As we approach the end of the year and begin planning for next year, many media outlets with packages and enticements will be approaching you for long-term commitments. The word package sounds nice because it sounds like you are getting something special. Packages are often presented as turn key advertising programs designed to make your advertising easier. But in most cases, packages are designed as a way for advertising media to fill unsold inventory and get long-term commitments.
If you are considering signing a package that requires a long-term commitment, take this into consideration. Advertisers in Central Pennsylvania who committed to long-term contracts for 2009 could have saved money if they bought just a few months at a time, as rates have been dropping all year. Based on predictions from media magazines and online articles we expect another volatile year in 2010.
In 2009, average radio rates dropped in the Central Susquehanna Valley by one third. Billboard rates for remnant inventory (unsold billboards), have been selling for about one third the regular rates. Many advertisers who committed to packages last year spent more than an advertiser who waited and planned advertising on a quarter-by-quarter basis.
Some media in Central PA bonus advertisers in order to fill their unsold inventory. But the number of bonus ads and when they run are unpredictable making it hard to plan for event and sale advertising. On the other hand, that can be good if your strategy is building top of mind awareness (TOMA).
The advice for buying packages in 2010 is to take it one quarter at a time. Predictions by media experts state that 2010 is going to be another lean year for advertising media. If you do not commit beyond a few months or less, the leverage you’ll have on the media will not only save you money but give you more flexibility in these uncertain times.