Ft. Lauderdale-based Zimmerman Advertising says it has found a way to modernize media buying, via Z-Media Exchange – a new partnership between Zimmerman and the SoftWave Media Exchange electronic ad marketplace for radio and television. Powered by SWMX's technology, Z-Media Exchange gives Zimmerman's team a web-based interface in the style of Priceline.com, where they can instantly grab up available inventory in radio, cable and local broadcast television for its clients' sustaining (flighted) and DR campaigns.
Zimmerman says half of the commercial broadcast airtime available goes unsold every week and this a way to utilize that inventory, save clients money, increase ROI, buy media more effectively, and operate faster and smarter.
Says EVP/Media Services Fred Zuckerman: "Let me give you an example of how it used to work up until now. Wickes Furniture finds out on a Friday afternoon that the competition having a big sale that weekend. My agency calls the local station to try and buy spots for Saturday and Sunday, and we're told to call back on Monday, because no one can turn our buy around fast enough to get it on air. This will never be an issue for our clients again."
The Z-Media Exchange's click-and-buy interface allows its media team to look up the inventory in a market, see the price set for the desired spots, bid on them and then send the ad, in a matter of minutes. The Zimmerman team distributes hundreds of commercials every day to television, radio and cable outlets and the potential for the Z-Media Exchange to simplify this process is looking promising.
"Think of the power of a system like this in the lead up to the presidential election in 2008," says Founder and Chairman Jordan Zimmerman. "In the next year, it's expected that each candidate will be spending as much as 600 million on media. If they could utilize a system like this to buy time more effectively, and track specific results, a candidate could become agile in a way never before seen in the political arena. I am proud of my team for working with SWMX to refine and develop this incredible tool that will again put Zimmerman in the forefront for revolutionary ideas that are shaping Madison Avenue."
"The opportunity to partner with a market leader like Zimmerman is a tremendous validation of SWMX's media exchange model," said Mike Caprio, EVP of SWMX. "Zimmerman has been integral to helping refine functional elements of the SWMX marketplace to best meet the needs of leading advertisers and the internal needs of the agency. With a unique combination of, buying leverage, market insight and a drive to innovate with a singular focus on maximizing results, we could not ask for a better partner as we continue working together to redefine business processes for the broadcast media industry.
SmartMedia observation: The deal with Zimmerman may help SWMX move its business forward. It is not, however, an equity investment, so SWMX is still looking for 10 million in new equity capital – and so far its lender has let an August 1st deadline slide. The Zimmerman deal may help in that regard though, since it handles about two billion in business annually and will now be paying SWMX a transaction fee for all activity taking place on its online platform.