Automated Media Buying… Is This the Future?

I just sat down and reviewed the new website from our friends at Techweb which is designed to assist in the media planning process for IT marketing professionals. As I play with the tools and consume some of the content provided I cannot help but think that here are the fledgling components that may revolutionize the way media is bought in the not too distant future.

The site is a media resource centre with a twist. In addition to all the usual demographic information and research (always useful), is a small application or widget that allows the user to select his campaign type, target audience and preferred media mix. After microseconds of contemplation out pops a recommended media mix suggestion drawn from the portfolio of Techweb’s impressive product list.

My initial reaction was mixed. There’s really not much in this tool beyond providing a “quick n dirty” media shopping list. Currently the next step of engagement requires getting in contact with a sales rep – so no change there. The suggestions made are hardly ground breaking either – simply some very obvious product selects which play into the publishers bucketed content approach.

However, for all it’s obvious limitations at this point, it’s a fun tool that may help the publisher facilitate decisions for the marketer who’s pressed for time or lacking in imagination. Most importantly it encourages engagement from buyers, which if achieved, is a significant competitive advantage.

But lets think a little into the future here. Imagine for one minute that after buying the suggested media mix (via the sites secure account feature), I run my campaign and upload the performance metrics back into the sites “campaign management tool”. This tool using the newly developed “media marketing algorithm” then optimizes the media suggestions by combining my specific data with that from hundred of similar campaigns. Predictive modelling then churns away in the background and out pops my optimized media suggestions for the next campaign.

Wash, rinse, repeat….

Within three/four campaigns the system has accumulated enough information to effectively be turned to ‘auto media’ function which simply debits my company account and sends me regular reminders as to which creative needs to be sent in and when my team needs to turn up to host the pre-booked events.


I don’t think so. Many campaigns with lead goals are already being managed based on simple linear metric analysis and even awareness campaigns, as we have shown with our campaign research, can be measured for effectiveness using hard statistics. It’s not too hard to imagine models being produced for each campaign type by clever mathematicians.

So well done to Techweb for giving us a glimpse into a very interesting future with automated media buying practices and automatically optimized budget management. I’m sure the unemployed sales reps and media planners will enjoy the extra time they can spend at the bar talking about “the good old days”!

Hopefully I’ll have retired by then.

Dick Reed
Just Media, Inc.

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