The Technical Side of Advertising: The Basics of Media Buying

Media BuyingWhen you think of advertising, the first things that come to mind are witty commercials, smartly outrageous direct marketing executions, and star-studded endorsements. However, it’s just the tip of advertising. There’s more to it than glitz, glamour, and of course, genius.

An advertising effort becomes effective and memorable when it reaches the target audience. Therefore, it’s safe to say that advertising isn’t just about creativity; it’s also about strategy. This is where media buying comes in. Below are some of the things you need to know about this side of the business.

The Discipline

Media buying is the process of obtaining an advertising space. The advertising process goes something like this: the accounts team or the people that take care of the client’s needs receive the project brief. The creatives department will then come up with creative executions and define which media to use. After receiving the work of the creatives, the agency’s media buyers or third party vendors will then negotiate with media providers, such as radio and TV stations, to get the best possible rates and schedules.

In some agencies, the process is the other way around. The media planning and buying department may recommend which media to use. The creative department will then work on with the given options.

The Doer

What does a media buyer do? The media buyer often doubles as a planner. That is to say that their function will include identifying the target market of the campaign. Media buyers also delve into facts, figures, and research to find a trend and to support why a specific media space is viable for the campaign. Once the commercials or promotional materials are running, they will monitor how these are faring.

The Diversity

Red Rider Creative noted that media spaces are so diverse that sometimes, a media buyer specializes in one type. Recent historical shifts see that there’s more to media buying than radio and TV. Ad spaces are all over the Internet (banner ads and social media), in cinemas, in movies (also known as product integration), in malls, and billboards. Others are exploring mobile marketing, which focuses on different apps.

Media buying is one of the most interesting areas of advertising. People from accounts and creatives management sometimes transition to media buying for a change. This only goes to show that a career in media buying is worth pursuing.