When I first started out buying DRTV, I created all of my insertion orders (IO) from an Excel template, saved them in a folder on my desktop, and faxed each one to the stations. Confirmations were received via fax, except for the rare rep who scanned and emailed back. Most of the communication was done over the phone. And it was up to us buyers to keep very organized. This was less than 10 years ago, and then I moved to another agency to buy print. Similarly, we created every IO from a Word template, printed, and faxed them to stations. Each one was fastened to a folder, piled up, and used to bill from at the end of the month. Imagine the possibilities of lost files! This was only 5 years ago.
I am happy to say that my most recent buying was done through a web based system, although it was bulky, elaborate, and contained many more features than I ever needed (which I am sure was factored into the cost). At the very least, it was effective at keeping data organized, the buys in an easily accessible place, and streamlining the billing process.
If you still buy media the old fashioned way, it may be because you don’t know your options, or that you think you can’t afford media buying software. Finding a basic, less expensive option could be the best alternative, and once you begin to use it, you might realize it saves you money and time in the long run. The top reasons for using media buying software include:
- All insertion orders are kept in the same place, easily accessible from any location.
- Information such as rates, stations, and contacts are stored for quick reference.
- Accounting can pull billing information straight from program.