In marketing, some teams excel in the media campaign process and some don’t. They meticulously define marketing objectives, establish tangible KPIs, and have a crystal-clear understanding of their target audience. Many brand teams find themselves in need of assistance while acquiring the most effective media space. The media buying phase of a campaign is a convoluted process, and at times, teams require additional support.
This is where media-buying agencies come into play. In this piece, we will explore the role of media-buying agencies. Shedding light on their functions and explaining why businesses should consider leveraging their services.
What is media buying?
Media buying is a broad term encompassing the procurement and acquisition of ad space across various media formats. A media buyer plays a pivotal role in the management of media plans and the purchase of specific ad space for ad placement.
Advertisers have several methods at their disposal for procuring ad space. Traditionally, it involved reaching out to ad publishers, striking deals, and running ads within specified timeframes and budgets. Alternatively, marketers can opt for programmatic platforms or ad exchanges. Where media buyers use demand-side platforms (DSPs) to access real-time ad space auctions facilitated by supply-side platforms (SSPs).
For a quick refresher on real-time bidding, DSPs, and SSPs, you can find more information here.
Media buying, however, is a complex process due to the vast array of available media channels. Without in-depth expertise in media buying and a thorough understanding of the target audience, it’s akin to throwing darts blindly into the abyss. Fortunately, media buying agencies exist to assist at this critical juncture of the advertising process.
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The Role of a Media Planning Agency
Media buying agencies are external teams hired to manage media buying activities for businesses. These agencies align with the client’s strategic objectives, utilize creative media assets, and identify optimal ad space based on the established media strategy.
Services Provided by Media Buying Agencies
- Conducting in-depth audience research.
- Fine-tuning programmatic buying software.
- Negotiating agreements with ad publishers.
- Translating media plan objectives into actionable steps.
- Offering industry insights to guide campaigns and maximize ad spend.
Media buyers assist in placing media across various ad formats, including:
- Display ads.
- Digital Out of Home (DOOH) advertising.
- Programmatic Audio.
- Programmatic Video.
- Native ads.
- Social media advertising.
- Connected TV (CTV).
Media buying agencies focus exclusively on procuring ad space for their clients. Their responsibilities revolve around setting up ad deals. Either through traditional means or programmatically to participate in real-time ad space auctions. Once the ad space acquisition is complete, their role concludes.
Preceding the media buying phase is the role of a media planner. Media planners conduct in-depth research and compile the actual media plan. Upon completing this plan, it’s handed over to the media buyer, who then proceeds to purchase media as per the plan’s guidelines.
Benefits of Partnering with a Media Buying Agency
Collaborating with a media buying agency offers distinct advantages. These agencies specialize in the intricate aspects of media buying, allowing businesses to concentrate on creativity and overarching objectives. Programmatic advertising agencies handle the calibration and leverage their in-house resources to maximize campaign success.
Additionally, a media buying agency is a cost-effective option compared to engaging a full-fledged advertising agency. Clients retain control over campaign planning and strategy development. Utilizing the media buying agency’s expertise when ready to activate and purchase media space.
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Media buying 101
The ideal media buying agency partner can vary based on client preferences and requirements. And here are the key attributes that make them desirable.
- Extensive experience in media buying spanning several years.
- High proficiency in media execution platforms, demand-side platforms (DSPs), and ad exchanges.
- A track record of success demonstrated through case studies.
- A comprehensive understanding of diverse media types.
- A data-driven approach.
- An ability to take ownership of their work, communicate challenges and concerns, and admit mistakes when they occur.
- Proficiency in translating between marketing, technical, and layman’s language.
- Professionalism, coupled with a collaborative and approachable demeanor.
- Access to a team of experts who can assist with media buying.
- A steadfast commitment to achieving the client’s goals.
- A willingness to invest additional time to ensure flawless campaign activation.
Media buying agencies play a pivotal role in the advertising process. They focus on securing the optimal ad space for their clients. Allowing businesses to concentrate on their creative efforts and overarching goals. When seeking a media buying agency partner, clients should carefully consider their goals and assess potential partners based on specific criteria. By doing so, they increase their chances of achieving successful campaign results and a more fruitful partnership.