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Established 2009

The Smart Marketer’s Guide To Media Buying


Have you ever been online & seen a ‘random’ ad pop into your line of sight & thought, ‘Wow! I wonder how THEY know me so well?’ The truth is that you’ve been experiencing the power of media buying, and it really is impressive how intuitive the advertising you see is and can be.

From the consumer perspective, the omnipresence of this kind of advertising makes for easier shopping through direct access to retail websites. But for the retailers themselves, knowing what, and where, to advertise is no picnic. It requires studying of data & being abreast of current trends. What’s more, it mean being able to crunch all of the right numbers so that the final result is an ad you’ll see AND click on.

In short, media buying is not easy for those who attempt it, but it has major rewards when done right. This inherent difficulty is compounded when one considers that some operations don’t have dedicated advertising & marketing departments. The responsibility of getting these kinds of decisions right rests on a handful of employees doing a little of everything. Ditto in the case of one-person operation.

Still, in a day and age when everyone in the world is online, knowing the ins & outs of media buying is an absolute must. As such, whether you’re a grizzled veteran of the marketing world or a simple entrepreneur trying to do things right, here’s a few things to know about media buying:

Differentiate Between Buying & Planning

These two concepts go hand-in-hand, but they are distinctly different. The ‘buying’ has to do with what else — the actual process of getting the most ad presence (impressions) for the least amount of money. The ‘planning’ part has to do with the strategy that goes into creating the perfect campaign. This entails establishing real goals both in the short- and long-term. More importantly, there’s also a need to set key performance indicators (KPIs) along the way of a campaign. The idea behind these KPIs is that they allow for assessment of campaign progress. Are things moving the way they need to be? Are they where you’d like them to be?

Understand Your Budget

In recent years, the concept of what money is in the wake of digital currency has been a little tough to follow. However, when it comes to media buying, especially on a digital platform, there’s only one concept a marketer needs to know — a budget is a budget. Spending money for impressions, however, doesn’t have to be hindered by budget. Ultimately, it means work being done behind the scenes to design the ideal ad has to be really on point.

Direct Buy vs Digital Media Buying

It’s a little old-school, but placing ads in newspapers still plays a major role in attracting customers. However, the world has been changing for some time, and digital is the way of, well, everything. As such, the digital buying sector of media buying tends to be king. Primary elements in digital media buying are demand side platform (DSP), the ad exchange, and supply side platform (SSP). DSP is the marketer side, SSP is the publisher side, and the ad exchange is where all the buying & selling of ad space goes down.

Nothing Is Accidental

Every decision in media buying is calculated & done with a specific goal in mind. Granted, there is some amount of trial and error to finding the right ad space. However, every decision made is supported by the ability to assess & reassess campaign elements. Tweaks made are based on data analysis and then launched under careful observation.

In short, if you’re hoping for a marketing quick-fix, media buying ain’t it.

Don’t leave your company’s media buying up to chance. Let the expertise of MindEcology, an Austin advertising agency, take your media presence to places you couldn’t have imagined!

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