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Where and How to Place Advertising: What is Media Buying and Who Does It

Media buying is becoming increasingly important because strategically purchased media will undoubtedly impact the success of an advertising campaign.

Media Buying is the process of selecting where and when to place advertising to make it most effective for the target audience. The goal is to show the advertisement to people who are most interested in the product or brand and do so at a time when they are most likely to see it.

Media Buying comprises both traditional media, such as television, radio, print media, and outdoor advertising, as well as digital media, including websites, social media, streaming services, and apps.

For example:

  • Advertising for a skincare product can be placed on a beauty-related website or in a beauty-focused program;
  • Advertising for a new car can be placed on a sports channel, on an auto sales portal, or on an automotive YouTuber's channel;
  • An advertisement for the opening of a new restaurant can be placed on a local website or in a food delivery app.

How Media Buying Works

Media Buying is an important step in the advertising process, as it can help brands achieve their marketing goals. For example, advertising can:

  • Increase brand awareness;
  • Create demand for a product or service;
  • Encourage people to make a purchase

Media Buying is commonly executed by a professional media agency, which confidently collaborates with advertisers to strategically develop and expertly implement impactful advertising campaigns. The agency works closely with the advertiser to accurately define the campaign's objectives, identify the ideal target audience, and determine the budget. Subsequently, the agency diligently seeks out suitable placements for the advertising that precisely align with these criteria.

The agency can use various methods for media buying, such as:

  • Direct deals: The agency purchases placements directly from the media owner.
  • Network deals: Purchasing placements through a media network that combines multiple media owners.
  • Programmatic advertising: The buyer uses software to automate the process.

Media buyers often work together with media planners who create a plan that defines the campaign's objectives and tasks. Media buyers may also negotiate with media outlets or advertising channels to secure the desired frequency at the right time, while adhering to the campaign budget parameters.

Media Buying: Key Stages

The process of media buying in the media industry consists of several important steps:

  1. Determining what percentage of the total budget will be spent on guaranteed and non-guaranteed advertising inventory. Guaranteed inventory includes the purchase of a specific amount of advertising space, while non-guaranteed inventory involves buying an unspecified amount of advertising space, typically at a reduced price.
  1. Sending requests for proposals (RFPs) to media outlets, if necessary, and evaluating which mix of channels offers the potential to boost the effectiveness of the advertising campaign.
  1. Making agreements by creating insertion orders (IO).
  1. Delivering advertising materials to the selected media outlets and finalizing the parameters for each advertisement's placement.
  1. Launching the campaign and establishing metrics to measure results.
  1. Monitoring metrics from media outlets or channels and internal data to assess performance, make necessary adjustments, and overall campaign monitoring against key performance indicators (KPIs).
  1. Comparing expenses with the budget determined in the media plan, reconciling expenditures, and negotiating "makegoods" in case of discrepancies between forecasted and actual advertising impressions.

Considerations When Working with the Media Buying Model

There are four key factors that influence the media buying process and can be significant points of discussion during purchasing:

  1. Brand Safety:

When working with an external media buyer, it's essential for brands to collaborate with a qualified and reliable partner who has strong relationships with media outlets and publishers. It's also crucial to prioritize brand safety and work only with digital partners that guarantee the brand's safety and trust.

  1. Media Buying Optimization:

This involves adapting frequency and rates to maximize performance and blocking selected domains. One of the many advantages of programmatic advertising is that it automatically optimizes advertising campaigns. It's essential to ensure that programmatic advertising is configured with the right parameters.

  1. Achieving Consistency:

Make sure your marketing mix and advertising materials interact with each other to achieve the best return on investment (ROI). Create a logically consistent advertising narrative on each channel, avoiding missing messages in your advertising materials.

  1. Measurement Priority:

One of the advantages of digital media is the ability to measure and adjust campaigns in real-time without waiting for their completion to analyze results. Prioritizing measurement allows for more effective campaign management and optimization.

The Role of Programmatic Advertising in the Media Buying Format

Programmatic advertising is becoming increasingly popular among advertisers due to its focus on key audience segments. It automates a significant portion of the advertising process by using machine learning algorithms to deliver targeted advertising messages based on various marketing signals, such as demographic data and buying habits.

Programmatic Media Buying gives advertisers the ability to execute advertising campaigns either directly or through an auction. Brand owners collaborate with demand-side platforms (DSPs) like Fusify.io to purchase advertising at fixed prices. DSPs facilitate the buying process by helping advertisers reach their target audiences and acquire advertising inventory.

Real-time bidding (RTB) is one method of implementing programmatic advertising. Through RTB, advertisers can participate in an auction when an opportunity to display an ad arises. If their bid wins the auction, the ad is immediately displayed on the publisher's website. RTB is not only efficient but also enables advertisers to focus on the most relevant advertising inventory.

Why Media Buying Matters

Media buying is becoming increasingly important because strategically purchased media will undoubtedly impact the success of an advertising campaign. It is no longer sufficient to have compelling copy and visual effects alone; you need to place your ads in the right places at the right time. Media buyers can purchase advertising across various channels, often integrating traditional and digital media. For example, they can combine radio and digital advertising or television and display advertising.

Experienced media buyers can negotiate effectively with media outlets to ensure maximum impact. Thus, media buyers help:

  • Achieve the best possible results within the budget, getting the maximum number of ad impressions or views for the lowest cost.
  • Ensure optimal ad placements.
  • Obtain "added value" impressions without additional costs. For example, a brand may receive a certain number of digital impressions on top of expected television ad impressions.

If you have any questions or require guidance on optimizing your ad placements, don't hesitate to reach out to the Fusify.io team. We are a team of experts who can help you develop and execute a successful advertising campaign. We have extensive experience working with various types of advertisers and media outlets and would be delighted to assist you in achieving your marketing goals.

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