Purchasing Advertising spots online

Estimated time:  50 minutes

Category: Outdoor Advertising


In today’s world no business can survive without courting consumers through effective media channels. In order to entice consumers to buy products, you need to put the right message at the right spot and grab their attention without coming across as too obnoxious. This also means that you need to know exactly what channels will deliver your message in the intended fashion. Then, you need to find the appropriate sellers or platforms that sell the types of advertising spots you need. From selecting the right media channels to content for advertisement to sticking to the available budget, every step of your advertisement distribution process is crucial. Many people who are new to the advertising world will buy ad spots at random based on their limited understanding and then wonder why they never got the ROI they had expected even though they were significantly over-budget. Others will buy their ad spots through an agency that charges them hefty rates. Buying ad spots isn’t exactly rocket science, but you need to understand the process of content planning, ad buying, negotiations and the advertising industry in order to make an informed decision.

Media planning and buying is the process of strategizing, negotiating, and purchasing ad placements, or “inventory.” When planning what inventory to purchase, planners must take into consideration the product being advertised, target audience, and campaign goals. In addition, not only are media buyers responsible for making the initial purchase, but also for continuing to optimize performance throughout the entire campaign lifecycle. 


Most businesses need every opportunity they have to market their brand which is possible only if they plan the best spot to reach the masses. Even if someone knows what channels they want to use for their brand message such as TV commercials, Radio ads, print, digital, transit or any other channel; they may not know where to purchase the advertising spots they require. The other thing is that advertisements need to be repeated over time to create a single brand story. 

From a buyer’s perspective, it makes more sense to utilize your time and monetary resources to the fullest by getting your ad spots at very reasonable prices through a single platform rather than multiple publishers or sellers and take on the headache of negotiating and collaborating with multiple entities. 


By the end of this module, you will be able to: 

  • Understand how effective advertisements can be distributed by dealing with a single platform
  • Learn about online advertising platforms
  • Analyze the advantages of different media purchasing practices in order to make a conscious decision about buying the media
  • Make a conscious decision about whether to advertise to the masses or stick to a specific niche.


  • Buying an advertisement online
  • Niche vs mass marketing



Understand how effective advertisements can be distributed by dealing with a single platform


There are several steps to hashing out a successful a media plan:

Audience research

Audience research comes at the beginning of every effective marketing campaign. If you do not have a deep understanding of what your customer wants, you may as well be shooting in the dark. Since consumer behavior varies by demographic, planners are tasked with identifying which mediums will be the most effective for a particular campaign. There are three key questions that will point you in the right direction with your audience research:

  • Who is your target audience? 
  • Which media channels do they normally consume information on?
  • How does your target audience shift from one media channel to another? 

RFP the market place 

Once you get you target audience mapped out and a strategic plan in place, the next step is to send our RFPs to potential sellers. These are the questions you should be asking at this stage:

  • What percentage of your campaign will be devoted to which types of buys, from display to search, and beyond?
  • Which media channels will be most effective for your campaign?
  • What percentage of the budget should be allocated to each?

Cross-media client budget authorizations

This is where it gets tricky. Until now, even if you were working with multiple providers, things are manageable as you are still in the planning stage. Once you get the budgeting and scheduling down, however, implementation becomes challenging when you are dealing with multiple providers. This is true both in terms of organizing your campaign (time, budget etc) and also in terms of analytics and ROI calculations. It becomes challenging to figure out which activity brought the most customers to your business!


Imagine you are a marketing  consultant and one of the leading local educational institutions have approached you for marketing their institution. They have four locations. Two are small suburban communities. One is a remote township. One is a big city. Keeping this in mind sketch down the particular media channels and content strategy for each location. Explain why you chose those particular channels. 

Learning objective 2:

Learn about online advertising platforms.


If you want to purchase your outdoor media online there are a few things you must consider first. The primary action you need to take is determine the particulars of the outdoor advertising such as location, duration of display and cost. If you go to a traditional media distributor, s/he may only carry a few types of hoarding, a limited selection of locations and may have cumbersome overhead costs. One upcoming trend in this industry in the past few years is the creation of e-commerce-type media buying portals where lay people and customers can purchase outside advertising online. This section will walk you through the different ways in which you can purchase outdoor media online.

Visit a niche website

There are websites dedicated to the purchase of billboards, connecting people seeking outdoor advertising options with people that own billboards to rent the space. The websites provide a way to contact companies or individuals that oversee the billboard for more information. These smaller websites may not have all the bells and whistles of major advertising companies, but they provide some value because they are often niche-based.

Visit comprehensive media-buying portals

The really good advertising companies have proper websites with a vast array of media buying options. One such website is Gainbuzz. If you visit our home page at www.gainbuzz.com, you will see a plethora of media buying options. The biggest pro of using such large portals is that they are safe and legitimate.

When you do business with anyone online you need to make sure that the company is a legitimate company and has not had many issues. Professional organizations like Gainbuzz can help you find a company that is currently servicing your area without the hassle of worrying whether you are getting your money’s worth or if the party you are purchasing from is legitimate or not. This would be one of the safest routes to go. It is possible that they cost a little more, but sometimes the improved safety and experience is worth the cost.


If you are interested in checking out the crossplatform buying-selling process designed by gainbuss, you can go to our home page and click on the “Join us” button on the top right corner. Follow the instructions that pop up!


Analyze the advantages of different media purchasing practices in order to make a conscious decision about buying media ad spots


While some advertisers prefer to purchase advertising spots by dealing directly with media owners (e.g. newspapers, magazines or broadcast networks), in practice, most media buying is purchased as part of broader negotiations via a media buying agency or media buying group.

These large media agencies are able to exert market power through volume purchasing by buying up space for an entire year. Media agencies benefit advertisers by providing advertising units at lower rates and also through the provision of added value services such as media planning services

Most media outlets use dynamic pricing, a form of yield management which means that there are no fixed rates. Prices depend on a number of factors including – the advertiser’s prior relationship with the network, the volume of inventory being purchased, the timing of the booking and whether the advertiser is using cross-media promotions such as product placements.


List down content to be given in print media advertising about the blood donation camp organised by you and your group of friends as a contribution to the society. Categorize into categories based on which print medium would be most effective in increasing your blood donation camp turnout. Explain why.


Make a conscious decision about whether to advertise to the masses or stick to a specific niche.


Mass marketing can be better understood when you compare it with to niche marketing. Niche marketing can be considered as the opposite of mass marketing simply because it is more targeted, whereas mass marketing is broad by definition. Niche marketing focuses on a smaller market segment with specific traits. Unlike mass marketing, niche marketing focuses on a smaller group of people with easily identifiable preferences, wants and needs.


Pampers is a popular baby nappy/ diaper brand that has no definable market so it’s pretty obvious that they use mass marketing as a strategy. BumGenius! on the other hand is a cloth version brand that appeals to eco-friendly and cost-conscious parents. While both Pampers and BumGenius! cater to parents of infants and toddlers, BumGenius! targets a smaller market segment with very specific needs and preferences. With mass marketing, you cast a wide shallow net –  great for fmcg products. With niche markets, you cast a narrow, deep net – great for targeting specific groups and nurturing loyalty e.g. Harley Davidson bikes for a certain demographic of bike enthusiasts.

Mass marketing may seem like an appealing marketing strategy to use since it casts a wider net and would reach more markets. But while you can save on costs for market research, you’ll still have to invest a considerable amount of resources to be able to have access to mass media and other advertising formats.

The other thing is, niche marketing is not just used by small businesses and niche brands. There are also large companies with established brands that use niche marketing successfully. This may be a more effective strategy for companies that sell products that only a smaller market will appreciate. Market research is an absolute necessity with niche marketing and brands also have to determine the best channels  and formats to advertise their products.


Identify the firms and companies who use both niche marketing and mass marketing to promote their products. Examine how each aspect (niche vs mass) changes their strategy and results.


Honda is an internationally known car brand, but it also offers hybrid cars for the energy-conscious, environmentalist consumers. The company creates targeted advertising for its hybrid cars that is different from its other products. 


List down the pros and cons of niche marketing and mass marketing.

Sign up on an online advertising platform to plan out your marketing strategy.




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