“Inside Look” with Christina Skirvin

Christina Skirvin
Senior Media Strategist/Planner/Buyer 

What services does your company provide?

Media Buying and Planning

About Christina Skirvin:

I was employed at A-dec, the world’s leading manufacturer of reliable dental chairs, delivery systems, and dental lights (www.a-dec.com), for over 5 years. Currently, I am looking to join the BluHorn team.

The Biggest change in marketing that I see coming in the next 5 years is?

A couple things:

First, regarding media: Traditional media is not going away. Media budgets that have swung to 100% digital will swing back to include some traditional media.

Second: Marketing messages will move away from “snackable” bits of content with no real context or authenticity in the message, just so you can be out there, toward transparent, thoughtful, conversational messaging. Engaging with customers has to be done in authentic ways to get them to truly become brand loyal as well as to move them down the funnel.

What percent of your advertising service offerings does media buying make up?


What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome in your business?

Marketing strategy, goals, and measurements must be in sync for the best ROI. Many times, upper management’s direction on overall strategy conflicted with their direction on individual marketing campaigns. It was essential to speak up, when directions conflicted, and work through clearly identifying goals and measurements for each campaign and how they were working toward achievement of the overall marketing strategy.

What do you do as a media buyer/planner?

My career is over 10 years; I’ve been worked agency and client side. I have developed the media plan over the last five years to better engage with our audience and so heavily got involved on the digital side.

In terms of media placement, what percent of media do you place on traditional, what percent do you place on digital and how have you seen that change over the last two years?

Just industry wide, much more people are going to digital. I know for many of my media planner friends and media buyer friends that a lot of plans are going 100 percent digital. I have never gone a hundred percent digital. It always depends on the campaign and the client for the client side of the industry, traditional was still a very important way to reach the audience.

How do you determine the best avenue for a client when coming up with their campaign in regards to where to invest their budget?

Well first we sit down and really figure out what the larger strategies are, what their goals are, what we’re going to be able to measure and then go from there. We know what their target audience is. It’s very important to do research with audiences on where they’re consuming their media. I ask a lot of questions and that’s how I develop the media plan. Everything is game from the very beginning.

What is the central aspect a role of a media buyer?

I think you have to be very curious. You have to be. You have to love research. You have to really be turned on by researching audiences not just understanding the media platforms or the best media, but really where your audience is. It also really depends on the geography. In local markets, people consume media differently. It’s really important to delve into that local market and see what things are popular where people are.

How does a media buyer stay on top of the trends when it comes to media placement?

There is a lot of information out there. For me I’ve always looked at whether it’s print, doing a BPA, TV, we’re looking at Nielsen and Com Score. A lot of times I will talk directly with my reps and get research from them because I haven’t had it as easily accessible at my fingertips. Sometimes just a good old Google research to delve into a local market and see what’s going on.

Why are ratings important when it comes to planning media?

That’s how you’re going to determine the most efficient buy. It’s very important. You don’t have solid ratings. It’s really hard to place the most efficient and effective media buy for your client.

Why should a customer hire an ad agency or a media buyer to do their buying as opposed to just doing it themselves?

This is a skill. It is a skill set. You know I’m very grounded in doing the research, having access to those tools, asking the right questions. It’s not just about a sales pitch. There is a real skill set that’s important and not only just understanding audiences and different media platforms but negotiation, the relationships that you’ve made with the clients. All of those are benefits that will actually in the long run give the client the most efficient spend.

What tools have used in the past to purchase media?

I use Strata, I’m also familiar with Google. I’ve worked in many of the major social media platforms, Ad Manager, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn.

What’s most enjoyable about your job as a media buyer?

I just really love how the plan can come together to meet the strategy. It’s really important for me in whatever role I’m in to make sure that we sit down and we have a clear idea of what the strategy will be and what the goals are. I really enjoy digital because you’re getting a lot more data, and you’re getting a lot more data quickly so you can optimize in the moment instead of waiting weeks or months to get ratings and information.

BluHorn Media Planning and Buying Software Is an affordable, easy-to-use tool that advertising agencies, media buyers/planners, and digital media directors and strategists use to plan media, buy media, analyze media, report media, and reconcile programmatic, digital and traditional media buys. BluHorn integrates with Nielson, Comscore, BluHorn Programmatic , and QuickBooks; saving you time and money. While other tools on the market like MediaForce, GaleForce Digital, Advantage, Strata, and Free Wheel may require contracts, BluHorn remains a cost effective solution with no contract requirements. Enjoy a 14 day risk free trial of BluHorn Media Buying software today at BluHorn.com

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