7 Tips for Successful TV Buying
27 March 2019 • tvsquared
Mark Hudson,
Head of Business Intelligence

Buying TV can be overwhelming, especially as the industry consistently contends with new players, platforms and technology—but it doesn’t have to be. Let the tips below guide you to ensure your future media buys are as successful as possible.

  1. Be patient and willing to continually learn about an industry that is always evolving

First and foremost, patience is key. No person or brand can come right out of the gate and instantly be a rock star in TV buying. It takes time and experience. Ask questions, and be willing to master the language.

Adaptability is essential. It’s also important to learn and, when applicable, embrace the latest media trends and advancements. Position yourself so that such trends work in your favor, not against you.

  1. Set up KPIs beforehand to track the performance of the buy

No matter how impressive and strategic it looks on paper, and how carefully you planned it, you’re not going to know how well a buy did unless you have a way of measuring its impact. Just knowing how many people were exposed to the ad is not enough. You need to know how many reacted, responded and, ultimately, converted due to the ad airing.

  1. Know your audience and where you can best find them

Do the research thoroughly beforehand. Knowing who you want to reach, and who your message will resonate with best, will direct you to the right networks, programs, dayparts and markets to showcase your campaign’s message.

And remember, it’s not always the most costly or “popular” show you want. Your intended audience (the people most likely to engage with your ad) may very well be found watching content during a time of day or on a network that differs from what you initially expected.

  1. Buying is negotiation

You want to buy the right inventory for your brand at a fair price, and sellers want to make sure they’re getting the best price for that inventory. The more you understand the media landscape, and how to position yourself to make it work for your brand, the more likely you’ll be able to reach an agreement where you gain the most of what you want. Be flexible in knowing that you may have to buy something you don’t necessarily need to achieve your ultimate goal.

  1. Don’t just identify who your competitors are—know where they’re airing

Make sure you know who and where your main competitors are. Keeping in mind the media landscape’s continually evolving nature, some competitors may surprise you. Once they’re identified, know what your plan of action will be.

Do you want your message to air close to the competition to compete head-to-head? Or, conversely, do you want to stand out with your message dominating in places where the competition is not? The answers to these questions will impact your placements, your choices and how you or your planners populate the media plan.

  1. Schedule wisely and strategically

There’s nothing like wearing out a creative with your audience to dull the impact of what was initially a powerful campaign. Make sure you’re striking an ideal balance between ensuring your creative is positioned well while not letting it become too repetitive for viewers.

Understand flighting and channel selection strategy when you enter negotiations, because too much of a good thing is exactly what it sounds like—too much!

  1. Coordinate with other media buys as much as possible

Digital, print, OOH and radio may be planned and bought by other agencies. If they are, try to obtain as much information on their plans and buys as possible. There may be ways to coordinate your placements to make them even more effective, and TV inventory owners may have other media you can leverage to your advantage.

If these other buys are handled in-house, then it’s even more convenient to share strategies and buys. Your client will appreciate the doors this opens for integrated campaigns, which is now more important than ever.