And I mean you – how do you do it, not the agency planning schematic that’s rolled out for pitches, or the person next to you, you?
How do you rifle through the huge array of options so that when you sit in front of your client, your boss, your mate at work, you can passionately but succinctly explain why you’ve proposed what you’ve proposed? If you’re not convinced and passionate you’ve not planned anything – you’ve done some admin.
What if you now looked at it by saying you’re not planning and buying media, you’re buying the opportunity to reach people. Real people. Not prospective customers, normal people.
Then try describing your plan without the words strategy, brand, formats, customers, frequency, funnel. How would you describe it to your mates out of work, not your client, to normal people? If you really had to use normal words, not work-speak, can you really explain why you’re doing what you’re doing? What if you really challenged yourself to defend why you’re suggesting, what you’re suggesting on your media plan?
The job of the media you buy on your plan is to liberate your client’s message. To perhaps play a small part in liberating their business. To tell stories in a mix of sometimes longform, sometimes sound bites, sometimes static, sometimes even video.
How do you craft these stories into your media plan, into the tech platform you’re in charge of, or at least buy media that doesn’t suffocate the story? You might even get lucky where the media amplified the message, the story, the effect!
Regardless of how clever the ad tech you might be using, the really clever bit is the rules and reasons you come up with to tell the tech why your trying to do something. And to make the point, if you tick a box in a DSP, that’s not media planning, that’s just ticking a box.
Very simplistically put, reaching the right people is the primary goal of media planning. Evaluated alongside the cost to do so, of course. Then layer on top the environment where those reach moments happen.
Clearly different media moments affect the chance that media has to make a difference. But so does the media environment. Digital media in particular has built the infrastructure whereby we have more choices to do that. It’s very, very easy to buy digitally led media these days.
It’s worth noting that it’s also very easy to be led by ultra-short term return path data that too often is not robust enough to optimise against.
So what the hell has this to do with a business like Newsbrands?
Consider three scenarios of an ad in your campaign for one of your clients:
1. Your ad on a blank or invisible page
2. Your ad on a page where you know very little about what else is on that page
3. Your ad on a page where you know a lot more and the values associated with that page
Daft scenarios? Nope, it happens all the time.
In the last three years, we’ve developed tech that can better understand the page and environment- content verification tools – we’ve developed a start for verified traffic, best practice guidelines under the DTSG banner, basically the ability to know a lot more about where your ad might run.
So stop scenario one, then positively take control over whether you want scenario two or three. Both can be right for the right moment, for the right message, for the right advertiser, for the right price. Media owners, such the Newsbrands, will make their case to be part of your media planning. Your job is to lead your client as to whether the attitude, environment, the associated values that they offer can be part of what you want. Ultimately it’s your client’s money, but it’s your media plan. So you have a responsibility to positively choose whether the environment matters, or positively choose that it doesn’t. But whatever you do, choose.
Written by Pete Robins