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Creating Media and List Recommendations

When it comes to creating quality media and list recommendations, it helps to have some context for your proposal. Every good media and list recommendation includes the following attributes:  format, content, and insight.

It can be helpful to take a step back and think about how your campaign management tools can help you in the process. For example, the ‘Generate Proposal’ feature in NextMark’s media planning tool can be used as a guide in the preparation of client recommendations. Take a look at the snapshot below for an audience of prospective gardening enthusiasts:

List Recommedation

The format (Excel, PDF, or RTF) allows the creator of the recommendation to determine the level of interaction the end user may have. For example, while a PDF (Portable Document Format) may be appealing, it does not allow for easy editing and customization of the final output. However, a spreadsheet (Excel) workbook can be customized, edited, enhanced, and even integrated with other Microsoft Office programs like PowerPoint. It provides a lot of flexibility, not only for viewing but also for analysis.

And of course, there is also the RTF (Rich Text Format) which is easily read by Microsoft Word. While this may be a common format among traditional direct marketers, it provides fewer benefits due to the limitations of word processing applications. The content of data cards varies due to the depth and breadth of each media program or mailing list. This creates issues related to pagination and alignment that can be more easily resolved with alternative output formats.

The content options enable the creator to generate media and list recommendations that are relevant, while excluding information that may be considered proprietary from a media brokerage perspective. For example, a recommendation made by a list broker for a catalog marketing client may include additional segements, selects, and profile information for discussion purposes related to refinement and targeting. However, the manager information may be suppressed intentionally to keep focused on the value that the media broker brings to the campaign management process.

Additional insight may be applied as well. With access to the mailer usage database, media brokers can also leverage the experiences of others and help speed up the decision-making process. It’s a great way to uncover new media to test based on what has worked for others. It is often the not-so-obvious recommendations that outperform the market average for response and lifetime value (LTV).

Keep these three things in mind as a guide for media and list recommendations, but don’t feel like you need to change your personal style. What’s most important is what sets you apart as a trusted advisor for your clients.

Hope this was helpful…

Chris

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