Media Buying Secrets from Ocean Media's CEO Mike Robertson
What are some of the secrets of Ocean Media's success?
Ask me the secret to running a successful media planning and buying agency and I'll tell you about it in one word—service. Throughout my career on both sides of the advertiser/agency relationship, I have certainly seen the pitfalls of lackluster service and support. Besides being very frustrating, poor agency-client communication leads to wasteful spending and ineffective media plans.
We have worked very hard to instill the concept of delivering great service across the entire Ocean Media team. In fact, our clients benefit from 24/7 access to our company's entire senior management team. The result is more communication between agency and client, better ideas and stronger media plans. Every media plan starts with a comprehensive understanding of each client's needs and goals. Our team of media specialists uses a combination of research, analytics, experience and expertise of media markets to determine the optimal path to reach those goals.
I began my career with Citicorp and I am still very conscious of the bottom line with every purchase decision. We focus on the most efficient, cost-effective media and continually measure results to deliver the most response and value for each media dollar. I will never arbitrarily spend a client's money. If we can do the job for less money, we will.
What have been some of the high points for Ocean Media?
The first high point was winning the Priceline.com account fourteen years ago and helping turn the company into a household name. I'm proud and thankful to be their agency fourteen years later which is very unusual in this business.
Launching eHarmony and being a part of their incredible success was a more recent highlight. I feel very fortunate to have great clients like Priceline, Experian/FreecreditReport.com, Overstock.com, Ancestry.com, Combe and Angieslist.com,
How are clients best utilizing your range of services?
Our clients think of us as an extension of the company's in-house marketing team. We can help from the initial planning and strategy meetings through the entire planning, buying and tracking process.
How has Ocean Media changed over the years it has been in business?
Although our agency has grown over the years, we have worked very hard to maintain the same customer-oriented service. Our entire management team is still involved in all major planning issues and works very closely with each account. This is unique to Ocean Media.
We have also developed and fine-tuned our innovative research and tracking process that we now offer to clients. This helps to provide clients with incredible data to best shape and predict media buys and responses and to optimize plans to deliver the most effective results.
Given an extremely limited budget, what's the best media buy?
There is no one correct answer to that question. The exact media mix depends upon the goals of each individual client. Too often clients are stuck with cookie cutter buys. At Ocean Media, we take the time upfront to create a custom plan that will ensure the best results.
What myths about media planning are you constantly debunking?
Bigger is not always better. An advertiser's media should perform regardless of the budget or not be purchased at all.
The other great myth is that you need to be a multi-billion dollar media buying agency to get the best rates. We have better rates and have consistently beaten the "big guys" during agency reviews. They are just not structured to do the type of labor intensive media buying that yields the lowest rates.