What is Media Buying? The Expert’s Guide to Maximizing Your Marketing ROI

You can offer the best product in the world, but it won’t mean a thing if you can’t reach your target audience. Brands have more tools than ever before to achieve this goal, and media buying is a critical approach to add to your strategy. Whether it be television, radio, out of home, print, or digital marketing approaches like paid search, programmatic video and social media ads, media buying can make a dramatic difference for your brand. Let’s dive in and explore why your business needs to start thinking about your media advertising strategy right now.

What is Media Buying?

You’ve seen media buying everywhere, and that’s because it’s an incredibly effective tool for brand awareness and to drive new leads and revenue. Media buying is where businesses purchase TV, radio, digital, OOH and print advertising spaces to get the word out about their products and brand.

At Marshall Advertising, we know media buying like the back of our hand. With over 20 years of experience, Marshall Advertising is more than a strategy-focused media buying agency. The truth is, we do so much more for our clients beyond negotiating rates, building schedules, and assessing results. Our team of media experts partners with clients to help define and reach their goals. Our clients stay with us because we operate as an extension of their internal marketing teams. We are constantly evolving, forward thinking and embracing change and technology. Clients benefit from our team’s diverse array of experience and talents and most importantly our success is defined by your success!

Media buying spans a number of different formats, anything from newspaper ads to billboards, bus shelters, and Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. It’s truly all-encompassing. 

One key premise of media buying is that no one method is the end-all-be-all for marketing your brand. Each medium is a valuable vector to reach your audience. Although digital media is becoming much more popular than print media, the latter still has its merits. For example, FinancesOnline found that 77% of consumers found print media to be more memorable than alternative formats.

The Media Buying Process

Using different media types can benefit your brand, but how do you go about it in a way that maximizes your success? As with most things, having a plan is the most important part. The most important first step is to plan your media buying roadmap. Let’s dive into what your media buying journey will look like with an expert agency like Marshall Advertising.

Media Planning

At Marshall Advertising, we always follow best practices when media buying. Working with us, you’ll see a process like this: 

      • Consulting: We listen and comprehend your needs to thoroughly understand your audience and objectives. We have discussions and offer expert consultation to align our strategies with your overarching goals.

      • Conduct market research: you need to understand what types of media your target audience consumes, and how to best reach them with those platforms. Examine their demographics and behaviors.

      • Set your objectives: align your campaign goals with your business goals. Set achievable expectations that will help you stay focused.

      • Select media platforms: choose platforms that will best reach your audience and communicate your brand’s value proposition. Marshall Advertising also helps you target specific audiences with data-driven techniques.

      • Create a media plan: make a comprehensive plan outlining exactly how you will execute your goals. A content calendar is a great option.

    At Marshall Advertising, we don’t just help you plan – we dive deep into your marketing efforts to find inefficiencies, missed opportunities, and areas to optimize. With over 20 years of experience and nearly 250 years of combined advertisingand media buying expertise, we know how to help you maximize your chances of success.Your success is our success.

    Key Factors in Media Buying

    Aside from doing demographic research and identifying the right platforms to use, there are a few key factors we keep in mind when beginning your media buying journey:

    Determine ad frequency: how often should we be running ads through a particular medium? We do market research to figure this out.

    Balance the budget: how much should we be spending on each platform and your ad inventory?

    Finding the best rates: this is a professional media buyer’s best skill, we don’t overspend on ads. We find the right partners to make your media buying more efficient.

    Keeping these factors in mind will not only help you succeed, but help you save money too. If you’re looking for a team to do this, they’ll need to be fierce negotiators, to secure the best trade deals and sponsorships. They need to know how to help you achieve your goals while keeping your budget in check.

    Media Buying Use Cases

    There are a number of use cases where media buying can make a substantial difference for your brand, such as:

    New Product Launches

    Introducing a new product to the market requires a well-orchestrated media buying strategy to generate buzz, create awareness, and drive adoption. When launching a new mobile app, for example, you could run a comprehensive social media campaign across platforms like Meta, TikTok and Google. 

    Event Promotions

    Media buying is an essential tool for promoting events and driving attendance. Whether you’re hosting a conference, webinar, or limited-time offer, targeted ads can help you reach the right audience and generate excitement. Examples of this can include social media ads, display ads, and email marketing to get the word out. 

    Geo-targeting can be particularly effective for location-specific events, allowing you to reach potential attendees in the right geographic areas. Retargeting can also be used to remind interested individuals about your event and encourage them to register or purchase tickets. By crafting compelling ad copy and visuals that communicate the value of your event, you can effectively leverage media buying to boost engagement and drive conversions.

    Seasonal Marketing Moments

    Seasonal events and holidays present unique opportunities for brands to connect with their audience and drive sales. For example, a bar could run a targeted media buying campaign to promote a St. Patrick’s Day drink special. 

    By placing ads on local billboards, transit shelters, and digital displays in high-traffic areas, the bar can capture the attention of potential customers and create a sense of urgency around the limited-time offer. Social media ads and sponsored posts can also be used to reach a wider audience and encourage people to visit the bar during the holiday. 

    Entering New Markets

    Expanding into new markets requires a focused media buying approach to establish your brand presence and attract new customers. When entering a new geographic market, for example, you’ll want to concentrate your media buys on channels that reach your target audience in that specific area. This could include local television and radio ads, out-of-home advertising, and geo-targeted digital ads. 

    Partnering with local influencers and publishers can also help you gain credibility and tap into existing communities. When expanding into new demographic or psychographic markets, you’ll need to tailor your media buying strategy to the preferences and behaviors of your new target audience. This may involve experimenting with new ad formats, platforms, or messaging to effectively reach and engage your desired audience.

    Shifting Perceptions

    Media buying can be a powerful tool for influencing brand perceptions and managing your reputation. If your brand is facing negative feedback or misperceptions, a strategic media buying campaign can help you regain control of the narrative. By placing ads that highlight your brand’s values, achievements, or customer testimonials, you can work to counteract negative sentiment and reinforce your desired brand identity. 

    Paid content partnerships with trusted publishers can also help you share your brand’s story and perspective with a wider audience. By consistently delivering positive messaging through carefully selected media channels, you can gradually shift perceptions and build a more favorable brand image over time.

    Remember, the key to successful media buying in any use case is to start with clear objectives, understand your target audience, and select the right mix of media channels and formats to reach them effectively. Teaming up with expert media buyers like Marshall Advertising will make sure you’re targeting the best opportunities in the best places for the best price! 

    The Importance of Media Buying Within Advertising

    There are many reasons why media buying is so important for brands around the world. Let’s take a look in more detail at some of those reasons.

    Expands Reach and Awareness

    Media buying doesn’t directly lead to revenue, but it does directly aid your brand awareness. Over time, maintaining consistent brand presentation leads to up 33% increase in revenue. According to DemandSage, 4.95 billion people are using social media in 2024. That makes social media paid ads alone a huge opportunity for any industry to expand brand reach and awareness.

    Drives Conversion Actions

    Media buying can have more direct benefits than just brand awareness. Advertising can also be used as a conversion engine. For example, a study found that native affiliate marketing ads were able to achieve a 25% higher conversion rate than regular display ads. In fact, affiliate marketing campaigns targeted at 25–34-year-olds can get a 45% higher conversion rate as well.

    Improves Cost Efficiency

    Simply incorporating media buying into your marketing strategy won’t magically make your business more cost efficient. Teaming up with an expert media buying team will help you save money, with years of experience and hard negotiation, someone like Marshall Advertising can make a huge difference. 

    For example, our team monitors essential metrics like your Cost Per Thousand impressions (CPM), click-through-rate, and other key performance indicators (KPIs). This allows us to make informed decisions about what ads to buy and when. This can help prevent wasting most of your budget on buying lots of ineffective media placements. Instead, it will help you focus on fewer, higher performing ads.

    Enhances Campaign Results

    One of the most crucial elements of media buying is that you can track your performance. If our team finds that some of your ads aren’t performing as well as others, we can modify the strategy to get your campaign back on track. Adjusting your strategy based on the feedback we receive from your audience is a fantastic way to enhance your campaign’s results.

    Why Hiring a Media Buying Agency is a Game-Changer for Marketing Leaders

    As a marketing leader, you’re always looking for ways to optimize your campaigns and achieve the best possible results. While it may be tempting to handle media buying in-house, partnering with a specialized media buying agency like Marshall Advertising can take your campaigns to the next level. Here’s why:

    Unleashing the Power of Data-Driven Insights

    Media buying agencies have the research and data skills necessary to dive deep into your target audience, content mediums, and industry trends. At Marshall Advertising, we employ a range of data-focused techniques to not only help you understand your audience but also to target them with the right media channels. By leveraging our expertise, you can optimize your strategy to its fullest potential and maximize your ROI.

    Mastering the Media Landscape

    In today’s complex advertising world, it’s crucial to have a partner who knows their way around both digital and traditional channels. While social media and paid search ads are essential, traditional channels like print, cable, out-of-home, radio, and broadcast still play a significant role in a well-rounded media strategy. At Marshall Advertising, we secure kick-ass paid media across all platforms and formats, ensuring that your message reaches your target audience wherever they are.

    Streamlining Campaign Management and Negotiation

    Managing campaigns, evaluating KPIs, and creating content strategies across multiple mediums can be a daunting task for even the most experienced marketing teams. By partnering with a media buying agency like Marshall Advertising, you can tap into our expertise in campaign management and negotiation. We’ll work tirelessly to ensure that your campaigns are running smoothly, your KPIs are being met, and you’re getting the best possible rates on your ad placements.

    Saving Time and Resources

    Handling media buying in-house can be a time-consuming and resource-intensive endeavor. By outsourcing this function to a specialized agency, you can free up your internal team to focus on other critical aspects of your marketing strategy. Plus, with Marshall Advertising’s extensive network of media partners and industry relationships, you’ll gain access to opportunities and insights that may not be available to you otherwise.

    Staying Ahead of the Curve

    The media landscape is constantly evolving, and staying on top of the latest trends and best practices can be a full-time job in itself. When you partner with Marshall Advertising, you can rest assured that you’re working with a team of experts who are always on the cutting edge of the industry. We’ll keep you informed of the latest developments and help you adapt your strategy to stay ahead of the competition.

    In today’s fast-paced, highly competitive marketing environment, partnering with a media buying agency like Marshall Advertising is a game-changer. By leveraging our expertise, resources, and relationships, you can take your campaigns to new heights and achieve the results you’ve been dreaming of. Don’t settle for mediocre media buying – trust the experts at Marshall Advertising to help you dominate your market.

    Ready to Take Your Media Strategy to the Next Level?

    Ready to take your media strategy to new heights? Partner with the experts at Marshall Advertising and unlock your brand’s full potential. Our team of seasoned professionals brings deep industry knowledge, cutting-edge tools, and unrivaled expertise to create customized media buying strategies that maximize your ROI and drive meaningful results.


    What Experience Does Marshall Advertising Have In My Industry and My Target Audience?

    We’ve worked with a number of different industries and top brands from around the world, including Disney, ABC, American Heart Association, Modern Fertility, and more. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you reach your target audience!

    How Do You Measure Success and Provide Reporting/Optimization Recommendations?

    Marshall Advertising uses a dynamic reporting dashboard to help you see exactly what metrics to track and act on. Talk to us to learn more about how we can help you optimize your media strategies.

    What Other Services Do You Provide Besides Media Buying?

    Marshall Advertising offers many other services than just media buying. We help with research and strategy, creative testing and guidance, ensuring brand safety and fraud avoidance, campaign architecture and data integration, and more! We’re not just your media buyers – we’re your strategic partners, helping you maximize your brand reach and crush your tactical goals.

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