digital media interview media buying

Leveraging Digital Media Buying to Reach Your Customers: An Interview with Stream’s VP Media Director

More often than not, success is the result of being in the right place at the right time—and around the right people. Well, the same sentiment is true for your company’s ads.

By determining the appropriate medium for your advertisements, your team has a greater chance of reaching the targeted audience and producing the desired results for your customers.

At Stream Companies, we consider our team of media buyers some of the best in the industry. That’s why we took a moment to sit down with our Vice President Media Director, Melissa Dempsey, to get her take on today’s media landscape and how modern technology is making it even easier to engage with your company’s ideal customer. Let’s take a look!

What are your thoughts on the media buying landscape today?

Melissa: “We’re in the middle of a total revolution. We’re achieving goals within a short amount of time, where traditional media took 50, 60 years to get the same amount of content viewed and accessed. Just the amount of people we’re able to reach, we’re able to do that now in a much shorter time. Everybody’s still watching television and listening to the radio, but now they’re just doing it on different devices. It’s their smartphone or their laptop. It’s their car! Now, all the new cars are coming with the Pandora® app built right into the dashboard, and it just makes it so easy.”

The gist: What does this media revolution mean for your business’ media buying plans? With the dawn of movie-streaming platforms, satellite radio, and other mobile technologies, targeting your ideal customer can take a matter of seconds rather than months.

Think about it: Instead of posting a billboard along the highway, you can now put your company’s advertisements directly in front of the consumers who are most likely to buy your product. The result? Increased brand visibility, which ultimately leads to a better return on your media buying investment.

Where does digital fit into media buying?

Melissa: “To me, there are some parts and channels of digital that are still in that top funnel—things like broad-reaching display and some connected TV. But then, you’ve got a lot of the other channels or products where we’re really getting down to very specific data segments and even to the point where now we’re geo-fencing people’s homes. We could take a business’ CRM and their database of their current customers, and we can plug it into our platform and target any of the devices that are pinging within those homes. Digital media is in this revolution where it’s really getting down to the one-to-one communication. It’s great because your budgets can be smaller, but you could still do just as good a job because, with traditional media and other media channels, you might be paying for that waste, but you know that it’s still worth it because you’re going to still get sales and the non-waste, but when you go to digital… There is no waste. We’re not talking to people who just bought a car and don’t need a car.”

The gist: A successful advertising campaign is all about choosing the right platform for your company’s message. When it comes to the best outlet for your business’ message, digital still reigns supreme.

A few decades ago, television and radio were the best channels from which to broadcast your advertisement.

However, you didn’t always know who was on the other side of the screen or speaker, and if they were the right individual to engage with. Now, media buyers can use data to direct your advertisement to a very specific group of consumers.

Want to get your ad in front of the eyes of women between the ages of 30 to 45 who have executive careers and a family? Your media buyer can select the appropriate digital media platform, recommend it to your team, and buy the advertising space on that channel for your message.

How has Stream harnessed this new media revolution? What are some of the new options we offer our clients?

Melissa: “Some of the newer ones are our connected TV, so that’s all a full episode player. So, watching, Chopped on the Food Network, but on your phone or your laptop, or through your Roku or your Chromecast. So, now we’re running commercials for our clients and their exact geotarget. If our clients have a list of zip codes that they only want to be seen in, we can plug that data into our platform, and they can just talk to those zip codes. You don’t have to buy the whole market anymore. We can also layer in auto intenders on that. Every time you click on something, it’s not just about that one click anymore. It’s about the fact that your customer’s click was noticed by all these data miners, and then they’re going to use that for the next 90 days. Eventually, you don’t want to keep targeting me with something that I looked at 90 days ago, because I might have already purchased it… Data mining is built into our platform. We have an elite partnership with Oracle of course, which is a big deal. We have access to Experian® data to Mastercard data, to Nielsen data. So, all of this is baked into our platform already.”

The gist: It’s important to make sure that your company is using the latest technologies and most popular entertainment platforms to display your advertisements.

That’s why Stream’s media buying team displays your advertisements on Connected TV channels, so that they reach the exact audience you’re targeting—right down to a specific zip code.

From there, our media buyers purchase the Connected TV space for your non-skippable commercial and use our in-house data mining platform to examine the appropriate set of viewers.

In addition, Stream sets itself apart by offering streaming audio capabilities, which can also reach listeners at the zip code level.

Not only do these geo-addressable technologies improve our control over quality, but they also allow our team to optimize on the fly, making it easier to quickly connect with a new subset of potential customers.

Instead of using a third-party source to assist with your advertising efforts, we employ a team of experts who truly care about your brand.

Why should brands be utilizing digital media?

Melissa: “I think the truth is they just need to be where their customers are. If your customers are utilizing digital media—if they’re on their phones checking the weather or trying to read up on the latest political happening on their laptop, phone, or another device—you need to be there because people are still consuming content. They’re just doing it in a lot of different places. You need to make sure that you’re not just sticking with where they used to consume it. You have to be in where they’re consuming it now. So more of a strict, surround strategy.”

The gist: Put simply, it’s crucial for businesses to stay abreast of where their customers spend most of their time. Why? By positioning your brand and its advertisements at the forefront of your consumers’ preferred content, they’re more likely to consider you as an option for a future purchase.

The more visible you are on all media platforms, the more likely your targeted audience is to see you as an authority of your industry.

If budget were an object, which outlets would you say are the most important for businesses?

Melissa: “Video is still very important just because you have that sight and sound. Especially online, most of our ads are non-skippable so consumers have to watch them. If they want to see whatever’s coming next, whatever they click through… If they wanted to read an article on or, or if they wanted to watch today’s weather forecast, they’ll have a client’s video first, if they want that content on the other end. They have to watch 100% of your video and that’s something you can’t get on traditional media.”

The gist: Getting your advertisement in front of your consumers is your main goal, right? Well, thanks to advancements in video advertising, you can add non-skippable capabilities to your brand’s message.

That way, your audience must watch the entirety of your commercial to continue consuming their favorite streamed TV show or video.

Once your ad starts playing, your ideal customer will either need to watch part of your message before they can skip, or they’ll have to complete the advertisement to resume the video of their choice. At the end of the day, that increased attention span and exposure results in increased leads for your business.

With so many options, how does a client know what to choose, and where does an agency partner fit in?

Melissa: “How does a client know what to choose? To me, that’s where the agency comes in because we are your objective. We’ll always be your objective because our success is your success, so that’s the first thing. We’re really going to use all the research that you might not have access to, to come up with an overarching recommendation. We have diverse experience that comes with having a 200+ client base. If you’re interested in trying a strategy that five other clients have done successfully, we’re going to take that learning and that experience and replicate it in a way that’s custom-made for your business and market. If you, as a brand, try to do that yourself, you can’t because you’re in a vacuum. You only know either what your management is sharing or what a few people are sharing with you. But we’re not in the bubble. We have a lot of different places to pull information… Our job is to make great objective recommendations that we believe are going to drive success.”

The gist: There’s no other way around it: Agency partners offer the expertise needed to navigate the world of traditional and digital marketplaces to find the one that’s the best fit for your advertisement.

An integrated advertising agency provides your team with refined recommendations based on what’s worked for their previous clients and what their in-house data miners discover about your targeted demographic.

Due to their ability to analyze the advertising world as a whole, your business will be presented with a plan that’s designed to deliver results within the media platforms that fit your budget and yield positive response rates from your consumers.

With an integrated advertising powerhouse like Stream, you’ll be guided through the marketing world to the options that align with your business’ objectives.

Which other advertising channels work best with media buying?

Melissa: “We like to say it’s all about integration. It’s not about picking one or the other because what might work really well for one brand in one market might not work at all for another brand in another market. For your business, broadcast TV, cable TV, and video online may be the right combination. But for another effort, radio might make the most sense. For example, going to traditional, you’ve got TV, which is far-reaching, but the frequency tends to be low. But then when you put that together with radio, radio’s less reach per station and then more frequency. So, you put them together and then, all of a sudden, the integration is 100%. So, the same thing with digital: taking the different digital products, putting them together in a way that’s customized for your brand and market.”

The gist: So, you want to target both a specific demographic while also opening up the communication pathways to a wider range of customers in your area, right?

The best way to do that is to choose an agency that utilizes a wide range of traditional and digital media platforms to maximize your advertising efforts and provide your team with a solid ROI.

By determining where your customers are in the buyer’s journey, choosing multiple channels to reach those individuals, and designing an effective strategy, nothing will stop you from turning leads into return customers.

What types of industries/clients have you seen media buying work best for?

Melissa: “Media buying works for everyone. Because, without media buying, you cannot get your message out. You can’t promote your brand to anyone. If you didn’t buy any of those media channels, what would and how would you promote yourself?”

The gist: Media buying isn’t too picky—regardless of if you’re a local roofing company looking to expand your customer base or an international financing conglomerate in search of a way to connect with young investors; your company capitalizes on media buying.

Plus, working with an integrated advertising agency with a strong team of media buying experts ensures that you’ll benefit from the strong relationships developed between your agency and some of the top media vendors in the country.

From finding the right media options to measuring the results of your launched campaign, media buyers have the power to amplify your company’s reach.

Media Buying: The Key to Reaching Today’s Buyers

Above all else, your business needs to be noticed by the right consumers at the right time through the right digital or traditional media platform. At Stream Companies, our integrated advertising approach and proven team of media buying experts is ready to help you achieve your revenue goals.

To start the conversation about what we can do to efficiently and accurately target the ideal customers in your market, let’s chat! Before long, you’ll be celebrating win after win as our media buying team finds the optimal outlets for your business’ message.