2017 Holiday Campaign Media Planning Guide and Data Report

It’s the season to kick off your Thanksgiving and Holiday Campaigns. More and more Americans plan to get an early start on their holiday shopping. And they also plan on spending more. Cyber Monday is becoming just as important as Black Friday as it gains popularity amongst consumers. Fifty-six percent of consumers said they plan to shop Cyber Monday deals in 2017 versus just 39% in 2016.

Your Guide to the 2017 Winter Holiday Season

Digilant’s Global Analytics team, combined industry consumer data together with intelligence from last year’s media buying trends and campaign performance results, to determine best practices for advertisers ramping up their 2017 Winter Holiday digital media campaigns. In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • Consumer shopping patterns during Thanksgiving weekend
  • Consumer media consumption during this same weekend
  • Key dates for media spend and online shopper conversions
  • How to better reach your target audience during this winter season?
  • How to reach customers across devices during peak online shopping days?

Download the COMPLETE HOLIDAY CAMPAIGN GUIDE & REPORT to uncover insights to kick-start Holiday Media Planning!

How to Hire an Internet Ad Buying Agency?

Part of any successful brand’s digital marketing strategy involves the tactful implementation of an internet ad buying plan. Although mapping out an impactful internet ad buying plan is a crucial and necessary step to take when growing your business, it can be a daunting task for even the most experienced marketer. For this reason, it’s generally more effective to hire a professional internet ad buying agency that will meet your needs and maximize your ad dollars from start to finish of your campaign.

Rather than taking full advantage of internet ad buying, many marketers opt to forgo more advanced internet ad buying strategies, simply because they’re unfamiliar with or can’t afford the ramp up time needed to properly run campaigns in-house. Among the many forms of internet ad buying, the model proven to be the most beneficial for brands of all sizes and verticals is programmatic media buying. Maybe you’re asking yourself, “What is it that programmatic internet ad buying can do for my brand?” and the answer is rather simple: it reaches the right audience, at the right place and time, and at the lowest cost for the advertiser.

How are brands managing their internet ad buying today?

Programmatic internet ad buying is powered by RTB (Real Time Bidding), which has become the go-to investment for brands looking to get the most out of their internet ad buying, because the bidding process is constantly improved upon as DSP‘s (Demand Side Platform) identify the inventory spaces that yield the highest ROI. This powerful software can identify, purchase, and place an ad impression across the digital ecosystem in milliseconds, but if you slow things down, the RTB process can be broken into five stages:

  1.  A user accesses a web page.
  2. Cookies on the page retrieve data on the user’s behavior and this data is used to create a profile.
  3. Advertisers participate in auctions with the publisher for the page inventory if the user profiles align with their target audience.
  4. Buyers set their CPM (cost per mil or cost per 1,000 display impressions) and the bidder with the highest CPM wins the auction.
  5. The creative is delivered by the advertiser to the ad space on the web page that the user is visiting.

What are the benefits to having a programmatic internet ad buying partner?

As an advertiser, you want to assure that your products and services will be discovered by as many users within your target audience. Whether your brand is focused on selling sportswear to women between 40 and 55 years-old or life insurance to millennial newlyweds, buying internet ads on one channel alone won’t yield results. Just like the people we know in our everyday lives, internet users are multidimensional and your internet ad buying strategy should be too. Although programmatic technology leverages artificial intelligence and is capable of incredible, hiring a programmatic partner with an experienced team to implement omnichannel approaches to your internet ad buying will set up a people-first digital strategy, leading to higher conversions and even uncovering new users that you previously didn’t know were part of your target audience.

Before hiring an internet ad buying agency, consider the following factors:

1.) Specialization

Every company is unique and the roadmap and buyer’s lifecycle of each vertical, market, and even product-type, can vary significantly.  For example, if you’re a healthcare company with a highly niche user demographic, you’ll want to inquire about case studies and the experience that the agency’s team has within the healthcare industry. If the agency’s portfolio is primarily composed of consumer-packaged goods and retail clients, they probably aren’t yet suited  to set up a high performing campaign for a B2B company that sells medical devices.

2.) Creativity

Contrary to what many people might think, the programmatic buying of internet ad inventory isn’t a process completely void of creativity. It’s very important to determine whether or not the agency will be capable of coming up with innovative and creative strategies to reach the users in your target audience and uncover new ones. An agency’s ability to be agile and flexible to adjust its for your is very important.

3.) Time Efficiency

Your marketing team member’s talent might be limitless, but their time certainly isn’t. Firstly, having access to a DSP (Demand Side Platform), allows you to bypass the timely process of negotiating with ad buyers and publishers involved in traditional media buying. Secondly, when you have a specialized internet ad buying agency managing your campaigns, there’s more time left for you and your team to focus on other marketing efforts that will enhance your strategy.
contratar una agencia de medios digitales: cambios en el proceso de compra de medios onlineIn the past, marketing managers and agencies could buy inventory directly from the publishers. A purchase decision that in many cases was based on the content. Depending on the target you would like to impact, you should choose a specific medium. However, the emergence of technologies such as DSPs, DMPs or SSPs have not only solved some of the inefficiencies of the traditional media buying process, but also, has made the process faster and easier to identify the target and the right moment to impact it.

4.) Cost Efficiency

Very often advertisers will begin their campaign planning by setting a budget, a logical thing to do when planning a digital ad campaign. However, the question shouldn’t be, “How much money can we spend on this campaign?” but rather, “How much money do we need to spend on this campaign?” The entire goal of internet ad buying is to reach and convert users with scale and precision that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to with traditional media buying. Therefore, greater ad spend  does not always translate into greater campaign results. Make sure that the agency you decide to hire is more focused on your company’s performance than their paycheck.

5.) Transparency

It’s very important to evaluate the level of transparency that the agency can provide your brand. Not only does it give you peace of mind to know where your ad dollars are being spent, but it’s also one of the best ways to shape your strategy. A top tier internet ad buying agency should be able to offer you with aggregated KPI metrics along with real time reports displayed on a dashboard for your team to reference and monitor. With this information you can glean insights from the internet ad campaigns that the agency’s managing and improve your digital strategy moving forward.

When embarking on your search to hire an internet ad buying agency, coming across a partner with all of these factors are only within the reach of a few companies among which, of course includes Digilant. Do you want to know more about how our programmatic solutions can help you launch a great internet ad buying strategy?

3 Key Digital Media Consumption Trends for the 2017 Holiday Shopping Season

  • Mobile Devices

Mobile devices are now driving a boost in Thanksgiving weekend e-Commerce with more conversions now happening on phone.  People use their phones to to preview products and prices; retailers like Best Buy and Toys ‘R’ Us encourage shoppers to test the product in-store but skip the huge holiday lines and crowds by buying from their web site. It is bringing us one step closer to frictionless commerce.

Shoppers now research products on their mobile devices even earlier, with some of the largest “converted cart sizes” occurring weeks before Black Friday. Thanksgiving Day has grown into an e-Commerce holiday as some retailers are making a statement – inspired by negative consumer sentiment about stores being open on the Holiday – by being closed to allow their own staff to celebrate the day with their families. This has pushed a higher volume of shoppers online also creating a big spike in shopper activity after 4 pm on Thanksgiving, just after the average eating hours.  With these statistics in hand, digital media buyers can plan their programmatic campaigns using specific time of day targeting for their mobile campaigns, and also creating mobile specific messaging and creative for the “window shoppers” who start shopping on their commutes to and from work much before the actual Holiday.

eMarketer is predicting that digital holiday sales will increase a record 11.5 percent this year, compared to a 17-percent increase in 2016. What’s more, large traditional retailers like Walmart are trying to boost e-Commerce sales in order to compete with Amazon, possibly pushing more shoppers online.  eMarketer also predicts that an additional driver of  “e-Commerce will be the continued growth of m-Commerce sales — particularly smartphone commerce, which will rise by an estimated 57.8% in 2017 overall.”

  • Video Advertising is on the Rise

“In 2015, U.S. agency and marketing professionals said they spent, on average, $5.6 million on digital and mobile video advertising,” according to eMarketer, “A year later, they spent an average of $6.8 million, and this year [2017] they anticipate spending an average of $9.4 million.” Consumers expect content to be available in video form, with 50% of consumers who look for a video of the product before visiting the online store. Studies show that a user is 25% more likely to lose interest in retail content if it isn’t in video format. 51.9% of marketers say that video offers the best ROI (return on investment) and that consumers themselves much prefer video content to any other type.

Knowing the trend in video investment and consumption, it’s important for programmatic media buyers and marketing teams to implement platform pixels with their social and paid media buys and begin building audiences way ahead of the holidays, which can then inform the remainder of a Holiday media buying strategy.   Another tactic to consider is extending campaign durations to start way before the Holiday period. More than half of users who clicked on Cyber Weekend sales ads usually had a first touch prior to Thanksgiving, so it’s important to ensure that retargeting efforts during the 2017 Holiday Season are reaching users who may have clicked far in advance of the actual Holiday promotions.

  • Social Media Will Have a Big Impact on Gift Buying

Social media will have a real impact on what people buy for their loved ones this year. One-third of all Americans will be influenced by social this year, and 30 percent of people surveyed by Sprout Social said that they planned to post about gifts they received on social media. In addition to people posting about their presents on social, Sprout Social also predicts that the average retailer will receive more than 3,000 social messages during this holiday season–approximately 30 percent more than last year.  According to the report, 56 percent of the messages retailers receive in 2017 will require retailers to take action, a 15 percent increase compared to the 2016 holiday season. Regardless of the increased customer service type postings through platforms like Facebook and Twitter, response times and rates on social remain stubbornly low.   Brands and retailers should consider investing more heavily in resources for social customer-service efforts to keep more happy users and spenders on their site.

To find out more about when and where we predict people will be shopping this 2017 Holiday season download Digilant’s Holiday and Consumer Shopping Report.

Table Games Workshop With Fundación Down Madrid

On Wednesday October 18th some volunteers from our Digilant Madrid Team had the opportunity to collaborate with the Down Madrid Foundation again. The October workshop entailed playing table games with young adults. The group, our Digilant Cares’ volunteers interacted with, were youngsters and adults, between 17 and 26 years old. The objective of the activity consisted in developing their visual skills by distinguishing different colors and images in a card. The activity was one hour and a half long, and time went by too fast. Looking forward to our next workshop with them in November!

Peaks and Valleys, Getting Ahead of Black Friday & Cyber Monday Media Buys

NRF research data tells us that more than 50% of holiday shoppers start researching gift ideas in October or earlier, so when planning your media spend for Black Friday and Cyber Monday it’s important to plan ahead and start early.  Some retailers start leaking their Black Friday promotions in October! The big spike in Black Friday ads that consumers usually keep their eyes on starts at the beginning of November. Last year retailers such as Best BuyWalmart, and Target all leaked their promotions on November 9th.  Knowing when consumers are going to begin their search for Black Friday deals is key for making smart decisions about when and where to target media spend.

2016 A Record Year for Black Friday Spend and Traffic

In 2016, online retailers experienced a huge traffic peak on Black Friday, with 220% more sessions than an average shopping day. And even with the additional discounts, Black Friday sales still totaled $3.34 billion spent online (a 21.6% increase from 2016 spend).  Cyber Monday sales in 2016 also broke records, bringing in $3.25 billion and a 155% traffic increase becoming the biggest day in the history of U.S. ecommerce.  These numbers are inclusive of the top retailers like Walmart and Amazon, but plenty of smaller businesses also benefited.

Knowing the peaks and valleys of last year’s retail calendar and traffic is key in creating the right media plan for the 2017 holiday season.  With more Americans spending time browsing for retail items on their phones it is also important to factor in mobile creative and spend into a media plan; as most people will shop around on their devices, and either make a purchase, or move to their laptops and desktops to checkout.

To find out more about when and where we predict people will be shopping this 2017 Holiday season download Digilant’s Holiday and Consumer Shopping Report.

Digilant Releases New Holiday Media Planning Guide

Shopping Data & Insights for Planning Effective Programmatic Campaigns

Boston – October 17, 2017.  Today, Digilant, a global provider of programmatic ad buying solutions and services, released a report that captures relevant data for advertisers and media buyers about Holiday shoppers’ consumer behavior and motivations to help brands make their marketing investments more profitable.

Long gone are the days when Thanksgiving was just a day to give thanks and celebrate with family and friends; today, especially to retailers as well as consumers, Thanksgiving Weekend signifies the peak of the Holiday shopping period. Consumers plan to spend an average of $743 during the Black Friday (Nov. 24) to Cyber Monday (Nov. 27) shopping weekend, up 47% from last year’s average of $505.  Advertisers need to get in front of consumers even earlier than past years to make sure that they are top of mind for those big ticket items, as Black Friday and Cyber Monday are no longer single-focus days. The numbers speak to this and so should your digital media buying plan. The average spending was $289 in 2016, 74% of which was designated towards buying holiday gifts.

From a brand’s point of view, maximizing on this window of increased consumption requires a higher investment. E-commerce’s share of total retail sales will reach a record 11.5% during this 2017 Holiday Shopping season according to eMarketer.

Highlights From Digilant’s Holiday & Consumer Shopping Report:

  • The highest-spend age demographic is 25 to 34 years-olds, with 62% of them making in-store purchases and 58% making online purchases.
  • Millennials spend 13% more during Thanksgiving Weekend than the average adult shopper.
  • 18 to 29 year-olds prefer to buy in brick and mortar stores (47%), while adults 30 to 59 years-old prefer to buy online (40%).
  • It’s essential to factor in mobile creative and spend into a media plan, as most consumers window shop on their devices, and then either make a purchase, or move to their laptops or in-store to checkout.
  • S. m-Commerce sales will increase 38% in 2017, and sales via smartphones will increase 57.8%.
  • m-Commerce will represent 34.5% of total retail e-Commerce sales.

Download the full report here.

When Do They Buy?

The typical Thanksgiving Weekend consumer is very aware of deals and promotions, doing some of their browsing beforehand to take advantage of discounts or special markdowns designated for a particular day within the weekend.

For example, according to Statista, in 2016 consumers preferred to go shopping on Thanksgiving evening rather than setting their alarm clocks for early the next morning to take advantage of Black Friday sales. 25.4% of these shoppers were in a store by 8:00 pm and 37.3% by midnight on Thanksgiving (compared to 28% in 2015). In contrast, 35.8% of buyers didn’t arrive until 10:00 am on Black Friday last year.

The traffic for the four days that make up Thanksgiving weekend is as follows: 36% of consumers on Thanksgiving, 74% on Black Friday. 49% shop on Saturday and 34% on Sunday.

In terms of in-store retail, the breakdown is similar (35% on Thanksgiving and 75% on Black Friday), but activity slows down on Saturday (40%) and Sunday (17%).

Despite all of the shopping intentions, there’s a very negative sentiment towards going to brick & mortar stores on Thanksgiving Day according to Deloitte, with 7 out of 10 consumers feeling that stores should be closed on the holiday to allow employees to spend more time with family and friends.

How to Use Digilant Data to Improve Media Plans?

It’s important for brands to align their creative and ad buying strategies with their consumer, especially  those users who are in the middle of the sales funnel.

With recent data insights in their hands, brands can segment more intelligently to identify the right target audiences for this Holiday Season. This requires testing segments as early as October and refining them throughout the Holiday campaign.

#DigilantData Tips:

  • Customize your messaging for each customer type and motivation.
  • Build lookalikes for each known consumer segment to identify consumers similar to those that are likely to convert.
  • Make sure you know where your data sets are coming from — observed and transactional data work the best.
  • Test multiple data segments and creative messaging early on in your campaign planning process to find the most effective sets.
  • Invest in video! Studies show that a user is 25% more likely to lose interest in retail content if it isn’t in video format.

Lastly, make sure to activate a mobile programmatic media strategy for your last-minute, lower-funnel ads on peak shopping days.

With more Americans spending time browsing for retail items on their phones, it is also important to factor in mobile creative and spend into a media plan; as most people will shop around on their devices, and either make a purchase, or move to their laptops and desktops to checkout.

About Digilant

Digilant offers programmatic buying solutions and services designed for independent agencies and brands that are increasing their programmatic spending. Using data science to unlock ‘new’ automated buying strategies, Digilant enables brands to uncover proprietary and complex audience data that gives them the actionable intelligence they need to compete across every important media channel.

Digilant is an ispDigital Group Company.  For more information, visit us at www.digilant.com, read our blog or follow us on Twitter @Digilant_US.

Insights on How to Pace Your Holiday Media Budget

More and more Americans plan to get an early start on their holiday shopping. And they also plan on spending more.  The big question for advertisers and media buyers is when?  Figuring out how to pace your media buys to optimize both time and budget is tricky.

Nearly half (45%) of Americans plan to start holiday shopping before November, with one in four starting before October. Retailers are capitalizing on this earlier start: Nearly 80% indicated they will begin holiday marketing efforts earlier this year.   So how do you distribute your ad spend, without missing out on any revenue opportunities?

 

Three Buying Periods that Advertisers and Media Buyers Should Plan for.

Early November through to Cyber Monday.

During this time period, shoppers are looking at larger purchases, to make sure they get the “big gift” like a gaming system or a trendy toy before it sells out. This year retailers plan to start their Black Friday deals a week or 2 before Thanksgiving Day, expanding into 2 weeks of deals. Consumers plan to spend an average of $743 during the Black Friday (Nov. 24) to Cyber Monday (Nov. 27) shopping weekend, up 47% from last year’s average of $505.  Advertisers need to get in front of consumers even earlier than past years to make sure they are top of mind for those big ticket items as Black Friday and Cyber Monday are no longer single-focus days.

Early December to the third week of the month.

Shoppers are out shopping for smaller-ticket, higher-volume items for family, friends and co-workers. Cyber Monday allows for “Bounceback Tuesday”: with accumulated cookie pools from shoppers who weren’t yet ready to purchase their big-ticket items, make Tuesday an amazing data day for retargeting.

The final week before Christmas.

The last-minute scramble to find the right gift and have it be delivered on time. Amazon’s promotion of two-day and even same-day shipping is pushing that deadline ever later as retailers like Target match their speed.  This year’s holiday season gives shoppers an extra Saturday before Christmas Eve for last-minute shopping. It would be wise to set aside a media buying budget for last-minute promotional activity to encourage impulse buys during that final week.

To find out more about when and where we predict people will be shopping this 2017 Holiday season download Digilant’s Holiday and Consumer Shopping Report.

Media Innovation Day 2017: What is the Future of the Consumer Experience?

By Lainie Smith, Media Strategist at Digilant

This Wednesday, the Ad Club held its annual Media Innovation Day & Maven Awards, a “daylong content event covering new and emerging media, and focusing on the rapid media and marketing shifts that are impacting brands.” As soon as I stepped foot inside the building to the roaring echo of the crowd welcoming the next speaker to stage,  I knew I was in for a treat. Topics ranged from artificial intelligence, to robotics, to OTT, to partnerships and podcasts, but some overwhelming themes united the presentations, namely choice, personalization and relevancy. While technology continues to change how we communicate, media professionals can always rely on the unchanging nature of the consumer characterized by an innate desire for experiences.

Choice

In a world where people value their time above all else, new media channels and platforms must offer the user personal choice and flexibility if they want to survive. Nowhere is this more reflected than in OTT (Over-The-Top) content, comprising of all the media that we can’t get enough of from streaming platforms and services. Digital leaders from HP, Hulu, Nielsen, and Roku  spearheaded a panel discussion on the booming OTT industry, opened by Seth Walters from Roku who pointed out how ubiquitous OTT has become with Rokus now in 15 million households that collectively view a  billion hours of content a month.

Enid Maran from Nielsen jumped in to discuss how to best harness the buying power of these viewers, noting, “We have a new landscape to get messages out – what is the best way to market this space to advertisers?” The key to the success of this type of content lies in the flexibility it provides the user.  Media consumption is no longer dictated by a broadcast calendar, allowing users to schedule their entertainment around their lives and not the other way around. Even what the advertiser puts out needs to be on the user’s terms.  Peter Naylor added to the discussion by saying that, “nobody hates ads, but everybody hates irrelevance.”

Personalization

Often times, the most meaningful media triggers the consumer’s imagination and allows them to take an active role in shaping the ads they receive. Chris Giliberti, Head of Multiplatform at Gimlet, perfectly illustrated this concept when he played a Hiscox podcast advertisement for us. Simply listening to the narration of a single speaker, the user must apply his or her imagination to picture the speaker – what he looks like, where he came from, his current environment. It’s been proven that imagination is deeply linked to memory, so the key to memorable media may lie in leaving space for the consumer to personalize it, rather than crafting the entire narrative for him or her.

Experiences Over Things

It’s tough to pick one speaker that I most enjoyed hearing from when the lineup consisted of top execs from companies like Pinterest, Waze, Havas, and IBM, but one particularly memorable presentation was delivered by Anthony Reeves, Global Creative Director at Amazon. Reeves began his presentation by clearly identifying  Amazon as an “experience” company, rather than a tech or eCommerce giant. “People need experiences to drive us forward, either physically or through technology,” he said, before  showing a clip of Amazon partnering with Hyundai to physically bring cars to potential car purchasers for a test drive, rather than the customer going to dealership . This novel approach to the test-driving experience yielded great results for Hyundai, increasing sales and brand affinity amongst its audience.

On the topic of change, Mr. Reeves quoted Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos by saying, “When trends emerge, businesses have a choice – embrace them and you get a tailwind; fight them and you’re fighting the future.” But he left the audience with his understanding of the one constant in the rapidly changing media landscape – experience. Withstanding all change, the need for human experience will never go away.

Although media is constantly innovating, media consumers haven’t changed. The constant that media companies can drive towards is experience; the problem lies in how to adapt experiences across increasingly automated media channels, while still allowing the user the flexibility of making their own choices.

How to Become a Great Digital Media Buyer?

Since the onset of the digital transformation, the role of digital media buyer has been one of the most in-demand jobs in the advertising industry. Although digital media buying in and of itself is nothing new, it’s a profession that’s constantly adapting to new digital channels, technologies and platforms.

As a key liaison between agencies and advertisers, digital media buyers support in the creation and implementation of advertising campaigns for different brands. Although digital media buyers may be involved in many decisions made throughout the campaign planning process, the most important decisions lie in determining which online media channels and what tactics will yield the greatest reach and be most effective in achieving campaign goals.

In order to successfully do this, there are certain attributes and competencies required from today’s digital advertising industry. Would you know how to identify the necessary skills needed to be a digital media buyer? What type of person does it take to get the job done? Several professionals have expressed their opinions on this subject and these are a summary the most requested characteristics and skill sets:

  • A digital media buyer must be curious and not be afraid of tackling complex problems.
  • A buyer must possess an in-depth knowledge of the industry in which its customers operate.
  • Also, they must be an interdisciplinary professional that can manage both traditional and digital marketing with ease.

What exactly is a Digital Media Buyer?

It’s commonly thought that a digital media buyer is simply responsible for laying out the plan for a brand’s digital ad campaign, deciding what online channels (social media, apps, search engines, site banners, streaming platforms, etc.) will set the stage for the most conversions, greatest brand recognition, or the generation of the most qualified leads. However, a digital media buyer’s role extends far beyond this.

They’re the people that come in contact with almost every actor in the digital advertising planning and execution processes, so they end up learning not only how to create the roadmap of a campaign, but also how to drive it forward. These responsibilities demand the digital media buyer to be a multifaceted professional in order to meet their clients’ needs.

6 Important Attributes Needed to be a Great Digital Media Buyer

If you’ve ever considered a career in digital media buying and want to envision yourself in the role, ask yourself if you possess the below attributes:

1. Team Player

Successful digital media buyers are always team players because they have to work with many people in a variety of contexts. Whether reaching out to a more experienced buyer for help in overcoming an unforeseen campaign obstacle, inquiring about how to use new programmatic bidding technology and submitting requests to the product team, or developing account relationships with the sales team, planning and executing a digital ad campaign is never a one-person job.

2. Digital Expert

Although a digital media buyer isn’t expected to start their first day on the job completely adept in all things digital, it’s crucial to always maintain an eagerness to learn about the constantly evolving digital advertising ecosystem. It’s to a buyer’s advantage to become an early adopter of new technologies and platforms, because more likely than not, they’ll eventually be incorporated into new forms of online advertising. A few examples of new online user tendencies that have since been integrated into digital advertising include:

Some of the most frequently used tools and resources by buyers to keep up and plan effective digital ad and programmatic campaigns include:

  • Scarborough, MRI, or other demographic databases that provide information surrounding the digital channels where a campaign’s target audience can be found and measures the impact different digital platforms can have on these audiences.
  • ComScore Data to see specific sites if your goal is to introduce a brand to a new market or target audience, digital media buyers can analyze data from ComScore and other internet market research companies like Nielsen, to determine where on the web they should be redirecting their ads.
  • Social Tools: Of course, advertising via Facebook, Twitter, and now Instagram, provides incredible reach when campaigns are correctly implemented.

3. Natural Networker

If you’re a naturally extroverted and well-connected person, you might want to consider digital media buying. The job can be very social because it requires working with various partners and clients, often through networking and socializing outside of the office. High-energy people who aren’t afraid to reach out to industry experts for the solutions they need to make their client’s campaign plans a reality.

4. Skilled Negotiator

If you want to become a digital media buyer, you have to present your media plan, receive approval, and then follow through on the plan under the approved parameters. Familiarity with standard industry rates for ad inventory and having the ability to stretch a budget to maximize ROI on ad spend will both improve the client’s campaign results and increase margins for the buyer’s agency.

5. Resourceful Problem Solver

One of the most important feats for any digital media buyer to achieve is overcoming obstacles and implementing inventive solutions while designing campaigns from the ground up, almost like a digital media engineer. For example, if a customer requests paid search in their digital media plan, the digital media buyer needs to determine if an Adwords campaign is needed and how to select keywords that will help optimize the SEM (search engine marketing) element of the campaign.

6. Intuitive Analyst

Beyond organizing Excel spreadsheets with copious amounts of qualitative and quantitative data collected over the course of a campaign, digital media buyers should also be able to explain the reasoning behind why different users take different paths during their consumer journey and what needs to be done to drive conversions. With the increase in data that online publishers provide, a digital media buyer has to understand and analyze media and market data, as well as brand development indices and campaign performances by digital channel.

How to Become a Digital Media Buyer

You don’t need any special training or a graduate-level degree to become a digital media buyer. However, most agencies seek candidates with an undergraduate degree and experience in communications, PR, statistics, or marketing. Beyond this general background, digital media buyers are expected to have strong writing skills, the ability to effectively track and analyze metrics, and a passion for all things digital, including:

  • Ability to appropriately budget and report
  • Clear and succinct cross-departmental communicator
  • Knowledge of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
  • Capable of implementing Google Adwords
  • Experience using media planning and performance tools like Google Analytics, Comscore, DoubleClick, etc.
  • A genuine passion for technology

Once a position has been landed and the digital media buyer is assigned to a new account, the first question the new hire should ask him or herself is: “How can this client, regardless of size or industry, build and strengthen its brand?” From there the buyer will analyze the digital channels where this brand’s advertisements will have optimal impact.

Resources for Digital Media Buyers

If you want to take some first steps towards a career in digital media buying or sharpen your skills, it’s a good idea to get in touch with and stay engaged with top media professionals at ad agencies.

  1. AdAge Datacenter: A primary resource for business intelligence and media research, this database can serve as a great starting point to expand your media buying contacts from top agencies.
  2. LinkedIn Sales Navigator.: Digital Sales professionals use this tool to find contacts and get referrals to important brands and agencies.

A digital media buyer with all of these skills and attributes is essential to the success of any digital ad campaign.

Are you in need of proprietary programmatic solutions paired with exceptional digital media planning to make your next digital ad campaign a success?  At Digilant, we help brands and agencies uncover new audience insights to implement more strategic, better-target digital advertising campaigns. From educational institutions to CPG companies, to top automotive brands, our solution span across all industries. We make it possible for agencies to bolster expertise and services for media clients and for brands to scale media buying quickly. With channel supported across programmatic, search, and social, Digilant makes media buying simple. Learn more about how Digilant can take your 2021 digital advertising campaigns to the next level. Let’s talk.

Why Media Buyers Need to Focus on the Consumer Using a Journey Map

By Mike Addonizio, Director, Platform Solutions at Digilant

Stop the Channel Obsession

The complication of today’s digital media landscape has confused advertisers. It seems advertising’s most proven and basic principles, such as communicating the right message to the right person at the right time, are getting lost to an infatuation with channels and irrelevant metrics. It comes at a time when digital advertisers should have an easy time targeting the right audiences and being efficient at managing their ad spend. Instead, as publishers like Facebook and Google build barriers between their ecosystems, brands are mirroring them by organizing their internal agencies and teams in the same way. Social, search, display, and owned channels are siloed instead of synergized and are being evaluated by misguided KPIs, such as clicks or engagements they generate.


The problem is obvious. Pitting channels and vendors against each other and measuring only channel specific metrics, will ultimately lead to wasted dollars. It prevents team collaboration and undermines customer-centric strategies. It results in brands arbitrarily devoting portions of spend to “high-performing” channels with short-term campaign goals in mind. Teams are likely double-counting revenue dollars due to the lack luster attribution models, and certain channels are receiving more (or less) credit than they actually deserve. Somewhere in this narrative of media buying execution, marketers are forgetting that the only common fabric between these channels is the consumer. When they return to thinking about the customer first, advertising becomes less complicated.

It’s All About the Journey Map

As publishers build walled gardens for their user bases, advertisers must render the obstructions useless while maintaining cross-channel identity and journey context. When we factor in mobile phones as a primary means of receiving and sending communication, this complexity only becomes more aggravated and will continue as new devices appear in the future. The solution is a synergy between technologies that focuses on the consumer.
From a tech standpoint, there needs to be a convergence of DMPs (Data Management Platforms) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems. One solution looks like the image bellow.

Winning with A Customer-First Ad-Tech Solution

  1. Successful media buyers will use CRM systems to inform their DMP of the current customers that should be suppressed, receive different messaging, or pass high-value customers lists for optimized lookalike modeling.
  2. A good data strategy should include using a DMP to inform a CRM of the user journey prior to acquisition as well as other relevant attributes about the context of current customers.
  3. Segmentation must occur across the two platforms, and audiences must exist in a delivery environment that is channel agnostic.

This combination of technology, consumer focus, and working with the right media partner like Digilant has proved to be a winning recipe for digital marketers.

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