What is Media Buying?


Media buying is the process of making sure that advertisements get in front of the right audience, at the right time, for the right price.

When companies buy air time – or digital advertising time – they work with an intermediate party in order to secure the best prices and the most strategic air times. Media buyers maintain relationships with media owners on a regular basis so that they can learn about new opportunities and bring their clients the best value for their advertising dollars.

Media buying has changed, for sure.

Media buying has been a part of modern advertising for decades – but online opportunities have significantly changed the platform. Even still, the process brings two key benefits to advertisers – they pay a more competitive price for any media space and they can leverage multiple opportunities they might not know about without working media buyers.

What is it like working with a media buyer?

Working with a media buyer means entering the advertising market with a clear strategy and a results-oriented focus. It all starts with a basic process for understanding who you need to reach, as well as how and where those individuals are spending their time. Media buyers, or media buying firms, are the experts that research, negotiate, buy and track advertising vehicles and advertising “space” on their clients’ behalf. Their goal? To get the word out to the most people who fit the target most effectively and at the lowest cost

Smart media buyers will guide a company through several processes to develop a strategic approach. For example, media buyers will want to know who a company is trying to reach and what the target market is for the product or service. This will include demographic data (such as age and average income) in addition to cultural habits (such as what type of shows they like). Media buyers will then do additional research to select the right media buy, and then which marketing vehicles are the best to meet key goals.


Media buyers look to increase clients’ ROI

When it comes to media buying of all kinds, the goal is to increase and maximize ROI, or return on investment. Different tools, capabilities and media options/platforms can be, by the right media buyer and with good client information, used to create a powerful customized campaign that is both results-oriented and cost-effective. What’s more, the ability to optimize and tweak campaigns in real-time allows for media buying to be more targeted and effective than ever before.

From the start of any campaign, data starts to come in a variety of formats. The media buyer or buying firm can use that data to drive its next moves so that the campaign is truly a responsive one, and one that is tailored to what really works. Such capabilities allow for targeting at a higher and more effective level, as well as for campaigns to run simultaneously across multiple channels and platforms.


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