As more companies are bringing their media buying in-house in an attempt to regain control over their budgets and operations, there are a lot of considerations to be had. It’s a process that takes time and dedication, and too often companies move too quickly and make unnecessary mistakes.  

As more brands are striving to bring their buying in-house, there are some challenges and mistakes that you will want to avoid. 

Lack of Knowledge and Planning

69% of brands in the US have taken some or all of their media buying in-house, despite the fact most companies don’t fully understand the complexities of the media landscape. Too often, brands try to dive in without taking the time to fully understand what they’re getting into. It’s important to define metrics and gather insights by media channel to craft achievable goals and ensure your media buying programs are geared for success. 

Choosing the Wrong Software

Again, hasty adoptions and hurried RFPs often keep companies from considering all of the options. It’s crucial to choose the right media buying AND payments platform, which means having one that offers:

  • Automated payment method optimization
  • Transparency
  • Effective targeting
  • Detailed insights and analytics
  • Media ecosystem knowledge

Lack of Time and Resource Commitment

When moving to in-house media buying, it’s important to make sure that you have the time to fully commit to the process. First, everything should be planned well ahead of time. Moving your media buying in-house isn’t an investment with immediate results. It takes time, so companies must have that time to commit if they are going to succeed. 

For example, companies bringing buying in-house will need to onboard a new tech stack, find new talent or training existing employees, define project workflows and approvals, and set up effective tracking and analytics. Talent is far and away the biggest hurdle, with nearly three in four brands, agencies, and publishers saying that finding quality talent is a challenge.

Purchasing Media Instead of Audiences

Key to campaign ROI and brand success is knowing which audiences to target. It’s not about buying the right ads or choosing the ideal media– it’s about finding the audience. Brands must utilize programmatic marketing and real-time bidding, which will provide the opportunity to find the right people to convert. They must also consider all media channels to reach that audience efficiently.  The right blend of digital and traditional advertising channels are key to achieve awareness and conversion goals.

Brands that just buy their media without properly defining where their audience lives are simply burning money. Companies that want to make money need to target the right people

Looking at the Wrong Metrics

It’s an all too common statement: “First, we were asking our agency how to get data. Now we’re asking them for help on how to use and interpret this data.” When companies are trying to calculate ROI in relation to media buying, there is an entirely different set of analytics that needs to be on their radar. Your most valuable metrics are ones that provide a perspective of where customers are in the sales funnel and how their journey proceeds. Having total control of this data is invaluable for a team navigating a fragmented marketplace.

The Solution

There’s a lot that goes into planning a capable program when you decide to bring media buying in-house. Companies need to find partners and solutions that help them maximize their success with this transition, including payment processors and media buying platforms. The primary focus of brands looking to bring their media buying in-house should be streamlining and cost savings, and creating the right tech stack will make or break their investment in this endeavor.

Businesses should take the time to plan a detailed strategy for transitioning to in-house media buying. It will ensure there is a seamless transition and that the switch is actually worth the investment for the business. With the right time investment and planning, brands will enjoy the benefits of taking media buying in-house without the hassles and headaches of working with and managing a third party.