The changing face of media planning | M&M Global

The changing face of media planning

At the Festival of Media Rome this week, Havas Media Group’s global chief insights and analytics officer Maria Garrido explained how marketing decision platforms are helping owned, shared, earned and paid media to work within data-driven strategies for more effective media planning. 

Maria Garrido

What keeps you awake at night? If you’ve been in marketing for a long time, I suspect sleeplessness is caused by the rapidly changing environment in your profession and how you’re supposed to adapt all of your marketing activities to exploit the plethora of data questions that are bombarding you every day.

Of course, how you used to do things was much simpler. The consumer decision journey involved using paid media to drive awareness, more paid media to drive consideration and then a mechanic in-store or a promotion to incentivize people to purchase your brand.

For us media agencies there was very little heavy lifting. The focus was only on paid and the need to ensure cost efficiencies when buying space for clients.

Today, people’s online behaviours and their ability to influence others through social media has changed the game completely. You know this. You see it everywhere. You know that you can no longer simply focus your marketing activities on paid media, when your customers themselves are now a form of media and their power to influence awareness, consideration, purchase and recommendation is increasingly driving your business revenues.

So what can you do as a brand marketer?

You now have to know how to master your owned media, influence earned media and manage shared media, while not forgetting paid media channels…and understand how they all work together to achieve your business  objectives.

No longer just a media buyer

Today, the role of a good media agency is no longer that of just a media buyer. Media agencies should be business partners, set up to deliver on your business results through transparent use of complex data with a clear aim to analyze, optimize and influence the impact of owned, earned, shared and paid strategies, working in  synergy.

In essence, today’s media agency must ensure a streamlined process that takes data, generates insights from that data and then turns those insights into relevant media actions that positively impact business results. This is the media agency set-up, for this more complex age.

As a first step, media agencies need to understand the data ecosystem. Every piece of information, whether it be about your pricing, your promotion, your media budget, and all marketing activity, must be consolidated into one data ecosystem, understanding the dynamic relationship between all of these puzzle pieces to better drive your business results.

“Today’s media agency must ensure a streamlined process that takes data, generates insights from that data and then turns those insights into relevant media actions”

By establishing a data ecosystem, you and your media agency can now properly measure the true impact of both external and internal factors on your end business objective. You should also be able to monitor KPI’s throughout the early stages of the customer decision journey ensuring that other key milestones like brand awareness or website traffic are also being driven by your marketing activities.

However, the role of the media agency as business partner doesn’t stop at the in-depth understanding of the data ecosystem. Beyond the data ecosystem, media agencies should generate insights to identify what elements of the media plan- again owned, shared, earned  and  paid- would improve your business objectives and through analytics see actual likely outcomes if certain media factors were added or taken away. In this way, we can reassess budget and media mix allocations, simulating different combinations to identify which options work hardest to generate optimal results.

Once these two building blocks are in place- data ecosystem and data to insights- the media agency’s role becomes crucial. They are responsible for taking action with their core competency, turning insights into action, in other words media buying and management.

If a media agency is a true business partner to clients and supports them in the understanding of the data ecosystem and the generation of insights, they can be more effective and more efficient at media management. In a streamlined process, they can optimise the clients media budgets in real time, ensuring every Euro spent on media is generating the most revenue possible for the client’s business.

In this last and crucial step of insights to action, not only should the media agency manage and master the paid media, but also make recommendations to the client on how to optimise and  amplify owned, earned, and share media to ensure all the pieces are working together.

Understanding and mastering this dynamic between the different kinds of media- some more easily “controlled” than others- is now rapidly becoming a basic agency requirement..Media agencies have to go beyond media management to become true business partners, committed to helping clients navigate the complex data-driven world, with an unwavering and laser focus on the client’s business objectives as the end goal.

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