For half a year now, we’ve all been living in what have been calling “uncertain,” “unprecedented,” “challenging” and “stressful” times. We’re all still figuring out how to make future plans when we don’t know what tomorrow is going to look like—let alone a week, a month or a year from now. And that’s understandable.
When it comes to annual media planning, you absolutely can NOT afford to put it off—and there’s no logical reason to do so. Between the pandemic, the election and civil unrest, 2020 has been a year filled with disruption, conflict and crisis. It’s extremely difficult to develop a 2021 budget when you have no idea what’s coming next. But 2021 is also going to be a year of incredible opportunities. In that spirit, here are our top 3 reasons why when it comes to media, it’s smart to be proactive in reactive times.
1. Thinking ahead doesn’t lock you in.
You can delay baseball season, but you can’t delay annuals season. The common fear is that planning too far ahead locks you into commitments you can’t break. It doesn’t. We’ve proven over the last six months that we know how to change creative and media plans quickly. Companies like Inspire Medical, Renters Warehouse and It’s Just Lunch can tell you how we proactively pivoted their media and messages—often multiple times—to get ahead of changing behavior during lockdowns. Now we’re even more prepared, with “Plan Bs” in our back pocket to make the process even more efficient. The best part: Unlike most other agencies, we don’t charge for traditional media pivot plans. It’s part of caring about our clients, protecting their budgets and doing the right thing.
“The true test of a partner is how they react under pressure. When COVID hit our business in March, we had to pivot quickly to restructure our media plan to match the new reality of consumer behavior and market dynamics. Media Bridge was intensely customer-focused and worked in a hyper-responsive way to address our needs. As a result of their commitment, our business didn’t miss a beat. Thank you, Media Bridge, for your continued partnership!”
—Martin Abrams, VP Marketing, Inspire Medical Systems
2. You don’t want your competitors to beat you to the punch.
Business is a full-contact sport, and smart companies pounce on others’ weaknesses. Although many industries are struggling right now, many others are thriving. If some companies delay buying their 2021 media, others will eagerly snatch up as much inventory as they can. Hesitating not only limits your options; it also makes those options more expensive. We’ve always touted the benefits of being aggressive and laying in your media buys before your competition. This year, we couldn’t say it any louder.
3. Nothing delivers more bang for your media buck than a solid annual plan.
Even though much else has changed in the world, the perks of annual media planning haven’t. With the right negotiators on your side, the annuals process still delivers the lowest unit rates and best value-added opportunities. It also empowers you to reach more people, more efficiently. And in a world where integrated marketing is more effective than ever, it allows you to add mediums to your plan that work together to make the biggest impact.
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This is no time to waste money—or opportunities. With so many other companies still feeling uncertainty and paralysis, you have a golden opportunity to build brand awareness, inspire consumer response, grab market share and make every marketing dollar work as hard as possible for you.
Our advice: When it comes to both your message and your media, don’t sit on the sidelines and wait to see what everyone else is doing. Be proactive. Lock in the best strategy now. And maximize your impact while minimizing your risks.