Media sales reps are very convincing. They are often charismatic, nice and seemingly honest people. But make no mistake, they are calling you to try and make sure that all your marketing money is spent with them and them alone.

And it’s tempting too. They will tempt you with potential trips to Bali and Singapore, wine, social events and promotional gear. They will say that you “qualify for these free gifts.” But these gifts aren’t free. They are all priced and packaged in to what you’ll be paying. If you really want a trip to Singapore, you can book one yourself without having to commit to an advertising contract.

The thinking behind this “spend it all with me” attitude is simple. All media sales reps have targets to reach each month to keep their job. And once they reach those targets, they get bonuses on everything they sell above that. So if you decide to spend what you intended to spend with them and with the other place, just with them, they not only win your business, they stop a competitor from getting anything. It’s a win-win for them.

But is it a win-win for you?

The problem with putting all your budget in to one radio station, one TV station or even going all-in on Google or Facebook, is that just a few changes those places can leave you very exposed.

While Southern Cross TV is assumed to command a lion’s share of reality TV viewing in Darwin, their news barely would rate as it’s not news that has anything to do with Darwin. So you need to make sure that your ads appear in the top-rating shows to take advantage of all that audience.

Likewise, Hot 100 is rated well above Mix 104.9 at Breakfast, but if just one popular host leaves, the audience could shift dramatically from one station to the other.

With Google, you may get a great result one month, but the arrival of even just one big-spending competitor to the market could annihilate your place on Page 1 by simply out-bidding you for the top results. Facebook, likewise is always adjusting their algorithm. And the average price per click for a Facebook ad has risen by 40% in the last year alone for most of my clients.

So, given that there is so much danger in going all-in on just one method of advertising, why do so many Darwin businesses keep doing it?

1. We’ve always advertised with XYZ – this old chestnut is just lazy thinking. If you don’t measure the success of every bit of advertising you do, then you are just throwing money away.

2. It was a really good deal – no deal is good enough for you to trust all your marketing to just one medium. That “good deal” is a good deal for that company, not for you.

3. I like my rep at XYZ – this is perhaps the most dangerous thinking. Your media sales rep is not your friend. They are a media sales rep. They are there to serve you. Not drink beer with you.

Wondering how you can afford to be on more than one medium in Darwin? How about being on four for under $2,000 a month? See here for more details.