Rising Importance of Media Planning in Digital Marketing

Always-on From pages 149-150 of Always On: Advertising, Marketing, and Media in an Era of Consumer Control by Christopher Vollmer with Geoffrey Precourt:

Many agencies have been too slow to recognize just how much of their actual value to marketers has shifted from “the big creative idea” and “the most efficient media buy” to “the most sophisticated and innovative media planning.” In the always-on world, the interdependencies between the media and the message have never been more important. the planner (not the creative of the buyer) has in fact become the driving force in today’s marketing. It is the planner who chooses among media distribution platforms, who ensures that creative executions are integrated across the right touchpoints, and who leverages insights into consumer behavior to support advertising with more relevance and impact.

One of the greatest challenges for many agencies is the legacy of Proposition 3.0, when media planning was unbundled from creative. In many cases, even when agencies have recognized this shift, their response times have been sluggish. Many creatively focused shops still lack adequate planning capabilities and the resources to strengthen them. Many media buying and planning agencies, driven by a business model based on volume and profitability, have underinvested in new planning approaches. But respond they must; their clients are clamoring for better counsel about the impact of media on the effectiveness of advertising.

Many marketers – an impressive 76 percent of them, according to a recent BoozAllen/Association of National Advertisers study – feel strongly that creative and media planning need to be rebundled. And there are outspoken advocates for a new planning priority within the agency community itself. As Shelly Lazarus, Ogilvy & Mather’s chairperson and CEO says, “It’s the planning part that needs to come back to where the initial thinking is being done.”

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