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What is Media Buying?

What is Media Buying ?

Media buying is a method used in paid marketing actions. The goal is to recognize and purchase ad space on channels that are suitable to the target audience at the optimal time, for the least amount of money. Media buying is a process appropriate to both traditional marketing channels (television, radio, print) and digital channels (websites, social media, streaming). When done effectively, media buyers gain the greatest exposure among their target demand for the least amount of spend.


What is a Media Buyer in Marketing?

Media buyers oversee the media buying process, with information from the media planning team. With an experience of marketing objectives and target audience intentions given by the media planning team, media buyers execute the actual investment of the advertisement space. A huge part of the media buyer’s position is bargaining with the sites, networks, and other channels they want ads to appear on. They must confirm they are purchasing the correct placements at the correct times, for the correct duration, all within stringent budgets.

Media buyers should also use marketing execution tools to track key performance metrics and delivery to confirm the ad is placed in conformity with the contract and that it is meeting campaign goals.


What is the Difference Between Media Buying and Media Planning?

While media buyers and media planners certainly work near together, their roles are very diverse. In short, media planning is the first step. Founded on the decisions and strategies chosen by this team, media buyers execute the media plan – placing the decided upon ads on the suitable channels.

Media Planning

The process of media planning is focused on specifying an audience, leading market research, establishing a budget, and creating our goals. Media planners perform with their clients to understand who the target audience is for their offering, which funnels that audience uses and at what times, and what type of messaging that audience is most likely to engage with. With this statement the planning team will decide which channel they want to buy ad space on, and for what cost.

Media Buying

With the media plan specified, media buyers connect with their counterparts across the approved media sites. These are often sales/account executives, whose duty it is to find suitable advertisers. These two parties bargain placement, time, and cost. Media buyers usually use the following tactics to manage media plans:

  • Manual bidding: Bidding on ad space and managing offers directly via an ad platform such as AdWords. 
  • Programmatic buys: AI and algorithms allowed real-time bidding on ad space that fits customer profiles (e.g. fashion designers leveraging a medium that will automatically bid on and place ads on fashion-oriented channels).
  • Direct buys: When a media buyer bargains ad rates and run times with a specific advertiser (e.g. fashion designers performing directly with the Vogue team to place ads on their site/magazine). 

Why Media Buying is Important?

Effective media buying goes far above the genuine transaction of money for ad space. Media buying units can make impactful relationships with media owners that result in more significant reach with less investment. This enables marketing units to improve conversions and demonstrate increased ROI to clients and stakeholders.


How to Negotiate Media Buys

The most essential role of a media buyer is that of the negotiator – this confirms that clients are acquiring the most important for the ad space they buy. This means working with media organizations, leveraging the best methods on how to get the most recovery for ad placement, and generating detailed arrangements. As media buyers conduct media plans, there are a few negotiating tips they should hold in mind

Do Your Research

The analysis is not just part of media planning. As a media buyer, you should have expertise in the aspects that will affect the success of each campaign, such as: 

  • What do leads usually cost in your endeavor? 
  • What is the cost of classic ad placements on different sites?
  • What types of ads, display sizes, etc. complete the best on exact sites? 

Understand How Much You Are Ready to Expand

Begin each negotiation with an exact plan for budgeting and where your strength is ready to make allotments for premium spots. Before starting negotiations, be sure you have answers to the following questions: 

  • What is your all-around budget? 
  • How can you acquire the most out of that budget? 
  • Are there specific journals that you are willing to pay more on (based on past outcomes or target audiences)?

Have a Backup Plan

The most powerful playing card in any negotiation is a backup plan. There may be a publisher or television network that you would like to work with, but you find they are completely booked or out of your expense range. Media buyers should always be ready for additional opportunities to secure fast resolutions to unexpected purchasing issues. Furthermore, know when you are willing to back away and work with the different options. This gives you more leverage when negotiating price or placement.


Lead Generation

Evaluate all the filters you would like on your leads before starting the negotiations. Don’t suppose that you can modify these after the negotiations.


Negotiate Value Add-Ons

Ask for value add-ons when bargaining. This could contain banner ads for an email campaign or an additional airing of a radio ad. This will get you more orientation for your budget.


Get It In Writing

As with all things, get what you have bargained now into the contract. If your account manager changes or emails get lost, media buyers require a decided upon a set of expectations they can mean to.


Type of Negotiations

There are two major types of negotiation tactics, though integrative negotiations are what is most often used in media buying.  

  • Zero-Sum Negotiations: In these negotiations, one or both parties are not ready to compromise on the contract. While often elevated in TV and film, this negotiation style strains or destroys the relationship with the media company.
  • Integrative Negotiations: In integrative negotiations, both parties work concurrently and compromise to assure each side is getting a good deal that is aligned with their goals. As media buying is based on associations, this negotiation tactic is typically the most useful. 

Vikas Rathour

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