Media planning is usually outsourced to an agency or buying service usually because of the complexity involved in the research and buying processes of online media. It requires a complex understanding of different platforms and how to implement the best combination of media to realize your goals while trying to stay within your budget. Spreadsheets work ok but doesn't provide a complete solution. Media buyers have a range of online research and planning tools ranging widely in price. Here is a list of some services.
SRDS, Advantage Software, Bionic Software, Comscore, MediaForce, Google Trends, Think with Google, Media Tool, Ad Ready, Rubicon Project, Outbrain, Ad Roll
Media planning and buying tools aren’t all that’s needed for professionals wanting to deliver a good performance for their clients. Bluehorn provides a very useful tool Comscore inventory search to better understand what others are doing and gives you access to unique buying data. Bluehorn also has a useful invoice reconciliation software service that compliments media buying. Knowing what invoices have been paid and when is probably the hardest part of the process.
For media buyers and marketers looking for professional help to handle their advertising campaigns, this list offers a helpful way to determine whether the agency you want to sign up with has the knowledge and scale to deliver the right level of service.