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7 Ways Media Buying Will Change in 2017

The digital media business seems to present a new innovation or disruption every six months, forcing marketers to constantly adapt to changes in the ecosystem. What does 2017 have in store for media buying? Let me get out my crystal ball. Here's what marketers will need to know about how media buying strategies and tactics will change in 2017. 

Know your audience

The smartest marketers no longer guess or assume who they want to target with their ads. These marketers actually know who their audience is because they've already done deep audience discovery, using first- and third-party data to determine who is buying their products and which prospects appear the most likely to convert. There is no longer any point in a brand saying that it is after generic demographics such as women 25-54, or even supposedly unique segments like "auto intenders." Even these categories are broad swaths of audience since it's now possible to get a much clearer picture of the campaign target.

Efficiency will be the deciding factor when picking media

For marketers to get a true read on a media property, they will have to share deep audience insights and constantly perform data discovery to know which properties are worth buying. But when it comes down to audience, no partner is ever truly wrong for a brand. Time and efficiency are now bigger deciding factors in the media partner selection process. This is because every media property or vendor will have at least some of the audience the brand is after. Of course, it's not efficient to work with every media partner, so marketers must pick the ones that can simultaneously deliver the most of that target audience and convert the most efficiently.

Media will be bought on CPM. No one will care what that CPM is.

In 2017, we'll finally do away with some of the noise around ad metrics, and it's about time. Why does anyone haggle over CPMs anymore? A media buyer's job is no longer to get the best price per thousand from a vendor but to drive the lowest cost per desired outcome. We'll see brands spend budgets as large as $5 million and no longer care about how many impressions or clicks they get. Instead, the most important measurement for every campaign will be if it legitimately drove the right conversion outcomes.

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