“Digital Champions” with Christina Skirvin, Media Buyer/Planner

Christina Skirvin
Senior Media Strategist/Planner/Buyer at Christina Skirvin, Freelancer

Each week on Digital Champions, our host Tamara Taylor talks to experts in digital marketing. Today, Tamara talks to Christina Skirvin.

If you would please tell us just a little bit about yourself and what you do.

Absolutely. I am a media planner and buyer. I’ve been in the industry a little over 10 years. I’ve worked both agency and client side. And yeah I’m out here in Portland, Oregon.

What does a media buying agency do?

Well a media buying agency specifically would be taking the media plan, the media strategy, and then working with the different mediums, the reps of the different mediums, to negotiate and actually buy the media. So trying to get the client the highest reaching frequency for the lowest price.

What is media buying in digital marketing?

Well it’s very much similar to traditional except it’s in the digital sense and it’s been growing a lot more over the last five to ten years and especially in the last couple of years. And it can range everything from social to programmatic. It includes TV. Now a lot of our connected TV and over the top and everything in between.

What would you say to how can digital media influence the buying decisions of shoppers?

Oh I mean I think it’s a great way to influence with the way technology has gone and the opportunities. You can get in front of somebody when they’re walking past a restaurant to recommend that they go in. It’s just there’s so much that you could do in the digital realm. It’s very much able to target based on preferences, much better than traditional media for the most part, based on profiles and what you’re doing online. So you definitely can get a much better idea of where your target audiences are and what they’re doing. And you get feedback a lot faster which is incredible when you’re a media buyer because if you are making any or have made any mistakes, you can change much more quickly.

What would you define as programmatic media buying? What is programmatic media buying?

Yeah, I would say it’s buying off of however the audience is that you’re trying to reach. So it can be banner ads, it can be TV ads, it can be video or audio. I feel like it’s not specific to a channel like a Facebook ad, but it can be anywhere in the digital realm.

And for yourself, what is it that you specialize in? What makes you different?

Yeah well I think that I’ve had a lot of media experience. I’ve been 15 years in marketing, a little over 10 in media, and I’ve had a wide range of planning and buying experience. And I think that that just variety and length in the industry helps me understand what’s out there. I think also working on the client side as well as on the agency side just helps me better understand both of those worlds and how best to operate what the challenges and opportunities are in both spaces. And I think honestly, it’s just given me a better understanding of the role of media in marketing and how important it is and how important it is to have a strategy. The buying, of course, is very important, the negotiating is important, the relationships are important, but the strategy is so important.

And what would you say is your favorite part of media planning and buying?

I absolutely love solving problems. So when I was both on the agency side and client side, it was sitting down with the management and, you know, what are we trying to do? What are our goals? And then how do we achieve that and putting that plan together with the budget that we had. So I’m much more probably on the planning side but I like it all. I love the relationships and the relationship building with reps that media buying gives you.


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