Regardless of a business’ size or commercial sector, outlining and implementing a successful ad campaign is a risky, time-consuming, and expensive task. The investment and expertise required to access premium inventory often exceed the resources of a single business, leading many to restrict themselves to digital media platforms that offer out-of-the-box solutions.
Whilst digital advertising is a vital element of a successful marketing campaign, purchasing ad space across more premium channels (including, TV, radio, and OOH) can be within the reach of a smaller business, with the right partner. With a media strategy and buying service, you can trust that your ad dollars are working to maximise the return on your investment from each campaign.
At The Bank, our media planning and buying services provide clients with the insight, expertise, and access required to plan and run successful campaigns that reach their target audiences. Our team of professionals leverage cutting-edge data analytics to identify the best channels for your message—giving you access to inventory that’s not available through basic digital advertising solutions. We also negotiate the best possible rates, ensuring that each penny of your ad budget goes towards delivering effective and measurable results.
To learn more about how our media planning and buying experts can help you go beyond your marketing objectives, contact our team today. Or, if you’d like to learn a bit more about the media buying process, keep reading for our comprehensive media planning and media buying guide.
Media Planning vs. Media Buying
Before we go any further, it’s probably best to nail down exactly what we mean by media planning and media buying: what are the differences between these two services?
In the simplest terms, media planning involves the process of researching and targeting potential audiences, whilst media buying involves the actual purchase of ad inventory. Simple, right?
In practice, these two disciplines operate in conjunction with each other, with media buyers relying on the insights and data generated during the planning process. By leveraging sophisticated analytics and data, media planners can pinpoint exactly where your ad should be seen to deliver maximum results—be it on a billboard in Piccadilly Circus, or an online banner campaign targeting users across multiple markets. The media buyer’s job is to then go out and make the purchase, ensuring that you secure the best possible rate for your ad inventory
Of course, both media planners and buyers work closely with clients to ensure they are meeting their objectives and delivering a positive return on investment. Ultimately, it’s the combination of these two services that enable businesses to scale their campaigns beyond what they could on their own.
Still not sure about the differences between media planning and media buying? Let’s take a look at the concepts in a little more depth….
What is media planning?
In short, media planning is the process of determining which media outlets are best suited for a particular advertising campaign. This includes selecting the right channels, understanding the target audience and their buying behaviours, and analysing competitor data to inform decisions.
The media planning process is typically performed by marketers with a strong understanding of media buying and consumer behaviour, as well as the industry in which they’re working. The goal is to create a comprehensive media plan that will help the client reach its target audience effectively while achieving its media objectives and desired return on investment.
What do media planners do?
Extensive market research is key to the media planning phase. This includes analysing the target audience, their buying behaviour, and any relevant trends in the industry. This data is then used to create a profile of the client’s ideal customer and develop a plan for reaching them with the right message.
An ad campaign’s performance is directly linked to the accuracy of what this research reveals—the more accurate it is, the higher its chances of success.
Media goals and objectives
Once the market research has been completed, media planners will use this information to set measurable media goals and objectives. These can include increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, or generating leads.
It’s important to note that these goals should be focused on a specific outcome and not solely on activity metrics such as impressions or clicks—a common practice in online media buying. Instead, your media agency will focus on results-driven metrics such as conversions, ROI and cost per acquisition.
Developing an overarching media strategy is vital for ensuring media buying efforts aren’t in vain. This involves outlining the objectives of the campaign, projecting costs, and accounting for online and offline channels.
The marketing strategy will identify target audiences across a range of demographics, and help to match the right target audience with the right media channels. This is an essential step in the media planning process, as it helps to inform which channels should be used and how much budget should be allocated to each.
Speaking of budget, the media planner’s job is to ensure the client’s budget is used wisely. This includes determining how much should be spent on each channel, as well as any additional fees such as advertising costs or production costs.
The media planner will also need to consider the overall cost of the campaign, including any third-party services and any additional costs such as creative development or media buying.
What is media buying?
Media buying is the process of purchasing advertising space in different media outlets such as newspapers, magazines, television, radio, and online. The goal of this activity is to reach the intended audience with ad creatives that resonate with them.
Traditionally, media buyers work directly with media outlets to negotiate rates and terms for ad placements. They leverage their collective purchasing power to ensure the best prices for media space and also provide a wealth of advice and recommendations to help clients get the most out of their campaigns.
In today’s digital world, media buying is more sophisticated than ever before, with media buying services now using advanced programmatic buying tools and platforms to automate the process and optimise campaign performance. These tools allow buyers to target specific audiences across a variety of channels, adjust bids and marketing budget in real time, and measure campaign performance with detailed analytics.
What do media buyers do?
Select ad inventory
Both analogue and digital media buying require careful selection of ad inventory before the campaign can begin. A media buyer must take the time to understand the nuances of the various media platforms available and work to ensure ad spend is carefully deployed to deliver a client’s marketing message where it will have the greatest impact.
Media buyers must also understand the reach of the outlets they are purchasing inventory from and determine if that reach is appropriate for their client’s target audience.
Ad placement is wholly dependent on an organization’s marketing budget, and it’s vital for media buyers to ensure they are getting the best possible price for their client’s ad inventory. With so many media buying services vying for attention, buyers must have strong negotiation skills and a keen eye for a good deal.
A key benefit of working with a dedicated media buying company is the collective buying power they bring to the table. By working with a team of media buyers, clients can access better prices and more attractive terms than they would be able to negotiate on their own.
Media buyers are responsible for the implementation of the client’s campaign. This includes setting up campaigns in the appropriate ad platforms, preparing tools for monitoring campaign efforts, and putting out fires if and when they arise.
They must also establish mechanisms for pivoting and readjusting if performance falters or there are changes to the client’s objectives. All of these activities must be carried out within the parameters of the campaign budget, so media buyers must be mindful of expenditure while still delivering the desired results.
Monitor campaign performance
The media buying process involves monitoring ad performance in both the short and long term. This not only allows them to show clients where their media plans are paying off, but also allows them to optimize ads and campaign goals on the fly.
In terms of digital marketing and online advertising, this process is relatively simple. Tools like Google Analytics help media buyers to analyse ad impressions, examine conversions, and gain insights into where ads reach the client’s target market effectively. For out-of-home advertising and similar physical channels, the tracking process is a bit more difficult. However, media buyers often have relationships with third-party data providers who can provide insights into ad performance.
The Future of Media Buying
As mentioned, media buying—and indeed the marketing industry as a whole—has been drastically transformed by the advent of digital media and automation. With search engine optimization used to generate leads and a huge number of digital platforms offering unparalleled reach, many businesses have chosen to eschew adding dedicated buyers to their media mix, often relying on their internal marketing or sales team to dispatch ads across social media.
In response, the role of the media buyer has evolved. Media buyers of today use their extensive skills and industry knowledge to leverage and sync advertising opportunities across both online and offline channels. A key element of this is programmatic buying, which helps businesses to deploy targeted ads to new customers automatically (and with astonishing efficacy).
What is programmatic buying?
Programmatic buying is a form of automated bidding that leverages real-time bidding to purchase ad inventory in an efficient and cost-effective manner. With programmatic buying, media buyers can target specific audiences and get a better bang for their buck by leveraging data to optimise campaigns on the fly. This automated approach helps to eliminate manual bidding processes and therefore cuts down on costs associated with media buying.
Additionally, programmatic buying provides a more granular level of control, allowing media buyers to choose the type and quantity of inventory they want to purchase. This means that campaigns can be finely tuned for maximum ROI, using zero- and first-party data to run ad placements with incredible accuracy.
Programmatic media buying is set to be a key part of the buying process in the current decade. As such, it’s important for media buyers to understand how this technology works and how it can be used to increase the effectiveness of their campaigns
The Bank: Media Planning and Media Buying Experts
When it comes to your business’ marketing campaign, you don’t want to settle for less. You want an expert team who can synchronise your analogue and digital media buying efforts. You want media planning masters, who can develop a successful ad campaign that meets your objectives and accounts for the limitations of your budget. You want The Bank.
At The Bank, we offer a wide range of media planning and buying services to ensure your campaigns are an unqualified success. We have extensive experience in both online and offline marketing, meaning that no matter what type of campaign you’re running, we can help you achieve your goals.
Contact our team today to get started on your new media plan. We can’t wait to get to work!