The Scratching Post

Read about what's happening at greywhitepaws, inc. and other things we happen to find interesting.

Media Planning Pitfalls

Musings — admin @ 6:59 pm

Lies, damned lies, and statistics.

-Mark Twain, who attributed it to Benjamin Disraeli


Contrary to what the folks in the creative department might think, designing a media plan isn’t only about numbers. Verifiable data certainly are the basis for any media plan or media buy, but the key word here is “verifiable.” Many sources of data regarding media have a large margin of error in their reporting. Some sources are based on in-house research—by its very nature biased.

 Perhaps the data most vulnerable to error are the ones we as planners want most:  Psychographics. Psychographics are primarily about how people feel and think, not how old, what gender or how many of them there are. Data not easily verified and subject to much interpretation.

So what’s a media planner to do? The first thing is to collect information from as many sources as is feasible, then compare. The numbers that seem to agree are probably the closest to fact. As for the rest, that’s where the artistry comes in. What actually makes sense, given what we know about the product or service? What will provide the best canvas to paint the advertising picture on?

Media planning and buying aren’t solely about CMP, CPP, reach and frequency or cost-per-click. All those things are important, to be sure, but in the end, the media plan and the media buy must take into account the nature of the product or service to be advertised. The best plan isn’t always the cheapest. The real proof is in the results. But that’s a topic for another day.