I have been buying media for much longer than I would like to admit. And after 40 years, I am pretty sure that I have used or tried out every media planning and buying product out there. We even created our own once, thanks to a coworker that could work wonders with Excel. That was years ago, and honestly it worked better than some of the cheaper programs out there today. So, when I was asked to write a guest blog reviewing various media buying programs, I was flattered, until I realized that it was only because I’ve been around long enough to see it all. So what follows is my review of media planning and buying software programs on the market today. And it is important to note before we start that there are programs that are built for media planning, but not media buying, and vice versa. We will get into all that below, all of which is my personal opinion, based on too many years of experience.
Obviously the two biggest factors when considering media planning and buying software are price and functionality/usability. And since you are reading this on their site, it is pretty clear that after carefully considering all the options, I chose to go with MediaForce by GaleForce Digital Technologies.
Each media planning and buying option on the market has its share of features and justifications for why you might want to select it. But when more layers are peeled back from the onion, you begin to see the degrees of separation between MediaForce and its competition. No other platform combines the robust features of MediaForce at the price point of a much less functional system.
In the competitive world of media planning and buying, MediaForce offers the ideal mix of desired features and pricing options to satisfy any level of user.
One Decision to Rule Them All
As important as your future media planning and buying decisions may be, the biggest decision in fact may be the one you make up front. What you should consider when hitting the market for an ideal media planning and buying program? Price, for one, as overspending on a software or web-based solution will leave you playing from behind to meet your budgets. Equally important are the quality and quantity of available features. Most agencies will find a place somewhere in the middle where price and functionality optimize. In this space, MediaForce by GaleForce Digital Technologies is unquestionably the best one-two punch of value and capability in the entire industry.
A competitor like Bluhorn offers a lower base price but will limit the number of markets and data integrations available. Bluhorn may be less per month, but it will also cost you plenty of functionality. Unlimited document storage? Nope. Available media planner? Negative. Unlimited ratings access? Not happening. Accounting system integration beyond just QuickBooks? Again, no. Various integrations including Google Analytics? No sir. I don’t know about you, but I would prefer my media buying platform to at least offer some modern functionality.
Media Buying from an Accounting System?
Another option, Advantage AQUA, comes in at a price point above Bluhorn and offers a bit more functionality, but still lacks much of the meat required to effectively plan and buy media. This is a product that was built by a company that specializes in workflow management and accounting software – not built by media buyers or media planners like MediaForce. Advantage’s base price doesn’t get you traffic management, nor does it allow more than one user’s access. It does integrate with Nielsen TV and Radio ratings data, as well as Comscore TV, but does not integrate with any accounting packages other than its own.
Not a True Media Buying Platform
Bionic, a media planning platform that lacks the three key ratings integrations, comes in a bit more affordable “per user” than Bluhorn and Advantage. It is web based, offers a quality media planner with some decent digital integrations and unlimited document storage. However, Bionic contains no options for avail import, traffic management, post-buy analysis or invoice reconciliation. Also missing are ratings access, rankers, analyzers, and access to complicated media metrics like Reach + Frequency calculations.
Money Doesn’t Buy Everything
Strata/Freewheel stacks up better against MediaForce, mirroring the GaleForce platform in many aspects. Across the board, no competitor compares to MediaForce as well. The higher monthly rates for one user is very expensive for agencies and who wants to spend so much on an antiquated platform when more affordable, newer options exist? Maybe some big-time corporations are accustomed with a “no cost is too great” mentality, but for the rest of us living in the real world, pricing matters when proposing to your boss or manager another monthly expense. Spoiler: few would admit that they like to spend several thousands per month on something they’ve survived without to this point.
How MediaForce Rises Above the Rest
While these four alternatives to MediaForce offer various features and applications, none of them offer all of the features that MediaForce offers. MediaForce wins in every category for buy functionality, new and advanced integrations and user functionality. And they continue to add new features and applications multiple times a year with fast, competent and efficient customer service.
MediaForce is also free of the shortcomings listed above. It stacks up to the biggest competitors in the marketplace, offering the most modern, user-friendly web-based experience and access to ratings, as well as unlimited numbers of customers (advertisers), vendors and media types. Integration with Nielsen TV and Radio, as well as Comscore TV, are also standard, as well as two digital integrations: Google Analytics and Centro Basis. You can manage traffic, conduct post-buy analysis and invoice reconciliation, as well as utilize a built-in media planner – all within the same platform. All media types, not just some or almost all, are included as well. Media Insights is an exclusive feature of MediaForce, offering advertisers the ability to see which TV and radio spots are driving more web traffic, among other handy features. At prices that are much more affordable than the established players, coupled with offering the exact number of users that your agency needs, MediaForce has positioned itself in the category to appeal to cost-conscious and needs-oriented users.
The GaleForce Digital staff did its due diligence in determining which features were must-haves, as well as which were not worth the added costs to clients. MediaForce is the option that will let you answer all of your administrative team’s “Can it do this?” questions with a “Yes,” while also letting you pleasantly surprise them with a budget-friendly price point.
MediaForce by GaleForce Digital Technologies checks all the boxes and without question offers the premier blend of options and value in the media planning and buying space. And its SaaS design allows for users to operate from any location, an increasingly useful trait in today’s work-from-home environment. With the GaleForce team’s continuous commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction, MediaForce is undoubtedly an excellent choice for today’s user, as well as tomorrow’s user. Click here to discover why the streamlined workflow, remote-capable portability, top-tier customer service, and flexible pricing options of MediaForce is the complete package for a growing list of satisfied customers.
Who and What is MediaForce?
MediaForce was born out of the notion that there had to be a better, more cost-effective solution to media planning and media buying. In 2014, when Nielsen (formerly Arbitron) announced the retirement of SmartPlus, our founder set out to build a replacement. SmartPlus had been around for decades and had a very loyal following, so its retirement came at a detrimental cost to many agencies and large advertisers. The options for replacements in the industry were limited. Some were very expensive, some were not up-to-date, and some were simply just not the right fit.
Our founder started the business by partnering with a team of young, agile developers and media industry experts. The MediaForce platform went into live production in April 2019 and opened to resounding success.
Our core values are simple: to provide the advertising industry with a superior product at an affordable price, backed by outstanding customer service and support.
Get in touch with us today by calling 1-866-233-8499 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We offer free trial periods to all interested parties, so you can see for yourself how MediaForce can help your agency increase efficiency and save time!