How to Negotiate Media Buying?

The most important role of a media buyer is that of the negotiator - this ensures that clients are getting the most value for the ad space they purchase. This means working with media companies, leveraging best practices on how to get the most return for an ad placement, and developing specific contracts. As media buyers execute on media plans, there are a few negotiating tips they should keep in mind.

Do Your Research

Research is not just part of media planning. As a media buyer, you should have expertise in the factors that will impact the success of each campaign, such as:

  • What do leads usually cost in your industry?
  • What is the cost of standard ad placements on various sites?
  • What types of ads, display sizes, etc. perform the best on specific sites?

Understand How Much You Are Willing to Spend

Begin each negotiation with a detailed plan for budgeting and where you might be willing to make allowances for premium spots. Before beginning negotiations, be sure you have answers to the following questions:

  • What is your overall budget?
  • How can you get the most out of that budget?
  • Are there certain publications that you are willing to spend more on (based on past results or target audiences)?

Have a Backup Plan

The strongest playing card in any negotiation is a backup plan. There may be a publisher or television network that you would really like to work with, but you discover they are fully booked or out of your price range. Media buyers should always prepare additional options to ensure fast solutions to unforeseen purchasing issues.

Establish an Anchor

According to Nobel Prize winner, Daniel Kahnemann, people base initial estimates By this he means that prices are often arbitrary and are generally influenced by a user’s initial encounter with it.Understanding this principal can be helpful when leading a negotiation. If you are aiming to target a campaign at $100 per lead, this should not be your first bid. It should be lower, so that publishers can in turn negotiate.

Lead Generation

Consider all the filters you would like on your leads before beginning the negotiations. Don’t assume that you can adjust these after the negotiations.

Negotiate Value Add-Ons

Ask for value add-ons when negotiating. This could include banner ads for an email campaign or an extra airing of a radio ad. This will get you more exposure for your budget.

Get It In Writing

As with all things, get what you have negotiated directly into the contract. If your account director changes or emails get lost, media buyers need a clearly agreed upon set of expectations they can point to.

Type of Negotiations

There are two main types of negotiation tactics, though integrative negotiations are what is most often used in media buying.

  • Zero-Sum Negotiations: In these negotiations, one or both parties are not willing to compromise on the agreement. While often glorified in TV and film, this negotiation style strains or ruins the relationship with the media company.

  • Integrative Negotiations: In integrative negotiations, both parties work together and compromise to ensure each side is getting a good deal that is aligned with their goals.
    I hope this topic was helpful for you, see you on the next topic.