With studies coming out from firms like Knowledge Network and forecasts from the likes of Brian Wieser (a former ad-industry exec now with Pivotal Research Group,) the challenges and opportunities in media planning are coming to the forefront. In what has been much of a siloed or “either/or” proposition has become more clearly a matter of diversity in media platforms and the strategic planning of those campaigns.
With economy, platform, audience and cost shifts, media planning is not a standard or static playing field. To even specify standard media percentage splits across multiple campaigns doesn’t really make much sense anymore. From a planning perspective, it might have been easier before digital forms of media came into play, but that certainly doesn’t mean it is more cost-effective. Likewise, it is not always the best decision to do away with the old to jump in with the new.
This nuanced thinking is effectively spelled out in David Goetzl’s MediaPost TV Blog about Knowledge Network’s research on the role of Social Media in launching new shows. Essentially, networks should not shift away from magazine inserts or beach flyovers to social media just yet. With roughly 30% of 13-to-54 year-olds saying “positive comments” from online-only friends made them more interested in a new show, 25% saying that a Facebook presence made them more interested in a show and 15% saying that trending on Twitter has a similar effect, Social Media is a component but should not be thought of as the only necessity. It seems they like their friends, but trust reviewers even more with 44% of social media users finding that positive reviews from established television reviewers increased their intent to view.
All the pieces play a part from social to OOH to Print to on-Air promos. It is unfortunate that some studios or networks think that attempting an all or nothing test on any release or premiere because it is naive to think that one platform can move the needle as effectively as a well-tuned diverse campaign can.
Brian Wieser’s outlook on Ad Spending for next year further lays out the challenges that block the diversity that is needed to be more effective – both in cost and reach:
“Simply put, in scarce times, marketers are concentrating their budgets among their primary medium (often network TV for large brands seeking awareness) and a secondary medium (often digital platforms for traditional brand marketers, who typically pursue engagement-based outcomes among a subset of the population who are aware of their brand attributes),” he writes. “In general, we expect to see national mass media continuing to gain share at the expense of local mass media. But direct media should continue to grow faster than mass media.”
Of course it is considered to be important to have a primary and secondary medium, but they don’t always have to be the same. With smart planning, those media mixes can and should be massaged based on product, release, seasonality, competition and more. Though it might not have that CEO-WOW-Inducing-buzz-placement that many executives resort to, it is wrong to silo traditional media and new media as there is becoming an ever-thinner line between the two and strategic diversity will become the norm – not the exception.
The goal of all campaigns is to make the product or release be thought of as the thing to do or buy. That “event” status is helped by all of the pieces put together. Even with the strongest social campaign, it will not reach the anticipated crescendo without media (and PR) running on all cylinders and vice-versa. With the diagrams of the social media environment floating around, they are even remis in not including other forms of media. Even if it is more challenging to plan, media diversity will always lead to a better result.