How the Media Buying Industry has Changed Over the Years

Considering the entire time span of human history by comparison, life for the average person has changed so drastically in almost every aspect over just the last century, and media consumption and advertising are certainly no exception to this. What began with newspapers, pamphlets, and simple signage has now evolved into a myriad of advertising styles and media delivery methods. If you’re considering your own marketing campaign for your business, this article will shed some much-needed light on this whirlwind of change and how it affects decision-making for media buying.

One of the most important things to realize right off the bat is that people’s media consumption has continued to become more and more fragmented over time. There are so many different channels to reach people: several full TV networks, different cable platforms, TV Dish delivery options, and a huge selection of radio stations including satellite. And now we have all the different streaming services and social media platforms with new ones likely on the way. The messaging is all based on location as well–the TV and radio programming is constantly shifting across different areas of the country. This fragmentation shows no signs of stopping anytime soon, so one of the critical factors to the success of a marketing campaign is staying on top of these patterns. As media consumption becomes more and more fragmented, the complexity of selecting the right strategies will continue to rise.

One of the biggest forces of these changes in recent history was the Covid-19 pandemic. The time of day people consumed media changed due to work from home; people consumed more media on average and the use of streaming services skyrocketed during quarantine. Certain aspects of these changes have since returned closer to the way they were before, but others have not. As a business owner, it has become exceedingly difficult to effectively run a business while simultaneously trying to stay on top of these kinds of changes. Having a dedicated media strategist who can make sense of the confusion and keep track of these changes on your behalf can be a gamechanger.

Professional media buyers are constantly analyzing info on consumer behavior and media consumption habits, following Nielsen media data, and looking at streaming platform metrics, amongst many other things. While media consumption will continue to fragment, the bottom line hasn’t changed: all forms of advertising will work. It’s simply a matter of choosing the forms that will fit in your budget and will achieve the ROI you’re looking for, and having a professional media strategist with decades of experience in your corner to sort through the confusion is invaluable.