Media buying: class over mass!

Google’s third-party cookie plans and the latest data protection regulations are changing the rules of the game for advertisers. As a result, marketers are starting to redefine their priorities when it comes to media buying.

Quality over quantity is the new maxim when buying media.
Image: © Roman Sigaev / Adobe Stock

New trends emerging in media buying

Whether banner advertising or online ads: for a long time, media buying was mainly about purchasing advertising space for as little money as possible, but things are now beginning to shift. To adapt to the rapidly changing business landscape, advertisers are also now setting new priorities. In this context, the 2021 ID Comms Global Trading Survey reveals that quality as well as thorough media planning and traffic monitoring are becoming more and more relevant for advertisers.

A total of 162 media, marketing, and procurement experts with market responsibilities all over the world took part in the ID Comms survey. The result:

of respondents stated that advertisers who treat media as a quality buy rather than a commodity buy are at an advantage.

That’s an increase of approximately 20 percent compared to like-for-like figures from 2018. A similar trend can be observed with regard to media auditing, in other words the regular monitoring of marketing activities.

of those surveyed agreed that media auditing is a critical component of media buying.

A clearly well-thought-out and targeted media buying strategy is thus significantly more valued today as compared to a survey conducted in 2018. Since then, the number of those who “strongly agree” with the hypothesis has increased by around 23 percent.

Why effective targeting pays off

The ROI (return on investment) and business results have also moved up the priority list for advertisers. In the ID Comms study, they were recognized as the most important indicators of success in media buying by all parts of the advertising landscape, with better targeting and financial transparency not far behind.

The greater focus on effective targeting could be linked to the discontinuation of third-party cookies. Against the backdrop of Google’s cookie plans, advertisers in particular have been prompted to look more closely at the data they collect for targeting and measuring ads.

High-quality media buying requires talent

In addition to the greater relevance of quality and media auditing as well as the stronger focus on effective targeting and ROI, the ID Comms study reported another finding: around half of advertisers (48 percent) who want to in-house their media trading rated hiring the best talent as one of the biggest challenges.

After all, even though programmatic advertising and the increasing automation of media buying processes mean that advertisers can implement a lot by themselves today, none of that helps if they don’t have the necessary expertise. So, if a brand wants to take an in-housing approach instead of putting its trust in external experts, the responsible team members definitely need to have a good skill set.

Data access as an additional challenge

The in-house marketers rated accessing good-quality data as the second-biggest challenge, in stark contrast to 2018 when it was ranked as the least of their concerns. Data could therefore be all the more crucial to the success of media buying – particularly for those advertisers still lacking a solid first-party data strategy, since the imminent disappearance of existing concepts will bring about limitations for media trading and buying strategies that rely heavily on third-party cookies.

What does that mean for you?

More industry experts share the belief that advertisers who treat media as a quality buy rather than a commodity buy are at an advantage. Consequently, if you want your brand’s media buying actions to be future-oriented, viable, and strategic, it can pay off to follow the trend and embrace an era of newly discovered class.

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