What are the different phases in media buying?

Briefing phase


Set up a briefing (or receive a briefing from a client) with a general overview of the campaign. What are the goals of the campaign? What do you want to reach with the campaign? What is the planned budget? Discuss this briefing internally with your client and team and brainstorm about a suitable strategy.


Strategy phase


After the brainstorm you (and your team) set up a strategy plan. Based on previous learnings, previous campaigns and general experience, you setup the best fitting digital strategy based on the objectives. Make sure the strategy gives an overview of the strategies that you are going to use and that you have an estimated result overview. Schedule a meeting with the client to walk-through the strategy and to directly answer questions.


Plan phase


Once the strategy is approved by the client you need to work out all needed things to launch the campaign, such as:

  • an IO with the campaign budget
  • an creative specs document, to make sure the creatives fit the specs and will be approved in the systems with which you work
  • an (external) trafficking document, to make sure the client reports the data the way he wants and to make sure everything is trafficked
  • an (external) tagging document, if a client page needs to be tagged, for example for retargeting. Make sure all needed info is present and directly deliver the right tags (for example: Floodlights).


Building phase


Set up the strategy in the (different) system(s) you planned. Make sure that all needed info and input (such as creatives, landing page and tags) are in and being checked.

If possible have a colleague check the setup of the campaign before you set the campaign live.


Live phase


Once the strategy is internally being checked and approved, set the campaign live and inform the client. If possible send an overview of what went live and include screenshots.


Optimization phase


Optimize the campaign based on the strategy objectives. If estimated results are not reached, or some strategies perform even better than expected, make sure to reallocate budget to reach the best campaign results possible. Also make sure to set a document, such as an pacing overview, to keep an overview which budgets you have reallocated and with what reason. Always share this info with the client and, if preferred by the client, first discuss what you would like to optimize and how you are planning to optimize so that the client can directly give feedback and approval.

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