When you are presented with a package from an advertising media representative, ask yourself this: is this package designed to help my business or the media selling it? By nature, packages are cookie cutter solutions. Every business is unique. Even businesses in the same industry may have different strategies, market areas, and customer profiles. So the rule of thumb is not to buy packages. Buy what gets you the most audience for the money. And whenever possible, negotiate added value that works for your unique business. This way you make the package that works for you.

Any agreement longer than 3 months is a long term agreement. You need all the flexibility you can get with your ad budget. You also want the media to work as hard as possible for your business. Make them earn your business every three months. Long term agreements such as 12 month contracts may be lower than short term rates, but we have found it is usually better to pay a little more to get what you want than being locked into a schedule that often forces you to waste advertising to fulfill a commitment.

Next time we’ll lay out the advertising rules of thumb.