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How Does Media Buying Work?

By Jenna Bruce on Mon, Nov 26, 2018 @ 10:00 AM |


You’ve got a new product and want to let the world know how amazing it is. What do you do? The short and simple answer is: you rent media real estate (radio slot, billboard, online banner ad) that will allow you to get your message in front of the right audience.

Of course, any media buyer can tell you it’s not as simple as it sounds. The process of media buying is as much of a science as it is an artform. Creating an effective ad is only part of the equation; ensuring your target market actually sees it is where strategic media buying comes into play.

The media buying process follows some basic steps:Great plan for success achieving

Step 1. Planning

This pre-launch step should never be skipped. Without proper planning you will almost assuredly waste time and money upon execution. During the planning stage you will need to pinpoint your target market, develop your budget, and determine when, where and the frequency in which your ads will appear.

Step. 2 Researching

This is where you’ll need to gather some critical data to help your campaign succeed. A media buyer will not only use research to understand who the ideal prospect is, but also to determine the appropriate channels of distribution. Research also helps media buyers keep up with marketing trends, so they know about new and/or evolving platforms that may benefit their clients’ campaigns.

Step 3. Networking

(This isn’t so much a step as a critical element of any good media buy.)

Like just about anything else in life, it all boils down to “who you know.” This is true for media buying as well. If you are a business owner going it alone, you may have a harder time of it than if you used a professional media buyer who has built and nurtured relationships with publishers and media owners over the years. When you want a certain time slot for your campaign, knowing the right people can make a huge difference.

Step 4. Negotiation

A media buyer can often perform magic and get your budget to go much further than you may have imagined. When a buyer is a master negotiator, he or she will be able to not only get fair prices for the media slots but also get really good deals or some juicy extras thrown in.

Step 5. Launch

You’ve got your brilliantly-creative ad and you’ve got the perfect channel on which to deliver it. Now it’s time to monitor your placement to be sure it has aired according to the signed contract. You can watch for this yourself or use a media buyer who will handle this step for you.

Step 6. Track and Adjust

How did your ad perform? Did you achieve the goals you set for yourself in your marketing plan? What could be adjusted to help the campaign perform better?

Tips for Media Buying Success

Here are a few strategies to keep in mind so your next media buy is successful:

Sweeten the Deal

When it comes to negotiating, you’ve got to give a little to get a little. Media representatives are attracted to clients who commit to future media buys, so offer a form of commitment such as a particular future media spend.

Ask for Value Additions

Once you scratch the media reps back, make sure to get your back scratched by asking for some extras. For the same amount of money, your rep may be able to throw in more airtime, program sponsorships, content integration or something else.

For instance, you could ask for your spot to be bumped to a better time slot to close the deal. It doesn’t really cost the sales rep anything to do this, and many will be open to it.

Never be afraid to ask what else they can do for you.

Consider Working with a Professional Media Buyer

Too many business owners feel they can’t afford to work with media buyers. Our outlook is, “Can you afford NOT to work with a media buyer like Media Space Solutions?”

The truth is, media buyers can usually save you money because they simply get much better deals than are available to you. Professional media buyers are also better at negotiating than most CMOs. At the end of the day, even throwing in the very low buyer fee (usually just 1-2%), you are likely to pay less and get better campaign results using a media buyer than going it alone.


We know there is often confusion regarding the value a media buyer can bring to your organization, which is why we mean it when we say we are happy to answer any questions you may have. Seriously, just give us a call. We won’ try and “sell” you on our services, but simply let you know what we can do for you.

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