Whenever there’s an ad on a local television station, on a billboard or streaming across the top of a We bsite, Laura Partridge’s CCMedia may have had a hand in getting that advertising message presented to the public.
While Partridge may have to spend time explaining exactly what her firm does, it is nonetheless a vital cog in the advertising world. And the good news is she’s had the chance to educate clients on her company’s mission for over 25 years.
CCMedia is a media-buying agency, meaning they take a business’ advertising objective, their target audience and advertising budget and develop a multi-media strategy and plan, to deliver the clients ad message to the right people at the right time. CCMedia’s plans take into consideration media layering, timing, promotions, and then of course negotiate the price and space for companies such as a ski resort or casino or car dealership on virtually any given media outlets.
“We buy advertising just about anywhere you can put your name, including television, radio, outdoor and print publications,” Partridge said. “As the industry has changed, so have we. We have a very substantial digital advertising business, assisting our clients with the maze and plethora of ad opportunities on the Internet. We purchase advertisements on direct sites, ad networks, social media sites, travel sites, media sites, SEM and much more.” It even buys ads for wraparound signage on buses.
Partridge indicated clients sometimes have a misconception that the firm offers public relations, marketing or creative design services. For a period during its history, CCMedia made those specialties available to clients, but they were jettisoned so the firm could concentrate on the science of media buying. The company, once called Creative Concepts Media + Marketing was rebranded as CCMedia only a month ago to further emphasize its refined mission.
“In transitioning our name and brand, we wanted to make our look more contemporary and make it more apparent what we do,” Partridge said. CCMedia often acts as a media-buying arm of an internal marketing department.
They also partner with public relations, marketing and creative design firms who supply them with the advertising messages. The company can then develop and implement where the ad message should be placed on media outlets.
Partridge said that specialty marketing firms like public relations, marketing and creative firms either don’t have the time, knowledge, desire or the resources to research all the analytical data of various mediums, (or handle the plethora of media ad representatives), so advertisers can make informed decisions on where to place their marketing dollars. That’s where CCMedia comes in to fill the void.
Partridge and her staff do extensive research on mediums and factor them into a company’s needs including its product objective, target audience, and budget. CCMedia is a Google Certified Partner, which means they have spent extensive time learning the ins and outs of search engine marketing – pay per click Adwords.
While television has long been the dominant medium in the advertising industry, Partridge said digital marketing is really catching up as a less expensive, highly targeted, more viable option for companies, especially if they have a tight budget. CCMedia tracks clients’ digital ads through a third-party ad server. This ensures the ads ordered have run, and more importantly to Partridge, can track the ads through to conversion, which means direct ROI information, something every advertiser wants to see.
“When we started in 1991 we only purchased radio, outdoor, television and print media, but now media dollars have shifted to include Internet advertising,” she said. “People spend more time on the Internet. Digital media plans are more time consuming to build, implement and track, but within the digital space you can target who you want to reach very effectively. That part of our business has grown by leaps and bounds.”
The company also can handle search engine marketing for its clients for Google, Bing and Yahoo!. Partridge said SEM usually depends on a clients wish to be towards the top of a search engine inquiry and what kind of budget the company is willing to pay to get their name in that position.
The company maintains a client base of around 30 clients although some of them such as Ski Lake Tahoe (a consortium of the nine Lake Tahoe region ski resorts) are seasonal.
Partridge says many clients have stayed with her company for 25 years or returned after finding that the grass wasn’t greener with other agencies. “There have been some clients who have been with us for 25 years. Some go away and come back.”
One of CCMedia’s constant challenges is tracking ads for different mediums and making sure the media runs the correct ads at the appropriate time or if the accounting data matches up with those ads.
“Advertising Accounting is a challenge and takes a lot of time to be thorough. Did the media outlet run the ad as ordered? At the time requested? Did they charge the price that we negotiated? It’s a big cycle,” Partridge said.
Partridge had worked in radio stations in the Truckee Meadows, California and New York when she decided to open her own firm in 1991. She originally called it Creative Concepts and ran her two-person operation out of her home in Squaw Valley. She moved her operation to Truckee in the early 1990s where it shifted around a couple locations, currently located near the Truckee Airport, the company added a second location on California Avenue in Reno six years ago. It also has a branch in Las Vegas. The company took root in Reno to better serve its many clients in the region and because much of her workforce also lived in the area.
In the 25-year history, the company has gone from one or two people to a staff of nine people. Partridge takes pride in developing a pleasant work environment, but also with an expectation of exceptional customer service.
“We hire the right people to see if they are a cultural fit and we train them to completely understand what we do,” Partridge said. “We don’t work 24/7 but we are accessible at all times. If something happens you can get a hold of us no matter time it is or what day a week it is.”
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