Good morning everyone. I’m James Drewe, I’m a digital planner for Starcom, a media planning and buying agency. As a digital planner my main role is to research and plan campaigns for our clients when digital is involved. I also work closely with our client teams, helping them understand digital channels and how they can best include digital activity in campaigns. I also sit within our strategy team, helping them out when needed with how digital can fit into, or lead a client’s marketing/campaign strategy. I’d just like to warn you now, before I get started that media planners are well known for their lengthy, boring powerpoint presentations. Hopefully this isn’t one of them, feel free to yell out if you think this is happening though
The media landscape has changed a lot in the last 10 years. We’ve moved from the mentality of using a few media channels that allowed us to reach large number of people to using a large variety of different channels and creating unique experiences with niche audiences. It’s something I’m sure you’ve all heard before, ‘audiences are getting harder to reach’.
The number of ways in which we can be advertised to has increased dramatically since 1970. Back in 1970 it was estimated that an American would be exposed to roughly 300 ads per day, this has doubled to over 600 ads per day in 2007. Can any of you remember any of the advertising you saw on the way in this morning? Anyone? You could have been exposed to any of the following just in the last 2 hours: tv, radio, billboards, bus stop posters, on the outside of buses, inside buses, inside trains, newspaper, magazines, internet, mobile, direct mail, experiential maybe, if they were handing out yogurts at central. Combine this incredible clutter with a decrease in ‘me time’ as our lives become busier and you can begin to understand why brands struggle to not only differentiate themselves from their competitors, but also to be noticed among all the other advertisers shouting at consumers.
There are four 4 big differences in the way people are consuming media now, then we were even 5 years ago. - There are now more media channels than ever before (not just TV channels). Back in 1960 you had TV, magazines, newspapers, radio, movies and outdoor? Please feel free to correct me on that one. Today you can add internet, podcasts, mobile outdoor, supermarket trolleys, shopping centre posters, subscription tv, satellite radio, video games. The list goes on We are spending more time with these channels then ever before. Which I'll touch on in a moment. We are using our media in a different manner - with the rise of video on demand and the availability of video online – 35% of web users say they’ve viewed video content online, this is up from 16% in 2007. What does this mean for advertisers? It means that while TV still has huge reach when programs air, however increasingly people are watching TV and movies on their computers. Is this a market you should be looking into? And we are often using more than one channel at a time. Such as listening to the radio while at work, or using a laptop while we watch TV. Or like the guy in the McDonalds ad who manages to eat a mcmuffin, read the paper, listen to music and send an sms all at once. That one’s probably a bit of an exaggeration though.
Importantly though, just because we have hundreds of ways to reach everyone, doesn’t mean that everyone is using all of them – no one is. So who uses what and how much? A study by Nielsen Research in the US shows us how time spent with different media changes by age. We can see that younger people are more likely to use a mobile (be it talking, texting or the web) over a landline. Video game consoles have minimal impact once you hit 40 apparently and somewhat disappointingly, not many people under 40 are reading books anymore. Over the next 10 to 20 years these graphs will change dramatically as those who have grown up with computers become older and new media channels are introduced. So what does this mean for advertisers? Just because all these channels exist doesn’t mean we have to use them. It means we have to be smarter about how and where we put our messages and we really need to focus on who we are speaking to.
People now are not only consumers of media, but also creators. We are no longer limited to 5 free-to-air tv channels for our nightly viewing. Nor do we have to rely on newspapers as our sole source of news anymore. It is extremely easy for anyone with the inclination to create their own content and make it available for anyone and everyone. It’s not just amateur content either – blip.tv is now showing made-for-web series and the producers of some of these shows are making profits from the advertising associated with them On the amateur side, Phillip de Franco, for example, has a popular Youtube channel – ranked 8 th on the site with 509,000 subscribers. He releases a new video each day that runs for roughly 3 minutes and is simply his view on current events. Phillip, along with many others are considered content partners and have been contracted by the site to produce content.
Thanks to digital video recorders such as Tivo and Foxtel’s IQ, it is possible to easily watch your favourite TV shows in your own time, instead of having to sit in front of the TV when the programme airs. These recorders also have the ability to completely skip the advertising in some areas of the world, while here in Australia we can only fast forward through the ads. There are numerous ways for us to get our entertainment fix when we want it, as we are no longer limited by what the TV networks show us. Many providers are having a great deal of success using a pay-per-episode model such as Apple iTunes, Hulu has proven that it is possible to successfully stream TV episodes online and find an advertising model that both users and networks are happy with. In some cases they are finding that the ads cost more on Hulu than ad space on TV.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve top of mind awareness, especially on TV (varies by channel), as people are increasingly bombarded with advertising wherever they go. People are also well aware that advertorials are paid for content. Just because it looks like a magazine article doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a magazine article. Especially when products are discussed. Thanks to programs like Gruen Transfer and before that, World’s Greatest Commercials, people have an interest in advertising. They might not know the ins and outs of how we come up with advertising campaigns, but if you asked anyone their opinion of a poster ad in a shopping centre, they aren’t going to say they think that Nestle is just looking out for them and their wellbeing. This means that advertising can no longer be just sticking up a brand logo with the message ‘buy this, it’s great!’
Advertising in the 1930’s – a much simpler time
All these reasons I’ve just mentioned, are why the advertising industry has media planners. The role of a media planner is to guide a client through the media landscape to not only reach their target audience, but to do so in an effective and efficient manner. And of course, successfully reach their objectives, whatever they may be.
To give you an idea of how we plan a campaign, lets go through the planning process
The 6 main steps through the planning process are: The Brief Strategic Idea Implementation Ideas Buying and Negotiation Monitoring Reporting These last two many people probably wouldn’t consider as part of the planning process as planning is usually understood to happen at the beginning of the process. However the importance of monitoring and reporting is to learn from previous decisions and how that past experience can be utilised in future activity. The briefing stage is probably the most important part of the planning process. It’s incredibly easy to go down the wrong path of thinking if a small but important piece of information is missing. For example, I’m sure you’d all agree that advertising a car to 22 year-olds would have a very different approach than if it was aimed at 42 year-olds. For younger people emotion plays a very large role in the purchase (especially the first car) while an older person might be looking more for functionality and if they can get school bags in the back. Briefing can be a daunting process for everyone involved, but a good thing to remember is that we don’t need to see a completely new brief each time you want to run a campaign. In fact it’s probably better to update a previous brief. This way the campaign evolves over time and you can directly apply learnings from previous campaigns instead of having a stop-start approach.
This lovely looking diagram here is the communications ladder – what is the desired outcome of our campaign? As this will dictate the types of strategies and media channels we choose. This where the brief plays a very important role. The business goals of the client need to be clearly defined so that we can determine the sort of campaign planning to undertake. As you can see we start at the bottom with Awareness and work our way up to the top through to Loyalty. Each of these different outcomes are very different and that’s why it is important that we get a good brief at the start of the process.
So how do we go about creating a strategy? One of the first steps is usually research. This could take a number of different forms, be it looking at examples of similar work, competitive research (remember we aren’t advertising in a vacuum) as well as audience research. Budget and time often play a role in what sort of research is done and how thorough that research is. Not every client can afford to do a $100,000 qualitative study into how their target audience is feeling. From their we come up with that one idea that describes what it is we are going to do. It’s probably easier to explain with an example, I’ll use a recent campaign from a planning competition. The client was the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, they needed to increase the number of donations made each year. My first step was to find out as much as I could about donating blood, the people who currently donate and whether there was any opportunity to increase the number of people who donate, rather than getting current donors to come back more often. There is a gap in the market for young people to donate (they are the lowest % of blood donors in Australia) but the trick is how to get them not only interested, but into the centres and donating. My strategy ended up being to challenge them to donate. Younger people are more likely to take part in risky activities so if they can climb a mountain or go white-water rafting then donating blood should be an easy challenge for them to overcome. The strategy is the ‘creative’ part of what we do. Yes, we do use research, but gut feeling and intuition plays a bit part in coming up with the overall insight. The next step is to then take this strategy and figure out which media channels would be best used to take our message to market. This would usually go down to the level of picking individual publishers and content networks such as the breakfast show Triple M for radio example, or Yahoo!7’s homepage and news section for online. Research the audience, the product, our competitors. Look for an insight. Build media channel recommendations around relevancy and impact.
The next step is implementation planning. Put simply, it’s the process of turning the strategy into a media plan that we can buy. Typically at this point more research would be done to confirm figures such as audience levels for programmes/stations/sites, how many times we need to speak to our audience for the message to have an effect and so on. We also start talking with our selected media partners to discuss our ideas and how these can be achieved. These guys know their brands better than we do and they may come up with some new ideas and opportunities that we can work into our campaign to increase how effective it may be. There’s a lot of to-ing and fro-ing at this stage because we may find that some ideas are too cost prohibitive to go ahead with while other ideas which didn’t seem possible could be included. It’s sorting through all the ideas and channels you have and selecting those which will work best.
Negotiation and Buying are the nuts and bolts of the planning process and where we go from ideas to reality. Depending on the campaign objectives there are a variety of ways we can go about this process. DR focused campaigns are all about maths. Agencies and clients will more often than not have benchmarks in terms of conversion rates and how much it costs to reach our audience on a Cost Per Thousand metric, regardless of the medium. We will then choose the appropriate channels based on efficiency. Brand Launches and awareness campaign are all about big impact and securing premium placements. At the end of the day though, it is all about driving the best possible efficiencies for the client.
Monitoring and reporting have become increasingly important, even over the past 12 months, as clients are now more mindful of how much money they spend on marketing and making sure they achieve a return on their investment. Monitoring can take the form of pre and post analysis, however this can often be expensive. Retail clients often monitor sales data which can then be cross-checked with advertising activity to provide a figure of how well it is working. For planners monitoring is also incredibly helpful as we can measure how different types of media are performing both against campaign goals, but also against each other. Or drill down even further so we can compare different banner placements on the same site. I’ll cover off digital reporting in a little more depth later on.
Depending on who you speak to you might get a variety of different answers to this one. The overwhelming opinion at the moment is that it should be integrated. Now whether this means that one planner should cover all media channels, or if you pair up someone with a digital focus with another planner and work on a campaign together is still something up for debate. However its important that what works best for your client is what should be done and not all clients are the same. That said there are a few items that are unique to digital and how it is planned: - The fragmentation of digital. We now have channels within channels - How online can be measured, what can be measured and when it is important to measure. - How do you plan social? Can it be measured effectively?
I’m of the opinion that digital should be planned in tandem with all other elements of a campaign. It shouldn’t have a separate budget, and should share objectives with the rest of the campaign’s activity. There is a but though. Unfortunately some of these things aren’t always achievable, especially at the moment. The big one is reporting and measurement and I’ll touch on that in a little bit.
Recently the Cannes Advertising Festival and Awards were held in France and this year was a big one for digital – both as stand alone campaigns and as part of larger campaigns. I’ve got two quotes from Dan Buczaczer who works at Denuo which is a sister agency of Starcom, who was at the festival.
I’m sure by now everyone has heard of or seen the Best job in the World campaign – it’s won just about every award going at the moment, both internationally and locally. Fiat Eco Drive on the other hand you may not have, and personally I think it is a much more creative demonstration of what a digital campaign can be and how they can move into the real world.
Fiat eco:Drive. At it’s most basic level is a computer program designed to help you drive better. Partnering with Microsoft, Fiat built a USB port into their new model cars and when you buy one you are provided with the eco:Drive USB stick. When you hop in the car you plug in the USB and it monitors your driving style as well as things like fuel usage and other internals. When you get home, you put the stick in your computer and you can see a breakdown of your journey and tips to help you drive better. For example, using a lower gear while driving up hills helps save you fuel and CO2 emissions. They have also created a community called ecoVille where all the Fiat owners can upload their data. This is a great PR tool for Fiat as they can promote how many thousands of kilo’s of CO2 they’ve helped reduce. This might not be a strong enough tool to convince you to buy a Fiat over any other brand of car, but in terms of customer retention its an amazing idea.
Even when we only look at the ways in which we can consume ‘digital media’ we can see that the number of channels available to us have increased dramatically since the 80’s. Earlier I mentioned that digital audiences are becoming fragmented, especially with the weakened pull of the portals. We now have channels within channels as we can see with the rise of social media sites over the last 6 years, namely Facebook, Myspace and Bebo
Here’s what I’m talking about with fragmentation. Not only is social media a branch of digital, we can break it down even further into different types of socialising and then into the individual sites in those groups. You probably recognise quite a few of these logos, but then I’m sure that there’s a bunch here you’ve never seen before. A lot of people in the advertising industry jumped into social media both feet first, and are actively engaged with using this as a form of communication. It is polarising though, with people either loving it or hating it. It isn’t going away however so getting clients on-board is important, but should be handled carefully and not just for the sake of being there. Many brands are successfully using different social channels, not so much in an advertising sense but for customer service.
Being active in these spaces requires marketers to change how they think about reaching their audience. As a direct selling tool, they aren’t that great, however Dell has had some success in have Twitter only offers - they definitely have use as a promotional tool. For us media planners, the trick is not only figuring out how we can use these channels to a) reach our audience and b) do so in a way that won’t alienate our audience, but we also need to ensure we can measure the results. Measuring social media is possible, but not as clean cut as most of us would like. There are a few ways to measure the effectiveness of social media campaigns. Some people recommend measuring reach, engagement and influence. However finding tools to do this is not so easy when brands are more likely to measure campaign success as products sold, or leads started for example.
One way to measure your brand’s social activity is by measuring influence. Ok great, you have 5,000 followers on Twitter and active Facebook fan page but are these channels useful for you? You can separate your ‘fans’ into a few groups – leaders and influences, followers, interested and passive. The group helping your brand the most will be the leaders and influencers. But how do you measure influence?
The first measure of influence is the volume and credibility of links. This is used in particular by Google as partof how they rank search results. The problem with this method is that links don’t equal readers, credibility and certainly not action either. Volume and velocity of content. Used by Nielsen Buzzmetrics, basically they think that if a blogger posts content every day then they are more influential than someone who only posts once per week and disregards if anyone is reading it, how much traffic the site receives and how long they spend with the content. Number of Friends/Followers. A lot of traditional advertising agencies are of the opinion that if their campaign Facebook page received 50,000 follows in 2 weeks then it has been a success. How? Think about the people you are friends with on Facebook, you have a few really close friends, a whole heap of people you just know, but don’t keep in contact with and probably a fair few ‘friends of friends’ and strangers you met at the bar last weekend. Quantity doesn’t necessarily equal quality though. Combination. Some clever people figured out that these problems exist and have tried to combine these systems into one, measuring links, number of friends and forwarded links, page traffic and time spent with the brand. But they go one step further and add human analysis on top. On the surface this is the ideal system, however because a human is involved, some of the measures become quite subjective Lastly you have self-identified influencers. From what I understand of the system, you sign up, designate yourself an influencer and provide some personal details and they will send you information and offers based on your interested. The offers you receive are along the lines of ‘would you like to promote movie x’ or ‘product x’. This certainly isn’t a list of the only ways to measure influence, and I don’t have time to go into other measures like how to measure engagement etc. But as a planner, this is why many of us have trouble social. Yes we use gut feeling as part of the planning process, but you need to have some facts to be able to back up your decisions.
Which leaves us with the most interesting and exciting area of planning – measurement. Okay that’s probably a lie. But, outside of social how can we measure success? There’s a plethora of measurement tools available to agencies, Doubleclick, Omniture, Atlas are among some of the system we use. With these we can track how many people are exposed to display ads; how many people interacted with our ads, how many of them played a video or expanded an interactive banner for example; how many people we drove to a client’s website and further to that how many bought a product and what were the value of the products they bought. All of this can be done with display and search campaigns. All of this is before we even get to systems that can be implemented on the client’s own website. The issue with digital is that while we can measure all this information, other channels can’t. Which leads to this main argument on the screen – just because digital is highly measurable, doesn't make it more accountable. There’s benchmarks for how much it costs to reach a thousand people on TV, radio etc. So if digital ended up costing more, how is it more accountable? And if it doesn’t cost more to reach 1000 people, can we prove they are a more valuable customer to us? These sorts of questions are really important, especially if your doing a DR campaign and efficiency is your main goal.
Banner Ads Full-page Banners Branded Mobile Phone Sites iTV Elevator Advertising Household PDAs Branded Sceens Viral Mail Branded Games Mobile Mkt. PDAs PVRs Telematics Screens on Exercise Bikes Image Content Scanner Bar Code Scanner Branded CDs Branded Web Content People will be in contact with 1000s of brands everyday, in some shape or form 100,000s of contact points… How do we prioritise and maximise the effectiveness of each of the possible contact points?
more channels more often different ways different mix
Digital Planning – Should it be treated separately or integrated?
Good digital can be planned in separation. Great digital makes the most of its’ unique features and lends them to an overall campaign leveraging a number of media channels.
‘ Digital is the core of every integrated campaign. It's simply too powerful and offers up too many tools to play an incidental role any more.’ 2 Quotes from Cannes Advertising Festival June 09 Dan Buczaczer, Denuo (a sister agency of Starcom)
‘ The best work in interactive media is becoming less about impressing with fancy technology and more about facilitating things people want or had previously never dreamed of. Campaigns like Best Job in the World and Fiat Eco Drive really illustrated this.’ Dan Buczaczer, Denuo (a sister agency of Starcom)
1: Influence can be identified via the volume and credibility of links. Endorsers: Google, VML SEER 2: Influence can be identified via the volume and velocity of content. Endorsers: Nielsen Buzzmetrics 3: Influence can be identified via number of friends or followers Endorsers: Most Agencies I know of... 4: Influence can be identified via a mixture of links, volume & quantity Endorsers: Radian 6, Systems plus human analysis 5: Influence can be identified via self classification Endorsers: Contagious Communications Courtesy of Zoe Scaman (Strategist, The Population)
Digital is more measurable, this doesn’t necessarily make it more accountable.
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