PSFK recently interviewed Sarah Sikowitz, Group Media Director at 360i, for its Secrets of a Killer Media Buyer series. The segment below focuses on the essential role of creativity and “constant drive to innovate” in the digital media space. You can read some more insights from Sarah on this subject after the jump.
In what ways has online advertising changed the job of the media buyer?
Media buyers today need to be equipped with expansive knowledge covering many several different facets of the digital landscape. It used to be more about crunching numbers, but the nature of online calls for media ideas that integrate creative, placement, interactivity and targeting. There’s a lot to stay on top of, but that has always been the nature of online. New technologies, capabilities and pricing structures are constantly emerging – and our job is to navigate the terrain and determine the solutions and tools that deliver the best results for our clients.
How do you reconcile the tension between innovating and maximizing profit? Are these two things always mutually exclusive?
Innovation and performance are not mutually exclusive. Sometimes, innovating can be about improving efficiencies, which can definitely increase profitability. At the same time it can also be hard to scale innovation to make it profitable. The key is finding the balance between being paid for ideas and ideating outside of direct client assignments. Bottom line: There is room in today’s market for innovation. Online is inherently flexible, so it’s important to stay open-minded and change direction or adapt strategy based on learnings.
How has buying landscape changed? What do you see as the next buying frontier?
Today there is far greater emphasis on cross-channel integration. The next frontiers in media planning and buying include, but are not limited to, mobile (not entirely new, but constantly evolving), social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, DSPs/exchanges and digital ‘offline’ – whether that be TV, OOH or print.
At the same time, some things remain the same. Top sites continue to be players due to scale and efficiency, and networks remain viable partners. Players like Facebook, Twitter and mobile networks have established themselves, and changed the way we buy and evaluate results. The growth of tablet advertising is breathing new life into the print media world.
What is the most successful medium for advertising today? And how do you define that success?
It all depends on the consumer. Success should be measured by how well a marketer is communicating with his or her core consumers, and how they are responding as based on that brand’s objectives. When we build strategies for our clients one of the first things we do is conduct a comprehensive assessment of the role of digital media and technology in their consumers’ lives. How do they interact and engage in online spaces? And where are they spending their time? The greatest opportunity comes from how you use media and leverage your assets to make it work harder.