There are so many ways to spend your marketing dollars, sometimes all the options make the process confusing. An advertiser can get so focused on price, that he loses track of the details of the media itself. It’s especially easy to do this with broadcast media, like television and radio.

Here’s an example: After a preliminary investigation of the local radio stations, the rep from one of them presents you an offer that seems too good to be true. He has a “package” that gives you a ton of commercials, at a price way lower than any of the rate cards in town. It looks like you can air more commercials than you ever thought possible, at a rate much lower than market price. Is this the answer you’ve been looking for? Maybe not.

It’s important to compare apples to apples. Some bargain “packages” air your commercials primarily on nights and weekends. This is a serious problem for an advertiser, since 80% of the audience listens during the 6am-7pm prime time weekday hours. If you analyze the details, you’ll see that the more expensive morning drive commercial actually reaches more people per dollar than the “cheap” spot at 10pm on Sunday. Similarly, that $20 cable commercials doesn’t seem like a great deal when it airs after midnight on the Backgammon Network. RAMP’s media buyers, and those of other reputable advertising agencies, help clients to spend their budgets efficiently instead of just looking for the cheapest spots available.

The devil is in the details. Make sure that you’ve paid attention to all of them.