For those familiar with the concept, media planning is both a science, and an art. From a scientific perspective, the idea is relatively straight-forward - you simply gather enough data and research to understand your performance, and figure out how to match that data to the needs of your client. Unfortunately, it's the artistic aspect of media planning that's the hardest to grasp. It takes a great deal of trial and error to get things right, and as the industry continues to move forward at lightning-fast speeds, more planners are coming face-to-face with a number of challenging hurdles that stand between them, and success. Here are just some of the most common problems and issues media planners have to deal with on a regular basis.
1. Targeting The Right Audience Effectively
Efficient and optimized targeting is a key component in just about every aspect of advertising. If you want to make sure that you're getting the best responses to your advertisements and media engagements, then the first thing any planner needs to do is ensure they're adhering to the right buyer personas. The fact is that the only reason anyone's going to bother reading your content, or listening to your message, is that they think they might be able to get something valuable out of it. Online media planners need to find the right avenues to deliver something useful to your target audience - whether this means asking questions that commonly arise about your product, or convincing consumers that they have something to gain from you.
2. Staying Up-to-Date With Marketing Trends
Over the years, online advertising has grown and evolved significantly. Over the last decade, consumer focus has shifted almost completely from printed media to online media, and a decline in cold-calling and direct-mail has led to the death of certain types of advertisement. As we move further into the future, technology continues to introduce new tools and ideas that make communicating with potential customers more effective. Social media has risen as a perfect way for brands to communicate with their customers, and every day new strategies for advertising are being developed. Although all of this innovation is certainly exciting, it presents a significant hurdle for media planners, who have to somehow stay current with all the emerging changes.
3. Overcoming Personal Bias
Evaluating new strategies as a media planner and making decisions about the best methods available to help your clients reach their goals means putting your own personal preferences aside and thinking solely from the point of view of your client, and their customers. Thinking outside of the box is an important part of innovative media planning, so it's important that you are capable of trying new things should your clients request it - regardless of whether or not you're a fan of the idea itself. However, this doesn't mean that you can't tell your client if you think a strategy is completely wrong for them.
4. Managing Client Expectations
Sometimes, good media planning means understanding what your client is hoping to achieve from their time with you, and giving them a reality check when their expectations go too far. Marketing is a crucial way for businesses and organizations to reach out to their consumer base and gain the engagement that they need to grow and thrive. However, a lot of clients come to media planners expecting that they'll see amazing results the moment they start handing over cash. Just like any aspect of advertisement, digital presence takes time to optimize and perfect, meaning that although the results will come - they won't be there immediately. Managing unrealistic expectations is one of the biggest hurdles that any media planner or online advertiser has to deal with on a regular basis.
5. Proving and Increasing ROI
As a media planner, you're expected to achieve certain things. Your client may be hoping to improve daily traffic to their website, increase the amount of app downloads they get each week, or lure in more subscribers - however at the end of the day ROI is the most important thing. With more and more advanced tools for analytics appearing on the market, advertising experts are being held to an almost impossibly high standard. It's no longer enough for a media planner to simply find the right media and direct websites to the right advertising channels - they also need to prove that there's going to be significant and valuable results from those efforts. Media planners constantly have to defend their worth, and this means consistently tying each dollar, customer and lead back to the media channel that developed them.