Over a year ago, I put to use my skills in digital media buying. With all that I have learnt, I thought it useful to share my key learning and experiences with you as my worthy audience. However, before proceeding, let me set straight some expectations. This article is NOT going to teach you anything about digital buying systems such as Google Ad Words or Facebook ads. It is only going to focus on explaining the basics of media buying and how a typical media buying process works.
What is media buying?
Media buying is the process of purchasing a share of media from a channel, a publication, a radio spot, an outdoor site or a website, for advertising. It is the procurement of media, a core function of advertising. In return, the advertisers enjoy more advertising mileage (higher reach or frequency for digital), and consequently high returns on investment (ROI) on their marketing investment. Another way of understanding media buying is by looking at it as display advertising, whereby a creative displays on a website or an advertising network.
In advertising, the term “media.” means an advertising opportunity. Consequently, media buying is the placement of ads on a variety of spaces/opportunities, from online to offline (Facebook to television, YouTube to billboards etc. The media placement is done either by the client directly (if they have in house capacity) or on clients’ behalf through an agency.
A brand (personal or corporation) can buy a share of media exposure in the form of advertising. This exposure markets products or creates awareness about whatever business objective is required.
The cost of a media buy varies depending on the specific platform on which the buyer wants to advertise like the size of the ad space, the peak times at which the advertisements will be displayed, Geo targeting, etc.
Why buy media?
Media buying is useful when properly used with great strategy. If the strategy is off or the creative is not right, then the buying will not yield good returns. Bottom line is that media buying is important, when properly placed.
When done through an agency, media buying adds specialized value and strength through:
Getting better deals because of the media clout and relationships that agencies maintain with media owners, thus securing savings.
Agencies have highly trained media buyers and planners whose core role is to deliver efficiency on clients’ marketing investments. They have immense combined experience thus guarantee expertise.
Agencies have access to many tools and third party services, which enable them to deliver more efficiently. Efficiency
The media buyer.
Media Buyers are the individuals responsible for purchasing time and advertising space. A media-buying role involves negotiating the best rates for optimal placement and earning more value for an advertiser’s money.
Media buyers negotiate the price of media and value for money on behalf of an advertiser. They monitor the media channels to ensure optimal placements.
A media buyer’s mandate is to achieve the highest reach (in terms of relevant target audience) in the lowest possible budget. My typical day as a media buyer involves:
- Identifying the target audience for a particular media campaign and decide how best to communicate with that audience (placement and channels).
- Updating myself with industry research figures e.g. internet consumption habits for digital buying.
- Recommending innovative media solutions and formats.
- Finding the best rates and most optimal media placements online,
- Communicating with digital teams to adjust media plans.
- Buying advertising spots in several media vehicles e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- Ensuring efficient delivery of campaigns to achieve desired KPIs.
- Preparing reports and budget management.
- Working on a range of client accounts simultaneously.
- Coordinating with media planners and other departments
With these few pointers and information about media buying, i would like to continue on a second part of this article by writing more about the process of media buying. In the second part of the article i will be addressing the software that is used for media buying as well as the advantages of having these software. Keep it here for more on this informative conversation.