My favorite season has arrived. Autumn brings wonderful things like falling leaves, pumpkin spice everything, and new episodes of my favorite television shows. The long wait to see just what happens to our favorite characters after that cliffhanger ending in May is finally over.

Unlike most viewers, I also look forward to the ads that appear during commercial breaks. You might even say I’m more prone to pay attention to the ads – who is advertising, good or bad placement, spot rotation, new creative, etc. And it gets me wondering if brands (or their agencies) echo the Mindful Kreative media buying philosophy – securing the right media in the right place at the right price.

The media industry is in a monumental state of change, so it’s become essential to push the boundaries way beyond traditional media buying and planning. Whether you’re looking to place ads with online, outdoor, print, radio or television outlets, you need to know that it’s not as simple as viewing the ad rates and reserving space if you want to meet or exceed your objectives.

We at Mindful Kreative, and those brands or agencies that frequently place ads, understand that the media buying process has evolved into a multi-step discipline with the following functions:

Planning – Determine your goals and parameters (timing, target audience, geography, budget, creative direction, etc.) to develop a cost effective media strategy.

Negotiation – Communicate clearly with vendors (what you need, why you need it, etc.) and be willing to be flexible to achieve efficient, effective media placements at affordable rates.

Placement – Reserve space and distribute creative materials in a timely fashion to meet deadlines.

Monitoring – Monitor media buys on a regular basis to ensure continued quality and delivery of purchased elements.

Maintenance – Adjust and refine media buy as necessary to achieve the desired goals.

Reconciliation – Confirm the ad space that was originally purchased was actually delivered; any shortfalls should be addressed immediately and made good.

Following this holistic approach to media planning and buying will ensure you spend your ad dollars efficiently and effectively. And if you remember to keep an open mind about media opportunities, establish and stick to some guidelines, and communicate throughout the process, we expect you’ll be pretty happy with the outcome of your ad campaign.

— Amy Meyers, Director of Media