Solution for Advertising and IMC: Principles and Practice 9th Edition Chapter 14, Problem 1

by Sandra Moriarty Nancy D Mitchell William D. Wells
395 Solutions 19 Chapters 58985 Studied ISBN: 9780132606318 Art and Architechture 5 (1)

Chapter 14, Problem 1 : 1. HOW ARE MEDIA PLANS CREATED?...


Step-By-Step Solution

1. Media planners are in the connection business. Their work connects brand messages with customers and other stakeholders. They identify and activate the points of contact where brand messages touch consumers.

Making connections that resonate with the audience is the hallmark of effective marketing communication, wherever that may occur. An example of such a connection is illustrated in the Inside Story feature located in this chapter.

The advertising agency’s media department has been responsible for developing the media plan with input from the agency’s account and creative teams and the marketer’s brand management group. More recently, media-buying companies have moved into the planning stage as well, bringing the expertise of their media researchers and negotiators.

Some major agencies have spun off the media function as a separate company; then they contract with that company for their media planning and buying services. Others have kept the planning in-house but contract with an outside media-buying service. Once the media plan is developed, a media-buying unit or team, either in the ad agency or external in a separate media company, executes it.

Given the industry trends, the hot media shops have specialties in new media, such as online video, social networking sites, and search advertising.

Media Research: Information Sources

Some people believe media decisions are the hub in the advertising wheel because media costs are often the biggest element in the marketing communication budget. Not only are media decisions central to advertising planning - media research is central to media planning.

That realization stems not only from the large amount of money that’s on the line, but also the sheer volume of data and information that media planners must gather, sort, and analyze before media planning can begin. Figure 14.1 illustrates the wide range of media information sources and the critical role media research plays in the overall advertising planning process.

The Central Role of Media Research: Media planners look for data from creative, marketing, and media sources. All of this information is used in both media planning and buying.

Client Information: A good source for various types of information media planners use in their work, such as demographic profiles of current customers (both light and heavy users), response to previous promotions, product sales and distribution patterns, and, most importantly, the budget showing how much can be spent on media. Geographical differences in category and brand sales also affect how the media budget is allocated.

Market Research: Independently gathered information about markets and product categories is another valuable tool for media planners. Mediamark Research, Inc. (MRI), Scarborough (local markets), and Mendelsohn (affluent markets) are research companies that provide this service. This information is usually organized by product category (detergents, cereals, snacks, etc.) and cross-tabulated by audience groups and their consumption patterns. Accessible online for a fee, this wealth of information can be searched and compared across thousands of categories, brands, and audience groups. Figure 14.2 is a page from an MRI report showing how to read MRI data.

Competitive Advertising Expenditures: In highly competitive product categories, such as packaged goods and consumer services, marketers track how much competing brands spend on media compared to how much they are spending on their particular brand. This is called share of voice. Marketers want to know which, if any, competing brands have louder voices (i.e., are spending more) than they do.

Media Kits: The various media and their respective media vehicles provide media kits, which contain information about the size and makeup of their audiences. Although media-supplied information is useful, keep in mind that this is an “inside job,” that is, the information is assembled to make the best possible case for advertising in that particular medium and media vehicle. To get an objective view of media, outside research sources are also used. Nielsen Media Research audits national and local television, and Arbitron measures radio. Other services, such as the Auditing Bureau of Circulations (ABC), Simmons, and MRI monitor print audiences, and Media Metrix measures Internet audiences. All of these companies provide extensive information on viewers, listeners, and readers in terms of the size of the audience and their profiles.

Media Coverage Area: One type of media-related information about markets is the broadcast coverage area for television. Called a designated marketing area (DMA), the coverage area is referred to by the name of the largest city in the area. This is a national market analysis system, and every county in the United States has been assigned to a DMA. Most DMAs include counties within a 50- to 60-mile radius of a major city center. Even though this system is based on TV broadcast signals, it is universally used in doing individual market planning.

Consumer Behavior Reports: Used in developing segmentation and targeting strategies. They are also useful in planning media strategies. For example, media planners use such services as the Claritas PRIZM system, Nielsen’s ClusterPlus system, and supermarket scanner data to locate the target audience within media markets.

The Media Plan

The media plan is a written document that summarizes the objectives and strategies pertinent to the placement of a company’s advertising messages. The goal of a media plan is to find the most effective and efficient ways to deliver messages to a targeted audience.

Media plans are designed to answer the following questions: (1) who (target audience), (2) what for (objectives), (3) where (the media vehicles used), (4) where (geography), (5) when (time frame), (6) how big (media weight), and (7) at what cost (cost efficiency). The first three are media objectives and the second group represents media strategies.

The Components of a Media Plan

When IMC planners develop a media plan, they also take into consideration contact points. These include exposure to traditional mass media, as well as word of mouth, place-based media, in-store brand exposures, and the new, interactive media. The A Week in the Life feature located in this chapter will help you better understand the role of media planners.

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