What is Media Buying?

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  • 7/10/2017

    In general, media buying is defined as the process of evaluating and purchasing promotional mediums to convey a brand’s message to its audience. Media options have changed over the years, but a good buyer understands the goals of the campaign and finds the best fit based on budget. Let’s review some of the basics.

    What are my options?

    A savvy media buyer looks at the entire landscape of media opportunities to formulate a plan to reach the target audience. At an introductory level, here are some traditional and digital media options to consider:

    • Print – Newspapers, magazines, direct mail.
    • Radio – 30 and 15 second audio ads.
    • Television – 30 and 15 video ads.
    • Outdoor – Billboards, transit, digital screens.
    • Digital display ads – Digital ads bought through audience targeting third parties.
    • Pay-per-click – Ads placed on Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. based on keyword searches.
    • Social media – Ads placed on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. tracked through likes and engagement.
    • Email – Direct advertising to opt-in email addresses to promote a good or service.

    These are just a few of the options available to a media buyer. With these basics, you can start to formulate a plan to use these mediums to reach your target audience. As you start to vet each option, you will receive all sorts of metrics from cost-per-point (CPP) to demographic impressions to click-through-rate (CTR).

    With all this information, how does a media buyer formulate a media plan?

    Here are some tips to make sense of all this data:

    • If given digital impressions, ask what the benchmark is for clicked conversions. From there, you can figure out how many clicks are needed to prove the media as a success.
    • If you are interested in radio and television, look not only at reach (audience) but frequency to see how often your potential customers will see or hear your message within the weeks allocated to each medium.
    • Outdoor advertising will provide you with the actual number of people who looked at your ad adjusted on the boards visibility to motorists or pedestrian traffic. Look to purchase multiple boards to improve frequency throughout your reach.
    • Based on your media mix (the combination of multiple mediums to reach your target audience), you can “flight” your media to elongate the schedule and turn media on and off to avoid waste and save budget.

    With this knowledge, best practices and little hustle, media buying can be an exciting and worthwhile discipline that generates real sales and supports marketing efforts from the bottom up.

    At thunder::tech we take the guess work out of media buying. With experience in all marketing channels, our team is sure to find the right fit for your brand.

    Give us a call or tweet us @thundertech if you want to increase your brand’s presence both digitally and traditionally. 
    About the author:: J.P. Krainz is a Senior Account Manager and Media Specialist at thunder::tech. When not making client’s dreams come true, he enjoys rocking the drums and raising children to be future Congress men and women. 
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