Let’s face it.

With the rise of AI and machine learning, media buying – an essential pillar of performance marketing – is undergoing a significant transformation.

But what does this mean for media buyers, advertisers, and businesses all over the globe?

The Role of Media Buying in Performance Marketing


Media buying has historically been the cornerstone of performance marketing. It involves procuring the most appropriate media space for advertisements, ensuring that they reach the right audience at the right time.

– Create new campaigns, ads and ad sets.

– Optimizing the bidding strategies

– ABO, CBO, eCPC etc…

– Split test creatives and demographics.

This was until 2020/2021.


The end goal? Maximized conversions and optimized ad spending.


Media Buying in the Age of Machine Learning and Automation


Previously, success in media buying was all about mastering the technical intricacies of platforms like Facebook and Google. Every tweak, every setting, every adjustment mattered.

Media buyers were often likened to pilots navigating the intricate dashboards of digital platforms.

Fast forward to today, and automation is rapidly taking over these technical tasks. AI algorithms are adept at analyzing vast amounts of data in real time, adjusting bids, targeting specifics, and even creative testing, all in the blink of an eye.

However, this doesn’t diminish the role of the media buyer; it merely shifts it. 

In this AI-driven environment, a media buyer’s expertise isn’t about tweaking platform settings but understanding the broader picture. Recognizing the cause-effect relationship between data, comprehending how post-click actions influence advertising outcomes, and spotting patterns that even the most advanced AI might miss.

This shift underscores the need for media buyers to be ‘T-shaped’ – having a broad knowledge base with deep expertise in certain areas – rather than being overly specialized on one platform. Skills like branding, conversion rate optimization (CRO), landing page optimization, and offer building aren’t just ‘nice-to-haves’ – they’re essential.



Actionable Suggestions for Media Buyers


  • Embrace Continuous Learning: With the pace of technological change, media buyers must be committed to lifelong learning. This isn’t limited to new platform features but understanding the broader marketing ecosystem.
  • Diversify Skillsets: Don’t just be a master of one platform. Delve into areas like CRO, branding, and even content strategy. This broadened skill set will make you indispensable.
  • Collaborate and Communicate: Work closely with other teams. The insights from the branding team, the feedback from the sales department, or the data from the analytics squad can be gold mines for optimizing campaigns.
  • Stay Data-Informed, Not Data-Blinded: While AI provides heaps of data, it’s essential to understand its context. Recognize that sometimes, the best insights come from human intuition and experience.





The AI age doesn’t signify the end of media buying but rather its evolution. In this new era, the most successful media buyers will be those who combine the power of technology with the insights, creativity, and strategic thinking that only humans can bring. It’s time to embrace this change, diversify our skills, and redefine media buying for the future.



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Andrea Tonetti

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