In an article on TIME MANAGEMENT, Zephyr Media Group President, Dan Zifkin noted that paying attention and being realistic is key, noting that "Be aware of when you are buying, how much clearance to expect, the rates that you will need to pay and the dayparts that will be more effective. Each quarter has tremendous opportunities, and this is where years of experience, relationships and knowledge come into play and can help a campaign find or keep its legs to keep moving forward. Be prepared that if you have clearance problems for any reason, you have back-up networks that will also deliver, be clear to your clients regarding expectations and be clear to your stations of what you are requiring of them, and be aware of market conditions."
The article also quoted Zephyr Media Group Director, Roger Delaney on the subject of media costs by season or yearly quarters. "The obvious problem with second quarter for long form is that the stations are wanting April rates in June, while fourth quarter offers the same dilemma in reverse, with salespeople wanting December rates in October. For short form, second-quarter DR competes with sports and sweeps and the beginning of summer. But then third quarter is just slow and erratic on the long-form side. And, on the short-form side, you're dealing with back-to-school and new fall programming spots, and people squeezing the last few drops out of summer before fall hits."
He further noted that marketers sometimes have unrealistic expectations, stating that "It's imperative that the agency does everything it can to prepare the client for what a test will and won't do. We need to make sure that our clients understand what kind of information and results a test is designed to provide. People also tend to feel that the best place to test is in the biggest, mot expensive time periods of day parts on the biggest broadcast station or cable networks. That is usually not the case. A lot of novice clients want to air on the stations and networks they watch, even if they're completely wrong for the buy. Clients need to realize that a test is the beginning of a process, not an end unto itself. When the initial test is over, the work has just begun."