, which can be targeted to specific zones. The high reach, frequency, and impression numbers probably looked very appealing to this candidate. But what the local broadcast vendor would not have mentioned is that the vast majority of these impressions were coming from people who wouldn’t have been able to vote for this candidate. The money this candidate spent on wasted impressions could have been used to build a stronger presence in their Congressional district.   

“You don’t have to spend your entire advertising budget on us.”

The thing that the vendors want to know most is what your budget is. If you give them your budget, they will put together a proposal that makes it so your entire budget is spent on just the advertising solutions that they offer. But if your budget allows for it, it can be highly effective to invest in multiple different advertising solutions through multiple different vendors. For example, it might make sense to invest 25% in billboards, 20% in one radio station, 20% in a different radio station, and 35% on cable. JS Media can strategically allocate your budget between multiple different vendors while direct vendors cannot.

To be fair, some direct vendors will be honest and turn away business if they don’t think that you’re the right fit for them. But even if they do, they won’t be able to help you find the advertising solutions that are the right fit. It’s simply not their job. But at JS Media, an independent advertising agency,it is our job.