In Ad Sales, media plan is a document that describes the objective, strategies, media mix, and media schedule for reaching the right targeting audience. Typically an RFP with the media plan details is sent by the agency/advertiser to multiple publishers. The publisher’s sales team put together a media plan that meets the goals and requirements put by the agency/advertiser in their RFP and send it for approval.
Media planning is a process of putting together a media plan that comprises of different ad slots/products available across publisher’s different media properties to place ads over time for meeting the objectives/goals of the advertiser/agency. The publisher’s sales team goes through several steps to put together an effective media plan. Some of the steps involved are:
- What products are available on the specific dates that the advertiser/agency has requested?
- Is the audience reach available for those products on those dates?
- Is the available inventory reserved by other salespeople for any other customers?
- What kind of products across media properties, media types and media formats available to meet the advertiser/agency’s goals
- What kind of budget and/or performance allocation to be done by media types?
Billing & Invoicing
- Will the advertiser/agency be billed on booked data or be booked on primary or third party performance data?
Insertion Order (Ad Sales)
Once the media plan is approved by the advertiser/agency, the sales team will enter the approved media plan in the order management system or a revenue management system used by the publisher along with the audience targeting details, cost information and the billing information that will be used by the publisher’s finance team to invoice the advertiser/agency. The entire media plan along with all the details is called an “IO” or “Insertion Order”.
Once the order is approved by the advertiser/agency, the insertion order along with all the relevant details are shared with the ad operations team. The ad operations or the trafficking team is responsible for logging into the ad server associated with the campaign and tagging the placements on the ad server with their appropriate creatives. Each aspect of the media plan based on the ad size, media type, and more are associated with each placement. Once all the relevant details are entered into the ad server, the campaign starts serving the ad based on the conditions associated.
It is not only essential to launch the corresponding campaigns and placements in the ad server, but it is also important to monitor and manage every campaign to ensure that the campaigns meet the objectives/goals set for them. As a part of the campaign management, depending on the contract established between the advertiser/agency and the publisher, you can use either or both first-party data and third-party delivery data. The performance can be viewed at the lowest grain at the ad unit level up to the placement and campaign level.
Advertisers/agencies work with the publishers to reconcile the delivery data from different sources covering both first party and third party sources. The publisher’s finance team updates the invoices based on the over-delivery or under-delivery of the campaigns and accordingly the necessary next steps are taken into account. Once the campaign is past its end date or has met the required amount of delivery, final costs are updated for the time-period and shared with the advertiser/agency. The updated data is also sent to the financial system to track and manage accounts payable.
Evolution of sell process
Digital advertising has originally sold purely from a direct sales standpoint. Advertisers/agencies bought directly the premium advertising slots from the publisher based on what they felt best fit to reach their audiences. The process typically involved a lot of back and forth communication and even today a lot of premium inventory is sold through a direct sales channel that offers access to inventory that is not available in the open markets. With the evolution of technology, digital advertising is now transacted between systems, and more often the available inventory is a mix of both premium and non-premium inventory.
Symmetriq is an Omni Channel Revenue Management platform allowing you to unify inventory, manage quote to cash, and maximize revenue across OTT, Digital, Linear, and Print in a Single Cloud-Based SaaS Advertising Revenue Management platform. Symmetriq was born out of the need to provide tools, technologies, and platforms to enable media companies to manage and run a profitable advertising business. Our omni-channel revenue management platform is built natively on the cloud with the latest web technologies with the scale being the primary driver without compromising on security and compliance which has become paramount in the current privacy-first world.
We help leading publishers across the globe manage their complex advertising business in a single platform enabling them to run a profitable media business. For any queries, please reach out to [email protected].