Introducing… Negotiating The Buy

The interactive media space is a minefield. There’s no defined pricing. Ad models are all over the board. And measurement’s a mess.

Don’t you just wish you had a guide in all of this, some online Sherpa to help you avoid the land mines, pass you some water, offer up some really effective ammunition and even roll you into the occasional fox hole?

Well, listen up, media buyers.

Beginning next week on ClickZ, we’re introducing a regular weekly column to help you do just that. Battle metaphors aside, the new Negotiating the Buy series aims to offer some real-world tips, strategies and tactics to those buyers in the field. The goal is to help interactive media buyers get the absolute most for the ad dollars they invest.

How? Well, by offering up:

  • Creative ways to cobble together a media buy.
  • Techniques for avoiding or clearing common hurdles.
  • How to develop relationships with publishers and networks to secure advantageous pricing.
  • Solutions for creating inventory where none seemingly exists.
  • How planners can work with clients to help them invest more of their budgets online.

The always-opinionated Jim Meskauskas, the Media Manager at Mediasmith in San Francisco, is the guy in the hot seat. Jim’s the one charged with churning out the useful advice and tactical tips on a weekly basis.

Born and bred in the deep-East SF Bay Area, Jim is a grizzled five-year veteran of the agency business, cutting his teeth on traditional media planning for Nestle and Burger King. In 1995, he committed his first online media buy for Carnation’s Lactose Free instant hot cocoa. Since then he has worked as a planner at Left Field on Amazon.com, Sprint, BankAmerica, RealNetworks; as a Media Supervisor at Hawk Media on Circus Circus, LookSmart, and Union Bank of California; and at USWeb/CKS on CNNSI, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and CSAA, to name a few.

Currently Jim’s at Mediasmith, where he manages the media planning and buying process for primarily netcentric advertisers. His accounts include BabyCenter.com, VeriSign, Decide.com, IGN.com, The Den, ShoppingList.com, Petopia.com, Big Words, Gazoontite, and NexTAG.

Jim says, “I used to have hobbies and other interests, but online advertising has eliminated all of that. Work IS Life!”

Now isn’t THAT the kind of guy you want writing a column like this?

The sponsor behind the scenes – or more accurately, surrounding the content on the web page – is Fortune City. Fortune City bills itself as the only true democratic community in cyberspace, and says it’s the fastest growing international network of native language web-based communication platforms on the Net.

Its users – known as “citizens” – register with the online communities to build free home pages, share ideas, and join special-interest groups. Think of the folks there as the United Nations of the web.

So watch this space. And in the meantime, give Jim a jingle if you have any war stories of your own to share.

Negotiating The Buy debuts next Tuesday, September 7 on ClickZ.

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