Satellite Media Tours; Yay or Nay?

Article by: Amanda Lao, ChizComm Ltd.

When putting together a marketing strategy, clients often ask for our expert opinion on Satellite Media Tours, otherwise known as SMTs. What are they? Should we invest? Are they a good use of money?

For those who are new to this, an SMT is a paid opportunity for a third party expert to take a product on a media circuit during an indicated time period.

The short answer to the question is; it depends. Not the clear cut answer you were hoping for? Let me explain.

Satellite media tours can be a great opportunity for a brand when used at the right time, with the right marketing strategy. It’s most beneficial as an added layer to a strong strategy that should already include: digital and social media marketing, influencer programs, PR and media relations, etc.

Below is a list of questions you should be asking to determine whether or not an SMT is a good idea for your brand.

Does the timing of the SMT make sense? Most often, an SMT is best during a launch period, to further saturate the market, gaining a stronger share of voice. Another great reason to take part in an SMT is during a highly competitive season; for example, in the toy industry this period is often back to school and the holidays. During this time, earned media opportunities become more competitive, digital spends increase due to the competition and influencers are inundated with partnership opportunities. This competitive market creates an ideal opportunity to leverage an SMT to guarantee brand visibility during a crucial time.

What is your overall marketing budget? As mentioned earlier, SMTs are a great addition to an already strong marketing plan. If the current marketing budget is healthy enough to build a strong presence with other core marketing tactics, I would recommend looking into relevant SMTs as an additional layer to the marketing strategy.

What are your SMT options? There are a number of different industry experts who offer SMTs throughout the year making it vital to do your research. Before investing your money, you’re going to want to shop around. Request past reports for previously completed tours and ask questions: Can they guarantee you a certain number of impressions? Are there any guaranteed outlets locked in? Does the SMT topic align with your brand? Making sure the topic and the expert are aligned with your brand, will make all the difference in how the coverage is received by the consumer. Asking the right questions and weighing your options will help you determine whether or not the proposed opportunity is the right one for you.

Although the answers are not clear cut and vary based on budget and opportunity, using these questions as a guideline will help you determine whether or not the investment makes sense for your brand.

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