Has this happened to you?

A digital ad agency representing a Fortune 500 corporation sends you an RFP for a two week online campaign. You respond professionally and promptly. Like a shock, word comes back, they are in! The news travels through your organization like wild fire, "We just broke into a Fortune 500 Corporation’s digital ad budget!" As dozens of congratulatory e-mails surge through your company the future looks bright. The media runs. The media stops running. There is no follow up RFP. You can’t get the media buyer on the phone and she does not respond to your emails. When you finally hear back, the response is one sentence apologizing for the delay in getting back and a mention that your media will not be considered for the future of the campaign. Ouch! What happened?

Here is how someone at the digital agency described the same process:

"We had a three month campaign to buy media for. In the first two weeks we ran three different versions of the creative in several size configurations. We ran ads in a wide range of websites to test the response.

We ran the two week test, then optimized the buy.

Of the three creative treatments, the one offering a free download performed best. Of the three ad sizes the leader board size performed best. We tried 30 different websites and found that eleven performed best so we continued with them and dropped the rest."

Don’t be discouraged by this process. On the surface it may look like media evaluation is out of your control. Not true. While results rule the day, PEOPLE still evaluate the results. Your job is to help your buyer understand why a response from your unique visitor is more valuable, or at least different, from any other. When your respond to an online RFP make sure the buyer understands what kind of response they can expect from your media AND why that response is important for the campaign. Do this at the time of the sale, not later. Selling media is still selling. To be successful, you need to sell the unique value of your visitor and his or her response BEFORE it runs.