Thought Leadership
Media Vendor Evaluation: How to Separate the Wheat from the Chaff


James Mullany
Manager, Performance Media & Partnerships
Beeby Clark + Meyler

James Mullany helps lead the mobile practice at Beeby Clark + Meyler and has worked with clients across travel, retail, energy and fashion verticals on both branding and direct response initiatives. He has vast experience in direct response campaigns including click-to-call, app download, lead-gen form, product sales and branding campaigns distributing video. James has helped guide innovative digital work and has been the focus of much industry recognition, including being a Yahoo Young Media Star finalist as well as a guest speaker at industry conferences, webinars and local universities. His campaigns have made multiple appearances on Ad Age’s Viral Video Chart and have won top honors from Digiday, HSMAI Adrian, ClickZ and IAC award shows.


What are some of the most important tools that you and your teams use during the planning process?

Nielsen and eMarketer help us understand who the audience of the campaign is. Once we understand the media consumption habits of the audience we can then ideate around ways to that we can integrate the brand.


We all know that agencies get inundated with a deluge of service offerings from ad networks, platforms, creative companies, etc.; how do you separate the wheat from the chaff to choose the vendors you evaluate and ultimately work with?

The ability of a sales contact to provide the detailed information or connecting the agency with the proper contact that has the detailed information is extremely important. Too often, sales contacts provide vague and shallow responses to technical questions which reduce credibility in the sophistication of an ad product. Verification of data and transparency from soup to nuts is also important to gain credibility and trust.


When it comes to buying media from networks, publishers, or any other managed services media companies, what are some specifics you look for when evaluating whether they could be a good fit for your clients?

As an agency, we like to work with media companies that have a combination of both self-serve and managed services. The black box approach is not something we believe in. We want to leverage the experience of a support team to ensure that all system settings are being maximized while also having the ability to actively analyze and optimize the data both during the campaign and post-campaign.


Are there types of creative executions you’ve seen that perform extremely well for clients in the display, video, mobile, and social channels? If so, what are they for each?

Communicating a value exchange performs well for clients across all channels. There are different customer types within your audience. Leverage the endless data points that are now available to speak to each of these audience segments differently. This includes location, context as well as both first and 3rd party data. The uber-user is interested in different aspects of your business offering than the casual user. Once you understand the interests that align with these segments, align creative versions that align with the value interests.


What is your recommendation to media sellers (with a differentiated offering, of course) to get a meeting with media buying teams?

Establish a point of contact at the agency and conduct a brief overview call so that the seller can be routed in a proper direction of client work and agency team. Once that route is established, a lunch and learn with the proper combination of agency / creative / media folks is most beneficial to bring awareness of your brand to the most people in a non-invasive format.


What are some of the most interesting offerings or technologies you’ve heard about in the last few months? 

I’m most interested in seeing how the Apple Watch accelerates wearable ownership and usage. The smaller screen may create more dependence on voice activation and bodily movement which are untapped areas of mobile smartphones.


What are some of your major vendor evaluation pain points that you’d love to see solved sooner than later?

Surprisingly, I’ve always found it extremely difficult to find the appropriate sales contact or media overview deck for a company that I haven’t been introduced to. Often times the general inquiry email or website submission tool is outdated or not monitored. This delay in response time results in the company being left off of the media plan and consideration set.


Lastly, how do you see media planning and buying evolving over the next few years, as it pertains to automation of campaign execution?

I think that automation will help from an amplification perspective, but the big idea that makes a campaign successful won’t be impacted. Every few months there is a new operating system, a new screen, a new device, a new ad format which requires an adaptation to the current process.



Beeby Clark+Meyler is an award-winning interactive digital marketing agency focused on innovation in media. Currently they represent Schick, GE, Playtex, and many other clients in the CPG space for a multitude of services including video distribution, search engine marketing, performance display, social media, mobile media, etc.

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