Ah, negotiation. Part art, part science, part mystery meat.
Mystery meat…really? Yes. And it’s as gross as it sounds. Rate cards are mostly myths. Asterisks are often abused. Best interest is an over-sold phrase. On top of that, many nuggets of conventional “wisdom” are just plain wrong.
“You need to spend a lot of money to get value added.” (Wrong. You can get value added with any size budget. And yes, that means free.)
“(Fill in the blank medium) is better than others.” (Wrong. Any medium can be effective, based on circumstances.)
“Buying last minute garners you cheaper rates.” (Not just wrong, but dead wrong; pre-planning gives you much more flexibility.)
“You have to buy the top rated station.” (Wrong. Anyone who says so is looking at data through a very narrow lens.)
Truly effective media buying is complex, and at the same time, nuanced. Buying a suit is easy. You go to the store, see the retail price clearly marked as $1,000, and a sale price of $799. Everyone knows the price, so everyone pays the same price. With media, no one knows the true retail price of the inventory, so no one actually pays the same sale price. Unless they know what they’re doing, and unless they have the data to fuel buying decisions.
So. Mystery meat = bad. Thorough knowledge and planning that fuels negotiation = good. It’s a tasty recipe for success, and we follow that recipe every day.