November 23, 2015

Organizing media buying efforts after reorganization

You have three approaches to choose from when deciding on media planning and buying for your organization: centralized, decentralized or a hybrid.

Reorganization. If your organization is going through it, you’re also going to have to deal with reorganizing a very important marketing function: media buying.

You have three approaches to choose from, each with merits and disadvantages: centralized, decentralized or a hybrid.

With the centralized approach, you consolidate all media buying for each division and service line under one “corporate” marketing function, rather than allocating marketing budgets to individual divisions, departments or service lines.

With the decentralized approach, however, each geographical division, sub-brand or service line has its own marketing manager and buying allocation for directing media purchases.

Then there’s the hybrid approach. You consolidate selected divisional or sub-brands and overall brand media buying decisions and budgets in one location. But you also select and sponsor local, geographically unique products, services and sponsorships through decentralized marketing budgets within your organization.

Choose the one that complements your content and creative communications strategy. Your goal is to ensure the most efficient delivery across all appropriate channels to reach your target customers. If you’d like to partner with a media buying agency to manage this function, find one with strategy and management experience in your industry. They can ensure meaningful, timely communications to everyone in-house as well as to your media vendors and, ultimately, your customers.

Whatever approach you choose, consider the customer “path to purchase” when buying media. Think about the impact the following will have on the people who purchase your products or services: organizational brand; referral from other customers and third parties/reviewers; product, service and location offerings; social media influences; how messages are targeted; and when and where media is placed. Your media buying agency can provide marketplace research on how each of these factors influences your audience’s buying process. And when the agency is open to guidance from your internal stakeholders—including those closest to the production and delivery of your products and services—you’ll enjoy even greater success.

Think about these questions as you select a media buying approach:

  • How do you use your overarching brand across all divisions? How would you like to use it?
  • How integrated are your product/service lines and staff across multiple entities and locations?
  • How close is your paid media strategy to your public relations, paid search, and internal and social media efforts?
  • How many agencies and internal customers will the media buying agency need to work with?
  • How do you distinguish the primary and secondary geographic markets served by each division within your organization?


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