“Know when to spend and when to hold back:” It may sound like a no-brainer, but many advertisers still fail to take the dynamics of the market into account, which can quickly tank their profits. Successful media buying requires an often tricky balance of planning and agility  — but when done correctly, it’s completely game-changing for your bottom line.

A deep familiarity with your niche’s competitive spending landscape, supported by a paid media strategy that’s ready to flip on a dime, is a key ingredient to long term paid media success. So…what should you be doing to reach this ideal balance? And even more importantly, what should you avoid?

Identify When The Economics Are In Your Favor

First, timing is huge. Everything, ultimately, comes down to being able to increase the size of your media buys when response rates (CVR, click through rate, etc.) are high and media costs are low. Essentially, a low buy-in with a high projected reward means it’s time to throw your budget behind the opportunity. Conversely, knowing when to “take cover” — to scale down spending when response rates are low and media costs are super competitive — is the other part of the timing puzzle on which profits hinge. 

Q4 (especially Black Friday and Cyber Monday) promotional ad spending provides an excellent example of these dynamics at play. In Q4, there are two types of advertisers: Group A, who’s selling giftable products, and Group B, who is not. Of course, this makes sense in context.