Media buying involves selecting a particular tv, newspaper or other kind of ad and targeting it for viewing by a selected group of audience. Take this example, an ad about a great brand of engine oil will not do well in a magazine which is focused on knitting. In order to increase the effectiveness of the ad, media buyers link their ads to their specific target audience. The main purpose of these ads is to sell more products. The ads are published over multiple mediums such as television, internet, magazines and newspapers. The media buyer works on the behalf of the advertisers to negotiate the placement and price of the ad. Until the early 90s, an advertising agency’s media department was in charge of media buying. The creation of MindSnare in 1999 by the WPP Group was a major event. It was created from the media departments of WPP’s two advertising giants Oglivy & Mather and J Walter Thompson. WPP went on to consolidate all of its media operations after its purchase of Young & Rubicam and Tempus in 2003. WPP formed GroupM, which went on to become the world’s largest media investment management firms as far as billings are concerned. Media buying is an integral part of any successful digital marketing strategy.

In this post, we will discuss some key aspects of media buying in brief. 

Media Buying, Media Planning and Programmatic Buying

What is media buying?

Media Buying is part of the paid media category and it usually means the acquiring of media space and time for the purpose of displaying advertisements. While buying any media, the primary goal is to seek the right place, time and context for the delivery of relevant advertisements directed at the target audience. Aside from boosting sales, media buying is also focused on improving conversion rates and awareness of the brand. Media buying is quite dependent on timing and the media buyer technically “rents” all of the placement possibilities on all of the platforms. The advertiser must select the time slot as per its target audience. Hence the timeslot of the ad is extremely important when it comes to media buying.

The media buying process consists of a set of strategic wholesale multi-platform ad space purchases, negotiations, and arrangements which perform the task of discovering the best ad placement for the lowest price for a particular time period.

What is media planning?

Media planning is the process which involves the strategic selection of a variety of media platforms for the placement of ads over a set period of time. This planning is done to execute the advertiser’s campaign goals. 

These are the steps to a media plan:

•    Audience research. Since consumer behavior varies by demographic, planners are tasked with identifying which mediums will be the most effective for a particular campaign 

•    RFP the marketplace. This step involves calculating the percentage of the budget that is devoted to types of buys, from display to search, and beyond. As planners figure out which mediums will be the most effective, they will allocate media dollars accordingly to achieve the strongest results

•   Calculating the percentage of your expenditure on guaranteed vs the non guaranteed inventory.

•    Cross-media client budget authorizations. You must check your compliance with the amount that has been authorized. The authorized vs Planned spend difference should also be tracked.

•    For inventory you’ve purchased before, you can also purchase premium, guaranteed inventory at your own established rates without needing to RFP, by purchasing programmatically (automated and guaranteed)

What is Real-Time Bidding and Programmatic Buying?

Programmatic buying includes the use of DSPs, SSPs and DMPs. DSPs (demand side platforms) help with the process of purchasing the open market’s available ad inventories and which facilitate the process of buying ad inventory on the open market. DMPs (data management programs) collect and analyze cookie data which allows marketers to decide upon the general identity of their target audience. SSP’s (supply side platform) enables web publishers to manage their advertising space inventory, fill it with ads, and receive revenue.

Real-Time Bidding (RTB) is a type of programmatic purchasing that buys impressions one at a time, based on demographic targeting. Buyers place bids on an impression. In case their bid wins, the ad is displayed immediately. All RTB inventory is non-guaranteed. RTB was originally used for unsold remnant inventory, but this is changing to also include premium inventory due to demand and high yields. The RTB process involves a number of players: the publisher providing the inventory; the Ad Exchange that connects advertisers and publishers to facilitate the purchasing; and the Demand Side Platform (DSP) that automates the purchasing on the advertisers’ end. These players are not necessarily present in RFP-based purchasing or programmatic direct.

So that was a brief look into the aspects of media buying. Hopefully, this has given you a headstart and you can proceed to learn more about it.