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What Is Media Buying and How It Works?

Author: Igor Balanchuk
28 December 2020, 17:38
Votes: 4

The media buying process is among the most vital ones in the work of digital platforms, and the gambling sphere isn't an exception. What are the cornerstones of media buying? What services and software can help a media buyer? How to work with social media? Login Casino gives an insight into this rather complex and interesting phenomenon in regard to the latest gambling news and trends.

What Is Media Buying and How It Works?

One of the most important processes in the modern digital world and its marketing side is media buying. The definition of media buying can be the following: the strategic set of skills and actions used to find and purchase the most effective and valuable advertising propositions to promote the needed product. In other words, this is the complex process that is aimed at bringing maximum conversion for a minimum price, where deep knowledge of the sphere and negotiating skills are the key to success.

Interestingly, media buyer definition is actual for both offline and online sectors. Thus, buying the billboards and target traffic seems to be different actions, but they both are aimed at converting the advertising investments into real purchases or other kinds of sales. Of course, the requirements and tools for digital and offline marketing are different, but the primary aim and lots of marketing knowledge (like knowing the target audience) are pretty similar.

Who is the media buyer?

Actually, that is one of the most in-demand persons in the recent trade sphere, except for the expert that knows what Bitcoin or Ethrereum is and what currency to invest in, of course. While the merchant trends in recent decades were around marketing and appropriate people, global digitization forces to adjust the approaches.

Thus, a media buyer can be defined as the marketer with the ability to organize the digital side of the 'buy low, sell high' process. Even though the trend of narrower specializations is growing, the demand for multi-purpose workers also increases.

Abilities and skills of media buyers

To be more specific, a media buyer should be skilled in the following aspects:

Negotiation. That is usually the primary ability that every media buyer should have. As he or she is actively involved in the buy/sell process, a developed negotiating skill will help in both directions. Also, every buyer is working with diverse people, and soft skills (which are linked with negotiating abilities) are the must for him or her as a simple smile, or sincere praise can make the difference in deal signing.

media buying

Strategic thinking. Another 'must' ability for the media buyer is the complex position. There is no need to buy the cheapest traffic of the unnecessary target audience that won't enter the elite casino, and even more complicated mistakes are unacceptable in the regarded position. However, the professional media buyer has to understand all the related processes and be able to systematize them appropriately. For instance, it would be good to buy the market place in the developing location in advance as the increase of the target audience will move the price up soon; the future saved costs can be spent on testing new approaches.

Research and analysis. This skill is tightly related to the previous one but has some differences. Thus, strategic thinking can lead the person to the point that everything is clear in the business and is functioning on the same schemes. However, human psychology permanently changes, so purchasing desires. The recent item is more about the flexibility, openness, and readiness for something new, rather than just about a structural understanding of how things are functioning.

Media business understanding. As most of the media buyer's work is related to sales and advertising, the process's core driver should be explored deep enough. The professional representative of the regarded occupation should know even the backside of the media outlets, including even some technical specifics. Thus, it would be strange to launch onboard advertising of a new betting firm in a few days as banner printing and their physical distribution take much time in practice. Of course, media buyers should know the prices in different niches and at different times of the year.

Human psychology. Relying on Maslow's hierarchy of needs is good, but intrinsic human drivers are much more diverse and depend on multiple factors. Of course, it's almost impossible to research psychology on Sigmund Freud's level, but be aware of the newest finding in human behavior functioning or how the innovative tips grab individuals' attention can be a huge bonus. Especially if the competitors still don't know why and what is happening.

media buying agency

Flexibility and testing. Although media buyer is a trendy and highly-paid work, it doesn't mean that reading a few articles or providing several successful campaigns guarantees the result in the future. Losses are a huge part of this job, and the ability to adjust to the new conditions is a must. One of the ways to stay on top is to provide innovative techniques after thoughtful testing. If one thinks that testing is among the simplest ways to check something, he or she is totally wrong. Every experiment should be well designed, and one has to know what to do even with negative results.

Actually, that is only a short-list of the needed skills and abilities for a media buyer. Every aforementioned item can be easily subdivided into another bullet list, which means that the way to be a top merchant in business is a long and tough route.

How does a media buying agency work?

Nothing strange that the media buying process can be an issue for the whole department or agency. Spreading the responsibilities among people is always a good decision if they can effectively cooperate. However, the working process of the whole agency is based on the same principles mentioned above. Thus, the workflow of the media buying agency can be defined by the following steps:

  • Identifying the target audience . That is the cornerstone element of every department that is involved in the marketing, advertising, and sales process.
  • Market research . Agency shouldn't rely only on the technical task and be ready to provide a thoughtful analysis of the market.
  • Objectives definition . Before further negotiating and launching stages are activated, the agency has to define cornerstone aspects and terms to rely on.
  • Planning . When the key terms and target are defined, it's time to plan the short and long-term (of needed) strategy for a particular case; logical continuation and more presentable outcome of the previous item. 

digital media buying

  • Negotiating . While we defined this aspect as the cornerstone of the media buying success, it comes only at the end of the whole process. However, the order in this list means nothing as the process and outcome of negotiations is still the major event of the case.
  • Measuring results . While this item often refers to the overall outcome of the deal, it should be provided regularly just after launching. Sometimes, in-time adjustments can save huge costs and increase the efficiency of the campaign.

Most important aspects to know in media planning and buying process

To bring more clarity to the process, let's review the media buying and planning process in more detail. For instance, what are the ways of reaching the target audience and how it should be done. Also, we'll regard in short the services and software that can be found on the market.

However, let's start with listing the most widespread ways of reaching the target audience with a short explanation:


Search Engine Marketing usually refers to the paid methods of being at the top of search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. This often includes Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and Pay-Per-View (PPV) tactics, which means paying to the regarded engines for appearing high in the list of their search results.


Search Engine Optimization is the definition for free methods (without paying to Google or Yahoo but employing content-writers and SEO specialists) of grabbing the attention of search engines and being at the top of page results. Even though it's not a fully free process, but assumes that one can achieve results without direct paying via Google Ads or comparable methods.

TV, Radio, and OTT

Television, Radio, and Over-the-Top (streaming and online video & audio platforms) are actively used ways of getting the target audience. All the ways can be more effective if used in regard to a particular TV show, event, or time (suggesting the bookmaking service during football matches as fans like betting - the most common example).

Outdoor billboards and digital displays

social media buying

A bit dying method as it works best with general audiences and most common products. Effective with mass products like lottery tickets, which are usually purchased by millions of people.

Strategic partnerships and Public Relations (PR)

Even though those methods are the long-lasting ones, they can be used in the media buying tactics if the advertising strategy is also long-lasting.

Social media buying

This actively developing method of reaching the needed public deserves special attention. Thus, it allows for more engagement and even feedbacks from the audience. It is also quite easily linked with the target audience as it is often based on the particular individual's preferences. Interestingly, it is organized automatically thanks to Artificial Intelligence, which is gaining momentum in gaming. It allows personalizing the ads and so the ROI of the campaign.

Facebook media buying

This social media is the most popular one for a long time, so the primary methods, approaches, and instruments are best developed on Facebook. However, the growing popularity of Telegram, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, and other social media platforms will improve the prices and tactics used on Facebook too.

What is digital media buying?

One could mention that there were no digital media buying tactics in the list above. However, that is just another kind of classification of possible approaches. It is necessary to understand that digital means a bit different from the traditional definition, in this case. Thus, digital media buying is the process of getting an advertisement that can be clicked.

SEM and SEO are the most simple examples of digital media buying. While TV, Radio, and OTT were the single item in the previous subtopic, here, they should be divided as none can click on TV ads but easily follow the attached link in YouTube.

Where to find media buying services?

Traditionally, such services are suggested by media buying agencies. The issue of defining the best in a particular country or industry is always biased, and everything depends on the particular case. Thus, a portfolio of successful cases is a good way of exploring the authority of the agency, but the failed ones surely will be hidden. So, be attentive during negotiations taking into account everything explained above.

facebook media buying

Is using media buying software a suitable approach?

While researching the topic for gambling media buying, one can easily find multiple offers to use online software for casinos or even programmatic media buying solutions. However, it is highly important to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of programmatic media buying. Thus, the pros of software are the following:

  • fast launching of media buying;
  • high efficiency and ROI due to the automated process;
  • the technology is actively developing.

Nevertheless, one should be aware of the drawbacks related to programmatic media buying:

  • no human control is dangerous as it can lead to;
  • inappropriate matching of advertising;
  • high fraud possibility of online traffic.

However, this topic is a rather complicated one to be discussed in one paragraph, so just keep in mind that specific software is not always the guarantee of the best result.

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Frequently asked questions

What is media buying?

That is the process of organizing the whole media side of sales, including research of the target audience, buying the appropriate advertising, and measuring the result of the campaign.

What is media planning and buying?

Media planning and buying is the renewed way of creating effective advertising campaigns and receiving the appropriate result.


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