Is hopping on the bandwagon the best idea?

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I’m fairly certain that the only constant in our industry is that everything changes everyday.  It only makes sense that agencies and media vendors have adapted to specialization in years past.

Interestingly enough, quite a few media vendors have recently broadened their reach and are forgoing their specialty trade to keep up with emerging media trends.

Local broadcast affiliates and print publications are allocating more assets towards supporting their websites.  In addition to their own sites, local vendors are now selling websites as third party vendors.  For example, local newspapers, local directories and local radio stations are now selling Yahoo website properties.  While I commend local venues for keeping up with changing times, as a buyer I have a few concerns.

When local vendors sell as third parties, they have to include a markup, since we all have to make a profit at the end of the day.  By comparison, we have a direct contact at Yahoo who can sell us the same properties, also targeted geographically, at a lower CPM than the local third party vendor, so we are actually able to get a better deal for our clients by purchasing from the national office.  In addition, when a local group partners with a national organization to resell their product, typically one or two people receive training, who then pass the information along to the entire local sales staff.  During the buying process, the local staff usually have to ask people up the flagpole to get an answer if a question comes up during the negotiation and buying process.

I love how quickly things change in this business and think it helps all of us to stay on our toes, however sometimes the best solution isn’t always to hop on the latest bandwagon.  Sometimes it’s best to concentrate on what you’re best at.


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