Research: What Do Media Buyers Want?

Last week this column mentioned findings from J.M.Ryan & Associates’ recent survey of media buyers to illustrate a point about what makes a compelling sales pitch. We had lots of requests for more information about the entire survey so here you have it.

J.M.Ryan & Associates conducted telephone interviews of media buyers at interactive agencies and media buying firms from August 23 to September 3, 1999.

Key Findings

  • The average media buyer talks to an average of 21 Internet ad reps per week. 
  • On average, the rep rather than the media buyer initiates 75 percent of those contacts. 
  • Approximately half of media buyer contacts are initiated through issuing RFPs (Request for Proposals).

Media buyers were asked to rate a variety of functions that Internet ad sales reps perform and their relative level of importance to the media buyers, using a one to five scale, where five equaled very important and one was not at all important.

They were then asked to rate the performance of the reps on each of these dimensions, using another one to five scale where a score of five meant excellent performance, and a one meant poor.

The difference between the importance and performance scores is shown below in the gap analysis. The gap analysis shows that the greatest disparity between importance and performance are in the areas of developing creative proposals, meeting deadlines, timely reports, and understanding clients’ marketing objectives.

 

What’s Important To Media Buyers Avg
Importance
Meets deadlines 4.75
Is skilled at explaining how their site meets my clients’ needs 4.50
Gets reports out accurately and on time 4.50
Goes to bat for me with the publisher when necessary 4.44
Can help me measure results in a meaningful way 4.38
Respects my budget and provides me with proposals within budget 4.31
Understands my clients’ marketing objectives 4.19
Brings me big ideas 3.94
Develops creative and original proposals 3.88
Can address both the branding and direct marketing value of the web 3.75
Understands what’s going on in my clients’ industry 3.63
Makes me look good to my client 3.56
Is knowledgeable and keeps me up to date on the Internet industry 2.75
Takes the time to get to know me as a person, is good at socializing 2.38

 

How Are Reps Doing? Avg
Performance
Is skilled at explaining how their site meets my clients’ needs 3.31
Respects my budget and provides me with proposals within budget 3.31
Can help me measure results in a meaningful way 3.25
Goes to bat for me with the publisher when necessary 3.25
Takes the time to get to know me as a person, is good at socializing 3.25
Meets deadlines 3.19
Can address both the branding and direct marketing value of the web 3.00
Gets reports out accurately and on time 3.00
Makes me look good to my client 3.00
Understands my clients’ marketing objectives 2.88
Brings me big ideas 2.69
Is knowledgeable and keeps me up to date on the Internet industry 2.50
Understands what’s going on in my clients’ industry 2.50
Develops creative and original proposals 2.31

 

Gap Analysis Avg
Impt
Avg
Perf
Gap
Develops creative and original proposals 3.88 2.31 1.56
Meets deadlines 4.75 3.19 1.56
Gets reports out accurately and on time 4.50 3.00 1.50
Understands my clients’ marketing objectives 4.19 2.88 1.31
Brings me big ideas 3.94 2.69 1.25
Goes to bat for me with the publisher when necessary 4.44 3.25 1.19
Is skilled at explaining how their site meets my clients’ needs 4.50 3.31 1.19
Understands what’s going on in my clients’ industry 3.63 2.50 1.13
Can help me measure results in a meaningful way 4.38 3.25 1.13
Respects my budget and provides me with proposals within budget 4.31 3.31 1.00
Can address both the branding and direct marketing value of the web 3.75 3.00 0.75
Makes me look good to my client 3.56 3.00 0.56
Is knowledgeable and keeps me up to date on the Internet industry 2.75 2.50 0.25
Takes the time to get to know me as a person, is good at socializing 2.38 3.25 -0.88

Next week, the verbatim comments media buyers made about Internet Ad Sales people.

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