Eric Michael outlines the advertising and media buying process.

How It Works: Advertising & Media Buying

Once upon a time there was a young graphic designer, peddling his ernest creative talents to small and medium-sized businesses in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Interest was high though, try as he might, each project seemed to be a “one off.” Once he completed their web development work, a client would leave; only to return when edits or software updates were needed. This inspired the need for a recurring revenue generator and what motivated the budding entrepreneur to begin offering media buys.

I was that young designer, and that’s exactly what brought me into the world of media buying.

Media Buying — by industry definition — is the process by which a third party agency collaborates with a client to budget and place advertising dollars over an extended period of time. Since 2010, I have been helping small to large-sized organizations curate, implement, monitor, and recalibrate their marketing and communications efforts. Media Brokering has been an integral part of those operations; the secret sauce that’s whipped up behind the scenes.

It’s no longer enough to just populate your various feeds across the tangled world wide web, this interactive content needs to be boosted, promoted, and sponsored in order to land in front of the correct audience. Why? Because, you’re looking to attract new customers — not just the ones who have already subscribed to your feed. (Though, the content still needs to speak to them.)

There are three key reasons why an organization might want to retain a media buying specialist:

Because a buyer forces you to work smarter, not harder. Specialists, with experience in media buying, are going to work with you to research and align your individual product or service with the right media outlet. Most people, when they do it themselves, they go with whatever outlet/station/platform they think is most popular and effective with very little research. Throwing money to the wind, so to speak.

Because a buyer has power. Third party agencies/brokers know what questions need to be asked and can spot the appropriate time to negotiate on rates. (Which, happens to be all of the time.) They have the leverage you need to get the most bang for your buck. Contrary to popular belief, this leverage surpasses traditional media outlets and dips into new-age platforms as well, with the right connections.

Because it’s convenient. Beyond the rush of incoming calls from ad sales reps, producers, and everyone else who has learned you’ve got funds to allocate, buying your own ads sometimes leads to those ads being run in the less-attractive windows in the broadcast period. Why? Because they can. Media brokers reduce the risk of these kinds of practices; in most cases, the station/network is relying on the support of the broker for more than one account.

How it Works

BRIEFING

Together, we meet to discuss current pain-points, objectives, messaging, overall expectation, and touch on budget.

PROPOSAL

Information in-hand, I plan and promptly present suggestions for the best platforms, methods, and allocation of the overall budget.

ACTIVATION

Formal budgets are set, agreements are signed, campaigns are coordinated, and resources disseminated to the appropriate partner.

TWEAK

Once implemented, we carefully monitor campaign exposure, engagement, and make necessary adjustments to maximize the client’s ROI.