Media Buying and the Deficiencies of Groupthink


When I started at GPC, our team was small, but mighty. I was one of only four media buyers, but we all had experiencing buying traffic via Facebook and understood how to use the platform effectively.

We were buying media for a client’s TV antenna product. Sales were good, but they weren’t outstanding, and we knew they could be. 

Our team was structured around a framework of collaboration; if one had a marketing idea that seemed reasonable, the others would be more likely to agree that it was a good idea. What we’d come to realize is that this method of groupthink had an adverse effect on our results; it hampered our creativity and stifled our success.

To scale the success we’d already seen, we decided that each media buyer would work independently and brainstorm their own original copy and marketing angles. This isn’t to say our tests were unstructured; on the contrary, we had a specific strategy for campaign structure, budget, and even ad types. Only the content of the ads and landing pages was up to each buyer to test.

By allowing each buyer to develop their own content individually, we were able to get more creative than ever before. We found that, after coming back together to discuss successes and failures, the successes far outweighed the failures because they weren’t stifled by that dreaded groupthink.

We’ve grown exponentially since then, and this new style of collaboration continues to reap rewards for both our internal team and for our affiliates, who we’re workshopping with on February 27th ahead of San Diego’s Traffic & Conversion Summit.

It’s easy to fall back on more traditional, easy methods of problem solving. But they disrupt the creative process, and that’s what marketing is all about. It was our ability to ignore these norms that allowed us to go beyond what a traditional team – or agency – could accomplish.

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