Marketing in the Brave New Media World

What’s the worst job in Marketing ? Media planning has long been a backwater:  unglamorous, driven by arcane algorithms, and frequently relegated to afterthought status. The Marketing team spends weeks debating and gaining agreement to the annual marketing plan goals, key initiatives, advertising, etc. And then, whoops–almost forgot–we need a media plan! But, media planning is at the edge of a virtual revolution. The media visual below, created by Brian Solis, illustrates this new, more complex landscape:
New Media Channels Are Exploding

New Media Channels Are Exploding

The media changes build on existing trends to more performance based Advertising Agency compensation models by Procter & Gamble, Coke and others. Reach, frequency and gross rating points are now giving way to a world where program and ad impact have as much currency as impressions. GRP’s as we’ve known them are becoming relics. Here are three reasons why media planning will become a central part of your marketing planning in the future:


It’s obvious but needs restating: the marketing world is moving from a TV centric model to a web centric model. The brand web site is an increasingly important platform for engaging prospects and customers. Social media and other web-based options contine to grow and evolve at an accelerating pace:  forums, webcasts, podcasts, blogs, Twitter, webinars, etc. And more digital means more measurable. Click thru, site visits and conversion rates are only the beginning as marketers become increasingly sophisticated with digital measurement. All this means that future media plans will be more creative, complex and measurable. A good guide to help cut through the hype and clutter in this area is “The Online Advertising Playbook: Proven Strategies and Tested Tactics From the ARF.”

Program and Ad Impact

Advertisers have long done pre-market ad testing.  But with the advent of very large web-based consumer panels like Nielsen IAG, companies have the ability to measure consumer engagement with individual programs. No longer do basic demographics define the media buy. Two programs with the same demographics could have vastly different consumer engagement. Are consumers more engaged with “The Office” or “Lost” ? Now we know. And this means that the same ad performs better in some programs than others, based on program fit and viewer engagement. Is your ad more effective in “The Biggest Loser” or “American Idol”? It’s now measurable.

Mike Kleha, Director of Media & Metrics at Merck and Co. says:  “IAG’s data allows us to go beyond the rating point, and gives us a deeper insight into the mind of the consumer. This allows us to do a better job of targeting our messages to where they will be more effective and provide the most consumer value.”  Simple demographic driven media plans will no longer suffice. CMO’s will demand media plans that take into account both quantity and quality.

Creative & Media Integration

Big advertisers like Unilever are increasingly going directly to media companies even before creative development with a set of objectives and asking them to create an integrated plan which helps deliver the brand objectives. This “reverse upfront” media planning process is designed to keep costs low and better integrate creative and media buying. Media companies will increasingly develop a media plan concept that matches the brands objective, and this in turn will drive both creative and usage of the full gamut of TV, digital, mobile, interactive, in-program placement, etc.

This new media landscape demands new constructs and skills, as CMO’s say they are nowhere close to realizing the opportunity in new media.  GRP’s and TRP’s will need to evolve to measures which incorporate both quantity and quality–something like  ERP’s:  Effective Ratings Points. Marketing organizations will need new capabilities to negotiate this increasingly complex world. Welcome to Marketing in the brave new media world–a place with great opportunity but also one where you ignore the heightened role of media planning at your peril.

2 Responses to Marketing in the Brave New Media World

  1. […] The explosion in new media channels, and the increasing ease with which consumers can react to, cre…. How do you manage your brand in such a chaotic consumer empowered world ? How do you ensure that consumers understand your brand equity and that you drive a single minded understanding of your brand promise ? […]

  2. […] Scalability – The web continues to enable new ways for consumers to share information  both within their social circle and beyond. Sharing opinions and ideas through blogs, […]

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