A subsection of advertising management –“Media Buying” happens when a company or an individual responsible for advertisement strategies purchases media inventory for the most advantageous spaces and time slots. Media buying is a complicated process and marketers have tried and tested many ways to take a better control and understanding of where the spend is going. Let’s see how marketers have evolved on this aspect over the years:
Case of Outsourced Media Buying:
For the longest time, marketers have outsourced the tasks of media buying to the media agencies who are known to be experts in negotiating, buying, planning and tracking media across all media channels. But the biggest problem with this process is the lack of transparency. You have dropped a bag of money into a bucket and you have been later informed that this money has been used to run ads on different media. But you really do not know how much you have actually paid for each of the channel and worst yet, whether it has effect on your business KPIs at all. You can imagine, how much opportunities this process gives the “man-in-the-middle” to do business optimization.
Case of In-house Media Buying:
As digital media started becoming a larger part of the overall marketing mix, auction-based buying and programmatic platforms are doing away with the need of media buying agencies. Advertisers are becoming more confident to bring those essential media buying decisions – digital media buying in particular – in-house. Marketers can now have better insight to their core problems – Transparency and Control of their budget.
Is Media Planning and Buying that hard?
Yes, it is. Consider this scenario. You are given $5 Million to invest into media. How would you plan to distribute this? You have options to distribute into different channels – Social, Search, TV, Out-of-Home, Newspaper, Radio, Cinema etc. Within these channels, there are specific media choices to make, including media quality, type, format, target market and geographical location. For Social, you need to decide how to allocate among the top 7 platforms, which are updated frequently to adjust with the evolving paid social landscape. Also for optimized buying, you have to keep a sharp eye on past as well as industry media metrics like CPC, CTR, CPV, CPM, View Time and other new offering within each platform. Tough right! Let’s consider another channel TV, there are more than 8000 different ways you can allocate the money for a campaign. The 8000 comes from approximately 50 channels, 10 possible weeks, 3 different spot lengths and 2 different creatives.
Imagine what happens when you include other channels. There are tools within each media channels to handle media planning, buying and to optimize media metrics CPM, CPC, GRP etc. However, it still doesn’t solve the transparency problem, since you are still ignorant how it will affect your business KPIs. This can be solved by incorporating AI.
The age of AI powered autonomous media buying
AI learns differently than humans. AI can learn from the past what media combinations affect you and by how much. AI can then distribute your money towards the most effective channel and optimize your business KPIs. It will even gather new data that it has gathered from the latest campaigns and keep learning to perform better in future.
Marketers befriending AI
AI can give marketers an unbiased view of which media would be effective for the business. It will report what it has learned from data and utilize that knowledge every time a campaign is planned. A successful AI needs a continuous feed of data and the ability to communicate its findings to the right people.This AI powered autonomous media buying can prove to be extremely rewarding by providing the most bang for the buck.