Why are some companies scared to disclose their budget to potential media buyers? What bad things could we do with that information? We will know eventually, right? Let me state here and now: It’s okay to let media buyers know what your budget is! In fact, there are not many valuable things we can do without knowing that information. If it’s a test, decide what you can risk on a test. Don’t ask us what you should test if you cannot tell us what you can afford.
Consider this: What if you went to an architect with no specific idea of what you wanted and said, “Design me a house.” What would the architect say? Most likely the architect would ask, “How much do you want to spend on your house?” You wouldn’t say, “Well, do some research, draw me up some plans, give me some ideas first, and then tell me what I should spend.” A serious builder knows what his budget is, has an idea of what he wants, and shares that with architects he deems worthy of interviewing and requesting detailed information from.
What inspired me to write about this issue? I recently participated in a pitch conference call with a prospect who wanted us to do media planning and buying but refused to reveal their budget. Of course we gave a presentation describing our full capabilities. The prospect said they were looking for a good partner and we seemed like a good fit but still didn’t want to reveal their budget at this point in the process. Now that is fine, except when they wanted more details on what we would do and sought advice on what they should spend.