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Locally grown produce out on display: local buy

A Local Buy Challenge for TV Media Planners—and an Organic Solution

October 30th, 2017   ||    by Melanie Brown   ||    No Comments

In TV advertising, the local buy sometimes gets a bad rap. There’s an industry perception that it’s reserved exclusively for the true local advertisers of the world: your mom-and-pop florists, Johnny’s Pizza, and Susie Smith’s Auto Dealership.

Larger advertisers sometimes dismiss local TV inventory because (in their minds) buying local isn’t cost-efficient and doesn’t give them the reach of a national ad buy.

Another perception? Some think that the traditional method of buying multiple local spots is time-consuming and unwieldy to manage compared to the relative simplicity of purchasing a single national spot. And some advertisers will opt for the “easier” national buy—even if it’s not a national brand.

But just like spending money on locally grown produce or at a local small business, local TV ads have advantages over national spots.

Building Your Menu

Think about buying television as you would think about shopping for a social event you’re hosting. If you’re throwing a party for 75 people in your backyard, you want to make sure you get everything you need (and maybe a little extra) as quickly and cheaply as possible.

You decide on a variety of food and drink that will please (pretty much) everyone, make a list, and go to your local big-box store. There, you can get enough of everything on your list, all in one place and at a good price. You don’t worry too much about the individual tastes of all your guests since your primary concern is the happiness of the group as a whole.

On the other hand, if you’re hosting a dinner party for eight people in your dining room, it’s a different story. You’ll want to take a little extra time to think about your guests and their tastes. Is anyone a vegetarian? Are there any food allergies? Does someone not drink alcohol?

Knowing your audience lets you build your menu around those people, so they enjoy the meal and have a good time. Once you’ve built your menu, you go out and shop.

You visit local specialty shops where you can select the highest-quality ingredients for your meal. You go to a butcher to get the best pork chops, a farmer’s market to get the freshest vegetables, and a brewery to get the perfect local beer to complement the evening’s menu.

You could go to a big-box store, but if your main concern is the individual enjoyment of your guests, cost-effectiveness and mass appeal become less important. Would you get what you need? Sure. Would it be cheaper? Probably. Would you end up with 27 extra pounds of cheddar cheese that you don’t need? Yes.

Pleasing Your Guests

In this scenario, the big-box store is a national TV buy, and your local specialty shops are local buys. For brands whose audience and target market spans multiple age, gender, income level, and geographic differences, buying from the big-box store is the way to go. It’s a one-stop shop that will tick off every box on the audience checklist—and do so with relative cost- and time-efficiency.

But for the brands whose audiences are a bit more niche—or the ones who care to target specific subsets of their audience—a local approach is better. Advertisers can get more personal and more targeted, and save a lot of the energy and money normally wasted in buying the “easier” national spot.

And with the advent of data-driven, programmatic, and automated buying solutions, the old myth about the local buy being a hassle has been thoroughly debunked.

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