Investments in Diverse-Owned Media: How Media Buying is Shifting

Forging relationships with diverse-owned media goes beyond common sense, and even good business. Being intentional about where media dollars go is a powerful way to advance social equity.

Marketing Doctor’s Commitment to Spending with Diverse-Owned Media

Marketing Doctor strives to exceed the national initiative to spend 2% with diverse-owned media. We believe in spending ad dollars responsibly, and placing ads with media outlets who reflect the audiences that a campaign seeks to reach. Becoming allies with diverse-owned media is invaluable, especially in pursuit of distributing important public health and safety messaging. 

Investments in Diverse Owned Media: How Media Buying is Shifting

To effectively communicate information during COVID-19, our media buyers were proud to place 17% of the media budget with diverse-owned media. We secured stronger audience insights, forged meaningful partnerships, provided crucial health information across more platforms than ever before.

We look forward to being a part of the industry’s shift toward a more equitable media landscape and are proud to provide diverse-owned media within our campaigns.

An Industry Ignited: A Call to Action for Diverse Media Equity 

A call to action ignited in the advertising industry in recent years in response to social injustice around the country. Forbes explains, “As a result, every prominent media holding group recently launched a separate division with the objective to facilitate and encourage their clients to make long-term investments and a greater portion of their ad budget to media companies owned by minority groups that target multicultural audiences.”

Nielsen launched a program in 2022 to connect agencies and advertisers with diverse-owned media companies. As part of the Diverse Media Equity program, “Nielsen will provide measurement services for diverse-owned media companies historically excluded from measurement.” The organization plans to measure progress on both supply and demand to answer the following questions:

  • Are more advertisers committing to investments in diverse media owners?
  • Are more diverse media owners getting MBE (Minority Business Enterprise) certifications?
  • Is diverse media part of more media planning and buying strategies?

The progress is cause for optimism, but how do agencies and advertisers stay accountable?

The Media Planner’s Reality

The media buying system caters to mass media and what’s known as the “triopoly”. Late 2021, eMarketer reported that, “The triopoly of Facebook, Google, and Amazon will rake in 64.0% of this year’s $211.20 billion in US digital ad spending….” As of early 2023, the triopoly remains intact, but “worldwide digital ad spending saw growth slow to 8.6% in 2022, for a total of $567.49 billion, according to our forecast. This year, growth will rebound to 10.5%, and spend will reach $626.86 billion.”

The reality is that ad-buying technologies are designed for efficiency and often make it challenging to find media ownership information. Scale and availability within smaller markets play a part as well. While advertisers’ and agencies’ vows to increase diverse-owned media expenditures are valuable, the actions they take will move the system’s needle. Case in point, on Adweek’s list of what’s in and out for marketing in 2023, DEI pledges are out and DEI action and accountability in practice are in.

Ad Age frames it this way: “While the early days of 2022 indicate that we will progress in distributing dollars more equitably, advertisers will need to bend their own rules, put a dollar value on accountable advertising and invest in marketing innovation.”

Marketing Doctor’s Action Plan

With our diverse media spending coming in around 17% and growing, we at Marketing Doctor will continue being a part of the industry’s shift toward a more equitable media landscape. We are proud to provide diverse-owned media within our campaigns, to support better media planning practices industry-wide, and to encourage other media agencies to join the shift.

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