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The state of media planning and poor measurement

I read a blog recently that used the line "technology is like salt, tasted but not seen"...and if he meant seamless and frictionless operations, then yes I agree; but should technology sit in the background....not a chance. Today communication planning needs technology as a bedrock of foundation. But as media agencies reinvent, they need to balance the the advances technology can make with some of the basic requirements of their business.

The state of media training is very weak - Someone once said that measurement is what makes marketing a science. In Canada we suffer from a limited understanding of media science, and are poorly served by limited third party measurement. Most media agencies have under a handful of research experts who truly understand how to use research to add value (and sadly, most cannot invest in their own Canadian research to verify hypotheses). Media planners, based on my observation, have been trained to focus on inputs and outputs. Training at agencies is not rigiourous and focuses on new media, so traditional media is left to sidelines. Perfect way to buy into noble lies, or truth based on collective experience not reality.

Buy TV in Canada?…you buy on average ratings, not commercial ratings, not the real exposure your brand is receiving. (Don’t get me started on how under serviced video planning is in Canada, with low weight levels and no synergy between how the plan was conceived and how it was bought)

Buy radio?…some stations are measured on a handful of respondents. If you are a niche station, lets say, JazzFM, you are very underserviced by traditional ratings. Stations like Jazz do not get on buys unless they are niche or deep.

Research by Facebook and Google can be very compelling, but remember these are media companies that are in business to sell ads. Industry benchmarks in digital fall to the lowest common acceptable measure and if that works for your brand, great - viewability for 2 seconds or 3 seconds (can the brain even digest that?)….and for those that use “complete views”, remember that you need to always (upfront) determine what the objective is of the advertising...what is the anticipated outcome of the view…if that is brand building or sales, how are brands measuring that. What attribution models are they investing in.

(BTW I even saw a post the other day that claimed OOH is the most effective media...written by one o the OOH associations...)

We need more dialogue and debate on measurement. If media agencies are to reinvent they need to look at the foundations in addition to things like AI assitants, and powerful ad stacks that increase their margins.

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