Media Buying Basics

by Jenny Brandenburg | 16 Jun 2014

Before coming to Insight, I spent six years in the newspaper world. At Insight, I jumped right into media buying and found myself gravitating toward wanting to buy print. While this came naturally to me, I knew I had to step out of the box and look into the endless possibilities available. I also learned there are smart ways to approach media buying.

There are so many ways to advertise and market your business, and the list continues to grow and change, from traditional media—such as radio and TV—to the newest player, mobile. Several factors should go into selecting the right media for your client.


Here are some things to think about:

1. Balancing Customer Base

Don’t ignore your current customer base or the way in which you acquired them. At the same time, grow a new base of customers, maybe in a new geographic market or perhaps in the same market but through new media. The key here is balance.

2. Revisit Your Goals

What do you want current and potential customers to do after being exposed to your message and what do you honestly believe they will do? If you’re looking for someone to act, there should be a strong call to action. Is someone really going to stop by your restaurant for $.50 off a soda? Probably not.

3. Consider Your Market

Geography plays a part in your media decision. Larger brands may want and need to hit multiple markets using different resources, while smaller companies may have limited markets and resources. Use the resources available wisely.

4. Timing is Everything

A huge part of media buying is, understanding user habits for each type of media. With radio and TV, we look at factors that tell us when the highest percentage of our target audience is likely to be listening or watching. Print can be less sensitive to time of day and online can be booked to run during certain hours of the day if you want to get very specific. Maybe a local restaurant only wants to run over the lunch and dinner hours so people are reminded of them when deciding where to go eat. Understanding the habits of your audience to determine timing for your media is key.

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