Media Buying Checklist

By charles kirkland

Sep 27

In order to have a successful media buy you have to know a few things in advance. While having this data will not guarantee success, it will help avoid costly mistakes. If you don’t have all the answers to this checklist, that’s ok.

Click here to watch a short video where you will see how to create a buyer profile and some of the free resources you can use to gather this data.

Step 1 – Identify Your Target Audience

What is your avatar’s demographics?

  • Age
  • Education
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Income
  • Kids

What other interests and hobbies do they have?

What is a typical day like for your avatar?

What is the story that your avatar is telling himself or herself?

What do they need to believe before they would buy?

How sophisticated is your buyer (ie novice, intermediate, expert)?

Where do they hang out online?

Where do they buy things?

Where are they on the (CLS) consumer lifestyle scale?

  • Luxury Wealthy (LW) $10,000,000 net worth
  • Luxury Plus (LP) $5,000,000 net worth
  • Luxury (L) $1,000,000 net worth
  • Upper middle income (UMI)
  • Average middle income (AMI)
  • Lower middle income (LMI)
  • Poverty level (PL)

What is influencing them and where do they get that information?

  • Movies
  • Books
  • Magazines
  • TV Channels
  • TV Shows
  • Authority Figures 

Where do they spend their time on social media (ie Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn)?

Step 2 - What Are the Information Sites They Visit?

  • Social media
  • Forums
  • Review sites
  • Authority sites
  • Blogs

Click here to see how this is done with 3rd party data.

  • Web Traffic Frequency
  • Mobile Web vs. Online
  • Alexa Ranking: US & World Wide
  • Unique Visits
  • Page Views 

Step 3 - What are the demographics of the product sites they visit?

  • Visitors by Country
  • Age
  • Education
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Income
  • Kids

What makes the product different?

Step 4 - What are your goals for the media buy?

  • Lead generation for new business
  • Direct product sales
  • Create brand awareness
  • Encourage existing customers to make a new purchase
  • Software installs

Step 5 - How will you measure the results and over what time frame?

  • Number of new sales
  • Number of valid phone or email addresses
  • Number of new subscriptions sold
  • Number of appointments set
  • Number of buyers that renew a subsection after X date
  • Number of downloads or installs
  • Number of people visiting the site
  • Number of repeat site visits
  • Number of people interacting with the brand or product

Step 6 - Insertion Order

  • (IO) signed and returned
  • Traffic sent at an even pace.
  • Out clause
  • Discounts
  • Max budget per day
  • Total cost for the billing time frame
  • Campaign start and stop dates
  • What countries will the traffic be from
  • Types of creative agreed on
  • 3rd party tracking is working
  • Will a suppression list be used for email traffic

Step 7 - How you are being charged

While there are a variety of traffic sources, you need to look at how you are being charged.

  • Pay Per Click (PPC)
  • Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM)
  • Flat Rate

Step 8 - Analytics

  • Google Analytics
  • Kiss Metrics
  • Clicky
  • Heap
  • Piwik
  • Chartbeat
  • Gauges
  • GoSquared

Step 9 – Split testing

  • Visual Website Optimizer
  • Google Experiments
  • Is the tracking program used for split testing
  • Visit the page and view source code to verify 

Step 10 - Tracking

  • In house tracking scripts added to key pages
  • 3rd party tracking scripts added to key pages
  • Visit the page and view source code to verify they are on the page
  • Did the visits show up in your stats
  • Are you suppressing your IP from showing up in the stats

Step 10 - Retargeting

  • Update privacy policies about retargeting to stay in compliance
  • Add the right sequential funnel retargeting (SFR) to each page of the funnel
  • Multiple scripts added to each page (ie. Facebook, Google, MSN, Adroll)

Step 11 - Mobile Page Funnels (MPF)

As more and more mobile devices are in use you need to verify that your funnel displays and functions with multiple devices, speeds and browser types.

  • Android phone
  • Android tablet
  • IOS phone
  • IOS tablet
  • IOS iPod
  • Windows OS
  • Feature phone

Types of connections for mobile devices

  • Wi-Fi
  • 3G
  • 4G

We hope you have enjoyed this short checklist.

To learn more advanced media buying, click here to join the Media Buyer Association.

Media Buying Checklist


About the Author

Charles is a walking, talking, networking blend of credibility and know-how. Raised in a working class family, he combined a tenacious work ethic and keen sense of curiosity to usher him over one hurdle after another.