Media buying has never been easier; but effective media buying that delivers positive results and a handsome ROI? That’s a tricky one. The rise of technology has both simplified and complicated the role of advertising and, as such, it’s more important than ever that media buyers navigate the complexities head-on. In this post, we’ll run through some of the most common challenges, as well as offer practical advice on how to handle them.
1. Understanding Evolving Consumer Behavior
Consumer behavior has never stayed still for too long, but even still, it seems that today things evolve at a much faster pace than in days gone by.
This is largely led by technological advancements, which continuously change how consumers interact with advertisements. It wasn’t so long ago that product discovery was limited to television advertisements, in-store, and newspapers/magazines. Today, those channels still exist, but there are also search engines, social media, and e-commerce advertising. Other factors to keep in mind include economic conditions, cultural trends, and shifting demographic priorities — Gen Z consumers, for instance, are much more likely to buy from companies that take a social stand.
Consumers are dispersed more widely than ever, and as such, only a truly omnichannel approach can be effective. Modern buyers also have higher expectations for personalized content, and expect content to be delivered in bite-size chunks. Throw in the emergence of new platforms and the demise of existing platforms, and the need to be proactive in understanding where and how consumers operate is clear.
Keeping up to date with consumer behavior changes can be challenging, but leveraging data analytics and conducting market research can help. Analyzing data-driven purchasing trends and using predictive models can help businesses stay ahead of the curve.
2. Adapting to Dynamic Technological Advances
It’s not just consumer behavior that changes. The technological platforms and tools that media buyers use are also in a constant state of evolution.
Having an agile approach to the technology you use can be beneficial, as it can help avoid becoming siloed into legacy systems that can be difficult — and expensive — to undo later on. Given the cost and energy required to integrate new tools into your operations, it’s recommended to focus on essential tools that fundamentally improve your operations and keep you up to date with — or even ahead of — industry standards.
For example, artificial intelligence, machine learning tools, and augmented/virtual reality have become increasingly influential in helping brands engage with consumers in new and innovative ways. They can help to analyze the right delivery method and advertisement placement, conduct complex ad performance analysis, and ultimately create advertisement campaigns that yield results. Your competitors are certainly using these tools, and you should too.
Being on the lookout for new tools that help your organization work better doesn’t have to be a chore; in fact, it can be a learning experience that drives your brand forward. The goal is to look for media buying software that wears multiple hats, which will streamline your operations. ADvendio’s end-to-end ad management software gives media buyers the tools they need to have complete control over their advertisements, including seeing what ad inventory is available, using a handy booking calendar to book ad spaces, and taking care of reporting and invoicing, all from within one easy-to-use platform.
3. Navigating Budget Constraints and ROI Expectations
Media buyers often have to deal with tight media budgets, but at the same time, there are often high ROI expectations. Striking a balance between budget and performance can be even more challenging in changing market conditions, which can make it difficult to create a realistic long-term, or even medium-term, budget.
Having realistic ROI goals will help to manage expectations. There are also tools that’ll help to maximize your returns. For example, using data from previous campaigns and tracking metrics when the campaign is live can help to avoid costly, ROI-busting errors. Tools such as ADvendio’s media buyer software can provide powerful analytics that’ll allow you to create and fine-tune your ad campaigns within the context of your predefined budget.
4. Dealing with Fragmented Media Channels and Ad Formats
There’s a near-endless number of media channels, and it can be a challenge to decide where to promote your content. Even if you do cut it down to a number of key channels, the different ad formats that different channels utilize can pose an additional obstacle.
Adapting your advertisements for different platforms requires work, but there are tools that can make the task easier. Fundamentally, the message — and presentation of that message — should remain broadly the same regardless of the channel. This will lead to a consistent brand voice, which, if you’ve conducted thorough market research, will be in line with your target audience’s expectations. Programmatic advertising can make it easier to manage various advertisement platforms.
5. Ensuring Transparency and Ad Fraud Prevention
The advertising ecosystem is complex, and media buyers usually have to work with various businesses to bring their campaigns to life. While unfortunate, ad fraud is real, and it’s important for all media buyers to take preventative steps to reduce the risk of click and impression fraud, which would result in wasted spending and reduced ROI.
You can increase transparency and reduce the risk of ad fraud by working with reliable publishers. Reading reviews and working with known brands will both help.
Monitoring your ad campaigns for potential fraud is recommended if you believe you may be at risk — there are tools that can look for suspicious patterns. However, if you’ve chosen a reliable, transparent company to work with, then it’s unlikely you’ll have any problems.
Media buyers have always faced issues, but in this fast-paced, digital world, it does seem that they face more than ever. Staying adaptable in the face of change, leveraging data to make better, well-informed decisions, and working with the right tools and businesses can all make it easier to navigate the challenging media buying landscape. The best approach? Be proactive, look forward, and tackle potential problems head-on.