Media Buying

Media Buying is more than a transactional function, it is the undertaking that confirms if your strategy and planning can be delivered as you envisaged. Many view media buying as a transaction, almost like booking an airline ticket. How far from reality this is. 

Good media buying will involve checks and balances, ensuring that rates, concessions and value added components line up to deliver the best possible ROI. Media Buying also takes into account what is happening at that time with that medium in that market. Market conditions can change from the time you undertook the media strategy and media planning. Don't assume that everything is still the same. Media buying is also like the stock market, a skilled test of buying the optimum time or space at the right price and ensuring that it's purchase price will add value to your company brand or service.Media buying whether programatic or done manually, both require the keen eye of the media buyer to ensure that it appears correctly and in in this day and age , that it appears in the right environment. Never assume that a computerised system is infallible. Seek out a media buyer who dares to think differently. If your media buying is continually looking the same and audiences are not growing, then talk with Media Futures.

A good media buyer will assess the placement and compatibility of the media buy and not rely on second hand or third party assurances. Independence in media buying is important. Media Futures adopts a "media neutral" approach until the medium is proven worthy of inclusion into your media plan. 
At Media Futures no medium has a priority based on pure numbers. The art of media buying requires a compatable sense of how it will look and feel once the buy is complete. Cancelling media or having cancellation clauses are an option where it is a performance based buy. In that case have the guts to build in cancellation clauses. Many do not adopt this way of thinking and persist with media buys that do not work. Do this at your peril. 

Check and recheck the requirements for the media buy and always ask the question...what else can I do to ensure my ROI is the best it can be. A good media buyer will have a second sense of what is happening at the critical time of the buy and check that the foundation of the campaign is rock solid.

Media Health Check

Media Futures Media Health Check delivers a thorough assessment of your past media activities. This often forensic process provides a true measurement of the effectiveness of a client’s media schedule as it overlays the client’s expectations to the achievements of the base plan. The base plan is a straight forward summary of spend, activity cycles, media type breakdowns, audience levels and gross revenue derived from sales as a result of media activities.
Too often the base plan does not deliver for a range of reasons.

The end game of a Media Health Check is to dig deeper beyond the base plan and top line results. The forward media plan becomes more integrated when the qualitative factors are reviewed and factors that make a real difference to the business leads or generated sales are identified.Media Futures conducts media health checks for the purpose of making sense of what has gone before and ensuring that future policy and strategy are the best they can be. A media health check is more than an audit of the numbers and data, it takes into account the environment into which your media has appeared in the past and the ongoing landscape that is compatable with your messages. Media Futures "media neutral" philosophy means that the media health check is a complete and impartial review allowing you to determine the best way forward to invest in media and maximise your business and marketing plans.

The independence and impartiality of a media specialists like Media Futures enables a qualified assessment of media performance to be made. If the fit is right after the Media Health Check, Media Futures can deliver the complete service of strategic planning, negotiation, purchase of media and audit as required dependent on the stage of your media undertakings.

Media Planning

Media Planning is truly an art, not a science. Time was when media planning was all about TARPS and weeks on air. How much has the media changed through complexity of offers, too many media options, fragmented audiences, fickle shifting audiences,lack of media channel loyalty and time poor media users. Media planning once considered a back room function is now at the forefront of marketing planning. A poorly thought out media plan can burn off dollars quicker than a bushfire. Media planning starts with a clear understanding of the advertiser's business, what makes it tick and knowing the weak points of a business or service. Yes that's right there is more to media than buying" ads" on  a remote server or putting numbers on a media plan to make it look good. A deep knowledge of the advertiser's business is essential and the advertiser must be upfront and honest to reveal all their weaknesses and shortfalls. Media is not a quick fix for the shortcomings of a business or service.

The media planner then has the ability to create a tailor made plan that maximises the myriad of complexities in the media sector. The media planner is constantly faced with too much choice. Media could easily become a commodity in the hands of a mechanical thinking planner.  Media planning by remote control and repeating what was done last time is not an option. Media is a constant shifting mass and more fickle than the stock market. When undertaking a media plan consider these key elements-

* ROI - Does the plan maximise my budget and deliver budget stretch

* Audience delivery - How much wastage or overlap exists. Is the plan correctly balanced between reach and frequency 

* Effective frequency - How is my audience being impacted to create a result versus token impact that is unlikely to get a result

* Seasonality- What cycles affect your business over 12 months of the year. Plan around cyclical patterns

* New mediums - What new media have been considered that have entered the market since previously advertising. What are the audience shifts

* Engagement - Does the plan involve my audience to act and respond. Media Planning needs to solicit a follow up or sale. Is the plan designed to encourage response  

The role of the media specialist has changed. The days of remote agencies working away from the client's office are fading fast 
The rise of the independent media specialist who works on site at the client's offices is the preferred way to operate. 
The reasons for this are threefold

1. The in house media specialist works collaboratively on your day to day business and understands what makes it happen
Key word here is Transparancy

2. Responsibility of budget aligned to corporate and brand goals and consultative approach with peers and colleagues

3. Responsibility for results and outcomes which are shared openly in-house as they happen. Stay on top of the ever changing media market 

Spend time with a media specialist who has the empathy and feel for media and can add the human elements to every campaign.
It's called " Gut Feel " an often forgotten attribute in a data driven industry. 
Ensure your media specialist is not addicted to third party computer generated models devoid of savvy, skill and empathy with the media category. 

At Media Futures, media is an art, not a science.

Media Policy

What is Media Policy?
Essentially it is a manifesto and definitive statements as to why even $1.00 would be invested in the media sector. Media must earn it's place in the business mix.

Too often media is seen as either a cost item or a quick way to cure a problem, not so. Media is a valuable business tool when correctly modelled and built to last.
In preparing the media policy, a thorough investigation is required, addressing core business issues and how media will improve business results.  

Media Policy is based on the following principles: 1. Build new customer acquisitions 2. Retain existing customers 3. Reduce customer churn rates
4. Media is used as a direct response model 5. When not to spend precious media dollars 6. Maintain a dominant presence when activity occurs in any market.

Sound Media Policy leads into Media Strategy and takes into account the results of the investigation, ensuring that maximum results are achieved.

Media Planning & Buying

Detailed analysis in any media undertaking comes through strategic planning, to determine where the budget is most suited and which media category will deliver the best return.  

Never assume that the last media plan is always relevant or that it will automatically reach the maximum audience within budget guidelines. This is a recipe for disaster.
Media is a fast moving business where audience levels fluctuate and cost is variable based on audience impact achieved.

The media landscape is constantly evolving and changing; audience shifts, usage patterns and new media entering the market. Engaging an experienced and impartial media strategist provides a solid foundation on which to make critical decisions. Policy, strategy, planning, negotiation and buying of media is an art not a science.

Online Media  Strategy

Online Media Strategy is all about premium content. Engaging content that allows you the advertiser to learn more, talk freely online or seek more information. 
Online media is a personal experience in an environment where the customer does not feel threatened, nor creating an environment where the user is bombarded with more advertising. Once the user connects with your online content, leave them alone to study, read and absorb your offer.

It goes something like this......" I found my way to your website / media site/ media app because I trust what you are presenting and I came here to experience more in depth information or even start engagement with you through dialogue or seek more information. I look forward to a happy non threatening experience here on your online/social media site." 
A rather simple scenario but nevertheless it is what most people look for in a social media / online exchange. 
In many cases media simplicity in an online forum does not  happen. Too often it is hard to navigate, does not fulfil the customer and at worst they leave your site or app and go elsewhere.

Your online /social media strategy needs compassionate understanding to grow and maintain users. At the core is trust. Never put your users in a position where they are being compromised. Online/ social media is all about the content and sharing the content that inspires users to become loyal advocates and long term customers. 
Keep the online/ social category a happy one and an environment where trust is engendered at all times. Less selling and heavy handed tactics are the norm, not the exception. Lastly measure results. Online is measurable and is no different to any other medium. Measure return on media investment and make the online category an integral part of your media policy, media strategy, media planning, media buying and media audit.


Workshops are the place to pick apart and rebuild your Media Policy, Media Strategy, Media Planning, Media Buying and Media Audit. 
Take time out to examine the past and the future of your media practices. Examples of topics covered include:
  • Asset Register compilation. Quantify value 
  • Five year media plans. Be ready for change 
  • Contingency plans for business disasters
  • How to Analyse: Results & effectiveness
  • Shifts and Trends in media innovation
  • Media Advice. Impartial insights put clearly
  • Media Policy.  Why spend one cent
  • Media Strategy. How to make it happen
  • Media Planning.Start with your business first
  • Media Buying. Maximise your ROI
  • Media Packaging. Adding more to effect value
  • Media Audits. What did you really buy

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