What Makes a Great Media Buyer? Part 2 of 3

Written By

SMI Staff

Published On

Wednesday, Apr 16

In part one of our series, we explored the hard-skills needed to be a successful media buyer as well as the importance of target markets. This week, we’re going to take a look at how buyers handle different media channels and how they compare results.

Multi-Platform Approaches

In our fast-paced world, it sometimes seems that every media device is on – radios, televisions, computers, phones, and more. As media worlds continue to collide, the most experienced buyers will have some awareness and knowledge of these varying elements. This is especially true as more and more clients take multi-platform approaches to their advertising campaigns. However, the majority of radio’s integration with other mediums is on the creative end of the spectrum. For branded response, especially, this means that there can be complimentary or parallel ads on the radio, TV, print and web.

Million Dollar Questions

Some advertisers have questioned whether or not radio is yesterday’s medium. That truly is the million dollar question – and “no” is the billion dollar response. While satellite has been growing for a decade, and web-based / streaming media (such as Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Spotify) are certainly becoming a more relevant part of our audio culture, they are not dramatically changing the terrestrial radio landscape.

Each morning, people get in their cars to go to work, looking forward to call-in shows, jokes and morning zoos. Throughout the course of the day, drivers tune in to their regular DJs as they shop or drive to appointments. And, in the evening, they get back in their cars for the commute home, during which time they want to hear the local news, catch up on sports, and unwind with their favorite music. The bottom line is that as long as radio continues to create a connection between the listener and her trusted neighborly content and news provider, it will always be audio’s leader in driving response.

As the Nielsen (formerly Arbitron) State of the Media Today 2014 report put it, “Two hundred and forty-two million Americans listen to radio each week.” Not satellite; not streaming; but radio. “That’s nearly 92% of everyone age 12 or older, and the reach is nearly identical across all major demographic groups, ethnicities and geographies.” A good media buyer knows this and understands that the ability to convert a prospect has a great deal to do with the station loyalty of listeners – and that is strongest in the terrestrial radio format.

Measuring Budgets & Performance

One of the reasons that radio is a go-to for advertisers is that it is significantly less expensive than television, as we discussed in a post entitled 354,000 Reasons to Take Advantage of Direct Response Radio Advertising. In fact, Response Magazine reported that it generally costs about $300,000 less to launch a radio campaign than to produce and place one television ad.

The results of direct response radio advertising are also highly quantifiable, and the ability of a media buyer and his or her team to measure the performance of a radio campaign is key to its success. Much of how buyers establish measurement and success metrics is based on an understanding of the value of each customer to their clients; however, there are some methods that are consistent throughout most campaigns. These include market, format (Adult Contemporary, Rock, News/Talk, etc.), station-by-station, day of the week, daypart, ad copy and more. It’s this analysis that builds a path to profits and allows a media team to continue to grow a campaign.

Next week, we’ll explore some of the unique challenges media buyers face, such as working with a creative team.

Subscribe to our posts

Subscribe to our posts for the latest company and industry news including: Podcasts and Radio Listernship Insights, Creative Research, Audio Trends, Forecasts, and more!