MEDIA PLANNING AND BUYINGBecause of the complexity that has developed with the fragmentation of the media landscapeand the explosion of new media, media planning and buying have become highly creativeactivities, leading to exciting new approaches. In other words, the development of a media planis as much a creative challenge as is developing the creative idea for the message strategy.Although we talk about advertising media, media are used in all other areas of marketingcommunication. Public relations, for example, places stories and corporate and advocacy ads inprint and broadcast media; it also uses the Internet, other print forms such as brochures, andactivities such as special events. Sales promotion also relies on ads in various media to deliverthe announcement about a promotional offer. These marketing communication areas are alsoconsiderations in a media plan developed as part of an IMC campaign.KEY PLAYERSTraditionally, the advertising agency has been responsible for developing the media plan, whichis usually devised jointly by the agency’s media department, the account and creative teams,and the marketer’s brand management group. More recently, media buying companies havemoved into the planning stage as well, bringing the expertise of their media researchers andnegotiators to the media plan. Some major agencies have spun off the media function as aseparate company; then they contract with that company for their media planning and buyingservices. Others have kept the planning in house but contract with an outside media-buyingunit or team, either internal in the ad agency or external in a separate media company,executes it.Media Research : Information SourcesSome people believe that media decisions are the hub in the advertising wheel, the centralpoint where all campaign elements – that is, the spokes of the wheel – are joined. Not only aremedia decisions central to advertising planning, media research is central to media planning.That realization stems from the sheer volume of data and information that media plannersmust gather, sort, and analyze before media planning can begin. Figure 11.1 illustrates the widerange of media information sources and the critical role media research plays in the overalladvertising planning process. Client Information. The client is a good source for various types of information media planners use in their work, such as demographic profiles of current customers (both light and heavy users), previous promotions and their performance, product sales and
distribution patterns, and, most importantly, the budget of how much can be spent on media. Geographical differences in category and brand sales often affect how the media budget is allocated for each region. Sales geography is critical information for national brands. With consumer goods and services especially, rates of consumption can differ greatly from one region to another. Market Research. Independently gathered information about markets and product categories is a valuable tool for media planners. Competitive Advertising. In crowded product categories such as household products, food, durable goods, companies must keep aware of competitor’s advertising activity. In such situations media planners make scheduling decisions based on the amount of competitive traffic. The objective is to find media where the advertiser’s voice is not drowned out by the competitor’s voices. This concept, called share of voice, is a measure of the percentage of total advertising spending by one brand in a product category. Media Usage Profiles. The various media and their respective media vehicles provide information about the size and makeup of their audiences. Although media-supplied information is useful, keep in mind that it is an “inside job”- that is, the information is assembled to make the best possible case for advertising in that particular medium and media vehicle. Media Coverage Area. One type of media-related information about markets is the broadcast coverage area for television. Called a designated marketing area (DMA), the coverage area is referred to by the name of the largest city in the area. Consumer Information. Useful in targeting audience within media markets.The Media PlanThe media plan is a written document that summarizes the objectives and strategies pertinentto the placement of the company’s brand messages. The goal of a media plan is to find themost effective and efficient ways to deliver messages to a targeted audience. In a traditionallmedia plan, the emphasis is on measured media which is evaluated using such metrics asCPM’s (cost per thousand) and other performance data derived from industry and mediaaudits.When IMC planners develop a media plan, they often refer to contact points, or touch points,which include all the diverse ways people - customers as well as other stakeholders - come incontact with a brand and have a brand experience. These include exposure to the traditionalmass media as well as word of mouth, place-based media, in store brand exposures, and all the
new, interactive media. To see where the media planning and buying fit into the overallprocessadvertising process, fe=process, refer to Figure 11.3, which outlines the primary components of a media plan.KEY MEDIA PLANNING DECISIONSThe media-planning also has undergone a metamorphosis because of the fragmentation ofmainstream media-think of all the new cable television channels – as well as the proliferation ofnew media. Traditional measured media are chosen based on such metrics as GRPs and CPMs,but the new media lack similar metrics and are characterized more by such considerations asthe quality of the brand experience, involvement and personal impact.TARGET AUDIENCE AND MEDIA USEA key strategic decision is identifying a target audience. In media planning the idea is to matchthe advertiser’s target with the audience of a particular medium. In other words, does thegroup of people who read this magazine, watch this television program, or see these postersinclude a high proportion of the advertiser’s ideal target audience? If so, then that medium maybe a good choice for the campaign, depending upon other strategic factors, such as timing andcost.As you can imagine , every media vehicle’s audience is different and therefore varies regardingwhat percent of its audience is in the brand’s target audience. In addition to informationcompiled by the team’s media researchers, consumer insight research is also used to identifyand analyze the target audience’s media use patterns.
Figure 11.1The Central Role of Media Research Marketing Sources Distribution Patterns Market Sales Rival’s Patterns Creative Sources Media Sources Theme Popularity of Media Message Profiles Research Media Research Cost Forecasts Media Planning Media Buying
Figure 11.3 The Components of a Media Plan Marketing Communication Plan and Strategies Direct Sales Marketing Advertising Public Marketing Promotion Others Plan Relations Plan Plan PlanMedia Planning Message Planning Target and Media Research Media Objectives Media Mix Selection Scheduling and Budgeting Media Buying Media Tactics