Thursday, March 19, 2015

How does a media buyer verify that a schedule actually ran?

As a media buyer, there is a lot of interaction between the media vendor and buyer; likewise, the media buyer interacts a lot with his/her client. Part of the job is following up with vendors to verify that the advertising placed actually did run. This is the backend paperwork that is necessary in order to avoid accounting errors and to keep clients updated. Below are a few questions that most media buyers/planners must address for each campaign and define expectations for the client.

How often should I receive online summary reports from my vendor? Some media experts say that monthly reports should be enough to watch online trends. While others, I fall into this category, prefer to see a report every two weeks. That way, if a negative trend is caught, it can hopefully be reversed prior to the end of the month. A buyer should speak to the vendor and client and agree upon a summary report schedule prior to running a campaign.

What should I expect for a proof of posting for an out-of-home campaign? For outdoor billboards, bus signs, train signs, and any signage out-of-home, a proof of posting should be sent to the media buyer. The proof of posting should be a time stamped photograph that verifies the location, panel number, date and time creative was installed. Historically, hard copy pictures were requested; however, nowadays, a .jpg photo is typically fine.

How many tearsheets should I request from the print vendor? Before a campaign starts to run, ask your client if they would like tearsheets of their upcoming ads. If not, request two copies, one for accounting and one for your files. If your client does want a copy, verify how many are needed and notify the vendor. eTearsheets are becoming more and more common place. These are a viable option; however, it is a good idea to let the client know that’s how the tearsheet will be sent.

What is the best way to verify that my spots ran on a broadcast schedule? When a cable, television, or radio schedule runs, a spot log is created. Basically, this is just a listing of each time an ad runs. The report should include the time, date, length, cost, and creative title. A buyer can request this at any time, but it’s typically evaluated when an invoice is submitted by a station.

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