How the traditional media buying process works


traditional media buying process

When thinking about the modern era of marketing, how best to acquire leads and grow your business, people will often overlook the importance and benefits of traditional marketing. Traditional media helps you reach a wide audience, makes them aware of your brand, and reminds your existing clients of your brand and services.

There are many different types of traditional media including Print, Out-Of-Home (OOH)/Billboards, Radio Advertising, and Broadcast TV. Each tactic is bought in a different way. However, they all require building relationships with vendors, which is why having a marketing partner is a good way to start advertising on traditional platforms. Most agencies have deep-rooted relationships with each type of traditional media vendor and can access specific elements faster than doing it on your own.


Buying traditional print media

print media is traditional media

In an ever-increasing digital world, it may be surprising to learn that print media, such as newspapers and magazines, remains a large player in many media plans and strategies. To have your print ads running in the right place at the right time, there are a few things that happen behind the scenes.

Firstly, you need to know the target audience for your ad. Your marketing partner should share readership information to confirm your demographic is reading that particular publication. Make sure the publications are brand safe and the content matches the vibe of your organization.

Once the publications are determined and artwork is created, marketing agencies will place ads. Your marketing partner will determine what type of frequency you should be using. For branding, reach is super important. You want to hit the highest circulation days and weeks for maximum reach.

Once ads are published, you can request tearsheets to make sure everything you agreed upon is there. This will ensure Proof of Performance.


Buying broadcast TV and radio advertising

broadcast tv is traditional media

Broadcast TV and radio are tried and true methods of getting your message in front of millions of people. As a quick refresher – broadcast advertising delivers on networks like CBS, ABC, and NBC. This is different from streaming OTT. Terrestrial radio includes AM/FM stations. This type of radio does not work the same way as streaming audio, like Spotify or Pandora. Marketers buy ads for both traditional radio and broadcast tv in a similar way.

The buying process starts with the same thing – station connections. Your marketing agency will ask TV or radio station reps for available ad space for your target audience. When the request is made, the station will build a schedule that shows reach, frequency, and number of grp (gross rating points) per week.

Once the schedule is established and agreed upon, the marketing agency sends over the audio or video ads to run in the purchased spots.


Buying Out-Of-Home and Billboards

Out of Home/Billboards is Traditional Marketing
As with most traditional types of media, marketing agencies start the Out-of-Home buying process by reaching out to billboard companies. They provide them with campaign information like target demographics, desired geographic area, and the overall budget. Availability of outdoor media is dependent on the campaign time frame. There is usually a lot of negotiation between outdoor reps and the traditional media buyers at this stage.
Make sure to consider whether a static or a digital board would be better for your needs. Statics are more evergreen (they don’t move) and you’re the only advertiser on that space. With digital out-of-home, you can use multiple creatives, but these can also come with a production fee.

Once outdoor locations are established, the marketing agency will come up with an Out-of-Home plan for you to review. If these locations meet your needs, you’ll go into contract and begin creative execution. Billboards are typically contracted on a four-week basis.

Be sure to take into consideration sizing and how your artwork will look on a billboard as people are driving vs on a computer screen. If you are unsure, you can ask your agency for recommendations.


There’s more to traditional media buying than you think

Although digital seems shiny, new, and fast, there are still huge advantages to running traditional media. Traditional ads tend to stay with your audience longer. This enables them to hold lasting impressions that help take a potential customer and make them into an active participant in your business. Partnering with a marketing agency that has traditional media buyers is a huge advantage to ensuring that your business will continue to be circulated, noticed, and recognized among your target audiences.

traditional media collage

Breaking down the traditional media buying process

A media buyer’s job is to optimize ad potential while keeping to the media plan budget. If the chosen channels and specific ads aren’t performing up to expectations, your agency will see the collected data from the traditional channels and adjust to better maximize your ads, and ultimately, grow your business.
MPP traditional media buying process
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