You might have to fire your media rep
I was blindfolded by the university textbooks and marketing tomes I read in preparation for my new career. They always seemed to preach 'schedule' and 'position' and words that, at the time, made sense.
But as I learned more about the industry (advertising - not radio), I started to realize that they were wrong all along. Well, maybe not totally wrong, but a little misdirecting, to say the least.
Successful advertising isn't built on great airtime schedules, or premium positioning in the newspaper. Not a chance. Successful campaigns are built on one thing, and one thing only: what you say to your customer.
I ran a few campaigns in my early years that focused solely on where my clients' spots ran. I focused on getting those ears at the busy times of day - to and from work / home - and didn't pay enough attention to the finely crafted message that those ears were exposed to.
As my career evolved, it became clear where the true power of advertising lies - in the message.
I say this to all the business owners and marketing managers and the like reading this post: if your media rep (radio / TV / newspaper) is talking more about your schedule and how much money you're spending with his company than he is with the nuts and bolts of your creative message and the emotional benefits attached to it, then he / she should have some explaining to do.
He / she should be asking the hard-hitting questions about what makes your customer tick; what reasons they have inside their head when they buy from you; what kinds of results you expect to get out of a successful campaign; etc. If it's simply a discussion of rates and where your spots run, then get yourself a new rep because this one isn't going to help you at all.
I constantly go back to this example:
Run a schedule of poorly crafted spots during the busiest time of day on your local radio station, and nothing will happen. But try running your spots between 1.00am and 3.00am, with the following message:
They'll be banging on your doors.
Try and tell me it's not about the message.