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The Media Planning and Buying Process in Simple Terms

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The Media Planning and Buying Process in Simple Terms

Simply put, the digital media buying process and media planning process take just five steps to complete. Those steps being:

  1. Identifying a target audience through research
  2. Understanding the interest of the audience
  3. Finding the audience at their most receptive times
  4. Delivering content that drives the audience to take action
  5. Testing ad placements over and over to see what is and is not working

The five-step process can help a brand connect with VP Design Officers Email Lists its audience as they are going through the buyer journey. The four stages of a buyer’s journey are attract, convert, close, and delight.

During the attract stage, a brand can reach the audience through any of the following digital media buying tactics:

  • SEM
  • SEO
  • Social media
  • Digital display
  • Outdoor
  • Radio
  • TV
  • Print
  • PR

At the convert stage, brands will target the audience using social media, video, content, retargeting, and landing pages. They are then led to the close stage where lead nurture campaigns, email optimization, and CRM database marketing can be used.

Last, we have the delight stage. This is where a customer really falls in love with a brand after it has worked so hard with media planning and buying. This stage typically involves client communications and social media engagement.

How Media Buys Are Negotiated

To get a brand the best deal, a media buyer must know how to properly negotiate a media buy. After receiving a strategy from the media planner, a media buyer will execute the plan in the following ways:


During this process, the research never ends. The more information that is known, the better. Like media planners, media buyers must complete research to know the answers to these questions:

  • What are the cost of leads and user acquisition in the industry?
  • What is the standard cost of ad placement on various channels?
  • Types of ads and sizes perform best on those channels?

The answer to those three simple questions can help a media buyer understand how to create a successful campaign.


During each negotiation, a media buyer will have detailed information on the budget. For premium spots, brands may be willing to up the ante.

Before getting to the negotiation process, it is essential to know the overall budget. A media buyer will figure out how to make the most of that budget while understanding the wishes of the brand.

As a general rule of thumb in media buying, a professional will make their first bid lower than their target price. This opens the floor up for negotiation and may lead to leftover money in the budget.

VP Design Officers Email Lists

Backup Plans

A good media buyer will always have a backup plan and multiple relationships with vendors that they can reach out to. Even if the brand has its sights set on a specific TV network or publisher, the spots may be filled or out of the budget.

When this happens, a media buyer should already have additional options to come up with a fast solution to the problem. A brand needs to know when they should back away and try a different option.

Lead Generation

This is an essential step in the media buying negotiation process. A buyer should always consider what they want their lead filters to be before the negotiation ends. You can’t always adjust filters after.

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