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The Digital Media Buyer’s Report Card – Does Yours Make the Grade?

By Jenna Bruce on Tue, Mar 24, 2015 @ 08:58 AM |


Gartner recently surveyed 315 CMOs about their digital marketing budgets and learned budgets are expected to increase by 8% in 2015. In its worldwide survey of CMOs, IBM found CEOs are increasingly calling upon their CMOs to offer strategic input. The survey further illustrated that the role of CMO comes second only to the CFO in terms of influence they have on the CEO.

IBM’s survey also uncovered some surprising (and not so great) news, which is very few CMOs have made any headway in building a robust digital marketing strategy. For example, according to the survey, only 20% of participants had even set up social media accounts, and an even smaller percentage had implemented methods to integrate company interactions with clients across different channels or installed analytical tools to mine customer data. An overwhelming 82% of CMOs said they felt completely underprepared to deal with the ongoing explosion of data.

All of this is to say in today’s increasingly complex digital marketing landscape, a digital media buyer can be a CMO’s greatest ally. But not all digital media buyers are created equal. Use the following three considerations to determine whether or not your digital media buyer is making the grade.

Are They Asking the Right Questions?The Digital Media Buyer’s Report Card – Does Yours Make the Grade?

By the time you begin working with a media buyer you’ve already had countless discussions with numerous internal team members about everything from strategy to creative to legal issues; however, your media buyer has not been a part of these communications. But, in order for them to get your campaigns up and running, they need to get up to speed and understand the big picture.

In order to do this they should be asking some basic questions such as what is your biggest concern and what technologies are you particularly interested in trying? What methods or channels have you tried in the past that worked and what methods or channels didn’t work?

In other words, your media buyer shouldn’t just write down your ideas and concerns, they should ask what led you to those ideas and concerns. Only by asking rigorous questions and getting the big picture can your media buyer know your true business objectives and help you reach them.

Are They Consistently Testing Across Multiple Marketing Channels?

The digital media landscape is becoming increasingly diverse and consumers have a choice between various communication channels, devices and touchpoints. Because of this fracturing, your digital media buyer should focus on two important things:

1. Continuously testing new opportunities and channels while…

2. Developing multi-channel marketing strategies that create an ever-present brand experience.

Before beginning any project, your media buyer should sit down with you and discuss the importance of having a flexible testing budget in addition to the budget that will fuel the channels and strategies that are already working. If your media buyer isn’t bringing you new ideas and opportunities to explore, they may not be in tune with the complex digital advertising landscape. You may think you’re happy staying put with what has been working for you, but casting a wide net and creating a testing budget are incredibly important to your ROI.

The Digital Media Buyer’s Report Card – Does Yours Make the Grade?Are They Doing Their Homework?

The digital advertising landscape is flooded with the aggressive sales pitches of ad networks that all promise unique targeting capabilities and proprietary data at a minimal cost. Good media buyers see through these potentially-empty promises and do their homework before spending $1 of your advertising budget with any potential partner.

Your media buyer should ask prospective advertising partners what types of businesses they generally work with and what goals they’ve been able to help these companies achieve. They should inquire as to the metrics the partner uses to gauge success, who are their biggest repeat clients, and do they have any sources of historical data available. Your media buyer should do their due diligence to make sure any advertising partner is transparent and equally passionate about helping their clients reach their goals.

Many in the industry predict that CMOs will begin to wear even more hats in 2015 and oversee the entire landscape of brand engagement, increase the quality of creative output, and improve the perceived value of digital interactions with clients and prospects. If you are a CMO and feel you could use the guidance and experience of a digital media buyer, contact us today.

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Image credit: Sebastiaan ter Burg from Utrecht

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