Streamline Broadcast Planning & Buying

Advantage Media is a powerful tool that can help your media team save time, reduce financial risk and increase effectiveness. Michelle Nicklin, Advantage’s West Sales Director explains how you can streamline your media planning process as we continue to explore the ways that Advantage drives media planning efficiencies


Michelle, as an agency veteran, you have a wide breadth of experience with manual workflows as well as working with media software. Tell us a little about it.


Michelle- Absolutely. I worked at an agency 10 years ago, and we used Excel for media planning. Then, we manually created our orders in IO software so everything could flow into accounting. When makegoods occurred, it was double work for us to update both the Excel flowchart and the insertion order in the buying software. 

Advantage Media Tools allowed us to streamline this process– it’s a media planner and buyer’s dream! 


Advantage Media Tools are designed to make life easier for Media Buyers. So, what features of Advantage Media Tools would you like to discuss? 


Michelle- I’d like to discuss the Vendor RFP Process, the ability to Import Avails in Advantage Media, sending Insertion Orders through the platform, the Makegood Process and Broadcast Traffic instructions. Using these features together will streamline your media process by eliminating manual planning and buying through Excel. 


Advantage Media Tools are stacked with efficiency-increasing features. So, Let’s start with the RFP process in Advantage. 


Michelle- The RFP process in Advantage includes automated vendor communication. It can also replace any manual process of requesting broadcast media proposals and avails, and it provides a complete audit trail and tracking on every single request. 

With a click of a button, you can see all of your stations for any given market in your planning worksheet. Generating an RFP is easy: simply select the relevant markets, look everything over and process the RFP, instantly sending an email with all the relevant information, a log of communication and a live link to the vendor. 

When the vendor opens the live link, it’ll give them all of the details of your campaign, all of your avail requests, etc.– everything you need is going to be listed here! All the vendor has to do is select a file, and they can attach an email file and submit. It’s that easy!  


What happens when the vendors send back the avails? 


Michelle-  You can use the Advantage import wizard to walk you through importing the avails from all of your vendors, and you can easily keep track of the status of which avails have been imported. 

Once the avails have been imported, you can see all details in a staging table. All vendor avails are shown along with every bit of data you need. And you can sort through that data with a few clicks of the mouse, even exporting specific rows of avails, keeping your data clean. 


That sounds super simple. Once you have all the avails imported, what else do we need to know about the system before we go into the actual buys? 


Michelle- Well, we have several features built into the system designed to inform and simplify the buying process. First, if you subscribe to ratings, you’re going to be able to see the book and trends for each program and daypart in your worksheet. You can select the trends you want to look at and open it in a separate window for your planning convenience. 

Another one of my favorite features is the summary window. Again, this pops up as a separate window to be moved around even to a different monitor so you can consistently keep track of everything as you are working on the buy. Any changes you make throughout to the number of spots per week are automatically going to update this weekly summary. In fact, there are a variety of summaries you can pull, including station summaries (which is one of our most popular ones). And of course, everything in these summaries is exportable to Excel. 


All of that data is sure to be invaluable to the media buyer. Is there anything we need to know about the order creation process itself? 


Michelle- Once you create your orders with specified flight dates, you’ll be able to automatically generate those orders from the system. Once the order is generated and everything is signed on your end, the system will send a copy to the vendor. 

The vendor will receive a message with the relevant information and a PDF copy of your order, including information like time, dayparts, number of spots per week, totals for each of the flight months and standard terms and conditions. There will also be an XML file so the vendor can import the order directly into their system and a live link for them to instantly view the order and approve it. 

Once the vendor has acknowledged the order you sent them, accepted it and submitted it back, you’re going to get a PDF that’s been digitally signed by your vendor. 


That makes things so much simpler! What about the Makegood Process? 


Michelle- So, no broadcast buy ever looks the same at the end of the flight due to preemptions. With that in mind, Advantage Media enables the vendor to go back into the live link that gets sent out with the order, create a makegood from that link and send it back to you for approval. 

You will receive a notification of a pending makegood and will be able to see what spots were preempted and what the makegood is for. Depending on what the vendor was offering, accept the makegood or reject it right then and there in the system. 


That’s a REALLY convenient way to deal with makegoods! You mentioned you were also going to discuss Broadcast Traffic? 


Michelle- I did! Our Broadcast Traffic Module provides you with the ability to manage and send broadcast traffic instructions with creative to stations, streamlining the process, ensuring accuracy and improving the success of your broadcast campaigns. 

You can pull up missing traffic instructions, which show you all of the traffic for a particular campaign that still needs to be sent out. From there, attach the creative file –or if the file is too large, a link– to any campaign. Once attached, you’re able to send over traffic instructions straight to your vendors for every single campaign. 


Advantage Media really is the Media Buyer’s dream software! 


Michelle- Our Media Module is a complete platform to help you plan and manage all of your media buys for broadcast and all other media placements. 

To get started with Media Tools, simply contact us for a demo today. If you’re already an Advantage Media Tools customer and have questions, our support team is here to help. Plus, our user community is full of additional helpful videos. 

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