How The First Media Buying Agency Got Started

A media buying agency is a relatively new phenomenon. In 1704, the first newspaper advertisement, an announcement seeking a buyer for an Oyster Bay, Long Island Estate, is published in the Boston News-Letter. As the Virginia Slims ads used to say, we’ve come a long way baby. Fast forward to the heyday of mass media when the three major television broadcast stations could command the attention of most of the nation – gathered around the TV at the same time to watch the same program.

Easier Times For The First Media Buying Agency

Life was simpler for the media buying agency as well. If it was about a product, it included the name of a product or service and how that product or service could benefit the consumer. It often involved as frequent a repetition of an image or product name as allowed in the budget to firmly establish the brand and product in the minds of consumers. Non-commercial advertisers also spent money, including organizations like political parties, interest groups, religious organizations and governmental agencies for the same purpose of persuading their audience to do or not do something. Reviewing the ads throughout the years can tell an observer a lot about the prevailing ethos and mores of the times.

Expansion Began To Occur

Then as national brands and products began to saturate the available markets and consumers, marketers started to expand their product and service range to start to appeal to segments within the mass audience. This was accelerated by the advent of new technologies from which consumers engaged with media content, starting with cable and satellite television and expanding rapidly to online, mobile, hand-held devices with an emphasis on customization, personalization and localization. The data that a media planning and buying agency has to analyze to create the best recommendations for their client has seen a dramatic ramp up to the point where new automated, on-demand solutions are required to have a truly accurate view of where consumers are in the media eco-system today.

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