All top-performing ad campaigns have one thing in common: they are the result of a delicate symbiosis between ad creative and media buying. It’s a mutualistic relationship in which one entity cannot survive without the other. Without a solid and appealing creative campaign the messaging will not be received well, and without appropriate media placement, the ads will not reach the target market. And since media buying accounts for the majority of advertising costs, failure to adequately plan and execute media buying strategies properly can result in a devastating loss in ROI (return on investment).
Fail to plan? Plan to fail.
Media buying is an integral part of developing a successful advertising campaign, but media buying has to start with a plan, and all plans are the result of extensive research and report sifting. Building a media plan is part art, part science, and involves exposing potential customers to a message at the optimum time and place where they can be reached. This is also known as the aperture, the foundation of any media plan. Locating the aperture requires careful studying of the needs of the client in order to determine which media opportunities will do the best job. Finding aperture opportunity is a complex task and relies on precise market research.
Know your audience.
Market research is the result of media report and trend examination. Every year, studies are conducted to gain insight into consumers’ media usage, demographics, and behavior. These insights are then used to determine the aperture for different target audiences and establish which media and platforms would work best. Once the research is done, a clear audience has been established, and the appropriate media platforms have been selected, it’s time to execute the media-buying plan.
So all the planning is done and the appropriate media platforms have been selected, so the hard part is over, right? Wrong. Media buying is as much a scientific and creative process as media planning. Media buyers are responsible for negotiating prices, purchasing media space, and making sure that the media plan is executed in the most efficient and cost effective way possible. In order to this, the media buyer must meet and maintain strong relationships with media providers, negotiate all rates, special placement, and added value. Lastly, they must track media expenditures to ensure agency and client budget compliance, collaborating with clients and media team members to resolve any media billing issues.
Reporting for duty.
After the media buyer has executed the strategy, it’s time to collect performance data and report back to the client. By comparing ad performance to industry averages, a decision as to whether or not that particular media was a wise investment of client resources can be made. If it was, the media strategy continues. However, if it is not performing well, it’s time to tweak the campaign. The ultimate goal of media reporting is to ensure that the client is getting the best possible results for their money.