WHAT MARKETERS WANT
In media planning discussions, are too many numbers and too much data actually a challenge or an input for the marketer? We attempt to find the answer
After a long day’s work, while surfing through Television channels, I came across this advertisement that had a baby crying and a mother rushing to comfort her. I developed an instant affinity towards the brand. Soon, I shifted focus to my phone to check online news sites, and ended up seeing the same advertisement there too. I then decided to check my posts on Facebook and saw a sponsored advert of the same brand! Thinking about the media plan behind this particular brand and sharp consumer focus, I started going through the posts, hoping to see something interesting. It was then that I stumbled upon this post by the Global Chief Strategy Officer of Mindshare FAST, Gowthaman Ragothaman, aka G’Man, in agency circles:
“After a long drawn presentation on data, technology, stack, integration, collaboration, connection, privacy, identities, platforms, engagement, content, viewability, safety, algorithms, gardens, reach, capping, diminishing returns, ROI, attribution, journey, dynamic creatives and a few more...My dear friend from the client side asked me...Yea sab teek hai... ‘Where is the media plan?’
More often than not, complex problems are solved through simple questions!”
Gowthaman readily explained the context behind his post: “In a media plan, as the consumer journey is fragmented across various platforms (and the walled gardens), the media agency has no choice but to explain in detail about the reach, and how we are reaching them and how it is measured (often influenced by technology) and that is where the time is being spent rather than on the outcome itself.”
He noted that media agencies are caught across two forces today, namely, 1.Technological disruptions and the influence of VCs spoiling the market with insane investments on mediocre products.
2. Marketing organizations coming to terms with a much tighter collaboration inside their own company with insights, technology and sales divisions.
HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?
We are perhaps on the threshold of change in the structure of the marketing and advertising ecosystem, thanks to technological disruptions and data – yes, an overabundance of data. Media planning is no longer about a probabilistic to deterministic mindset and approach; no longer about multimedia but multi-device; no longer about just one person at the client side but about a marketing head, a technologist, an insights guy, a venture capitalist, all for and against each other and yes, it is no longer about the evolving digital media, it is about the new normal, digital disruption.
Here, we dive into factors that are influencing the media planning discussions today, and whether too many numbers and data is actually a challenge or an input for the marketer. And in all this, what is the marketer’s viewpoint? Ultimately, what does the marketer want? (See ‘Are marketers getting lost in numbers?’ on Page 17)
WHAT AFFECTS MEDIA PLANNING DISCUSSIONS
“The 70:20:10 principle is influencing media plan discussions the most - 70% of resources are spent on tried and tested plans that build brands; 20% are areas of innovation and experimentation and 10% are out of the box ideas. Data is now entering the 20% and tech disruptions are currently the 10%,” says Vikram Sakhuja, Group Chief Executive Officer - Media and OOH, Madison Communications.
“As far as media agencies are concerned, we were always in the numbers game. The numbers can be historic or real time data. The important thing is to operate from first principles and form the right hypotheses that you validate or nullify with data. Using data as a shiny new toy per se is missing the point,” he adds.
Digital is the preferred consideration for marketers for its targeted reach, cost efficiencies and measurability. The quantum of existing and generated data has multiplier effect making it more complicated for everyone, not just agencies. Yet,
data’s ability to gather information from the audience, previous preferences, analytics and build predictive algorithms gives the marketer an undoubtable edge when rich data is culled from the data dump.
Media agencies have, in fact, pushed digital to the forefront. Further, they have invested in infrastructure, platforms, resources and learning. Marketers call for and need media agencies to sift through this data.
“During a plan, both marketer and agency have the tendency to latch onto trends – programmatic, influencers, content marketing and the like. Cognitive is the latest buzzword. Also, now it is not only about reach, views and clicks but viewablility, leads, conversions and sales,” says Anita Nayyar, CEO-India & South Asia, Havas Media Group.
In order to navigate this ever-changing ecosystem, brands have to think of integrated solutions that seamlessly cut across the key touchpoints for the consumer. “Brands need to adopt non-linear thinking where each discipline builds on the idea vs one discipline leading this – Tough but ideal. And such solutions when backed with the right tech create brand experiences for the consumer and preferences for the brands,” explains Sulina Menon, Managing Partner, Omnicom Media Group.
The challenge is bigger in India, given the diversity and differential access to media and Internet (3G/2G, smartphone, feature phone). “We need to craft experiences that deliver for brands, taking this aspect into account. To deliver results, understanding the ever-shifting trends is key and must be visited regularly. Social listening, data mining, CRM, DMPs become important sources to understand the consumer behaviour and context,” says Menon.
SHIFT FROM MEDIA METRICS TO OUTCOME METRICS
The entire media plan discussion has now moved from media metrics to outcome metrics. “Programmatic planning is where marketers are trying to understand and streamline plans in real time. Programmatic deployment is itself adding to this whole data immersion. While
“In a media plan, as the consumer journey is fragmented across various platforms (and the walled gardens), the media agency has no choice but to explain in detail about the reach, and how we are reaching them and how it is measured (often influenced by technology) and that is where the time is being spent rather than on the
outcome itself.” GOWTHAMAN RAGOTHAMAN
traditional media continues to move at a certain pace, the evolving digital media is the new normal,” says Shavon Barua, Managing Partner, PHD Worldwide India.
Traditionally, a media planner works to ensure that an audience sees an advertisement between 3-8 times (less than three views is a waste and upwards of eight times is also considered waste), depending on the ad or the product. And this query is checked every Thursday morning when the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India data comes in. However, now the consumer may have seen the ad only once on Television, but may have seen it thrice on Facebook or YouTube.
“At Dentsu Aegis Network, we are moving away from Television planning to video planning. Because you have to account for the fact that there is a high level of exposure on digital as well,” explains Ashish Bhasin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dentsu Aegis Network South Asia
“Digital and data today help you reduce the gap of advertising wastage and gives a better understanding of the consumer. Data is going to be the new oil of advertising, because that is what will drive efficiency,” says Bhasin.
HOW DOES THE MEDIAMARKETING ECOSYSTEM ADAPT?
Not just media planning but the entire advertising approach needs a change, from the agency end as well as at the client end, says Bhasin. He further explains that going forward, agencies will have to adapt to one P&L (Profit &Loss). “Basically there are no silos. Your organization will have to bring the specialist agency for the brand depending on the need,” he says.