26 Feb 2014

It’s All About the Mix (Menu)

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Media planning and buying is very much like menu planning and ingredient purchasing.  Recipe options are countless, as are media campaign mixes. However there are no recipes that include only one ingredient, and there are no clients who should rely on any one type of media vehicle.  It is all about the mix.

Planning your menu –  (Holiday meal vs. Tuesday night take out)  Campaign media weights will vary widely based on the campaign goals.  Are you launching a brand new product, extending into a new geographic market, addressing competitive pressure, or maintaining a brand?

Understand your guests – (meat and potatoes vs. escargot and white asparagus)  Target audiences are more than just age, sex, and income level, they have special interests, education, and consumption of media habits.

Gather your ingredients - (what is already in your pantry vs. what will you need?)  Often times clients have invested deeply in media assets (i.e. TV spots and websites) that should certainly be part of the plan, assuming that they are still relevant.

Watch your budget – (you will need to eat again this week vs. if I eat enough I’ll be OK until next week)  As much as clients do sometimes want to focus solely on a new exciting campaign, it is equally important that they understand the value of maintaining their brand’s awareness.

Shop needed ingredients – (can I buy it locally grown vs. do I need a wholesaler)  Strong media vendor relationships are my preferred purchase, but sometimes the reality is that we need to relinquish some of the control to vendors who can deliver a similar product at a lower cost.

Careful measurements – (can I just guesstimate vs. should I use my kitchen tools)  Rarely do I not recommend careful measurement, however there are exceptions.  Occasionally there will be a TV program or radio station that doesn’t measure up very well in terms of traditional media ratings, but my sense of their audience outweighs that, so I will use them a little heavier.

Preparation – (have I preheated my oven vs. will this meal be ready on time)  All the best planning, research, and buying won’t help me launch your campaign if I haven’t properly coordinated with my agency teams.  Does creative know the deadlines, will production be available to traffic on time, will websites be ready to handle the enthusiastic response to our well planned campaign?

And the Toast – (boxed wine vs. Moet & Chandon)  Oh wait, that’s for a different blog that I write.