May 29, 2012

Media Buying Best Practices

Being a media buyer has its ups and downs - anyone who sits in this role can attest this. At times, it can be a lot to handle, especially if you are new to the role or starting a new campaign. It may seem like sales calls and schmoozing, but there are lot of factors that must be accounted for in starting a digital campaign. Whether it’s display, mobile, or social, media buyers can easily get lost in the shuffle. 

In the words of Mrs. Doubtfire, “Help is on the way!” I have compiled a general list of steps that can help make media buying a little less stressful...


+ Understand Your Budget: Know what the overall number includes and does not include. It is also important to understand any overhead or management fees.

+ Know Minimums and Terms/Conditions: Every vendor and network require different minimum spends based on months or inventory. It is important to know this PRIOR to any paperwork to avoid changes down the road.

+ Create Media/Flight Plan: Create a document that shows a breakdown of the campaign broken down by time periods and vendors. If the client is running more than one campaign per year, it is important to include the entire yearly break down as well. 

+ Get Client Approval: After all the planning and research is finalized, have the account managers propose the budget break down to the client. Be prepared to justify spends per vendor based on client industry standards or statistics.

+ IO’s: If the client approves your suggest plan, make sure to get the appropriate IO (Insertion Order) in place to ensure inventory for the campaign. It is vital to have both parties sign and agree on the terms including cancelation and payment.

+ Know/Create Wish List: Once you receive the IO with the inventory and creative specifications, create a list of assets needed from the respective departments in your agency. This will make a clear list of expectation of what you know and from whom.

+ Request Campaign Launch Screen Shots: After all the assets are sent over, request a confirmation email and screen shot of the ads live on the network or site. Let all parties involved know that the campaign is live from each vendor to ensure no gaps in communication.

+ Final Reporting: A few days to a week after the completion of the campaign request that the vendor sends over the final report for the lifetime of the campaign. This will serve as a measurement to the client as of what networks/sites were the most successful for further reference.

+ Billing: Make sure all invoices are paid in full by the requested date on the bill. Bill the agency or client accordingly.