20 New Year’s Resolutions For Ad Buyers

This is the season for making merry. For the ad sales community, that means sending kickbacks gifts to their most lucrative treasured friends at agencies. Spend more, get a bigger gift card. That’s how the game works.

But this is also the season of self-reflection. Sometimes it can help to get a view from the outside. So we asked ad buyers on SellerCrowd and elsewhere for a few resolutions every ad buyer should make for a healthy and prosperous New Year. (Side note: SellerCrowd is hosting #AdRelief tomorrow, Dec. 18, a fundraiser to help relief efforts in Philippines for victims of Typhoon Haiyan.)

1. Give feedback.
“We RFP’d too many people” isn’t an excuse to go radio silent on why someone didn’t make the plan.

2. Show up on time.
Keeping people waiting for a long time is rude. This will be a theme.

3. Don’t be greedy.
Dinner and drinks is great, shakedowns in the guise of “tangible meetings” is not.

4. Don’t ask for breakfast sandwiches.
We’re looking at you, Zenith.

5. Tell sellers who is working on what account.
The coy game just creates extra work for everyone.

6. Don’t drink too much during entertainment.
Have a good time, but don’t be the mashed potatoes guy. (Don’t ask.)

7. Show up (and stay!) for lunch learns.
Dine and dash is not cool. Also, says an anonymous seller: “Don’t be 15 minutes late to a 30-minute meeting and have a ‘hard stop’ in 15 minutes.”

8. Pay attention and ask questions.
Speaking to mutes is awkward.

9. Take a chance now and again.
“Be daring in their media selection process. Stop doing what’s easy, and challenge yourself,” the sellers tell us.

10. Know the industry.
Read Digiday. And other publications, too.

11. Say thank you.
Yes, gifts are part of the media world. But a thank-you email goes a long way.

12. Be upfront with campaign measurement.
If it’s about the clicks, say it’s about the clicks.

13. Stop last-minute meeting cancellations.
Nobody’s buying the “client fire drill” excuse, especially when someone’s traveled across the country to see you.

14. End the secrecy.
Just say who else made the plan. This isn’t an Iranian nuclear plan you’re doing.

15. Empty your voice mail.
If you don’t check voice mail, get rid of it. The constant message saying your box is full isn’t a good look.

16. Stop the bait and switch.
Asking for big partnership proposals only to negotiate a banner buy sucks.

17. No more hurry up and wait.
We need this ASAP Monday, and then *crickets*. Not cool.

18. Do your research.
To the quotes: “Take 30 seconds to at least visit my company’s website.”

19. Just say no.
You don’t like getting 15 emails in a row? Just reply with why it’s not a good fit.

20. Treat sellers with respect.
In the words of one: “We can and will save your keisters if you treat us with respect. We don’t need to be treated like royals, just a bit of communication from time to time.”


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