How Every Company Should Buy Media in 2017

Look, I get it. You’ve done your previous campaign this way and ‘the boss was happy because he saw our ad on [big publisher]’. So this year, you’re doing the same thing, same media partners, same publications, same way of buying.

“They have good GRP for our target audience.”

Fuck GRP. It’s a metric that’s been invented to temporarily solve the lack of measurability in a non-digital marketing world. It’s telling you radio station XYZ is very selective for self-employed people because on average, there’s 10% more SE’s listening than there are to Radio ZYX. So blast all your money there.

It’s putting the process upside down.

‘I love this radio station. Too bad I’m not the advertiser’s target audience…’

You should not be reaching XYZ’s audience because they have 3,74% SE’s instead of 3,40%. You should be reaching SE’s, regardless of the radio station.

“But it’s the best radio can do today…”

I know. And it’s sad. But you’re using this mindset to buy digital media as well. And that’s the problem.

So here are 3 solutions:

First: Don’t Advertise

There’s this funny thing going on. Companies want to have as much attention as they possibly can, at the lowest price. And yet what do they produce? The one thing people hate: advertisements.

Why is that? If you’re willing to spend millions on media, at least make something that will interest the people seeing your message.

Actually, a talented copywriter once said something to me that really struck me for having much more meaning than he probably ever intended it to have:

If you have to use an exclamation mark, your message isn’t strong enough.

Digital media isn’t linear. People don’t have to watch your ad.

Only companies truly understanding this growing trend in the market will win in this era. You can put up buzzwords like ‘empowered consumers’ and ‘digital natives’ in your strategy slides all you want. If you don’t get the message consumers are sending your company, by ignoring your ads, you’re out.

Pull people into your content. Don’t push it through their throats.

Want to know how? Read ‘Made to Stick’ by Chip & Dan Heath. It’s awesome.

Second: Adapt to the Intent

Having all these channels that are filled with signals of intent makes this the most exciting time for marketing yet. At least if you’re willing to get your hands dirty.

So you want your impressions to be cheaper? Then fit in. The more you’ll try to abuse channels like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or even Google Search to push your own message, regardless of any context, the more you’ll pay.

It’s what them guru’s call ‘context marketing’. The market doesn’t allow you to simply push your message between two pieces of actual good content.

It’s over. It’s done.

Make sure you get the psychology behind the channel right. Know why people are on it. And adapt to that.

Third: Spend less money

This game of buying media space has come a long way. It has always been a big money business. And big money businesses don’t change fast. Because there’s a lot at stake. And then technology comes by…

Before the internet, buying media always was a volume game. And that was perfectly fine. Because that was the game you should have been playing. If you secure a publishers revenue, you get a discount. Great!

Buying mass media in bulk will feel like burning money once you start to use this method.

But this is over. Technology will be changing your demand in the coming years, because you will be outrun by people spending less money on bulk media then you are now.

They do this by using the data available on the web. What if I say you don’t have to buy all of a channels available media space to reach self-employed people? Even mass media can be segmented to your needs, if you’ve got the data available.

Buying rigid batches of impressions will be costing you 4–5x more and will give you worse results on top.

And I’ll admit: The data isn’t always the best yet. But the bold part is the most important one. There’s one thing I can assure you, this is not ‘getting back to normal’. This is how media will be bought predominantly 2 years from now.

You’ll need to be planning out where and how you’ll be spending your money. What data will you use to buy which media on which platform. And it won’t be just some media packages with good GRP for your audiences…

I’ll be here if you need me. Give me a shout.