Last month in our Wine Marketing spotlight we talked about How to Identify Effective Advertising Channels for Your Winery. One of the strategies we discussed was requesting a current media kit. (Hint: sometimes you can find this on their website.)

Depending on the type of media (print, online, radio, outdoor, direct mail, email, etc.), the media kit will tell you who their consumers are and how many people read the magazine, watch the show, listen to the station, drive past the billboard, receive mail in that zip code, visit the website, subscribe to their email, or use that social platform.

The media kit also contains their geographical coverage, available ad sizes, design specifications, and standard ad costs. Plus, most importantly the media kit will tell you if their target consumer is the same as your target winery consumers. (Not sure who your target consumer is? Read The 6 different wine consumers.) If any of this information is missing, don’t hesitate to ask. It’s difficult to make sound advertising decisions without it.

Here are 7 more tips to keep in mind:

  1. If asked, don’t provide your advertising budget. It’s like going to buy a car and they ask how much you can pay per month when all that really matters is the price of the car.
  2. Ad price, ad size, ad duration, and payment plans all can be negotiable. Ask for discounts such as end of the month, quarter, or year specials. Sometimes you can get a ½ page ad for the ¼ page price, or a ½ page ad for the multi-insertion rate, or special section placement.
  3. Pay attention to editorial content; many media kits include a calendar that outlines the content for a specific month. For example, if your winery has a restaurant you may want to have a presence in the food section. If you offer accommodations, you may want space in the travel section. And if your winery serves as an event venue, you may want to place your ad in the weddings section.
  4. Ask your advertising sales representative questions such as:
    • Are any nearby wineries advertising with them; if so, how do their ads perform?
    • Where will your ad be located; the front of the magazine or the home page of the site, or on a billboard located behind a tree? (This happened to one of our clients before we got involved!)
    • What content will be near your ad; is it competing or complementary? Typically, it’s not a good idea to have a competitor’s ad right next to yours unless inviting comparison is part of your overall strategy.
  5. Make sure to track results and analyze advertising performance. Use a code, a special website landing page, phone number, or some other way to help gauge how many actions (clicks, calls, visits, sign ups) or dollars your ad generated.
  6. Frequency matters. Don’t buy one ad and then pull the plug. Spend the money to ensure that your target audience has the chance to see your message. Only after repeated exposure – some experts say 7 times! – will they remember you and take action.
  7. Be wary of advertising sales reps who try to pressure you into a limited time deal; they don’t always have your best interests at heart. Perform your due diligence on any new advertising opportunity to see if it’s a good fit for you.

Above all, stay focused on your advertising goals. We’ve seen small business owners get thrown off by an expensive package because they were excited about being on TV, or the radio, or featured in a magazine; that money might have been spent more effectively elsewhere.

Navigating the world of media buying can be challenging until you get comfortable with it. For those of you who cringe at the thought of pouring over media kits to decipher the best way to proceed, we do offer media buying, marketing plans, and other marketing services to make your life easier!