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Demystifying the world of media

04 November, 2022 Reading: 3:26 mins
Demystifying the world of media

The world of media can seem bewildering at first glance. Crucially, the COVID-19 pandemic fast-forwarded every single business model in the media universe by 5-10 years. So, it’s more important than ever to demystify the terms that often confuse many so you can get ahead of your competition.

We're going to be writing a series of blogs on the media universe, but first here are a few pointers to whet your appetite.

Traditional media vs New media

Traditional media, specifically TV & Radio, have been used for decades and are tried and tested, but which format is best? Those in the TV world may argue there is no way to achieve the same level of reach and frequency in print as you can with TV. On the flip side, radio execs will swear it’s a superior channel as it reaches consumers in an easy and convenient way – whether that’s first thing in the morning, or on any journey the end user has lots of time to consider.

New media – digital media such as social media - is often used rather than expanding the traditional offering. New media can be far less expensive, even per person reached, and offers greater interactivity between business and consumer. It’s also data-driven, so you can tell exactly how many people have seen it, and target consumers most effectively and accurately, or pivot easily mid-campaign. It augments your social media presence which can help create and increase trust in your brand as customers and businesses find an authentic profile to match your claims.

Media Planning vs Buying

Traditionally, media buying is part of the media planning process and refers to the actual negotiation process. A media planner creates a media plan based on the client’s brief and budget. Together with the internal team and client, they finalise all the campaign details, including which media to advertise on, the campaign duration, and the appropriate budget for each media type.

Media Terms Glossary
There are so many words used in adland to talk about media, so here are a few key terms to familiarise yourself with and to help you navigate the landscape:

CPM - cost per thousand impressions.

CPC - cost per click, not for impressions but for each time the ad is clicked.

Advertiser – company running the ad.
Publisher– the website displaying the ad.
Ad network – the marketplace used to buy and sell ads and placements.

DSP (the demand side platform) - where advertisers enter their criteria, budget and target audience.

Programmatic media buying - this automates the media buying and ad placement process according to a pre-defined set of criteria. When this is used, publishers and advertisers don’t negotiate prices, there is automated real-time bidding for ad placements.

Direct media buying – purchased in direct contact with publishers and the ad seller providing the space. The advertiser pays the publisher based on the number of impressions (online banners) or a flat fee for a duration of time or size of placement and position (print).

Flat fee - what it says on the tin! A defined fee for a defined amount of exposure.

SSP (the supply-side platform) - the platform publishers use to list inventory they’re willing to make available to programmatic advertisers.

If you want to get up-to-date and read more, you could consider signing up to an industry newsletter like Media War & Peace by Evan Shapiro. His work is driven by data – and he always starts with the cold hard facts. Once all the facts are together, patterns and narratives emerge. He’s been writing this newsletter since 2020 and is a cartographer and University Professor creating a constellation of data to help us visualise and comprehend our current media universe. The result is a snapshot of an ever-expanding and evolving communications cosmos.

We'll be writing more on the media universe next month, but in the meantime if you think we can help you get in touch - we'd love to talk all things media with you.

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