Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 1016
, Published on 03 September 2013
Promotion is one of the pivotal Ps among the 4-Ps of Marketing. When you have the right product with the right pricing, it becomes imperative that you promote it in the right manner. Promotional activities are carried out to communicate with the target consumers in a way to indulge them with the brand and to entice them to buy the product. Thus, promotion carries on its shoulders lot of burden and often becomes the make or break factor for the brand.
Promotion is carried out through different channels and media. Communicating with the target group (TG) through the right medium, in the right amount, at the right time and in the right manner is what all companies work for. Here’s where the term media investment management makes an entry. Since most of the companies do not possess the expertise for media investment management in-house, it is outsourced to specialists. These specialists are media agencies who manage and channelize the investment of companies into different media after careful planning and subsequent buying activities. In a nutshell, media investment management deals with media planning, buying and implementation according to the budget and requirements of the client. These companies are also called media agencies that have only one thing in mind- the consumer.
The media strategy is divided into three sub-spaces:
Paid media strategy: It includes all marketing activities for which the company pays and is run on media controlled by others. Advertisements on different media like TV, radio, newspapers, websites, portals, blogs, banners, etc. are part of paid media.
Owned media strategy: It includes all marketing activities through media controlled by the company itself. It includes press releases, annual reports, company websites, blogs and social media handles (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Owned media is a means of communicating with the stakeholders and customers. Thus it is important to manage owned media in the right manner.
Earned media strategy: Earned media is what the company earns through publicity. It is not in the hands of the company and is generated by others on the basis of company’s activities. It includes mention in newspapers, editorial spaces, TV shows, magazines, polls on internet or television and mention on social media platforms or anywhere on internet. Since it can only be gained and not created by self, it is called “earned”.
The media investment management companies are generally required to manage the paid media and owned media for the clients. Media planning is carried out for effective utilization of resources and reaching maximum number of target consumers, which is followed by media buying. Some companies also do the implementation, which includes working in tandem with the client during execution of the project.
Media Planning and Buying
Media planning involves identifying the right channels for communication like newspaper, radio, television, digital platform, activations, etc. Further, on the basis of intense analytics of slots with maximum visibility and probability of reaching the target consumers and the costs involved, media plan is developed. Now, the media planners possess a pool of information for different media.
For traditional media like TV, print and radio, they possess database on parameters like slots available, classification of slots into prime and non-prime, cost associated with buying each slot, the TRPs and other such measurements for various shows during which the advertisements or such paid media is to be featured. Based on the viewership or reach of these slots and their relevance with the product/ brand at hand, the probability of reaching the target consumers is found out for each slot and subsequently, the cost/ reach is calculated. Based on such excruciating number crunching, an optimum plan is finalized which gives results in terms of slots to be purchased for featuring the paid media. The results are such that they would minimize the costs and would maximize the expected reach and leads of the promotion. Here, the creative work of the advertisements is done by the creative/ ad agencies. These assets are handed over by the creative agency or the client to the media agency who decide where they will fit in. Thus, media agencies have to coordinate with the creative agencies as well and sometimes they give inputs in the form of taste and preferences of consumers.
For the digital media, online marketing and social media marketing, the procedures are similar. The slots on various websites are analyzed and the reach and popularity of these websites are gauged according to the requirements. On the social media, conventional advertising is done alongside owned media space in form of handles like Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and so on. Here too, money is spent in order to artificially boost the popularity and increase visibility.
According to the media plan developed, media buying is done. Media buying involves buying of slots and spaces on different media for displaying the message designed specifically for that medium. This includes buying slots on TV for showing advertisements, on Radio for playing ads and jingles, on newspapers for print ads, on websites/ blogs/ social media for digital advertisements and such. The media agencies negotiate on behalf of the client in order to get the best deals for them and thus media buying also becomes an important part of their job. Finally, once the media buying is completed, implementation starts and the project goes live.
Emergence of New Media
The advent of technology and the emergence of digital media as one of the critical platforms for promotion have also played a major role in this transformation. Earlier, the focus was mostly on TV, print, radio, banners, outdoor activations and such. Now, the focus has been increasingly shifting towards internet, digital media and OOH activities. Internet, as we know, is now a part of everybody’s life and is used by all of the people in some way or the other. Websites, portals, blogs are becoming increasingly popular destinations of the media planners for carrying out promotional activities. With number of internet users in the world more than 2.4 billion and over 120 million in India in 2011, all the companies are now shifting their focus here. Social media is the current flavor of the youth and others alike, which is why companies are pouncing on multiple social media platforms for establishing their presence. Digital media includes digital videos, digital audios, augmented reality or digital art. Any media that is stored in the form of digital form comes under digital media. As a result, spends on digital and online marketing have increased over the last few years. OOH activities are also given lot of importance and they include digital marketing, activations and much more.
Media investment has evolved over the years, both as a term and as the actual practices that it encompasses. From being called “media planning” to now being called “media investment management”, the industry has evolved to a larger role. Media powerhouses like GroupM go to the extent of calling themselves Media Investment Consultants. The media agencies no longer limit themselves to solely media planning and buying. They also work during implementation, thus extending their role. Some agencies also indulge in creative work, designing and executing campaigns and conducting outdoor campaigns. The industry trend is moving towards convergence of the media agencies, the creative agencies and the companies as they work together for achieving a common goal- making the consumer happy.