Think OOH Blog

THE PERFECT PLATFORM: A FIVE PART SERIES - BUYING

Posted by admin on Mar 28, 2012 3:22:07 AM

In my last blog, I discussed the powerful planning capabilities that the ideal DOOH planning/buying platform would have. In this post I will discuss the tool’s Buying function.
Once again, to review, the tool would have (7) major functions:

1. Network Education
2. Planning
3. Buying
4. Trafficking
5. Analytics/Compliance
6. Billing
7. Historical Program and Trend Tracking

PART 3: BUYING
This stage of the process is very exciting because it means that programs are being approved, budgets are allocated and campaigns will run on DOOH networks. Generally, at this point in the process, there are phone or email conversations discussing price, negotiations and agreements. How would the tool aid in this process? Streamline it? Or eliminate it?

The flow of this stage should be:
i. Determine final network/venue/signage choices that fit all of the planned parameters: The parameters will be combined to assemble a final selection of advertising media that the plan should include.
ii. Learn budget that the targeted program would require: Once the buyer is satisfied with the program that the tool has planned, he/she has to evaluate the costs that have been proposed by each network.
iii. Evaluate costs proposed: The platform will have a custom-built tool to allow the buyer to evaluate the proposed costs for how valuable and realistic they are. (See below).
iv. Negotiate final costs: Once the program parameters are satisfied and proposed costs are evaluated, it is time to negotiate rates depending on a wide variety of factors.
v. Agree on final costs: Vendors and the buyer will agree upon rates.
vi. Execute buy: The buyer has received authorization from the client and will in-turn issue contracts to the vendor.

A. Network Chart/Planning Grid/Spotted Maps (with colors indicating requested populations): This chart will display all necessary and relevant info for the campaign. It could break out by network, by market, by audience, by venue category, cost, and any other required factor. It will also be able to visually represent the flights/timing of each venue. This chart also includes all pertinent info that the buyer has requested: dwell time, spot length, sound, venue type, impressions, creative due dates, and final location lists, etc.

B. Custom-Built Pricing Tool: This planning platform will have a built-in pricing tool with several different functions. First, it would provide a landscape overview of pricing across different media; meaning, it would provide a way for the planner/buyer to assess what costs should be for the networks that are under consideration. This pricing tool would not simply display arbitrary costs comparing like media: It would be custom built to instill a baseline of comparison and standardized pricing across all DOOH media. Therefore a buyer would be able to quantify and objectively assess the prices offered rather than absorb what prices the network is trying to get and decide if they are accurate or acceptable. The basis of these cost comparisons would most likely be the CPM metric. So, the first thing that the tool could help the buyer decide is whether or not the price requested is reasonable.

C. Negotiate Rates: Many factors enter into rate negotiations. These factors can include: How much media is purchased, network inventory at during the purchased flight, advertiser budget, length of program, type of advertiser, time of year, etc. How could a tool entail all of these factors and automate the negotiation phase? First, it could have a real-time interactive window in which the buyer and vendor interact via instant message to come to an agreement. Secondly, it could provide a phone number for the buyer and seller to contact each other. Or, it could automate similar to Ebay in which the seller has flexibility with price that can be agreed upon automatically; however, if the buyer offers below that basement, it will trigger the need to have an IM or phone conversation. It becomes clear during this phase that a certain degree of rapport between the buyer and the vendor should be established, even with the ultimate tool.

D. Agree Upon Rates: Once the buyer and seller have agreed upon rates, a confirmation will be sent to both parties outlining every aspect of the program, timing, cost, impressions, etc. Both parties have to review and indicate through the tool that this is the agreed-upon program.

E. Execute the Buy: When both parties have indicated through the tool that they agree upon the rates and the program parameters, the tool automatically generates both an authorization for the media to send to the client and insertion orders for each individual network. The tool will be pre-programmed to calculate and include any fee structures/commissions to the client, and will automatically include terms & conditions. It will also have a section in which the buyer can enter unique or customized entries onto the authorization—since nearly every program is unique or requires certain specific parameters. The insertion order would work the same way: generated automatically with room for specified details for the individual program. Rather than printing and faxing the documents, the tool provides a way for the documents to be electronically signed and returned electronically instantaneously. The tool will verify when the documents have been signed and returned to the buyer, at which point it will enter into the trafficking phase.

Stay tuned for the next installation: Trafficking.

Topics: WRITE

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