Best Practices for Business Communication

As a partner for Southern Cross Media, I have been in the advertising and marketing business since the ’80s. I have worked in print, Internet, TV and ad agencies. While working for the biggest media companies such as Bell Telephone, AOL, Time Warner, Thomson Reuters I have sold and serviced fortune 100 companies to start-up mom and pop businesses.

Companies will work hard to make the right buy from the right companies for advertising and marketing. They will put the media companies through proposal after proposal and work hard on the buy. So they should, as it is also advisable to go through these types of buying processes.

Once the deal is signed and campaigns are up and running, I often see decision-makers become unavailable. This is particularly true in the local market. The deal is done, and things are working so why still communicate? You have better things to do and the program is running. What I have witnessed over the years is that some clients become ghosts and will become very difficult to communicate with while others will welcome contact and set up a structured program to review, change and improve what the marketing companies provide. I have seen the companies with routine communication and an after-purchase strategy increase results by over 30%. Many decision-makers will come up with a myriad of reasons not to communicate with the company they are paying for ads, websites and or marketing. We would recommend the opposite approach. Best practices tell us that companies should budget 15-18% of their gross revenue towards marketing. If you follow those best practices it becomes apparent that these programs are very important. We would recommend a monthly meeting with your media companies to go over the following:

  • New Market Trends
  • New Products
  • Promotions- All these companies have ongoing promotions and giveaways for both current and new clients.
  • Performance reports
  • Ad copy and messaging

When I have looked at active campaigns nearly always there is something wrong or missing or being underutilized or at the very least there is room for improvement.

I would say that when the media rep calls to change your paradigm on this and make the appointment. Look at these contacts more like what they really are which is an opportunity for revenue growth and savings. In fact, I would say that you should look forward to these engagements. I know that businesses get inundated with people e-mailing and calling about marketing. I have heard horror stories of over 5 contacts a day.

You must break these media people into two categories: 1) currently doing business 2) New Proposal.

If you are currently doing business with a company, make it a point to communicate with the rep or company for 30 minutes once a month. It will make you money. If possible, make the meeting in person.

If it is a new proposal from a new company, ask them to send what they are recommending in writing. If they can’t send it in writing mark them off the list and do not take their calls. Any company that has anything that is a must do today or you lose, mark off the list. Have someone review all the proposals and pick one to meet with or communicate. If you know your budget and you only devote 30 minutes a month to this it will not get out of control and you are likely to get some free promotions and find a diamond in the rough.

Meeting with your current companies will directly increase your results. Take the call, make the appointment and ask for more.

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