5 Media Buying Challenges for Modern Advertisers & Agencies

In even the best of times, media buying can be a challenge. In essence, media buying refers to the process of advertisers or agencies buying media to fulfil campaign obligations, like raising brand awareness, increasing sales, or launching new products.

Media buying is a critical part of advertising, but it’s often fraught with challenges. Unfortunately, the impact of COVID-19 hasn’t made the process any easier, especially since economic activities are ebbing and flowing as countries continue to shift between open economies and lockdowns. Campaigns take months of preparation rather than days or weeks. Unfortunately, this kind of complication leaves many advertisers inclined to play it safe and reduce ad spend.

While COVID-19 is clearly an issue in many different ways, it’s not the only uphill battle facing the media buying business. Underlying problems with current processes and technology also play a role, creating a perfect storm of issues that have been increasingly difficult to overcome. These are the five largest challenges facing modern advertisers and agencies — and what can be expected in the future.

1. COVID-19 Uncertainty

Digital advertising of all kinds, including digital out of home (DOOH), has seen a spike during COVID-19 that is expected to continue. As technological advances related to programmatic ad buying roll out, it’s likely companies currently aligning themselves digitally will be the ones to win in the end.

2. Lack of Visibility Over Inventory and Performance

Without a universal media buying platform, it’s very hard for advertisers to track where their ads are running, how they are performing, and whether they’re getting the exposure being paid for. While the process of media buying may now be easier than ever, disparate systems mean that the overall process still isn’t as effective as it could be. Without a good way to evaluate inventory and ad performance, advertisers aren’t getting their money’s worth.

3. Difficulties Maximizing Yield Across All Media Channels

Due to the current limitations in the media-buying space, there are few solutions available to unify measurement across different audiences to determine the overall impact. Metrics may be available for each media type, channel, or campaign, but this requires a lot of work to aggregate data and look for patterns. If these resources were all interconnected, advertisers could easily build reporting dashboards that would provide relevant, actionable information to drive campaign creation and sales practices.

4. Siloed Media Buying Practices

While this may have worked several decades ago, it’s no longer effective in a multi-screen world. Advertisers must market their products and services in the same manner consumers view content, efficiently across all devices and screens. Brands and agencies are now more invested in cross-media campaigns than ever before, but the current sales market still hasn’t caught up. Unfortunately, this can slow down the entire process, resulting in more expensive — and less effective — campaigns across the board. While some companies are working actively to alleviate this, like NBCUniversal’s new One Platform model, there’s still a long way to go in this space.

5. Limited Access to Media Buying Intelligence

While it’s possible to manually aggregate data, this can be very laborious, and many businesses simply don’t have the time nor money to invest. This leads to blank spots in the process of analyzing media strategies, as the intelligence needed to make informed decisions is unfortunately spread across multiple spreadsheets and disconnected systems.

Now Is the Time to Prioritise Change

Originally published at www.advendio.com on July 29, 2020

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