Menu Search

By Martha Nicholson

It’s been a hot minute since we shared media buying advice in a previous Industry Insight “Media Buying from LKF.” While a lot has changed in the world since then, the importance of media placements—even during a pandemic—has not.

Rather than going extinct, media placements and the buying strategies behind them have evolved. Four key factors have forced LKF Marketing to adapt our own practices and suggest revised strategies to our clients.

1. People are consuming their news differently.

Whether you’ve been able to work from home or not, odds are that your consumption of news has changed.

People, especially those in the B2B world, were previously accustomed to reading their business publications and trade journals in addition to their email subscriptions, etc. Many of those publications and journals were and still may be piling up and collecting dust in empty offices right now.

Despite previously shying away from digital ads with most business publications and trade journals because of low engagement and lacking or misaligned stats compared to our clients’ analytics, the pandemic and sweeping stay-at-home orders have changed our approach.

We’ve adapted to looking more carefully at these digital opportunities and finding ways to incorporate more of them based on what’s going on in the world.

2. Traditional media reach has dropped.

As responsible media buyers, we protect our clients’ media dollars even after the contract has been signed. Once we realized the impact and long-term nature of stay-at-home orders, we began contacting media representatives on behalf of our clients to inquire about possible value adds that could offset the decreased impact of print ads and billboards.

Utilizing our existing relationships with media reps, we attempt to find solutions and additional avenues of promotion—often at little to no extra cost to the client— to make up for unread publications, less traffic on the roads, etc.

Like so many other cases, it never hurts to ask. The worst thing we hear is “no.” More than likely though, the reps can offer more than we expected.

3. Trade show cancellations leave money on the table.

Trade shows are effective, albeit expensive, ways to reach both B2C and B2B customers. In fact, quite a few of our clients allocate a large portion of their annual marketing budgets to trade shows and related expenses.

As trade show postponements and cancellations fell like dominoes, we began stressing the importance of redirecting trade show funds into other marketing efforts. Failing to do so may allow a competitor to fill the void, we fear.

That’s why LKF recommends using a portion of that budget on a strategically targeted campaign aimed at the same people who would have attended the in-person events through digital marketing efforts.

4. Knee-jerk reactions threaten media budgets.

Do NOT pull your media plan! We repeat, do not pull your media budget in response to the pandemic.

Just as we said in our “Keep Calm and Market On!” Industry Insight, media spends should continue even in crisis.

Flat out stopping your media spending and outreach could have long-term effects on your brand awareness and sales pipeline months or even a year from now. The worst part is, you may not even realize the impact of halting media efforts until it is too late to repair the damage.

In good times and bad, we review consumption statistics and compare them to your media plan, work our relationships with reps, and make any necessary changes to get the most out of our clients’ media budgets. Sometimes that requires being willing to look at new mediums and tactics.

If your media buyer isn’t willing to do the same, it’s time to contact the dedicated LKF team.