A Beginner’s Guide to Media Planning and Buying

As we’ve covered before, media planning and buying are distinct and vitally important functions for any successful advertising campaign. To be a successful media planner, you need to know what media will be the most effective for a new campaign. You need to conduct internal and external market research, and set the right goals and objectives for your campaign. 

To be an effective media buyer, on the other hand, you need to be able to create and leverage contacts. You also need to know when and how to pivot a campaign already in flight to ensure success. At Bloom Ads, we know how crucial each of these roles is to our clients’ campaigns, which is why we’ve always emphasized intelligent and effective media planning and buying.

If you’re finding gaps in your performance or in ensuring the efficiency of your campaigns, you may be wondering if you should take a closer look at your media planning and buying operations. To that end, we’ve put together a simple and straightforward beginner’s guide to media planning and buying to help you make sure that your campaigns operate up to their fullest potential. 

Ask the Right Questions

Effective media planning and buying depend on collecting the best information to inform future campaigns. This involves getting questions answered not only from clients but from publishers, too. Here are just a few of the questions we typically ask our clients as we start the media planning and buying process: 

  • What do you expect to get out of this campaign?
  • What is your current CPA (cost per acquisition)?
  • What budget are you comfortable spending?
  • What have you done in the past that has worked or not worked?
  • What creative assets do you have? 
  • What’s your ability to generate new creative assets?

To make sure you collect all of the necessary information from clients, you should create a media brief. A good media brief will include all of the campaign parameters such as timing, budget, goals, target audience, and market. All of this information will allow media planners and buyers to determine which marketing channels will be most beneficial, cost-effective, and impactful. 

As a part of the media planning process, the media brief is only the start. Clients rely on media planners and buyers to collect and provide all of the necessary information to guide the campaign. Once your client has filled out the brief, it’s time to start reaching out to publishers and platforms.

Use the Right Tools

Once a brief is complete, the planner/buyer should instruct the media coordinator to begin research using tools provided by Claritas, Scarborough, Nielsen, and Comscore. This research helps us refine our target audience and understand their media consumption. Usually, more questions result from the research conducted by the media planner and buyer. These questions often include:

  • Is the target audience defined by the client accurate?
  • Can we refine and flesh out based upon media habits and consumption?
  • How and when is the target audience consuming media?
  • Is there room in the budget for this media or do we need to rethink our budget or goals?
  • How realistic are the conversion rate and return on investment goals?

Once these questions are resolved, a media planner and buyer should create and send out requests for proposals (RFPs) to the relevant publishers and stations. 

Always Refine Your Plan

Once the RFPs are sent back, a media buyer and planner should evaluate, negotiate, ask questions, and summarize their findings into a comprehensive media plan. At Bloom Ads, this plan is reviewed internally by supervisors who then communicate the plan to the client. 

Often, more questions can arise from this process, which leads media planners and buyers to refine and update their media plan ahead of launch. Here are some common questions our team has for publishers: 

  • What is your effective CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions)?
  • What will be our share of voice?
  • What is the ad load in your commercial pod?
  • What is your viewability guarantee?
  • What impressions will you guarantee?

In instances where a client’s goals and budget are misaligned, or a media planner and buyer discovers more potential opportunities in the market, it can be very beneficial to develop multiple media plans that achieve different goals. At Bloom Ads, we aim to develop strategies that can be multi-integrated across tactics which allow us to reach the desired target audience at the proper frequency and reach. 

We also recommend developing stretch goals that, though they often require additional budget than what is provided in the initial media brief, can demonstrate to a client the full range of possibilities available to them. For example, a client may not provide a budget for TV spots, but research uncovers that TV spots would be most relevant to their target audience. We would then recommend a supplemental TV schedule to achieve their goals.

Even if clients do not take advantage of incremental plans or campaigns are limited by budget, it’s good for media planners and buyers to complete their research, gain a full understanding of the market, and communicate those opportunities to clients. It can help inform future campaigns. 

Prepare for a Successful Launch

Once a plan is developed and signed off on by the client, the media planner and buyer should ensure everything is prepared for launch. Even after a campaign has launched, knowing when and how to tweak campaigns in flight is fundamental to effective media buying and overall campaign success.

As a beginner to the media planning and buying process, the most important thing to consider is the quality of your information. Getting the most helpful information from clients and publishers will ensure the best media plan is developed and launched.

Of course, if you’re looking for a professional media planning and buying agency in Los Angeles at the heart of the entertainment and media industries, reach out to learn more about how Bloom Ads can help you.

How to Rock Your (Last-Minute) Back-to-School Ad Campaign

Summer has a way of slipping by in the blink of an eye. Even when you start out with the best of intentions for getting your back-to-school ad campaign on track, sometimes life just gets the better of you. If you’ve found yourself deeply entrenched in the dog days of summer with no back-to-school ad campaign in sight, not to worry. There are still some last-minute options available to rock that advertising push.

While you’ve probably missed the boat on using print marketing materials for this back to school season, social media marketing campaigns can be much quicker to put together and are often very effective. 

Photo Promo

Parents love to share photos of their kids, so what better way to engage your customers than with a picture contest ad campaign. Ask customers to submit their favorite back-to-school photos on your Facebook business page. Next, get entrants to vote and advise them to encourage friends and family to vote for their photos too. This drives additional people to your page and gets more eyes on what you have to offer. The photo with the most votes at the end of the promotion is awarded a prize such as a gift card or free product/service.

Think Targeting

When planning school campaigns, many retailers see their target audience as parents, but focussing in on specific types of customers may be more advantageous. Using offers tailored to specific groups can really concentrate your marketing campaigns to bring in traffic. For instance, according to a 2017 Bizrate survey, dads spend approximately $200 more on back to school shopping than moms do. College students are another group to explore speaking directly to. Also, don’t forget about teachers; offering a discount specifically for them can really win fans, as many spend their own money on supplies for the classroom. 

Using social media, such as Facebook and Instagram, is a great way to launch a set of customized promotions, especially when you’re working under a time crunch. Know your target audience and tailor the messages and offers specifically to them.

Email Exclusives

If you’ve spent some time building up your email list, then a quick way to get the word out about your specials is through that list. Many parents and students do their back to school shopping early, but there are always some hold-outs. Getting a friendly back-to-school ad campaign email with a special deal is an excellent way to pull in the stragglers. It provides a reminder that back to school is right around the corner and can include a special offer such as ‘free shipping’, ‘BOGO’ or ‘15% off’ to help attract bargain hunters.

Invest in Influencers

Don’t forget about local influencers when you’re working on your last-minute back-to-school ad campaign. These people are experts at getting the word out fast. Contact a handful of popular local influencers to see if they’d be interested in a basic partnership for the back to school season. Work out a rate for the number of posts about your brand that you’d like to see within the time period you have in mind. Some may even be willing to exchange their services for your product/service. Just be sure to look for influencers who regularly speak to your target audience.

Back To School Board

Pinterest may not be the first option that comes to mind when planning last-minute campaigns, but the site sees a lot of traffic and many users admit to planning their purchases on there. Create and share a few Pinterest boards dedicated to back to school and direct link the items to your product pages so that shopping them is easy.  

The Countdown Is On

You are likely feeling the pressure of launching a successful back-to -school ad campaign, but don’t forget that your potential customers are also feeling the crunch as classroom time draws closer. You can use that sense of urgency to your advantage by promoting limited-time deals. School campaigns that run for ‘one day only’ or ‘only for the weekend’ tend to be motivating, as they drive home the fact that there is little time left to catch a deal and get everything needed for back to school.

No matter which back-to-school ad campaign(s) you decide to go with, be sure that your offer is front and center. Last-minute shoppers don’t want to have to hunt around for the deal.  
Remember, we’re easy to reach if you have any questions about quick advertising ideas. Give us a call at 818-703-0218 or visit our website to learn more about our media buying and planning services. Also, keep an eye out for more helpful tips on social media.

Three Tips for Improving Your Relationship with Your Advertising Agency

You have a vision that needs to be realized. A story that needs to be told. Or maybe just an idea, an inkling, you think has potential for your marketing strategy. It’s your advertising agency’s job to translate that vision, story, or idea into reality.

In a perfect world, this process would be as seamless as a dance between two all-star partners. But in the real world, how do you stay in sync and make sure you’re getting what you need from your agency without tripping over each other’s feet?

We’ve worked with enough happy clients to feel pretty qualified to share some of our wisdom about maintaining a great client-agency relationship. Scroll down for our next installment of advertising tips – how to get the results you deserve by improving your relationship with your agency.

Advertising tip #1: Prioritize communication and transparency.

Sometimes, more is more.

Advertising agencies specialize in translating dreams into reality – but they can’t always read minds. You can help your agency do their part by giving them as much information as possible, both at the beginning of your relationship and throughout your work together.

First, define success and share it with your agency. To help you accomplish your advertising goals, your agency needs to know exactly what success looks like for you. Is it a certain number of impressions per month? 1,000 new leads by a certain date? A certain percentage increase in sales over the next year? Share your goal posts with your agency so that they can both create a strategy for hitting them and take initiative when it comes to monitoring and reporting.

Make sure your agency understands your product, service, or technology. Let’s say you’re introducing a new housing management software to the market. You hire an advertising agency to create display ads targeting potential customers in the university housing industry.

To create ad copy that highlights the unique benefits of your software and presents a clear call to action, the agency needs to understand exactly how your software works. Provide them with this information through briefs, product demos, or webinars before the project begins so you’re all on the same page (and so you can reduce time spent rejecting or revising subpar work).

Exchange feedback regularly. First, ask honest questions often. This helps your agency do its job to demystify their processes and strategies, which in turn empowers you to make better informed and more effective requests for future work. If you’re not exactly sure why your agency has chosen a particular keyword to bid for in your paid search campaign, just ask! Seriously – we’d be happy to bring you into our decision-making process with our best advertising tips because it makes both our lives easier.

It’s also important to give and receive feedback as work progresses. Confront us (nicely, please!) if something isn’t meeting your expectations. In turn, your agency may illuminate a limitation you may not have been aware of, or your feedback may make them aware of something they didn’t foresee – either way, it’s an opportunity to learn and improve. Take note of what your agency says about their rationale and processes so you can better understand their limitations, strengths, and workflow.

On the flipside, tell us when you’re happy with our work! That helps us know what’s working and, of course, gives us a rush of satisfaction. Pro tip: If you’re really happy with your agency, they’ll always appreciate you sending them referrals.

Advertising tip #2: Trust your agency to do what it does best.

Let us do the hard work we were meant to do.

Understand what your agency specializes in. This may seem obvious, but it can be easy to forget how complex the world of advertising has become. While some agencies, like Bloom Ads, have vast experience with all major types of advertising, others may specialize in digital marketing only, or even subsets such as SEO or content marketing. Still, others may write, produce, and place advertisements all in-house, while some may outsource certain parts of the process. Know what your agency specializes in and make sure your goals align with what they do best.

If you ask them to do something outside of their specialty, on the other hand, you’ll probably end up with subpar work and the relationship won’t be any better for it. (That said, they may be able to help find someone who can do it – doesn’t hurt to ask!)

Be open to our feedback. Advertising agencies should serve as subject-area experts. They want to do the best job they can by letting you in on their insider knowledge. By being open to their feedback, you can gain a better understanding of how the marketing landscape works for your industry or product, including what your competitors are doing.

Trust us (and your instincts). An advertising agency worth its salt will do the very best job it can to deliver results within its strengths and limitations. If you feel you can’t trust your agency, either because the results aren’t matching your expectations and communication isn’t fixing the problem, or because you just feel that they aren’t able to make you understand what they’re doing, it may not be a great fit.

Advertising tip #3: Strive for a true partnership.

Your agency should be an extension of your team.

Treat your agency as though they were your own employees. Seeing your agency as a part of your team helps you empathize with their strengths and limitations. This helps you craft requests they will understand and be able to fully deliver on while conveying to them your understanding and appreciation of what they do.

All roads lead here – in other words, all the tips in the list are really focused on this objective. Prioritizing communication and transparency is the foundation of creating a true partnership. Whether you use face-to-face meetings, regular video calls, or a sophisticated project management platform, staying in touch with your agency and keeping your communication honest and solutions-oriented will empower them to act in your best interest.Bloom Ads does its best work when clients treat us as extensions of their team. In return, we’ll treat your campaigns as though they were our own, putting our media obsession and expertise to use for your unique message. Learn more about our media buying and planning services today.

The Pros and Cons of Focus Groups

The Role of Market Research

No matter the industry, virtually all companies need ways to measure audience perception of their products or services. Market research helps a business refine products before bringing them to market, improve on already existing products, and optimize its marketing strategy by integrating qualitative data from real audience reactions. One long-standing and popular market research technique is the focus group.

What are marketing focus groups?

A focus group is a tool used to measure the potential impact of a new product and determine how best to present it to the public. It’s usually a small group (about 10 or fewer volunteers, sometimes paid and sometimes not) who gather to discuss a product or idea. Their discussion and responses are collected and analyzed by a market research firm to measure how a larger population is likely to react.

It’s important to note that marketing focus groups are usually just one part of a larger equation. While they can afford invaluable insights about a product from real human beings – rather than faceless data – they may not provide enough information on their own. Below, we’ll break down some of the pros and cons of focus groups and illuminate how businesses can get the most out of them.

Pros of Marketing Focus Groups

Focus groups provide immediate responses in bulk.

Unlike market research techniques that rely on the long-term collection and interpretation of data – such as one-on-one interviews, written surveys, polls, or social media monitoring – marketing focus groups provide lots of direct feedback all at once — no need to spend weeks gathering data or answers, then more time analyzing it. With (granted) enough preparation beforehand, you can end up with a wealth of information about your product in the span of a day.

Face-to-face interactions provide richer insights.

We’ve said many times before that effective marketing is all about communication. It makes sense, then, that some of the best audience insights can be garnered from in-person interaction. While written surveys or social media conversations about your brand can offer plenty of clear audience sentiment, those avenues miss out on the potential of non-verbal cues which can add layers of meaning to a verbal exchange.

Skilled focus group moderators can learn a lot about how participants really feel about a product non-verbally, such as through facial expressions and body language.

Results can be more comprehensible than data.

There’s no doubt that big data has an important place in today’s marketing landscape, and technological advances afford us plenty of tools to analyze that data efficiently. But putting names and faces to audiences helps marketing teams engage with their consumer base on a deeper level, better equipping them to understand consumers’ unique pain points and meet them with good products or services. The qualitative data engendered by focus groups is a great supplement to more impersonal data.

Cons of Marketing Focus Groups

There’s no guarantee of depth or accuracy.

While marketers hope to get honest responses from a random sampling of average users, there’s no guarantee that a focus group will provide such honesty. Moderators and other volunteers can subtly affect participants’ responses; volunteers may feel uncomfortable breaking with the group opinion or “offending” the moderator. What’s more, the sample size may be too small to represent a larger population. As HowStuffWorks acknowledges, Pepsi learned this lesson the hard way when positive focus group responses to their clear Crystal Pepsi failed to predict the sales bomb the product ended up being.

Moderator bias, peer pressure, and small sample sizes can all affect the degree to which your sample size actually reflects the larger population, while responses may not be as honest or in-depth as with one-on-one interviews.

Focus groups can be expensive.

Successful marketing focus groups need highly skilled moderators who know how to pose questions and facilitate discussions in an unbiased way to garner the most productive, useful, and honest responses. This is why most companies and advertising agencies hire a market research firm that specializes in focus groups. It can be costly to hire the firm and finance the production of surveys and product demos, not to mention possibly pay participants for their time.

The Lesson

Focus groups are efficient methods of collecting valuable insights in bulk, all at once, but mileage may vary when it comes to their cost and reliability. As such, marketing focus groups work best when paired with both quantitative and qualitative data from other market research strategies. We explore some examples below.

  • One-on-one interviews – These offer similar qualitative data to that provided in focus groups, with the advantage of being more in-depth because peer pressure is reduced and there’s no need to steer unwieldy discussions.
  • Written surveys – While written market research surveys don’t give researchers access to the non-verbal cues of face-to-face interaction, they can be efficient ways to gather honest responses unfettered by moderator bias.
  • Polling – This is another relatively easy way to leverage technology for market research, though responses may feel less personal.
  • Social media monitoring and listeningThe conversations happening about your brand on social media are priceless sources of data on your audience sentiment. While social media monitoring requires time and resources to gather and effectively analyze all that data, it’s an invaluable market research technique when paired with other qualitative data.

Having trouble putting your finger on the pulse of your audience? The media-obsessed experts at Bloom Ads put results at the forefront of all our campaigns, because we understand that success can’t be achieved without real knowledge. Learn more about all the services we offer today.

What is Social Listening? Plus How to Do It Well

A key component of marketing for any business is audience research. That means not just measuring how specific marketing campaigns are being received by your target audience, but also checking the pulse on your general brand sentiment. Insight about how people feel about your product, service, or brand as a whole allows you to make wise pivots to better serve your customers – and hopefully gain more in the process. This is the very ethos of social listening.

If you’re new to the concept of social listening, you may be wondering what it is and how it differs from social media monitoring. Below, we’ll break down the role of each of these brand monitoring techniques, their relationship to each other, and how to incorporate social listening into an existing social media strategy.

What is social listening?

Listening is an exchange of feeling or information between two people – one person communicating the sentiment and the other receiving it. Good listening is active and empathetic and may lead to action addressing the sentiment communicated.

Think, for example, of an exchange with your boss where you may communicate that you’re interested in gaining a particular skill set. If your boss is a good listener, they wouldn’t simply hear this information and send you on your way – they may also begin giving you assignments that allow you to develop that skill set. While this all may seem obvious, it can be immensely helpful for marketers to approach the concept of social listening from this basic truth.

The social listening experts at Hootsuite define social listening as a process that looks beyond data to “consider the mood” behind social media posts, mentions, or conversations about your product or brand. In other words, social listening consists of:

  • Tracking what people are saying about you on social media
  • Considering why they’re saying it
  • Taking concrete steps to engage with and/or address the sentiment

How is social listening different from social media monitoring?

While definitions vary, social media monitoring generally means collecting and analyzing data from social conversations. This usually consists of using social media monitoring tools that can quickly and efficiently gather lots of data from all the social platforms you’re using. Social listening, on the other hand, gets at the why of those social conversations and the how of addressing them with positive actions.

Rather than thinking of social listening and monitoring as two separate components of social media marketing, you can see them as existing on a spectrum, where the more you engage and enact informed change – whether that’s responding constructively to a negative review or shifting your entire brand strategy – the further you move from simply monitoring toward actually listening.

What are the benefits of social listening?

Turn insight into engagement. Social listening implies a dialogue rather than a one-sided exchange. By truly listening to what people are saying about your product or brand, you create an opportunity to in turn provide them with value that is specifically tailored to their concerns, strengthening your relationships with your base.

Address PR problems right away. Social media can be a double-edged sword for marketers. While you can use social to get the word out about your product or brand in the blink of an eye, so can unhappy customers. Let’s not forget that one of the daggers that brought down the notorious Fyre Festival was a viral Twitter post featuring a picture of a cheese sandwich. Social listening gives you an opportunity to address or neutralize PR disasters before they spin out of control.

Gain competitor insight. Social listening doesn’t just give you insight into your own brand sentiment. It can also help you learn how your customers think about you in comparison to your competition. You can use this comparative analysis to fill in gaps in your own strategies or learn from your competitors’ mistakes before making the same ones yourself.

Anticipate customers’ pain points. It’s a marketer’s job to address customers’ pain points, but in order to do this well, a brand must know those pain points in the first place. Social media is a great place to figure out firsthand what your customers care about and need.

Discover potential influencers and evangelists. It’s one thing to use social listening as a way to engage with unhappy customers, but it can also bring you into contact with people who love you – and are saying so online. If you notice positive word-of-mouth marketing happening online – for example, someone posting a picture of themselves at the latest marathon they’ve run with a caption raving about your brand’s running shoes – consider reaching out to these potential brand evangelists. Take advantage of these free testimonials in your marketing material and perhaps showcase them on your site with something such as a social wall.

Maintain customer relationships and acquire new ones. Social media is a great place to maintain good customer service with concise, well-constructed replies to customer posts or questions. This not only helps keep existing customers happy but communicates your value to new customers as well, showing them that you’re committed to taking care of them.

How to Make Use of Social Listening

1. Outline your goals.

In order to set your brand up for success, define your goals upfront. Are you looking for general brand sentiment? Conversations about a specific product? Insights on a particular user demographic? Decide what you want to listen for and how you’ll track those conversations. You’ll need to take careful inventory of your brand or product name and social handles, those of your competitors, relevant hashtags, and/or industry buzzwords.

2. Find where people are talking about you.

The most common social listening battlefields are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Yelp, YouTube, or even Reddit, or anywhere that marketing happens. Not all platforms will be relevant for all brands, so determine where your customers are hanging out.

3. Pay attention to your competitors.

Remember, listening to audience sentiment about your competitors helps in two ways: it gives you a comparative analysis of your own strengths and weaknesses, and lets you learn hard lessons without making the mistakes yourself.

4. Use insights to take informed action.

Without action, social listening is simply social media monitoring. While they’re both important, social listening lets you engage with your customers in a meaningful way that can have more far-reaching benefits, including word-of-mouth marketing and customer acquisition.

Social listening does require effort and data, and there’s a wealth of automation tools that you can use to make the process more efficient. But at the end of the day, it helps to have experts who know how to measure results and use them to make wise pivots, whether that be on social media or traditional advertising venues like television or radio spots. That’s what we do here at Bloom Ads. Learn more about our services today.

How is Media Planning Different from Media Buying?

Media planners and buyers work together like drivers and navigators.

Two of the most important cogs in the grand engine of media advertising are media buyers and media planners. Without them, the creative elements of media strategy would be left without a connection to an actual platform, wallowing in the darkness of obscurity, away from the warm glow of the attention of potential leads.

Although they often get lumped together, media planning vs. media buying is actually a keenly fought battle, with both sides claiming to be of greater importance. In fact, it’s probably better to describe their relationship as symbiotic rather than adversarial, since both perform at their best levels when working in tandem.

So, what is the media planning vs. media buying debate really all about? Let’s look at the main differences.

Media Planning vs. Media Buying

One way to think of the two roles is like a driver and co-driver setting out on a long-distance road trip.

The co-driver, i.e. the media planner, decides on the best route to take, considering the car’s capabilities, previous journeys that have been taken and what they’d like to do along the way.

The driver, or media buyer, on the other hand, has the focus of getting them to all the key waypoints with maximum fuel efficiency and within the set timeline, making adjustments on the road to make sure they stay on track.

What is Media Planning?

Media planners are the ones who figure out what media will be the most effective platform for a new campaign. They conduct research, figure out the best way to achieve what the client wants, outline the campaign goals and objectives, and set how the budget should be spread across the various platforms chosen.

The Roles of the Media Planner

Conducting Internal Market Research: This helps them to uncover exactly what the client’s brand identity is, what their market proposition and unique selling points are, and what the particular customer persona is.

Conducting External Market Research: This is to assess the lay of the land in the client’s particular field. Media planners explore how the brand is currently advertising, what their competitors are like and what they’re doing, what motivates and attracts their target audience, and which media channels are the most effective in reaching them.

Setting Campaign Goals and Objectives: The meeting of minds between what the client wants to achieve and what the media planners believe they can and should achieve is probably the most important interface in a campaign.

Trust and confidence are crucial for any long-term relationship, which is why integrated agencies like Bloom Ads are able to give clients the clearest picture of how they are making every dollar work for them. Media planners can set goals that they know they are going to be able to reach, as long as they work side-by-side with media buyers.

What is Media Buying?

Once media buyers receive the media strategy from the planners, their goal is to make sure the campaign features on the most appropriate media channels and with the greatest cost-effectiveness.

This is a considerably specialized role, as good media buying requires an intimate understanding of the marketplace and the nurturing of relationships with media vendors over years. It’s not something that can just be picked up a couple of times a year. For this reason, it is most often performed by a specialist media buying agency, although buyers and planners can be integrated under one roof.

The Roles of the Media Buyer

Creating and Leveraging Contacts: In most industries, it can be more about who you know than what you know, and that maxim certainly applies in media buying. One of the reasons why media buyers are able to create such great ROIs for clients is because they know the right people in the right places.

Knowing Where the Space Is and How to Get It: As much as knowing the right people matters, a media buyer also needs to have an impressive understanding of exactly which media channels appeal to which cohorts of society. The ultimate goal is to find the perfect space to get the best return for the client, then negotiate like their life depends on it to get even more.

Tweaking and Perfecting Campaigns in Motion: Once the strategy leaves the planner’s hands, it becomes the media buyer’s baby. It is up to them to optimize the channels being used to ensure the campaign’s effectiveness throughout its lifecycle. During this period, the media buyer will have to be flexible, gathering and interpreting data about the campaign’s performance. Certain tools, such as real-time bidding for ad space and programmatic advertising, allow buyers to make instantaneous shifts in direction to keep the project aligned and on the right course.

While for some, media planning vs. media buying might be an actual dispute, with one side trying to outdo the other, in our experience, they work best when both are in harmony. That’s why we have always believed, and proved through our results, that an integrated approach to creating, planning and disseminating your message always delivers the best ROI for advertising spend. Talk to us and find out for yourself.

Media Buying 101: Important Terms to Understand

Successful, ROI-positive marketing campaigns don’t just have strong, relatable messages — they also need to be seen by the right people, at the right time, all at an affordable price. That’s where media buying comes into play.

Media buying is the practice of negotiating and purchasing ideal ad spaces, programs, or times for your marketing message. As you can probably guess, this can be a complicated process, which is why so many businesses trust media buying agencies to find the best possible placements and ad rates for them.

Even if you’re leaving the complex stuff to the experts, you can rest easier by brushing up on your knowledge of media buying terms. That’s why we’ve put together a crash course to help you speak to media buying agencies in their vernacular.

Scroll down to learn more.

Media Buying 101: Terms You Should Know

We’ve broken down our handy guide into three sections – general terms, television and radio buying terms, and digital media buying terms – so you’ll be well equipped no matter your preferred channel.

General Terms

Cost Per Thousand (CPM) – The price of serving 1,000 ad impressions.

Flight Dates – The exact start and end dates of a marketing campaign or promotion.

Frequency – This is the average number of times a household or person views a given program, station, or advertisement over the course of a set period (i.e., one month).

Impressions – The number of homes or individuals who see a specific advertisement or group of ads. In digital marketing, impressions refer to the total number of times an ad delivers online.

Media Buying – Media buying is the method individuals or marketing agencies apply after a media planner completes research and devises a campaign strategy. Media buyers use these insights and plan to find and negotiate the buying of ad space across the proposed media channels. This process can be automated or manual depending on preference, objectives, audience, budget, media channels, and technology.

Media Mix – This refers to the distribution of time and money allocated to your advertisements across multiple platforms, including TV, radio, print and digital.

Media Planning – This is the process of selecting the optimal mixture of media outlets for marketing a particular business, product, or service. Media planners use research to identify, analyze, and plan campaigns all while staying within a brand’s budget.

Net Reach – The number of individual people that a commercial or ad serves to at least one time.

Rotation – Rotation refers to the distribution of spots or ads across certain days and hours within the flight period.

TV and Radio Media Buying Terms

Audience Turnover – A radio station’s cumulative audience compared to the average quarter hour audience. Turnover equals cume persons divided by the Average Quarter Hour Audience. Generally, it is the number of times new listeners replace an audience within a daypart.

Avails – Avails refer to the availability of unsold units of time available for broadcasters and radio stations to sell to marketers.

Average Quarter-Hour Persons (AQH) – The average number of persons listening to a particular radio station for at least five continuous minutes for 15 minutes.

Average Quarter-Hour Rating – An approximation of Average Quarter-Hour Persons represented as a percentage of the measurement population.

Block Programming – A series of programs with a specific demographic appeal. Placing ads in this programming is perfect for advertising messages that all target the same audience.

Cable Activity Report – A report that Nielsen Media Research provides cable networks. It outlines information on average and cumulative household audience information by daypart.

Cost Per Point (CPP) – The price of reaching an Average Quarter-Hour Persons audience that is equal to roughly one percent of the people in a demographic group.

Cume – The number of individual persons who listen to a radio station during a daypart for at least five continuous minutes.

Daypart – Radio and television advertisements are divided up into time segments for scheduling purposes. These segments include primetime, daytime, late night, early morning, and total day.

End Rate – This is the actual rate that an advertiser pays for a set television commercial time after all of the negotiations and discounts.

Fixed Position – A broadcast or radio spot on a schedule to run at a precise time or to run within a specific program.

Pre-emption and Pre-emptible – This is a displacement practice replacing a scheduled broadcast or radio spot in favor of another spot, usually due to a higher price.

Run of Schedule or Run of Site (ROS) – In television or radio, ROS is scheduling to run across multiple dayparts and multiple days. Usually Monday-Friday, 6am-12Mid. In digital marketing, it refers to running on a website with no preference as to specific pages or times.

Spot Television – Spot television is all the commercial advertising time that is available for sale or purchase from a local TV station. These spots can be either local or national.

Digital Media Buying Terms

Ad network – These are companies that connect marketers with a multitude of websites that want to host their ads.

Banner ad – A banner ad, or a display ad, is an ad displayed on websites that gain revenue by placing ads within their content. The ad consists of a static image or animated visual in a box or rectangle (.jpg, .png, .gif, or HTML5).

Click Through Rate (CTR) – A term used in digital marketing that refers to the measure of success an advertisement had in getting a user to click back to the website.

Cost Per Click (CPC) – The cost a marketer pays for each user click on a particular ad. CPC mostly applies to paid search advertising or search engine marketing.

Media Made Easy with Bloom Ads

Many marketers fail with media buying and planning – and lose money – because they don’t have the right initial guidance. We want you and all our clients to be successful with your marketing ventures. Sharing what we know will only make your budget work better and prove our value.

We know this is a steep set of media buying terms to digest, but at its core, media buying is relatively simple. We hope our Media Buying 101 glossary serves as the guide you need to speak intelligently with your internal stakeholders, media buying agencies, and industry peers.

To learn more beyond Media Buying 101, including our media planning and media buying services, contact us on our website or give us a call at 818-703-0218 to speak with an expert directly.

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Cluster Convergence

Our proprietary Cluster Convergence planning approach defines marketplace catchments to identify target consumers based upon behavior and life stage in order to create unique
cluster based media plans.

Our strategically constructed plans no longer rely heavily on 3rd party data, but are instead fueled by 1st and 2nd party data captured by our DSP in order to create 1:1 marketing solutions that virtually eliminate waste.

With strategy at the heart of our real-world approach, we have designed a process allowing our clients to achieve unprecedented ROAS supported by data driven analytics.

 We have the right strategy for your brand. Reach out to us today at (818) 703-0218 or Contact Us Here

Jessica LaHabra
Jessica LaHabra
17:57 29 Nov 13
can't be happier with our relationship with bloom ads, they are responsive, creative and amazing group of people who helped us launch many successful ad campaigns ranging from Tv to Print ads. If you want amazing quality at a fair price, check them outread more
Rams Hay
Rams Hay
01:16 27 May 13
great ad agency to work with, our project involved TV and Radio production and from start to finish bloomads took care of us and we are grateful. read more
See All Reviews

Media Planning and Buying Agency

Media Planning and Buying Services in Los Angeles – You Profit from Our Obsession

We’re obsessed with research and driven by our rigorous approach to analytics. We firmly believe it’s the foundation for every successful media campaign.

It’s just part of being a full service media buying and planning agency – formulating a detailed strategy and doing everything necessary to ensure your success. We offer comprehensive advertising services across all media so you will be able to get your message in front of your audience locally or internationally.

You can also save on your advertising spend with Bloom Ads.  Many of our clients relied on conventional media such as print to drive consumer traffic. Staying heavy in traditional tactics was no longer an option, due to dwindling returns, but tests in PPC, SEO, Social and the latest fads as standalone tactics didn’t drive the results necessary to achieve acceptable ROI.  Contact us to hear our solutions on how to creatively optimize your media mix across appropriate channels in ways to drive successful advertising campaigns. In some cases we recommend remnant schedules or pay-for-performance options.

Bloom Ads is a Full Service Media Planning and Buying agency in Los Angeles at the heart of the Entertainment and Media Industry. Please get in touch with us today and learn how we deliver results.

Jessica LaHabra
Jessica LaHabra
17:57 29 Nov 13
can't be happier with our relationship with bloom ads, they are responsive, creative and amazing group of people who helped us launch many successful ad campaigns ranging from Tv to Print ads. If you want amazing quality at a fair price, check them outread more
Rams Hay
Rams Hay
01:16 27 May 13
great ad agency to work with, our project involved TV and Radio production and from start to finish bloomads took care of us and we are grateful.
See All Reviews

Bloom Ads Global Media Group | 818.703.0218 | info@bloomads.com
20720 Ventura Blvd. Suite 140 Woodland Hills, CA 91364