Media Planners Take On Challenges Of Digital TV

Media planning.  Used to be, back in the day, oh, say 10 or 12 years ago, that media planning was relegated to the basement of the ad agency.  It was a dingy place without windows, usually occupied by planners in dusty cubes fighting for the one machine loaded with MRI data.  Then, the light went on. 


The media divisions became important, uh, lucrative to the mother ship. What was once merely a "media stepchild" was now a stand-alone entity with its own P&L.  And, media professionals moved from the basement to the main floor to bask in the glory of sun-filled offices.  It was a step in the right direction, and since then media divisions have stepped up to the plate to accept the challenges associated with a job that gets more complex every day.

Today's media planners are Renaissance women (and men) skilled in everything from pop culture to Media Math 402.  They understand the value of digital, mobile, OOH, print, social media and even newspaper.  Planners are passionate about identifying the brand's target audience, understanding the competition's media strategies and unifying everything into a relevant, innovative, effective media plan that, above all, moves product. 



Now the complexities of media planning are escalating once again as our tried-and-true media outlet, television on the big screen, takes on the interactivity of digital and the targeting of direct response.   Television planning has grown to include more than spots & dots, though let's pause to remember a time when we Let Them Eat Crab Cakes.

But now media planners are responding to the buzz about digital TV by reaching out and asking the right questions.  How will I tweak TV creative to reflect my target's new viewing habits?  Can I use digital TV to learn more about which 50% of my traditional TV is working?  How do I optimize television within the media plan rather than waiting for posted results?

Sight, sound and motion have been augmented to include target, click and engage while remaining on the same main screen.  Change makes the TV planning and buying puzzle a little tougher to piece together, but as TV is the king of reach and a creative powerhouse, planners understand the value of understanding the benefits of investing in new TV media and creative.

Pods may have permanently replaced offices, but once again, it's a fascinating time to be a media planner.  Unlike the days of churning out flowcharts by a dim desk lamp, today planners have extensive resources to help navigate emerging spaces and grow their expertise. Planners can look to specialists internally or externally to manage the heavy lifting of digital TV, so they can continue to concentrate on the big picture, the brand communications plan. And, when time permits, they can enjoy what's left of some fine crab cakes.

1 comment about "Media Planners Take On Challenges Of Digital TV".
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  1. John Billett from ID Comms, November 13, 2009 at 4:24 p.m.

    A good stimulating read and right in all respects but two
    First media planning came out of the closet not 10 years ago but 25 years ago when media independents broke away from full service agencies to be followed by agency media operations becoming stand alone businesses.
    Second the article makes no mention of measurement and the planning revolution underway in relating comms input to business output and on a more frequesnt basis whilst campaigns are happening. Without measuurement and response built in planning is just a game and not a business

    John billett

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