What Makes a Great Media Buyer? Part 3 of 3

Written By

SMI Staff

Published On

Monday, Apr 28

The left brain and the right brain. The scientist and the artist. …How can they possibly work together?

In part two of our series, we explored how buyers handle different media channels and how they compare results. In this final segment, we’ll look at how media buyers can work best with creative thinkers.

Media buying has evolved into more than just placing an insertion. In fact, according to Ad Age, “in 2014, we will see a big shift toward the integration of media and creative.” This begs the question, why is there a need for these two seemingly opposite teams to collaborate?

Well, first off, direct response media buying involves being engaged with the creative team in order to take advantage of marketing opportunities. Building a direct response campaign can be a little like putting together a puzzle. It takes creative problem-solving in order to get the right message to the right people, at the right place and time, for the right cost. One of the biggest questions, then, is which to develop first – the creative concept or the media plan. The ideal answer is both; the message and the media should influence one another. For instance, at the onset, creatives should be informed of the most relevant formats, the demographics of those media outlets, and thus a profile of the audience listening to the ad. By working together, both the creative and the media can be leveraged in innovative and, moreover, profitable ways.

Secondly, consumers tune out most messages they hear, so in order to get value out of an impression, one has to make an impression. That means being media savvy as well as offering unique selling propositions. This happens best as a result of creative and media brainstorming. Good marketing doesn’t exist in a vacuum. While creative must inform, persuade and delight, media must provide the context. Then, the data and analysis provides the opportunity to test how that creative messaging and targeting connects with consumers.

And thirdly, teamwork encourages accountability. It’s easy to blame another department when things don’t go well, and it’s easy to take credit when things do go well. But all this does is encourage conservative marketing objectives because no one wants to be responsible for things they can’t control. When media buyers and creative thinkers provide input on one another’s deliverables, they all share responsibility (and credit). This means one has to check one’s ego at the door and be ready, willing and able to modify media and creative on the fly.

Stellar creative can’t succeed without the right media strategy, and great media can’t save bad creative. By thinking as a single team, however, the campaign has a far better chance of success and, ultimately, the consumer has a much better experience.

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