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The Media Strategy

The Media Strategy

All considerations, which determine the make-up of a copy strategy, also define the media focus of any advertising campaign. In addition, the Media Strategy considers

(a) Where the advertiser wants to say what he wants to say, regional, national or international?

(b) For how long?

(c) To who? Men or women; age, social and economic groups,

(d) Which medium or media mix would be most effective? press, radio, television, cinema, outdoor or the Internet.

(e) How much? Consideration here is for cost effectiveness.

Therefore, a Media Strategy to be recommended for an advertising campaign should include

1. A brief summary of the main media recommendations in terms of appropriation and how it should be deployed by media groups, by areas and by periods, which details where appropriate.

2. A statement of the reasons or rationale for the recommendations

3. A short review of all reasonable alternative strategies and the grounds for their rejection.

4. Definition of main target groups by demographic or other criteria

5. Statement of appropriation for the current year

6. Description of creative needs of the campaign

7. Factors affecting overall and specific timing of the campaign, e.g. seasonal variations, incidence of promotions, co-ordination with other company brands

Other factors which could affect the media strategy; e.g. area weighing of appropriation, changes in appropriation; product reformulation; new competitors; re-lunch; information on brand loyalty and on stocks situation.
Historical media background i.e. target group choice of media and previous year’s appropriation if any
Information on media policies, expenditure and techniques of competition.

This strategy document facilitates the actual media planning i.e. the allocation of appropriation of specific media indicating the weighting, times, frequency and duration of exposure of the advertisement in the relevant media. These are translated into appropriate media schedules and a summary indicating a breakdown of demographic allocation of the appropriation is then provided for easy reference.

The Presentation

The decisive moment for many advertising Agency comes on the day the Agency presents its advertising proposal to the Client. On this day, the Agency is expected to exert enormous ingenuity and originality in a bid to demonstrate its mastery of the Client’s requirements and the advertising scene generally. Both the Copy Strategy (along with relevant visual and audio preparations) and the Media Strategy (including schedules) make up the presentation package.

A presentation is a conscious employment of a combination of communication skill on the part of an agency to sell its ideas to a client. It is not the mere handing over of the Agency’s proposals to a client on the assumption that once the materials are good they would meet his approval. It must borne in mind that the presentation has the capacity to make or mar a good proposal. Therefore, concerted efforts must be made by the Agency to make every presentation a winner.

In this regard, it is desirable that the following guidelines should be carefully noted.

(a) A presentation should be rehearsed before it is made to the client. This helps to avoid serious lapses, thereby enhancing the client’s confidence in and appreciation of the agency’s proposal.

(b) Arrive promptly for the presentation meeting. This will provide the agency team sufficient time to survey the presentation venue, test all equipment and lay out all materials for maximum effect.

(c) Avoid unduly long introduction of the Agency and what it does. Concentrate on the proposal, which should seek to provide the client the “magic” for achieving his advertising objectives.

(d) In making the presentation, step forward with the right foot. It is advisable to choose a powerful and confident presenter as anchorman for the Agency team, which should include specialist media and creative men. In new business pitches, avoid o man presentation. It can be counter-productive.

(e) Relax and be confident. Previous rehearsals help to overcome stage fright. Moreover, it is not desirable to be overtly edgy about winning or losing. Just make the best of the presentation and, as clearly as possible, answer the Client’s many questions which are bound to follow.

A full-scale discussion of the presentation usually follows which may lead to a miner or major review of the Agency’s proposal and re-presentation and before the Client’s final approval.

Preparation

Once Client’s approval has been obtained, the Client Service person duly briefs all relevant departments for the final stages of the preparation of campaign material to commence.

At this point, the Traffic Manager draws up a progress sheet to show how soon, in days and dates, the creative, media and production department must in turn, complete their work on press advertising materials, radio and television commercials, leaflets, posters, brochures and promotional items.

It is his responsibility to ensure the strict adherence, by all parties concerned, to the date plan in order that all materials are ready in time for the break of the advertising campaign.

Photography is arranged, finished artworks are concluded color separation are made and the printing of relevant materials are executed for the print media. Radio and television commercials are produced from pilot recordings through final recordings and double heads to answer prints and subsequent dubbing of release as applicable.

Each stage of the presentation of these campaign materials must be presented to the Client for his approval before proceeding to the next until advertising breaks.

Placement and Monitoring

With the approval of all creative materials and the media plan by the Client, The Agency’s media department now embarks on the placement of the advertising. Media Purchase Orders (MPOs) are raised in line with the approved plan and sent with proofs or progressives, radio tapes, film or video cassettes – to the respective media houses.

Subsequently both the media personnel and Client Service person on the advertising account monitor the exposure if the campaign to ensure that;

(a) The advertising breaks as stipulated and press advertisement appears as scheduled;

(b) Radio and television spots are not missed and in the case of sponsored program, that the program is aired qualitatively;

(c) Outdoor billboards are duly posted and maintained

(d) Cinema houses show the advertisement as booked;

(e) Evidence of publication or transmission of the advertisements is obtained for accounting purposes.

Evaluation

Extensive feedback is essential to any effective communication program such as advertising. This is because feedback helps to modify and tailor future messages to suit the audience. It helps to correct past mistakes. Therefore, it is very important that at the end of a campaign the effects and factors that facilitated or undermined the observed or desired effects are determined.

Dissemination does not always translate to communication. The volume of exposure of an advertising campaign does not guarantee that the advertising message has reached the target consumers or that they have been sufficiently influenced to undertake the desired action.

Through evaluation research, answers may be obtained for the following questions;

(a) How did we do?

(b) Could we have been better if w had tried some other approach?

It is, therefore, essential that advertisers and advertising agencies determine the degree of success or failure of a campaign in order they can constantly improve on their performance in advertising development. Thus, unless an advertising agency has a spate research and development department, evaluation research is an invaluable function of the media department.

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