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The Media Buyer’s Point of View on Change Management

October 31st, 2018   ||    by Susan Kuchinskas

Media buyer, do you feel stuck and frustrated with the way you have to do your job? From a media buyer’s point of view, the laborious processes involved with media buying are old-fashioned and inefficient. Videa’s Change Management survey found that 65 percent of media agency employees think the ad buying process is too manual.

As consumers, technology has transformed the way we watch TV, but two-thirds of the industry professionals we surveyed feel stuck with the old way of doing things. This survey of the media buying and selling industry was conducted between September 2017 and March 2018, with a total of 174 responses from media agency buyers, TV stations, and sales reps.

We found that, while some media agency pros are using automated processes, 64 percent are using mostly or completely manual processes for local TV inventory. A full 83 percent thought that automation could help them reduce the time they spend estimating ratings and negotiating buys.

Automating some buying activities could let media buyers focus on adding value: more creative media campaigns and a little breathing room that would let them engage in career development activities.

Automation could also help buyers make better use of audience data gathered from multiple sources, including social media, web traffic, and TV viewing habits. With data informing campaigns, the media buyer can make sure campaigns are relevant and reach their target audiences.

This kind of change is not driven only by bored media buyers. Clients are also looking for more from their media agencies. In one example, Marketing Week reports that Philips wants to make media buying a “much more strategic” part of the creative process—instead of simply pushing buttons to buy media. With this higher role, said Blake Cahill, Philips global head of digital marketing and media, comes higher fees—a very welcome change from a media buyer’s point of view.

A Media Buyer’s Priorities

Even though the majority of media buyers feel stuck, introducing new technology to their companies—or learning how to use it—is not necessarily a priority. That could be because a third of them have experienced tech introductions that didn’t make things better. Choosing the wrong technology can hurt the bottom line, too. Fifty-five percent said their agencies avoid risk.

What seems to be top of mind is pricing transparency: 94 percent of media agencies said it was important, while 89 percent said that being able to see a station’s real-time inventory would help them do their jobs better.

Moreover, half of media agency respondents blamed pricing negotiation for wasting their time, and 68 percent said pricing seemed inconsistent, making it impossible to be sure they were getting the best price on their buys.

Be the Change

Are you ready to help your media buying organization automate your most frustrating tasks while getting a better handle on pricing? Every new initiative needs someone to take the lead—whether a top executive or an ambitious person from the rank-and-file.

Last year, we took a look at change management from a media buyer’s point of view. We found that buyers who want to help lead change in their organizations need to maintain strong communication channels while also maintaining clearly defined roles for everyone involved in leading change.

Our newest research lets us expand on that advice. People are still key. When communicating about the benefits of new technology from a media buyer’s point of view, emphasize that it’s always going to be a blend of people and automation. The robots won’t take anyone’s job, but they can transform someone’s job for the better by taking over some tasks and giving people more freedom to be creative and explore areas of growth and development.

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