Over my last two-plus years at Forrester, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking and writing about how the people, processes, and tools that touch digital media buying must transform.  In this age of always addressable customers, where hyper-connected, on-the-go consumers’ expectations of brands are higher than ever, we all know in our gut that our media planning, buying, optimization, measurement, and messaging must get smarter, faster, and more audience-obsessed.

But where and how to start?

We at Forrester have created a brand new research framework — called playbooks — designed to not only help you figure out where to start but also to give you a practical step-by-step guide to the how to help you achieve mastery in  a given area. 

That said, I’m very pleased to introduce our very first playbook dedicated to digital media buying to help you become the data-driven, audience-obsessed, channel-agnostic marketer you both want and need to be. With this playbook, we’ll help you:

  1. Discover what the future of digital media buying will look like in our vision module; get a handle on the latest trends in key paid digital media channels including display and video in our landscape module; and learn how to make the business case to invest in upgrading your digital media buying in our business case module (to be released in the coming months).
  2. Plan how to improve your digital media buying based on your own unique needs. You’ll learn how to assess your media buying maturity today; create a strategic plan to improve based on an assessment of your company’s strengths and weaknesses in key areas like technology adoption; and get an in-depth look at one marketer’s road map to increased digital media buying maturity (to be released in the coming months).
  3. Act to create a killer digital media buying practice. Learn how to build the right team for next-gen digital media management; get an easy-to-understand list of best practices (coming soon); and determine which service and technology partners will get you to your goals.
  4. Optimize to position yourself for channel-agnostic media buying in the long term. Learn what to measure and how (coming soon); benchmark your progress to prepare for future advancements in technology across channels (coming soon); and get advice on how to take what you learn in programmatic display to other paid channels including video, mobile, and paid social through the newly launched Facebook Exchange (FBX), which is becoming increasingly audience-targetable and real-time-biddable (coming soon).

If you’re already feeling overwhelmed just reading this, don’t worry: A great first stop is the executive overview. Where you go next is up to you!