Category Archives: Evolving Media

6 media planning rules you should break –

6 media planning rules you should break –

Interesting article written by Jay Friedman is the COO of Goodway Group, a third-generation, family-owned company that operates the Custom Audience Platform, an on-demand digital-media infrastructure designed to help clients …

In a flash, things we’ve simply “known to be true” all our lives are turned upside down. Take the assumed theories in psychology that were disrupted with the technological leaps forward in 1990s brain science. Or assumptions about disease or heredity before the Human Genome Project was completed. In an instant we had to rethink what we thought we knew. With digital media now creeping up to near 50 percent of our eye and mindshare time, it’s more important than ever to do a double-take with some tried and true media planning “absolutes.”


“Invest significant time in annual media planning.”

If your business (or your client’s business) relies on annual budget planning, there is no way to relieve yourself from all annual planning. That said, you can and should significantly lighten the load. Think about the various disruptive, significant emerging properties that have launched in the past 10 years. Facebook, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, Twitter, and the list goes on. Not only could you not have planned for their launch, but it was next to impossible to plan for their acculturation point, or the time at which it became a “had to have” on a media plan. What if a tipping point occurs in March? Do you wait until next year to include it in your plan? No way. The same goes for ad tech, whether fighting fraud or implementing a newly available creative format.

Determine annual goals? Yes. Determine annual strategies? Yes. Determine your tactics once per year? No. And certainly don’t buy publishers annually. In fact, I’d urge you to not even be as rigid as quarterly. If a publisher or vendor is a pain to work with, and you feel there is a better alternative, why wait until the end of the quarter? If a new property bursts onto the scene in April after your Q2 plan is done, you may need to rearrange your budget. Media consumption is fluid, and our plans need to match.

“Make sure you carefully plan your digital media to match your target audience.”

You may remember the case study from years ago that showed a big screen TV campaign’s best converting audience was “military.” This is because the time of year the client was advertising was a time when military bonuses were paid. The client originally targeted sports and technology enthusiasts but later shifted to include this newly discovered audience and the campaign performance improved.

As carefully as you plan your audience using case studies and research tools, each campaign you launch will tell you more about your audience than you could have planned for. That’s because every campaign you launch likely has different creative, seasonality characteristics, and other factors. This isn’t to say it’s best to run pure RON or ROS and just “see what happens.” There are certainly very good tools to help you pre-optimize your buy. The key is not to go beyond the point of diminishing return in spending your time honing and refining your audience, or to plan so narrowly that there is no room for audience discovery either.

“Take a meeting with almost any digital media vendor. You could be missing something.”

Taking a 5-minute phone call with any digital media vendor who calls is reasonable. Every vendor should be able to establish a point of difference in that amount of time that enables you to decide whether or not a meeting is beneficial. If there is no chance you’re going to work with a vendor, it’s wasting both your time and the vendor’s. As much as salespeople don’t like hearing “no,” good salespeople will tell you they’d rather hear “no” than “maybe” because it allows them to spend time with clients and prospects who become an important part of their business.

This extends to RFPs. The most efficient RFP process tells a vendor exactly what criteria to meet to get on the plan. Demanding specific criteria on an RFP that is extended to fewer vendors allows for greater, deeper interaction between the agency and those vendors throughout the RFP process. This leads to better ideas, better plans, and better results for clients.

“Create buckets for media vendors.”

I was talking with an agency person at an event last night. We were talking about heritage and ethnicity and she said, “It’s like when I filled out college applications. They asked me to fill in the circle next to the race I was, but there was no ‘mixed’ option.” Similarly, in ad tech, the answer is now more often “it’s complicated” than a straight up, well-defined, bucketable category. On one hand, it behooves media vendors to bucket themselves so agencies quickly and easily understand how they might work with that vendor. On the other hand, advertisers want their agencies to demonstrate greater mental elasticity when evaluating a new vendor, taking the time to understand gray area and overall value rather than requiring a neat fit.

“Be focused on your ultimate objective.”

We can file “awareness and sales” under the “If I had a dollar every time…” category when asking clients about their campaign objectives. Don’t get me wrong. Those are perfectly fine objectives as long as there is a specific and identified method for measurement. Usually, though, measuring awareness (brand studies) or sales (match back against a control) takes months. In the meantime, why not take advantage of the dimensional depth digital media offers?

If you’re a hospital, “heads in beds” is your goal, but pixeling the “locate a doc” page is a good mid-funnel metric to guide your efforts. Car dealership? “Hours and directions” is a great mid-funnel guidepost. These exist in nearly every industry. Take the time to plan with dimension and you’ll be rewarded with richer metrics and better end results.

“Keep it to standard display with small budgets.”

I wouldn’t have thought this was a rule that even needed breaking! After hearing this from a number of different agencies it merited inclusion. Online display may be the oldest digital media ad unit but that doesn’t mean it’s foundational. The foundation of any media plan is your audience’s media consumption and receptivity within those media consumption windows. If your audience is best connected with mobile, use mobile. It might be mobile search, banners, or video. These decisions depend on the complexity of your message, how well established your brand is, and the length of the consideration cycle for your product.

Breaking these six rules requires two things. The first is reconsidering how we approach media planning in the first place. The second is thinking about our plans in many more dimensions than just “I have money. I need to spend it efficiently.” Change is hard, but those who want to be better than their peers and win in the market will find a way and inspire those around them to join in.

Jay Friedman is the COO of Goodway Group.

On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

A wall is broken through by a fist” image via Shutterstock.


Understanding Twitter’s Impact, and Commitment, to Traditional Media (And Why PR Pros Should Care)

Interesting article written by Serena Ehrlich with Business Wire about how Twitter is evolving in 2014 to become a news conduit and research tool for reporters and the public.  Ehrlich goes on to explain that despite the ability to share news quickly and in real-time, Twitter is not interested in scooping reporters. Instead, Twitter is focusing on facilitating the sharing of news between creator and consumer. — Pete Cento

Understanding Twitter’s Impact, and Commitment, to Traditional Media (And Why PR Pros Should Care).


By Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social & Evolving Media, Business Wire

Last month, The National Newspaper Association kicked off their annual conference with a presentation from Twitter’s head of news services, Vivian Schiller. In her keynote, Vivian outlined several upcoming changes within the Twitter news and newsfeed services, introduced Twitter’s new local news initiative and provided tips for journalists on how to leverage Twitter to build their audience and brand.

“News is important to every person on the planet, but for each person, the definition of news that’s important to them is going to be different.” Vivian Schiller, Twitter

One of the top goals for Twitter in 2014 is not to become a news service, but to become a news conduit and a research tool.  Despite the ability to share news quickly and in real-time, Twitter is not interested in scooping reporters. Instead, Twitter is focusing on facilitating the sharing of news between creator and consumer.  In 2014, Twitter is expanding its partnerships to include local media, a big step up from previous years where Twitter focused more heavily on larger media properties. This partnership includes providing easier access to Twitter verification,  taking a second look at the follower caps placed on some accounts and even promotional assistance to outlets breaking a larger story.

Image of Understanding Twitter’s Impact, and Commitment, to Traditional Media (And Why PR Pros Should Care) “Every reporter, every editor should be their own social media editor”

To ensure media outlets can maximize their presence and reach on Twitter, Vivian also shared a series  of best practices and tips to increase reader engagement and widen the news reach.  The top tips for today’s journalists looking to build a brand on Twitter include:

Twitter lists provide a better user experience:  One of the best ways to utilize Twitter is to create lists based on industry or geography or both.  Once the lists are set up reporters can easily scroll through each list for story ideas, to see what is resonating within key audiences, and which individuals are the most influential within their core topic.  And you can add people (or competitors!) to lists without following them, allowing you to maintain the integrity of your core news feed.

Multimedia increases views and shares:  One of the fastest, and easiest ways to increase views, retweets and click throughs on a Tweet is to include multimedia.  In fact, Vivian noted that within the media community, tweets with photos and video lift engagement by 27%

Twitter Cards are a reporter’s best friend and better branding  Twitter cards enhance a tweet, especially those that include images or video by providing more than just the traditional 140-characters.  Links to articles, for example, now include the media outlet name and logo, the byline and more.  These cards are perfect for reporters!  Not only do they enhance the story being shared, Twitter cards build branding for both the reporter and their media outlet.  Did we mention they are free to use?

Twitter builds your media brand:  One of the biggest ways for reporters to increase their own impact and visibility is by building a relationship with their social media fans and readers.  To do this, it is important for every reporter, every social media platform user to take the time to build relationships with their audience.  The fastest way to build a social following is to thank those who share our your news articles, be engaging and talk to your readers, send tweets with companies you may be interested in covering, utilize hashtags to enter larger conversations and live tweet big events such as keynote discussion.  For additional ways to reporters to build their audience on Twitter, read this article by Poynter.

Twitter tracks your success:  Measuring successful tweets on social media is an ongoing challenge.  Initial metrics include follower and overall conversation counts, but those that focus actions taken by the reader, including article sharing, article advocacy and feedback provide a better story. It is these engagements that increase article shares, build loyal readership and drive the inbound traffic needed to meet most media properties overall revenue metrics.

News is going mobile:  A huge majority of Twitter users access the platform from their mobile device.  This means readers are taking journalists and news with them throughout their day. Today’s readers consume news throughout the day and night, regardless of location. Reporters who utilize and share news articles on Twitter can reach any interested party now, no matter where the reader is.

There are more than 500 billion tweets sent every day.

For the last 50 years, we at Business Wire have watched, first hand, the continual evolution of the news industry. It is in our DNA to understand that while news distribution and consumption methods are ever changing, the need for news will never abate.  We are very excited to see Twitter expanding their media partnership to include smaller, local publications and can’t wait to work with journalists and reporters as they continue to maximize their reach and presence on Twitter.  Have questions on how media outlets can better utilize Twitter to showcase articles, stories or press releases?  Let us know!

 About the Author: Over the last 20 years, Serena Ehrlich has worked closely with public and private companies providing guidance on investor and public relation trends. Serena has implemented local, national and international social media and marketing campaigns for a wide range of company and brands including Mogreet, LuxuryLink, Viking River Cruises, the unincorporated city of Marina del Rey, Kraft, Kohl’s, Avon, Mattel and more. Serena started her career in advertising where she developed an understanding of branding from a large-scale perspective, but it was her 14 years in the newswire industry that placed her squarely at the forefront of a technical, sociological and influential revolution changing the face of customer communications. In 1994, Serena was part of a small team who introduced the communications industry to the Internet via a series of first-ever conferences, Her love of technology based communications hasn’t stopped since. As the director of social and evolving media at Business Wire, Serena has a unique insight in the content lifestyle – from creation to consumption. In addition, Serena serves as the Corporate Secretary of the international Social Media Club board of directors, President of Social Media Club Los Angeles, as well as social chair for the National Investor Relations Institutes’ Los Angeles chapter and is a frequent speaker at analyst and business conferences alike on the topics of mobile, payments and social.. She can be found on Twitter (@serena)