Media planning focuses on developing ad campaigns, setting the objectives and discussing methods for optimizing media usage to convey the message. Media buying as the name suggests focuses on buying the desired ad spaces. Media planning and buying is very essential to organize effective media ad campaigns. A successful media ad campaign is yielded only when one clearly comprehends the current trends in the market. The best media planning and buying agencies work continuously towards making their clients’ brand, services and products get noticed by the specific target audience through the strategic purchase of ad timings and ad spaces. Since the inception of digital transformation, the part of digital media planner and buyer has been one very crucial in the success of any digital marketing agency. Thus, it has proven to be one of the highest in-demand jobs in the digital marketing and advertising industry.
What do Media Planners and Buyers do?
The main objective of specialists in any media planning and buying agency is to ensure that their clients receive the desired recognition from the target audience group. In order to do so, they market put up advertisements on public transports such as buses or metros, websites, magazines, TV, Radio etc. Particularly in digital marketing agencies, they focus on advertising in digital display boards and online arenas like search engines, social media, websites, mobile apps and emails. However, this process is very challenging since buying the ad space and time for an optimum price itself is a big deal. The ad space purchasing cost will significantly contribute to the overall business profit. Thus media planning and buying agencies seek to hire professionals who expertise in the ‘art of bargaining’. One can even declare vaguely, that media planning and buying agency is a recession-free area in the digital marketing industry.
Roles of Media Planners and Buyers
Media planners can be considered as the “visionaries” of digital marketing agency. Their first task is to analyse data of consumer habits and behaviours. Then, they evaluate the organization’s marketing concept as well as its content in order to determine the suitable media to convey the message. This stage involves data collection and analysis, for the purpose of calculating the maximum potential of a medium to convey the message to their target audience in specified time duration. For this, they will have to interact with other experts like market research analysts. Based on their findings, they collaborate with media buyers to design strategies and selecting the most appropriate channels to communicate with the target group.
Once the marketing strategy is developed, media buyers work towards its execution. The next step is to have a discussion with the advertising sales agents representing the media outlets, in order to financially negotiate the ad space and duration relevant to the execution of the planned strategy. Thus, a good media buyer has to acquire a ‘premeditated monetarist mindset’ to estimate rates, usage and budget, and also has to be sensitive to the discrepancies of consumer media consumption and the marketing strategy in hand. For this purpose, media planning and buying agencies often prefer to hire experts who are specialized in specific forms of media.
Attributes of Good Media Planners and Buyers
Undoubtedly, media planners and buyers have a huge demand in every digital marketing agency. But, in order to be the best from the rest, good media planners and buyers must possess the following attributes:
- Team players: Media buyers must be team players, as they will be closely working with many professionals on varying levels. Be it dealing with more experienced media buyers to tackle an unexpected campaign obstacle, or inquiring about a new automated bidding technology; or interacting with product team to submit requests or to build relationships with sales team. Media planning and execution can never be a one man show.
- Digital expertise: Media planners and buyers must expertise in digital media. Digital platform is constantly evolving and mastering it is a continuous process. With new trends emerging every day, one must not lose their eagerness to learn and explore the digital space.
- Proactive Socializing: Media planning and buying involves dealing with a number of people to discuss ideas, plan actions, negotiate deals, buy resources and execute the marketing strategy. Hence, media planning and buying agency always hire experts who are natural at networking and socializing, even outside the office. Building contacts is very essential for the success of every media planning and buying agency.
- Negotiating skills: The major profit for any media planning and buying agency is determined by the purchasing price of ad space. To maximise the profit, media buyers must possess high negotiating and bargaining skills.
- Trust in Intuition: Media planning and buying involves analysing a big chunk of quantitative and qualitative data. Sometimes, the plan of action which was successful in the past, need not necessarily be valid in the present. Hence, media planners and buyers need to take risks and deal with unexpected crisis if it occurs. Thus problem solving skills and decision making abilities are the basic qualities of a media planning and buying expert.
To Sum it Up
Media Planning and Buying is undeniably the major wing of every digital marketing agency. In order to succeed as a media buying and planning expert, one must be open to learning and continuously develop professional skills. Communication plays a major role in media planning and buying, both to negotiate a fair deal, as well as to persuade the target audience effectively. Like any other area, crisis situations are bound to occur in media planning and buying process. Hence, one must be well prepared to tackle the issue and deal with the situation confidently. So a good media planning and buying expert must be a team player and excel at managing resources and must be willing to learn from the experiences of his peers.