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What Is Media Planning And Buying?

Dec 22

Media planning and buying - the topic of marketing and digital advertising is a mammoth undertaking with several paths, nooks, and intricacies. This article will cover such things as:

  • What media planning and media buying are and how they operate together?
  • The procedures of determining, planning, negotiate ad placements, purchasing, monitoring, and assessing your campaign performance.
  • The terminology used in media planning and media buying strategy.
  • Media buying software that automates processes on various media platforms and saves you time.
  • The practice of combining media planning with media buying is commonly referred to as a media plan.

To build a media plan, two different but complimentary responsibilities are necessary. To launch, operate, and manage their media strategy, an efficient marketing campaign uses both media planners and media buyers.


Media Planning And Buying Basics

What exactly is media planning and buying? The practice of determining the best combination of media sources to use to promote a specific marketing message that reaches a target audience. The media planning process entails conducting research, identifying, evaluating, comparing, planning, and working within the constraints of a brand's ad spend.

What Is Media Buying?  The complementary, secondary process through which an individual or agency uses the media planner's insights to start looking for and negotiating ad space across the various media outlets and channels. The media buying process depends on choice, aims, audience, media buying budget, and other factors, this can be automated or done manually.

What Is A Media Plan?  A media plan is the end product of both the planning and media buying process, as well as a final assessment of the campaign's efficacy.


Ad Placement

The Media Planning Process

Media planning may be thought of as the first line of defense for a soon-to-be-released marketing campaign. The media planner is in charge of the basics, such as...


Conducting Internal Market Research

A professional media planner will first consult with a company or brand to determine the campaign's main objectives and aims, as well as who the target audience is or should be. External market research will be undertaken from here.

External - A media planner will acquire and analyze market information across media channels, investigate industry trends, evaluate the competition, identify target audiences, and determine where those people are most engaged with ad material during this stage. This is the stage in which the marketer must uncover the intricacies of a certain audience group and examine their habits, including where they go for information, what items they care about and why, and which media outlets they use throughout the day. Media objectives can be created from here...

Establishing Media Objectives - After doing a market and researching target audiences, media planners will delve into the media landscape to see which channels would be most successful in reaching that target audience. Will it be traditional media such as television, radio, magazine adverts, billboards, newspapers, and so on? Or will it be digital media such as mobile, social media, video, and search engine marketing (SEM)? Content is delivered and consumed in a variety of ways, both traditional and digital. As a result, a media planner's primary goal is to discover the ideal media mix for reaching a client's target demographic across several media channels. Following the selection of channels, the media planner will submit RFPs to suppliers to demonstrate interest in their inventory (requests for proposals).

Appropriate Budgeting - Account management 101, like with any company arrangement, is staying under budget and maximizing that budget. As a media planner, you must not only identify how to publicize a brand's message, but also how to distribute dollars efficiently. Going over budget isn't the only factor to consider. A thorough study should enable a media planner to determine how best to spend the funds. Will they devote 50% of their budget to social media, 25% to mobile commercials, 10% to billboards, and the remainder to radio? Is it better to get assured inventory or to go with RTB (real-time bidding)? They'll make the decision, but they'd best make it carefully!

Now it's time for media buying and media buyers.


Media Buying Process

The media buying process of getting the plan off the metaphorical page and putting it into action is known as media buying. In this sense, you might label a media buyer "The Executor" because they're in charge of carrying out the media buying strategies. A media buyer is in charge of:

Establishing Relationships — A media buyer, like any effective salesperson, should be skilled at establishing and sustaining relationships with media providers (publishers and channel owners). The direct requirement to manage a media vendor relationship may not be as prevalent these days, as automation systems are increasingly employed for acquiring ad inventory, but it's still a valuable ability to have.

Negotiating & Purchasing, Purchasing, Purchasing – It's time to negotiate the purchase of ad space after the commercials are ready for distribution and the RFPs have been received. The cost of optimal ad placement is determined by a number of criteria, the most important of which are traffic and exposure. The potential will justify the price tag if the media planner has done their job right. It is the media buyer's responsibility to do everything possible to get the ad space at – or below – the budgeted price. A media planner may advise purchasing guaranteed inventory or non-guaranteed inventory.

Monitoring and Optimizing Online Advertising Performance — Once ad space has been negotiated and purchased, the media buyer's role is to monitor and optimize the advertising throughout the digital media buying campaign cycle. If it isn't, the media strategy will have to change.

Let's imagine you're a nationwide apparel shop marketing a spring sale on dresses with commercials on social media, a few on public transit, and a three-times-a-day television commercial on three major networks. Suddenly, you discover that your greatest rival has recently started their own spring sundress marketing campaign, aimed at the same demographic. It's vital to check in with your media buyer to ensure that they're monitoring your advertising, noting performance swings, and - offering recommendations for new placements, material, and so on. Consider them your "boots on the ground" who will make revisions to your advertising as needed.

To put it all together, how about a sports metaphor? As if it were a football, let's look at the full media planning and purchase procedure.

We'll approach this scenario as if you're a company or brand launching a new ad campaign with the help of a media agency.



"The new owner" is you.

The football team is the name of the media agency you hired.

The media planner is the football coach.

Your media buyers are all members of Team A.

All members of the opposing team (Team B) are your rivals whose advertisements are running alongside yours.

The media vendor [provider] is the referee.

Your ad campaign = The ball


The football coach, who is in charge of directing his squad and setting them on a route to win, requests a meeting with you, the new team owner. He congratulates you on purchasing the squad, promises you that the upcoming season will be fantastic, and then asks what you want to see from the team this year.

The football coach assembles his squad and spends hours upon hours evaluating plays, familiarizing himself with the opponent, and assessing his own team's strengths and weaknesses in preparation for game day (researching, strategizing, and media planning).

The media planning phase has come to a close.

It's now up to Team A to do what they do best, which is execute the plays. Team A's members onto the field and face off against Team B. When the ref blows the whistle, the negotiating process begins. Team A's player #1 sends the ball to player #2, who kicks the ball around a few Team B defenders. Although a foul is called, the referee awards possession to Team A. (aka negotiations are going well and ads are beginning to be placed). So far, everything is going well: the ball is moving up the field. The ball is kicked forward by player #2, which hits a rough piece of grass and spirals toward the middle of the field. The ball is sent to a forward from Team B.

Your ad is being prioritized over those of your competitors.

It's time to change gears! When player #3 runs forward to take the ball, he gets into a face-off with a Team B player (bidding against the competition). Team A's star player fools the defender, gets the ball around him (gains ad space), and sends it hurtling past Team B's goalie and into the net.

On the pitch and in the locker room, Team A is ecstatic. However, they are soon discussing the game, evaluating what they did well and what they could have done better. They promise to put forth the same amount of effort in the following game. They understand that a new game implies a new opponent with an entirely different set of skills, so they'll need to adjust their strategy accordingly.

In this example, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Running ad campaigns does not always imply that one campaign succeeds and the other fails, as this example implies. This example, however, demonstrates how competitive the ad purchasing market can be when multiple ad campaigns are vying for attention.

The opposition side isn't fighting over your marketing campaign. After all, they have their own advertising campaign and campaign goals.


Terminology For Media Planning

Inventory is a phrase that is sometimes confused with ad placements. It may also refer to how much ad space a publisher has to offer or how much a media buyer wants to purchase. It encompasses both conventional and digital advertisements.

The total collection of media channels of an ad campaign that an individual or agency utilizes to achieve their unique marketing objectives is referred to as the media mix.

Your media mix is when you employ social media, radio, and television to promote your marketing strategy. Direct mail, search engine marketing, and web videos are still part of your media mix.

Scheduling - the parameters that a media planner and media buyer creates for a marketing campaign, indicating when and where particular advertising will be aired across various media. Typically, it is determined by the intended audience. While 5 a.m. on Mondays would be a good time to target outdoor enthusiasts with a Facebook ad campaign, Saturdays at midnight on YouTube might be a better time to target punk rock fans.

Targeting is the process of selecting the optimum target for a marketing message. It is a component of media planning's internal and external market research.

The ultimate audience that has been picked is referred to as the target market (or audience). They might be general or particular. For example, if Acme Foods was launching a new line of frozen, microwaveable, single-serving pastas, they may target young professionals ages 30 to 40 who work 50+ hours per week and rent single bedroom apartments.


Manual Bidding - adjusting the bid on a specific group of advertising manually depending on parameters such as keyword performance, engagement, cost, and so on.

Automation or programmatic media buying are the polar opposites of this.

The automated method of digitally purchasing and selling ad space and enhancing ad performance is known as automatic bidding (or programmatic digital media buying strategy). It's built on algorithms, with digital technology taking the place of physical bargaining. RTB, or real-time bidding, is what it's termed when it's done in real time.

Real-Time Bidding (RTB) - enables media suppliers to sell ad impressions (views) using an ad exchange network, where each impression is sold in real time as it becomes available. Advertisers can modify their bids automatically in response to changing market circumstances.

Guaranteed Inventory (or Direct Buys) - this method allows a media planner and media buyers to obtain large quantities of inventory (or ad placements) for a set CPM. There are times when this strategy makes the most sense, such as when a company needs the assurance that a particular number of people will see their ad and they have the financial resources to cover the greater cost of that guarantee. It's a case of "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."

Non-Guaranteed Inventory - sometimes known as real-time bidding, this is a type of auction in which advertisers compete for better ad placement by bidding against one other's prices. However, as the name implies, there is no assurance that an ad will be placed at a specific price. Furthermore, guaranteed inventory is frequently given first consideration. This strategy is best for marketers with limited budgets or who are willing to commit to continuously monitoring ad placement and performance in real time.

The cost of an advertisement every 1,000 persons who see it is known as the cost per thousand (CPM). So, if ad space costs $5 per 1,000 impressions, you should expect to spend $5 for every 1,000 individuals who see your ad. If a targeted media channel is particularly competitive, CPMs will almost certainly be higher. Marketing ROI matters the most.

Request For Proposal (or RFP) - a document sent by an agency (in this example, a media planner) as part of a bidding procedure to show interest in purchasing certain ad stocks from a supplier (or media vendor).


Target Audience Research

The following target audience resources are for evaluating and analyzing media consumption by consumer, media channel, demographic, psychographic, and other factors:

  • The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is a world leader in analyzing and assessing digital device usage and trends.
  • Nielsen is a multinational measurement and data analytics firm that specializes in media and consumer insights for markets all over the world.
  • Worldwide WebIndex — A huge database that tracks social media statistics on a global and country-by-country basis.


On Computer

Digital Marketing Planning

Whether you're buying ads programmatically or manually, you'll need a platform that allows you to:

  • Your whole media strategy may be streamed and shared in real time.
  • Your ad performance data may be combined.
  • You may compare your budgeted spending to your actual spending.
  • The data may then be evaluated and presented into simple charts and graphs.
  • A good media planning tool takes the tedium and drudgery out of your day.


What Will The Future Of Media Planning And Media Buying Look Like?

If you want your ad campaign to be seen by your target audience, you'll need to invest in media planning. Plus, there's more. In the marketing business, automation is on a clear upward trend. With the debut of programmatic buying and its subsequent spread over the last decade, there's every indication that the demand for integrating automation across conventional, digital, owned, earned, and paid media is only going to increase.

According studies, almost eight out of ten mobile display advertising in the U.S. media space are purchased programmatically, which will rise to about 85 percent by 2022.

In addition, by 2022, 85 percent of the advertising process will be automated with the remaining 15% in the media space comprised of such elements as brand value, storytelling, and other more experiential digital marketing tactics that will always require a human.

To get brand awareness out there and have a successful campaign, you will need a media planning team with great media buying tactics in place.