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Media Guru

Guru Search Results: 470 matches were found

Wednesday, June 25, 2003 #6037
Hi Gure, As I media planner, I have asked to prepare a report on CPM of my brands. Please advise me what factors should I mention in my report. Please do reply asap. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 27, 2003 ):
The Guru doesn't immediately understand why you would go beyond listing the specific media and the cpm for the brand's target for each. Perhaps you need to clarify the question.

Monday, June 23, 2003 #6032
I have recently moved into a Media Coordinator position. I am very experienced in media planning and researc, but am limited in my media negotiations. Is there any books out there that I can read on this topic that could help me? Everything I find is books for students and does not go into media negotiations. Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 27, 2003 ):
Negotiation is an art learned by experience. A "very experienced" planner and researcher should pick it up easily.

At it's most basic, it's a matter of giving the other person a reason to offer what you want at the price you want. The reason may be as simple as to keep you from walking away when the other person wants your money.

See theAMIC Bookstore (in association with

Monday, June 23, 2003 #6031
i m a college student and as a project i have to launch a product in the market....its another to be added to the endless list of snacks but promises nutrition unlike the others...wht is the most effective media plan tht i can carry out or references where i can get leads. also wht is the most simplest definition of media planning and what are the most significants pointers to be kept in mind while carry out an operation. what all does media planning include???

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 27, 2003 ):
See the Guru's Parts of a media plan.

Click here to see past Guru responses about media planning.

Monday, June 23, 2003 #6030
Dear Guru,As a media planner, what should I care CPM for? Since I need your info very urgent, pls reply soon. Appreciate your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 27, 2003 ):
Lower cpm means more impressions per dollar (or whatever currency unit you use). Planners need to consider this in selecting media and vehicles.

Thursday, June 12, 2003 #6011
media strategies

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 15, 2003 ):
See the Guru's Parts of a media plan.

Thursday, June 05, 2003 #5998
Hi Guru. I'm with a graphic design firm that has been asked to help with a media plan for a small children's museum with a limited budget. Even though we design print ads, we are not usually asked to help with the media selection. I'm looking for sources of cost effective local print media, internet and possibly outdoor advertising aimed at generating visits from schools, families and tourists. Also, if this process is too daunting for a non-media planner, how do you recommend finding and evaluating a freelance media planner or small firm that offers this service and is familiar with our local market?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 07, 2003 ):
This is the work of a professional planner. Possible, but tedious, for others. For the local market, the yellow pages may held find one who can answer e few quesitons on the phone and establish an ability to do the required work. If your AMIC registration is the up-to-date, you may get some suggestions by email.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003 #5993
There has been a major shift in focus of media planning from the "numbers" to the actual "environment" of the medium, especially within print. Why do you think this is so? When are numbers important?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 07, 2003 ):
The Guru sees it differently.
  • In the Guru's experience (30+ years), print has always been more focused on environment versus numbers as compared to broadcast media.
    --In fact, the Guru can remember when some experienced planners didn't even know that print had GRP's, back in the days before everything was computer- dependent
  • On the other hand, over this period of time, the broadcast world has changed from there being three giant network outlets with the big numbers versus few independent stations to a situation of 7 major networks (ABC / NBC / CBS / Fox / WB / UPN / Univision ) just somewhat bigger than several independent stations market-by-market, and 100's of stronger or lesser cable options.
    --Environmental differences outweigh the numbers
    --Or, the compuers handle the numbers leaving planners the environment to discuss subjectively
  • Finally, as you mature professionally, you become more able to deal with enviromental data versus numbers; you are changing, more than the world around you

The media environment in which you communicate is always important, but you must know how much of your target audience you reach and how often and whether you have spent your budget efficiently.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003 #5992
Dear Guru, could you please give me some idea about Brand Development Index? Why it is used? What sort of understanding we could get by calculating BDI? What effect does it have in Marketing Plan or in media plan? Thanks. Toolie,Bangladesh

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, June 03, 2003 ):
Click here to see past Guru commment on BDI

Monday, June 02, 2003 #5987
The brand I work on has been a market leader in consumer durables for the last 2 decades. The brand values are extremely strong and it enjoys good loyality from customers.This brand is also identified by its unique and memorable advertising thru these years. But in the last 3 years intense competition has hit us on both pricing as well as image front, resulting in loosing brand strength end eroding market share. I would like to know if there are cases of brands that have bounced back with help of brand campaign that is driving towards creating preference and retaining loyality for the brand. Is there any website/book that you can recommend? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, June 02, 2003 ):
The Guru deals with media planning/Media buying/Media research/Media department managment questions.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003 #5972
Two questions: 1) WHere can I find information that lists the upcoming market research conferences/seminars/events, especially in terms of advertising or media industries. 2. Do you have a list of all the market research companies focusing on media (TV/Radio/)

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, May 15, 2003 ):
The Guru deals with media planning/Media buying/Media research/Media department managment questions.

There are dozens of market research companies that deal with audience research and other media-related issues.

The NY AMA Greenbook is the best source of listings.

Monday, May 12, 2003 #5968
I bought radio and TV for 2 years for an advertising agency but I'm brand new to media planning. I'm now a Media Director and responsible for the direction of our advertising campaign. What resources do you recommend using to figure out which mediums to buy based on our product and demo, and how much to spend in each medium? I have purchased "Advertising Medium Planning" by Sissors and Baron. Is this a good book? What else do you recommend? I have to target an upscale, adults 35+ demographic audience. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 18, 2003 ):
MRI and Simmons are source of information about media audiences and product users. The Mendelsohn Media Research Affluent Study focuses similar data on the affluent market.

Communications strategy may come out of these data and experienced judgment. See also the Guru's Parts of a media plan and the Guru's media strengths page

Monday, May 12, 2003 #5967
Hi...our home improvement company advertises on TV, radio and newspaper in 9 markets. We include a phone number in all of our advertising for people to call if they're interested in our products. We track the advertising source for all incoming calls and make all advertising decisions based on which mediums (and individual stations/publications) are producing the phone calls. No annual media planning is done at all (we don't even have set budgets) and advertising is cancelled and ordered haphazardly on a weekly basis based on these numbers. I believe, however, that you can't accurately track this because 1) TV and radio take time to take effect with public 2) people may have seen the ad on 3 different TV stations or 3 different mediums but only report they saw it on one. Do you think there is any merit to this tracking system? I've never heard of any ad agencies doing this and wonder if it's a waste of time and effort, not to mention advertising dollars. Thank you!

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 18, 2003 ):
The Guru agrees. At best you track the last ad people saw. Such tracking overstates the impact of Yellow Pages in many cases.

Sunday, May 11, 2003 #5965
Dear Guru, Many thanks for your reply on OTS and Effective frequency. It's been a great help finding you online, b'cos we don't have any institution to get proper training on issues regarding media planning. The thing is in our country (Bangladesh), while media planning, we always face a lot of problems due to the unavailabilty of data. However, we've got TV viwership ratings, Newspaper circulations and readership ratings etc. At this point, how can I effectively calculate OTS? Is it possible to do with the data I've mentioned. Thanks once again. M. A. Toolie

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 11, 2003 ):
In the Guru's prior response (#5938) he explained how to calculate print OTS, if one audience exposure is your standard. For TV, 1 rating point means a quantity of audience exposures equal to 1% of the specified population.

Friday, May 09, 2003 #5964
Dear Guru Would be interested in knowing if you have any info on online advertising models for financial clients. Any iformation pertaning to the approach for online advertising for financial clients would be welcome Thanks in Advance Johann

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 11, 2003 ):
Sometimes the Guru wonders at the use of the buzzword "model," apparently meant to make an approach seem formularized. A "reach model," for instance, is a mathematical formula meant to take variables and produce a reach number based on past variables that actually produced a measured reach result. The intended result of a media plan is not so quantifiable when you specify that it is for a particular category. The key is the result intended, this will change according to the narrow category as well as other factors.

A promotional plan to sell bonds to consumers would be quite different than a branding plan for a full service "big 5" accounting firm.

The "model" if any is based on consideration of goals and strategies such as target, and communication strategies. See the Guru's Parts of a media plan.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003 #5961
We've been given the opportunity to make a media proposal to put together the total advertising plan for a major motion picture. Can you help me understand what the most effective "model" for marketing a movie, including all of the different media which should be used? Help!

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 11, 2003 ):
Unlike other products for which we do media planning, a nice thing about movies is that their success or failure is immediately, publicly and quantifiably known.

The Guru would examine the plans used by recent films, based on ad spend tracking resources such as CMR (Competitive Media Reports) and correlate these with published data on opening week box-office (after that, the "product qualiity" and reviews may be more of a factor thanb the advertsing). Of course other factors like star power come into it, but correcting for spending variance some rules of thumb could probably be set.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003 #5939
i'm doing a paper on advertising media. what would you say are the main points to concisely include? cheers guru.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, April 21, 2003 ):
See the Guru's Parts of a media plan

Thursday, March 27, 2003 #5909
Dear Guru, I'm curious, as a media planner, buyer, how can I utilize information about a radio stations P1s and P2s to produce a more efficient and effective buy. Also,is this info readily available? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 30, 2003 ):
P1 and P2 are Arbitron concepts and are available in Arbitron data.

If you have made a value judgement about P1 and P2 such as the idea that the people among listeners to a station for whom it is first preference (P1) are an advertising audience reached more effectively, then you can evaluate the station in an additional way regarding its efficiency in your buy and perhaps have an advantage if you can justify a lower priced station, not that the Guru endorses this approach.

For details about interpeting P1 / P2, see Arbitron's How to read a P1 report.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003 #5908
Dear Guru, I am quite new to the field of media planning and currently experience the following problem: I am trying to find out what is the reach of uotdoor poster packages, but not for th whole population, as they present on the websites but more specifically, for example 25-54 ABC1. I may be approaching the problem from the wrong end, so any help on the matter will be appreciated.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 30, 2003 ):
The problem is that the actual measurement of outdoor is typically based on traffic, i.e. cars passing locations, multiplied by an average passenger load, with no opportunity to assess demographics of these people,

Demographics of outdoor are typically based on some assumptions from the daily activities of people reported in syndicated product usage surveys. Therefore, it calls for some assumptions and fusion of the two forms of research. This typically overlooks details particular to a specific outdoor buy in a given geography.

This issue might be addressed by overlaying a third type of research, geodemographic mapping, such as Geoscape

Tuesday, March 25, 2003 #5907
What are five ways media planners might use this website?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 30, 2003 ):
Obviously, you have found one. The Guru wishes he knew which professor was assigning this question to a class each year. You can either use another of the ways, which is to go to the Guru Archives Search Engine and look up some topics, or actually get the learning intended from the assignment by browsing the site and figuring it out.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003 #5906
media planner

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 30, 2003 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses about media planners

Monday, March 24, 2003 #5901
reagrding media directors....what are their responsiblities, what kind of education is needed for the position, what is the history of this career, what is the pay range?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 30, 2003 ):
The Media Director is the head of the agency department which is responsible for media planning, media research and media buying.

The Guru would guess that most in the US have a BA in arts of social sciences, nowadays including many who majored in advertising or communications, although the Guru himself, a media director for over 20 years, is a sociologist.

For salaries, see the annual salary survey in Ad Age.

Click here to see past Guru responses

Friday, March 21, 2003 #5892
Hi Media Guru, Please introduce me some websites on knowledge about media planning : strategies, level of effectiveness.... Thanks a lot for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, March 21, 2003 ):
Go to the Guru Archives Search Engine.

Thursday, March 20, 2003 #5891
What do you think will be the largest trends in media planning and buying over the next 3-5 years? What do you think is going to become the dominant type of media service organization - part of large agencies (like Omnicom), separate planing and buying companies or buying only firms? What are the imperatives for a small/moderate size media service organization to survive and even compete in our industry in the next 3-5 years? Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 22, 2003 ):
The Guru does not expect the status of large vs small media service organizations will change in the next 3-5 years. A growing economy would open the door more to evolution, and the Guru sees a trend toward an apreciation of media working more closely with marketing and creative deaprtments.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003 #5886
Greetings Guru! Some clarification on basic web-site metrics would be much appreciated. What are the current evaluation metrics? Is it Unique visits, page views, and time spent on site? I am confused about the utility of page views- am I correct in my understanding that a page view does not mean that the ad was actually "served" and if it was not served, then there was no "opportunity to see", so what is the value in reporting this number? Are web-sites providing Ad-view data? R.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 20, 2003 ):
Are you evaluating a site or an ad campaign? Unique visits is about the site's reach. Pageviews is about the sites total impressions, If a page is designed with ad positions, an ad is served when the page is served. This does not mean the user saw an ad if the user has images turned off or uses ad-blocking software, but the site can't control that, although it can track it.

Generally, web sites provide you ad view data about a campaign if you are the buyer. Thre are various ways to provide thie data, ranging from third party ad-serving servces to site's internal server logs.

Time spent relates to a site's opportunity to expose pages and ads; of more use to the site operator than the media planner.

Sunday, March 16, 2003 #5882
Dear Guru: our client (a premium price mineral water with a great brand awareness, although years of absence in communication) is considering 2 different media plan for the relaunch campaign: first based on national tv + press and the 2nd on press+outdoor. The budget is 1/4, 1/3 of the top spender in the market. In tv there is a very competitive arena (200-300 grp's per week). The positioning of the brand should target affluent, dinamic and young women: in your opinion it's better to concentrate the media budget on media less used by competitors (targeted press and outdoor) developing a "great noise" or you think it's better plan tv like the 95% of our competitors, risking to not be visible? thank you very much (sorry for my english)

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 20, 2003 ):
In this case the Guru thinks being big in unique media has an advantage, if you can reach the people you need to reach. But do consumers think about relative frequency within media or are they simply exposed to what they are exposed to?

Can you make a case for one medium being more effective than the other?

Saturday, March 08, 2003 #5869
Hi Media Guru, I am preparing a media plan for a considered purchase product. Its target is businessmen. As my pocket research, we cannot communicate them via print or TV medium. Please suggest other media that I can put under consideration. Will appreciate should I have your reply by next monday ( 09 Mar 03). Thanks in advance for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 08, 2003 ):
If print and TV are out, we are left with radio, interactive and Direct Mail, assuming that:
  • out-of-home falls within print and that
  • a considered purchase by businessmen requires a more detailed and targeted message than outdoor can deliver.

More info about the product is needed to go further. Direct mail and interactive are potentially the most tightly targeted, radio probably the most efficient and broadest reaching among the choices, but details would help.

Thursday, February 27, 2003 #5860
Dear Media Guru - My client has asked me to propose a media market test scenario. How should I go about selecting a test market and what is an acceptable heavy-up for media in the test market, assuming we would test the effectiveness of higher weight levels? What other factors should I consider? Is there any literature out there I should look at? Thanks! .d. media planner, Dallas, Texas

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 02, 2003 ):
Test markets traditionally reject the largest ands smallest 10 or som markets, because they are more atypical, and of courxe, the largest are more expensive to test. Nielsen and Standard Rate and Data Service (SRDS) have market guides. You will want to decide which factors matter. Is the market typical in presence of the media types you will use, such as # of tv or radio or cable or newspaper outlets? Is the age or econimic or ethnic mix typical of the US or your eventual marketing area?

The Guru recommends a one-third increment heavy-up as the minimum for testing.

There is extensive literature, try The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230. and Newsweek Media Research Index

Sunday, February 23, 2003 #5850
who are bmws competitors?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, February 23, 2003 ):
The Guru deals with media planning/Media buying/Media research/Media department managment questions.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003 #5844
what ,would you suggest, is the most presentable / suitable media plan format that you would reccomend?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, February 23, 2003 ):
This depends on so many issues. Are you presenting to a continuing client or "selling" a new client against competing planners?

If you are doing a stand-up, in-person, presentation, Power Point works well. If you are sending a plan to be read, a fully worded document is better.

Content-wise, the Guru begins with a background, which is typically obsjectives and strategies, but may include a brief situation analysis.

The Tactics / Specific Recommendation should come next, followed by discussion and supporting detail. Extensive tabular data, or descriptions of media options are best kept in appendices.

For format details see the Guru's Parts of a media plan

Friday, February 14, 2003 #5838
I am working on creating a hypothetical media plan for a class project, which entails targeting adults age 18-34 years of age, for a new product. I am lost as to how to set Reach Frequency goals, and then once I formulate my plan, how do I calculate the actual reach? Also, how do I figure out cost per point for network tv late fringe and cable tv? Is there a guide that could help me estimate?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 14, 2003 ):
Go to the Guru Archives Search Engine. Use "goals" or "calculate" or the other questions as your search terms.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003 #5830
My freelance media planner/buyer wants to charge my client a full 15% commission and pocket the entire commission for himself. It's a small account. Only about 200K of commissionable media. On top of that, I charge an hourly rate for my creative services. Does 15% sound excessive? What are the going rates for media planning/buying services these days, esoecially in the midwest?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 17, 2003 ):
Yes, in general 15% is excessive for media services only at this billing level. The "traditional" 15% covered media placement, marketing support and creative development. Many agencies now negotiate higher fees for such small accounts, but $30,000 to place $200,000 in media is excessive. Some media are more complex and labor intensive than others, but these fees would cover possible 200-300 hours of meida work. If the media is palnning and buying dozens of small weekly newspapers and radio stations, which change every week for a year, this might be a reasonable fee.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003 #5826
which medium is the best for your target market

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 17, 2003 ):
See the Guru's media strengths page and the Guru's Parts of a media plan

Monday, February 10, 2003 #5819
what are the different media decisions in an ad campaign?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 17, 2003 ):
See the Guru's Parts of a media plan

Saturday, February 08, 2003 #5818
Dear Guru: Is there any book or article that explain deeply the relation between sport lenght, media weight and advertising awareness? Thanks in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 17, 2003 ):
Any media planning book might touch upon this subject, See AMIC Bookstore (in association with

Wednesday, February 05, 2003 #5806
I've been concern on media planning. I have a client (Cigarette). Since October 2002, our government have a regulation to not allowed cigarette brand campaign on TV and Radio. We have a chance to advertised our brand only on print. My question is : could you give me a clue (especially on creative media) that will become a brilliant ideas. what I'm supposed to do on this matter and I'll apreciate if you give me an answer as soon as possible. Thank's

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 07, 2003 ):
If you can only use print, creativity is limited as far as the media element goes. Clearly, you are in some country foreign to the Guru. Lacking familiarity with your media scene, the Guru cannot contribute much.

Sunday, February 02, 2003 #5793
Who is the president of the Dentsu, Inc. advertising agency, located in Tokyo, and what is the agency's annual billings?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 03, 2003 ):
The Guru deals with media planning/Media buying/Media research/Media department managment questions.

Sunday, February 02, 2003 #5791
I have to create a structured 52 week media plan for an online travel company. My main media objective is to generate traffic to the website. As this is an academic assignment I have to include media theory are there any articles on offline advertising to generate online response that you could recommend. Also in your experience what is the best media for generating online intrest offline. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 03, 2003 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses about traffic building. Generally, traditional media in the same category are best for bulding web traffic, in the Guru's opinion.

Friday, January 31, 2003 #5788
Hi, I've never done PR (public relations) before and was looking to put together a strategy plan. I was wondering what are the topics that need to be in there. Would it be similiar to a media plan without the media details? Please help! Thanks! HV

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 31, 2003 ):
The Guru deals with media planning/Media buying/Media research/Media department managment questions.,

But, briefly, no.

Wednesday, January 29, 2003 #5779
what are the major media planning theories and where can i find more about them??

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 03, 2003 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses about theories.

Thursday, January 23, 2003 #5757
what is media planning?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, January 26, 2003 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses describing media planning

Thursday, January 23, 2003 #5753
Hi,i am working with a media house which is basically into print media handling corporate sales, but now i would like to move into either media planning or buying is it possible? if yes how?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, January 26, 2003 ):
Read the classifieds.

Thursday, January 23, 2003 #5751
Im doing a media planning assignment and require media theories in order to critique my client's current media strategy. Which are the most important theories related to this area of media planning?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, January 26, 2003 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses about media theories.

Friday, January 17, 2003 #5740
Media strategy for kids

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 18, 2003 ):
One needs to consider a lot more input than just the target to develop a media strategy. See the Guru's Parts of a media plan.

Thursday, January 16, 2003 #5734
Last year i worked for a major outdoor contractor, however due to massive downfalls in the UK advertising market, I lost my job. Now, after a break, I am ready to go back into media but this time I want to be in media planning and buying rather than sales. I want to know Guru how creative scope is within these roles? Also, my mathamatical brain is not too hot! how badly will this affect my chances of landing a job?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 18, 2003 ):
Planning is primarily about ideas, buying about execution, so creativity would logically be more a part of planning.

Buying uses arithmetic, planning uses algebra and statistics, though both do it with computers these days. A good planner might be building models in spreadsheets, which call for some mathematical understanding. Mathematical ability is more likely to be an advancement problem issue than a hiring issue. In the Guru's opinion a seller negotiator migh be better suited to convert to buying than to planning.

Thursday, January 09, 2003 #5725
how do i do a proposed media plan (for an assignment)?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, January 12, 2003 ):
See the the Guru's Parts of a media plan.

Monday, January 06, 2003 #5719
I want to develop a competency grid for my team consisting of senior media planners and media buyers. I want to develop a grid that addresses key functional and general management competencies for both functions - planning and buying.Both planning and buying members have 4 to 5 years of experience and are part of a single large AOR team( of around 12 members) The idea is to have a list of indicators against each competency domain and get each member to fill up such an assessment grid with evidences.This self assessment will then be validated by a panel consisting of me( their supervisor) and my business manager and his boss-the VP on the business. My question is: A.What FUNCTIONAL domains should be included for 1.planning and 2.buying B.What GENERAL mgmt domains should be included for 1.planning and 2.buying Greatly appreciate your feedback and help Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, January 12, 2003 ):
Current business managment theory seems to be gravitating away from these formaularized assessments. If you must, however, the Guru woul look at


  • Turning input into goals
  • Setting clear goals
  • Clear and persuasive writing
  • Analytical ability
  • Mathematical facitlity
  • Understanding media types
  • Understanding media math


  • Interpersonal ability with teammates
  • Interpersonal ability with superiors
  • Interpersonal ability with clients
  • Interpersonal ability with vendors
  • Managing subordinates
  • Leadership and teaching
  • Setting and keeping work schedules
  • Appreciating company budget/expense
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Contribution to the bottom line

Wednesday, December 18, 2002 #5693
Dear Guru: When estimating GRPs for a media plan, what is considered an acceptable error level (10%, 15% or more)? Thanks, R.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, December 19, 2002 ):
The Guru presumes you actually mean the ratio of post buy delivery to plan, since plan specifications are prescriptions, rather than estimates. In any case, it is a judgement, but 10% is a common tolerance.

Friday, December 13, 2002 #5679
I work for a company-owned regional coffee shop. I need to devise a media plan for 2 markets. How do I determine R/F and Continuity goals?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 15, 2002 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses about these two topics

Wednesday, December 11, 2002 #5675
What is media planning and how do I plan for an even like a graduation

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 15, 2002 ):
To get a picture of media planning, scroll through all the posted Current Guru Queries and Answers.

The Guru isn't clear on how a graduation calls for a media plan.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002 #5671
I am doing a media plan for a global biotech company and they advertise in the major trade and science journals. They gave me geography goals of 65% US, 30% Europe and 5% Japan. Meaning the % of impressions in each region they want to reach. How do I calculate the percent that they are reaching with the current plan? For example, do I just take the Europe circulation of the publication and multiply it by the total number of insertions scheduled for that pub to get the total number of impressions in europe? Media Guru, I need your help, I don't know how I am going to reach 30% in Europe. Thanks so much.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 15, 2002 ):
If you assume circulation = readers, then your formula works. In most cases, trade media like these won't have any survey-based audience research available. so circulaiton is a good basis.

Obvioulsy, you need to be considering titles published in some of the regions you wish to cover. See PubList

Monday, December 09, 2002 #5666
relationship between nedia planning and internet

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 15, 2002 ):
The internet has become a common medium among the choices available to the media planner. It must be evaluated for its contribution to the plan's goals, like any other medium.

See the Guru's media strengths page

Sunday, December 08, 2002 #5665
What are the five trends that have recently affected media planning and Buying?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 15, 2002 ):
  • Growth / acceptance of online media
  • Decline of inventory pressure on pricing
  • Decrease in efficiencies of major broadcast media as audience declines are not reflected in pricing
  • Fragmentation of TV media
  • Growing recognition of minority consumers as key segments

Wednesday, December 04, 2002 #5654
Why would I want to pursue a career in media planning?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, December 06, 2002 ):
Presumably because you find media interesting. If you don't know what media is all about, read all the questions and answers here. If you do know, then you have your answer.

Wednesday, November 27, 2002 #5649
How can I optimize a media plan based on advertising response curve???

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 01, 2002 ):
If your advertising response curve is assumed to be "S" shaped (as in many published studies), this means there are diminshing returns as frequency (repeated exposure) is added after an optimal point.

One approach to optimization on this basis might be to begin building reach in the most effective medium, and add the next most effective medium at the point of diminishing returns of the first. Then, the added exposures would be more likely to hit a previously unexposed group of prospects.

This assumes you will base your judgement of "most effective medium" on the one which generates the most results (sales / awareness / perception change, etc.) per dollar. . . and track incremental results on the same basis.

Monday, November 25, 2002 #5644
What are the key elements of a "situation analysis" and is there an online resource for this part of a media plan?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, November 26, 2002 ):
See the Guru's Parts of a media plan

Monday, November 25, 2002 #5641
Q.1 In our country, T.V advertising prices have gone up and our CPRP too. What are the different alternatives I should look into to compensate the high price on T.V? Q.2 Please tell me some media workshops where I can get training on Advance media planning & Research? (preferrably in Asia Pacific)

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 25, 2002 ):
This TV pricing pattern is not unique to "your country." Without knowing which country is or what the pricing and availability of other media are, the Guru cannot do much with your question.

As a matter of policy, the Guru does not ever recommend specific media seminars.

Friday, November 15, 2002 #5620
Dear Guru I am a media planner in India and currently trying to assess the potential of the news channel business in India since there are 3 seperate news channel launching in the space of 3 months even though we already have 7 new channels in the country - inclusive of CNBC,CNN,Star News. The current percentage of advertising spend from news channels to total tv advertising spend is around 5% of 1.7 bn USD. What I would like to know is 1)What is the relevant ratio for the US/Europe/Asia 2)By any parameters known to you is the current ratio too high or too low - pls comment

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, November 17, 2002 ):
The Guru doesn't quite see
  • How projecting the share of advetising spending of news channels fits into media planning duties
  • How a too high or too low ratio would be determined

In the US, where three major cable news channels compete with news on broadcast networks as well as hundreds of local broadcast stations there is one situation which might have no bearing on what makes sense in Europe or India. The share of audience of the all-news cable networks rises when we go through "interesting times" such as wars, elections, etc and ad share will shift a bit.

There is likley to be some trade media reportage of this share in publications such as Ad Age.

Thursday, November 14, 2002 #5618
Do you have any information on assistant media planning training programs?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, November 17, 2002 ):
The Guru never recommends media seminars or "schools." The best training is on-the-job.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002 #5614
How can I use this site in my media planning?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 13, 2002 ):
Look around the site for useful data. Use the Guru for real questions. Tell the Guru the name of whatever teacher seems to assign this question each year.

Monday, October 21, 2002 #5573
im a student at BCCC, and we reciently made up a media team where i am the media planner. our product is an exam given to employees to test their efficiency at work. as a staffing-tool, im finding it difficult to come up with a solid media medium? what do you suggest to help me out of this jam?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, October 27, 2002 ):
You should have begin by figuring out your target, who is likely to be human resources managers or top level company managers.

Try the magazines Human Resources, Human Resource Executive, Training, eLearning and their web sites. Also the leading business magazines, such as Forbes, Fortune, Business Week, and Wall Street Journal

Friday, October 18, 2002 #5568
I need to know the terminologies used by the media planner in an adertising company?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 18, 2002 ):
See Media Terms.

Thursday, October 10, 2002 #5554
Dear Guru, what kind of media analysis should be done in order to be developed a good media strategy?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, October 13, 2002 ):
See the Guru's Parts of a media plan, strategy section for the points that should be covered in the media analysis.

Monday, September 16, 2002 #5517
mr. guru i am taking a class on advertising and i have to do research on a media planner...i have a coulple of questions i would love for you to answer for my research. a. what are some of the resposibilities and duties of a media planner. b. requirement you must meet to be employed in the chosen job (education, portfolio, etc.?) c. what is the salary range for this job? d. are jobs available? employment opportunites. e. level of difficulty in performing you job duties. if you could answer all or some of these questions would help me in my could e-mail me at with the answers or i will check the website for answers

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, September 17, 2002 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses about the planner's role .

Click here to see past Guru responses about qualifications for a planner.

Jobs are available. Difficulty is in relation to your ability.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002 #5514
Our client uses TV, newspapers, direct mail and the yellow pages and measures each response (via an 800 number)separately for each medium. We have told them that all media is integrated and he can't look at individual responses and measure cost per response for each medium - that an integrated multi-media plan actually delivers better results and that you cann't look at individual medium cost-per-responses. Can you help substantiate this?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, September 16, 2002 ):
Obviously, previously established awareness of a brand makes it much more liklet that its Yellow Pages ad will be the one that gets a response. Try The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

Tuesday, August 27, 2002 #5488
How do I make a media plan for a public service ad campaign? What are the points i need to keep in mind? What should be my budget?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, August 28, 2002 ):
Like any other campiagn, goals will begiven to the planner in regard to geography, target and communications. Budget is information provided, not determnined within a plan. Sometime goals determine budgets, but not planners.

Wednesday, August 07, 2002 #5453
what are the duties of a media planner. (This is for an entry level position.)

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, August 07, 2002 ):
The duties vary in different agencies and circumstances. Click here to see past Guru discussion of the planners' role .

Monday, July 22, 2002 #5427
At my agency, we set media goals for many clients in terms of EF/ER & CPP. The correlation between EF/ER for a specific category/demo we get from past similar campaigns for which we are able to extract the necessary data. But eventually most of our clients judge our performance only on CPP. Yes, cost efficiency is important but so is EF/ER. The fundamental problem arises when our analyzed tv schedule and our actual own do not match in the execution pattern (e.g. portion of primetime vs fring.). My point is as a media planner, the EF/ER be taken into account as well (even if we were off mark on the CPP), right? The problem how to do this quantitatively. Please help.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 27, 2002 ):
The Guru observes:
  • Effective Frequency / Effective Reach are planning goals
  • Cost Per Point is planning input and buying goal
  • Your problems seem to fall into two areas:
    - Educating the client to understand what you are doing, and
    - Educating your buyers in undertsanding your goals / their assignment.

If EF/ER are the communication goals for the plan, then achieving them at the planned budget becomes the primary standard. If this achievement is based on the media mix bought (as it should be) then the buyers must be made to understand that delivering that is what they must do.

Overall, the mistake is allowing CPP to become a goal instead of a tool.

Monday, July 22, 2002 #5425
Dear Guru, Which is the world's most expensive (in terms of cover price) and exclusive/elite business or general interest newspaper? Have any existed ever to close down?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 25, 2002 ):
The Guru has not seen such information compiled and doesn't see the value of it for media planning purposes.

Granting there's a value to knowing someone has paid for a subscription, comparing prices around the world would be meaningless. How would a planner buying b2b newspapers in the US use the fact that a b2b newspaper in the Belgium has a cover price of €50?

How does one compare AdMap's $35 cover price to Ad Age's $3.50?

Saturday, July 13, 2002 #5411
hi ! this is bhaskar writing in from mumbai , india. i'd like to know if the concept of a third -party media planning audit is prevalant anywhere in the world.If so , what has the general experience been like ? hope to hear from you...thanks and regards - bhaskar

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 13, 2002 ):
Even the Guru can't know about everywhere in the world. He does not know of any country where third party audit is "prevalent."

Tuesday, July 02, 2002 #5393
media planning software

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, July 02, 2002 ):
The Guru endorses our own Telmar.

Sunday, June 30, 2002 #5386
I want to buy media planning software. In our market we have TVR basis on Dairy method data collection. From where i can buy this software and how much it will cost?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 30, 2002 ):
Start with our own Telmar

Saturday, June 29, 2002 #5384
I am working on a recruitment media plan, targeting ER physicians. Would you agree that the general media strategy should be to have increased frequency, in lieu of increased reach. For example, run FP4C ad in every issue of a trade pub instead of running every third month in three pubs. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 30, 2002 ):
There is nothing in your question's set up which would lead the Guru to make a recommendation one way or another.

However, the Guru would imagine that there are times when a prospect will be interested in your ad and other times when the physician would not. Under theses circumsatances, reach would seem more productive than frequency.

Thursday, June 27, 2002 #5381
In this moment I have the project of review the educational plan of an Advertisng University in Mexico City. I mean a Media Area, but I don't find any information to review this educational plans. Do you recomend any information?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 27, 2002 ):
The Guru deals with media planning/Media buying/Media research/Media managment questions.

Wednesday, June 19, 2002 #5365
Dear Guru: Thanks to you, our media plans have become even the more focused and precise. For one particular client, we have utilized Syndicated Television and remnant print within the United States. Our planning has brought a 600% increase in sales over an 8 month period. Being an international client, they now want us to take over the International Advertising. How do we buy in International markets? We've been mixing the TV with :10 Syndicated programming to increase frequency. Does this "wealth" of an inexpensive advertising method exist outside of the US? How are rating points calculated in Europe, Mexico, Canada? Who do I contact in Europe, Mexico, Canada to air my spots? Do they air "Everybody Loves Raymond", "Friends" and "Drew Carey"? How would I monitor delivery? Any unique advertising advice for the creative spots? Thank you Guru.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 22, 2002 ):
Thank you for the acknowledgement.

For Mexico, start with Televisa. For Canada, start with CBC. Europe is a mass of separate national markets, without consistency in programs available or sales practices.

Consider using a multinational media service like Carat.

Tuesday, June 11, 2002 #5345
Guru: I always appreciate your help. I'm curious as to what you think are the top 10 media trends for 2002-2003. Such as cross platform opportunities, product placement, etc. Could you list in order of what you think are important 1-10. Thanks for the input.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 15, 2002 ):
The importance of trends is very much a matter of opinion, of course. Should these be the importance in inflence on the lives of media planners or the potential to generate revenue or something else. In any case, and without any rela certainty about order, some of what the Guru sees as key trends for the year:
  1. Media mergers and acquisitions, e.g. Univision / HBC
  2. Resurgence of upfront revenue
  3. Resurgence of cable revenue
  4. Decline in hype of "cross platform." Is it only meaningful to giant advertisers?
  5. Increasing attention to the multicultural nature of our market
  6. Increasing decline in advertising sales' service as pressure on sales staff increases

Sunday, June 09, 2002 #5340
Hello Media Guru I am a principal of an Online Radio (Internet based Radio broadcasting)and have a question about licensing of News Content. What If I go to a web site like and read that news over the online radio so that listeners dont have to go to 100 websites and read that content and give the courtesy to that website/company on a web page. Is there a copyright breach here? Thanks in advance for responding.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 09, 2002 ):
The Guru deals with media planning/Media buying/Media research/Media managment questions, which this is not

. The Guru does not give legal advice.

As a layman however, the Guru does not see how this would not be a copyright violation. Why else do you suppose CNN puts a copyright notice at the bottom of each page?

Friday, June 07, 2002 #5338
What are the best publications for media planners to read? Also, what books/educational tools would you recommend?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 08, 2002 ):
The Guru reads Ad Age and Media Post's Media. He doesn't invariably find either knowledgeable or accurate, but they do indicate what the issues to think about are. The NY Times advertising column is a must-read.

See AMIC Bookstore (in association with media books. Sissors and Bumba's Advertising media planning is the standard, albeit a bit "ivory tower."

Friday, June 07, 2002 #5337
What are the pros and cons of placing b2b media in-house vs using a media planning and buying agency?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 08, 2002 ):
An agency is likley to operate more broadly in this arena than a single advertiser, to have better contacts and systems. The Guru thinks it unlikely that an in-house operation on a small scale will be able to save money and maintain quality.

Thursday, June 06, 2002 #5328
I need free photos to use in my brochure, where do I get them?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 06, 2002 ):
The Guru deals with media planning/Media buying/Media research/Media managment questions.

Sunday, June 02, 2002 #5317
what eductional qualification is necessary to have a career in media planning? I am an MBA (Finance), can I be eligible for a career in media planning?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 02, 2002 ):
In the US, almost any bachelor's degree is sufficient qualification.

Friday, May 31, 2002 #5316
I am working with a new client and need to do a presentation on media planning and buying. No problem. However, he also wants me to tell him "Why Advertising Works." I am planning on looking at some sales reports and doing some case studies, as well as looking at competitive sales in his marketplace. Can you offer any other suggestions on where to start?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 02, 2002 ):
Remeber to focus on why. You seem to be thinking of "whether." Look into theory, perhaps through The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

Sunday, May 26, 2002 #5309
Our company has recently appointed a new media planning agency. Are there any standard parameters on which the performance of planning agency can be evaluated? Since the planning agency is different from buying agency, the performance can not be measured on CPRPs or cost/spot etc. Secondly, is there merit in having separate agencies for media planning and buying? Your views. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 26, 2002 ):
Assuming your communications and advertising goals are coming from yet another resource, you might set up some objective standards for how well your media plan answers these goals, translating into reach, frequency, impact, image building, etc.

The Guru believes that separating planning and buying somewhat limits the planning agency in the support it will get from the media sellers regarding packaging media deals.

There is some benefit in letting a good planner buy, but no inherent benefit in separating the processes.

Tuesday, May 21, 2002 #5296
hi,Mr.Guru,I'm a newcomer as a media planner in an ad agency, i wanna log into an ad BBS to learn some info about media plan, would you like to offer me a list a famous ad or media BBS?Thx Tara

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 21, 2002 ):
The Guru presumes you mean a web site; BBSs are passé. AMIC is the site you need.

Friday, May 10, 2002 #5276
Dear Guru, Would like to know your comments on a proposal received from a client regarding media agency compensation structure. The assumption is that media planning commission is at 1.5% and media buying at 1% of media costs The client feels that since media planning is done based on projected CPRP for the coming month. We should fix a band within which the CPRP can move. The variable portion of media planning commission can be linked to improvement in actual CPRP over projected CPRP. Variable portion of media Buying Commission should be linked to buying efficiency. 50% of the saving in media buying cost or the variable portion whichever is lower should be shared with the agency Thanks Ajit

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 12, 2002 ):
It seems to the Guru that all variable commission should be tied to buying, not planning. Planning does not impact the difference between projection and actual CPRP unless the agency is making the projections and deliberately projecting badly. If third-party projections are used, the idea makes even less sense.

Wednesday, May 01, 2002 #5263
Guru, In reading over your recent answers, I noticed that I like many other readers might have information to suppliment your response. For example, Q.#5249 asked about media mix impact for constructing a media plan. While I, and, I am sure, many other of your readers (and I might say fans) have built media mix models whereby this issue is explored, its not easy, fast or cheap. But it can be done. And we could tell the questioner how to approach the issue. The point is that perhaps you would consider a communications vehicle within your scope whereby the rest of us might be able to contribute knowledge, experience, etc. Maybe an adjacent chat room? Jim

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, May 01, 2002 ):
This is not a bad thought. We have tried chat before, and unless a chat event is heavily promoted, we can't assemble enough people to address a given topic at a specific time.

The Guru does have an area where moderated reader / fan contributions are posted and credited. We would be delighted to have enough contribution here to build topical areas.

Please visit the Guru's 'Think Pieces'. Contributions may be addressed to AMIC's publisher;

Tuesday, April 23, 2002 #5240
Hi MG- I just received an interesting question from a media planner. They were curious about SAP (secondary audio programming) that allows a suitably equipped TV to take advantage of foreign language translated programming (usually Spanish) for regular broadcast programming. Is this somehow bought separately? I assume that the commercials would be the same, so are they translated as well or just broadcast in English? Is this handled the same way as closed captioning? I've already done a topline websearch, but do you have any ideas on where we might find out more specific info about this in regard to media planning?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, April 23, 2002 ):
ABC experimented with this in the evening news for a while in fall 2000 (see Abbott Wool's Hispanic Market Weekly article, "SAP", and currently does Spanish SAP on the new George Lopez show. There has also been some local programming and network football. For the news, Hispanic audience was disappointing. Hispanics get more targeted news on the Spanish language networks.

The option to add Spanish sound tracks to the commercials at extra cost is offered to advertisers. Thus far, it's an experiment, not a full-scale media vehicle. Contact ABC for details

Thursday, April 04, 2002 #5197
is there a standard ratio between media spend and media tools? said another way, does spending on media research tools typcially represent x percentage of media budget? i am a media planner at kenneth cole. we are a small in house agency with no research tools and i am trying to figure out if it is cost effective for me subscribe to telmar and mri. thank you, joe andrews

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, April 05, 2002 ):
The Guru doesn't believe there is a standard. The pricing of research reaches a cap well below the totola billings of some of the giants, so averages would not be meaningful.

You need to look at the media decisions you will make, and the cost of potential errors or misjudgments that could happen without the tools. Particularly with a concentration in print, the tools you mention should easily pay for themselves.

To keep costs down at first, begin with the pay-per-use option of our parent company's eTelmar.

Tuesday, April 02, 2002 #5188
Why is research important to media planners

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, April 03, 2002 ):
Why are weights and measures important to a chef? Why is arithmetic important to a CPA?

A media plan is decribed in quantitative terms generated through research, particularly as regards the amount and nature of communication or audience impact.

Sunday, March 31, 2002 #5184
Hi! I am a student and I am working in a Marketing Project. This refers to develop an advertising plan for beer sell so, could you e-mail me information about what I have to consider and the cost of each publicity option that I could use? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 31, 2002 ):
See the Guru's Parts of a media plan and the Guru's media strengths page.

Wednesday, March 27, 2002 #5175
What research is there available that discusses the link between media plans and brand awareness?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, March 27, 2002 ):
Try The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

Wednesday, March 13, 2002 #5149
What's specific and exeptional about media planning in the US if at all?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 17, 2002 ):
This question depends on what is being compared. Planning depends a great deal on which media are available and commercial and how they are sold, which varies widely from one country to the next.

One big difference US planners face is dealing with a country made up of over 200 distinct geographic media markets, versus the handful found any other country.

Wednesday, March 13, 2002 #5147
OK, I am interviewing for a position that requires me to remember everything from my days as a media planner. Problem is, it has been a year and a half since I have planned radio, TV, and print...any ideas on where i could find materials that would serve as a good refresher course. I know the knowledge is still in there, it just needs to be woken up. Thanks a million!

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 17, 2002 ):
Try a media planning text from AMIC Bookstore (in association with

Monday, March 11, 2002 #5141
How exactly do advertisng agencies go about targeting thier audiences for the ads that they create?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 11, 2002 ):
As a broad generalization, information is compiled from various sources describing the prospective purchaser of the product or service.

When this information is understood, media planners match the natures of the audiences and environments of the various media to determine where the best fit exists for the advertising.

Wednesday, March 06, 2002 #5138
where can i find information about the influence of lifestyle data in media planning and strategy

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 11, 2002 ):
Some of the most commonly used systems are MRI, Simmons, The Mendelsohn Media Research Affluent Study, Scarborough and The Media Audit. Visiting their sites and reviewing their marketing materials will provide insights into how such data applies to planning.

Thursday, February 21, 2002 #5105
I am the media director in an agency that is 90% print. The presedent of the agency, (who knows little about media) has mentioned in meetings in front of me, my staff and the rest of the agency that media is like dinasour and is becoming exstinct. I am very offended by this. This morning she asked me to present in a dinasour costume. I have a broadcast background where bying TV and radio is a true skill, I realize that print is less technical and "anyone can do it". How do I respond to this? What trends should I be aware of to keep my department on top of their game and useful. I have a hard time addressing this with her because when she says it, I cannot remain composed.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 21, 2002 ):
1. Get into the spirit of things and tell your boss you'll present in a dinasaur costume if she'll wear her jackass costume.

2. In the Guru's opinion, print is more "technical" than broadcast. Extensive analysis of each environment (title) is typical and appropriate in ways that individual broadcast programs or stations are never analyzed in media plans. Reading and interpreting ABC or BPA statements should be more of a contribution than presenting R&Fs.

You should probably look more deeply into what the boss means about your department, is she just trying to get your goat? What kind of boss even keeps a department she truly finds useless?

Sunday, February 17, 2002 #5090
As a student I have really enjoyed the media planning aspects of advertising. I will graduate soon but have never had an internship. As is, do I stand a chance of finding a job in media planning without intern experience?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 18, 2002 ):
The Guru is confident that most planners never had an internship. Many didn't even study media planning in college.

Saturday, February 16, 2002 #5089
I am currently work as a media planner in the US and looking to relocate to London to get some media experience abroad. I would like to research the advertising market conditions in London before I decide to move there, can you please tell me the names of some UK or London Advertising & Media Trade Publications & Websites. Can you also tell me the best way to go about finding a media planner job in London. Thank you,

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 18, 2002 ):
See Campaign Magazine (there are links to several UK trades here). The best way to get a London job may be to contact the US office of an agency with a London office; still better if the agency where you now work has such an affiliation.

Friday, February 15, 2002 #5088
Dear Guru: i am media planner in Colombia and I´m trying to convince a client (femenine protection) to use RECENCY planning, but i have some doubts, i wonder if my brand have many products (8) that use the same brand name i can plan Recency for the whole brand? i mean, the trp´s i use for each product can i cummulate them assumming is for the general brand? I have a very good budget, i have 19.000 trp´s for the whole brand, and is enough to be the entire year. 2. Do you know some case study about a brand in femenine protection that has used recency?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 15, 2002 ):
With 19,000 GRP ( 365 per week), the Guru doesn't think recency will be a brand issue.

There is a judgment to make outside of media issues regarding whether the relationships between the various products form haloes around one another or if their messages are so different that they need separate communication goals.

If the products were entirely complementary, for instance, napkins, belts, panty liners, douche and deodorant, then they could be considered complementary. If they are more competitive, e.g. tampons vs pads, or have very different targets, e.g. teens versus women 50+, then the rub-off is less valid.

Wednesday, February 13, 2002 #5083
I am an advertising student and I have to do a media plan for Crayola, which media would you suggest I use?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 13, 2002 ):
What's your target? What's your budget? What are your goals? You won't learn much if the Guru does everything.

Friday, February 08, 2002 #5073
What are the latest job titles which are being used for the persons in charge of doing the planning and media analysis besides media planners?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, February 10, 2002 ):
Media strategist might be one. "Latest" has little value when there are wqell understood alternatives, in the Guru's opinion.

Thursday, January 31, 2002 #5044
Is there a source on the internet that allows you to search & find internet advertising opportunities that match company profiles? Is there a resource site that lists all (or most) banner advertising opportunities? I'm putting together a media plan - both e-mail marketing & banner advertising. Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, February 03, 2002 ):
There are several that offer such a service; one is eMedia Resources. The internet is too vast for any service to come near listing most. Some that purport to offer the service only list sites whose ad space they themeselves sell.

Monday, January 21, 2002 #5022
Hi Guru, I've been asked to do a media plan for radio buys in the DC market. I've never done a media plan for radio before and have never even purchased radio ads before. Can you tell me where I should go for more information on how to buy radio ads and how it all works. I guess I'm looking for a radio101 or something. Please help! Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 31, 2002 ):
Get in touch with an experienced sales person from one of the top stations with which you will be dealing. Stations have marketplace and general radio planning tools. A good salesman can give you more education quicker than any other source

If you are starting from an assumption that you are only using radio and only one market, you are not really "planning," just selecting a schedule.

Your big-picture elements are meeting reach / frequency goals, format choices, and added value.

Monday, January 21, 2002 #5019
sir, I am a mass communication student with the commerce background and is very much interested in media planning, so can you pls. give me some insight on the subject and its area of scope?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, January 23, 2002 ):
Simply browse through the most recent Guru queries and response to see the scope of media issues.

Thursday, January 17, 2002 #5014
I am a highschool teacher who teaches video production. I was wondering if there were any list servs or websites that have questions that I can give to the students on topics like news broadcasting, scriptwriting, or any other part of the media industry.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 17, 2002 ):
The Guru deals with media planning/Media buying/Media research/ Media managment questions.

Saturday, January 12, 2002 #5000
Dear Guru, where can I find information about multi media planning (when I buy all media for GRPs and plan them together to gain aggregate effictiveness: Reach, Frequency, etc.)

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, January 15, 2002 ):
Planning per se is about multimedia combinations, or reasons to use only one. Start basic media planning texts, you will find in theAMIC Bookstore (in association with

Friday, January 11, 2002 #4998
Broadcast planning; I work in the digital space and was trying to learn more about how broadcast is planned, specifically television.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, January 15, 2002 ):
Planning is a process of matching media choices to advertisng goals.

The biggest differences for traditional media versus digital are

  • Planners don't think in terms of a single medium; the plan is theoetically open to any medium at the start.
  • Audience measures are typically more detailed and finite, especaily in regard to reach.
  • Outside of direct response planning, audience exposure estimates, rather than any analog of clicks is key.
See media planning texts in the AMIC Bookstore (in association with

Sunday, January 06, 2002 #4978
I am a student doing media planning and is new to this. Qs is, when do u think is the most likely time or apperture opening to advertise for an exterior paint company?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, January 06, 2002 ):
Industry information should reveal when people are most likely to do exterior painting. The Guru would imagine late Spring and early Summer, in the northern Hemisphere, are key times

Wednesday, December 19, 2001 #4955
Dear Guru. Can you give me some exemples of contracts between a media planning bureau and an agency. Or perhaps an enumeration of the different subjects a contract should contain. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, December 21, 2001 ):
Any contract for services needs to specify the services to be performed, the price and time period of the contract. Beyond that, it's specific to the case. American Association of Advertising Agencies would have samples.

Wednesday, December 05, 2001 #4926
What are five ways media planners can use this site in their work?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 05, 2001 ):
Apparently one is isking this question over and over, obviously trying to ge the Guru to do their homework. Last time, the Guru said:
  1. Find rates
  2. Find audiences
  3. Find media sellers and buyers
  4. Find a job
  5. Learn about multicultural markets
  6. Define terms

Monday, November 26, 2001 #4908
Dear Guru! One agency, which is a "gold" client of our TAM Company, asked us for developing procedure of evaluating "zapping factor". From their words the definition of zapping factor is "percentage of average break rating to average rating of 2 last minutes of preceding program". That's not the problem for us and we actually already developed that procedure, but there are some questions we have no answer yet. 1. Is there any other definition of "zapping factor"? Or there is not exact definition at all. 2. What are the reasons of using values of "zapping factor" in media planning? In situation, when only QH ratings are available, this factor could be used to make estimates of break/spot ratings. But we have minute-by-minute audience data (and that's why we can evaluate "zapping factor") so estimation for break/spot ratings could be based on real history. What are another reasons? Thanks in advance for your thoughts! BR, Andriy

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 28, 2001 ):
"Zapping" has been a term of loose definition for 20 or more years, becoming popular with the growth of cable and remote controls. Generally it refers to channel switching during breaks leading to lower audience for commercials than for the adjacent program.

We agree that the availability of minute-by-minute data obviates the utility of such a factor on a post analysis basis. And, if your planning rates are based on ratings reflecting these data, we are stumped.

Monday, November 26, 2001 #4907
Are there any industry averages for a) click throughs from banners, etc; b) click throughs from ads in opt in e-mail news letters, etc.; and c) conversion rates for users who have clicked through on one of the above proceeding to buy/request/etc (ie to take the action proposed by the original advertisement that was clicked). I realise that there are very many variables, but I'm hoping there are some metrics to help guide a media planning exercise. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 28, 2001 ):
Consult The Internet Advertising Bureau

Saturday, November 24, 2001 #4906
Dear Guru, We are working for a big car brand. For the moment we are working out the whole media plan for the year 2002. Can you advise me with some subjects that we surely should treat? For example with the launching of a new model, advertising for the whole scale, promo-advertising... Thanks already!

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, November 25, 2001 ):
This appears to be a school project, not a real work assignment. In the real world, a media planner would receive marketing input with budgets and strategies delineating which of these areas must be addressed.

Wednesday, November 21, 2001 #4904
What is the best place to get a comprehensive idea about US media scene and its evolution? Can I also get an intensive revire of media [particularly TV] buying selling pactices and culture in the US? I have heard terms like sopt TV and Network TV; but I diont understand it all.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, November 22, 2001 ):
What you are asking probably requires a month or more of work in a U.S. media department.

Meanwhile, review the Guru's media strengths page, Media Terms and the Guru's Parts of a media plan.

Spot TV means advertsing placed on individual local stations covcering one defined geographic market, while network refers to national placement, carried on affiliates in all of the 200+ U.S. local markets.

Tuesday, November 20, 2001 #4900
I am trying to estimate past Reach & Frequency for a transportation trade industry print campaign -- and based on that set R&F goals for 2002. I have gathered the following information: Target universe in US, Asia and Europe; each publication's circulation to that target (where available); duplication (very limited availability of this from these pubs). Given this information, what formula could I use to (gu)estimate Reach & Frequency for this Trade plan? Alternatively, what other measures could I offer to my client to measure a recommended media plans effectiveness (i.e. Competitive SOV)?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 21, 2001 ):
The simple formula begins by calculating audience-divided-by-universe to estimate ratings (probability of exposure). Multiplying together all the negative probabilities gives you the reach, disregarding specific duplication. In other words, if you get a rating of 14% of target, the negative probability is 86%. Then, two issues of that publication have a combined negative probability of 0.86 X 0.86 or 0.7396. Thus the probable "reach" is 1 - 0.7386 or 26%. This reflects a rando likelihood of dulication of roughly 14%. In reality, there is more than just this random duplication between two issues of the same trade title, probably 50%+, so a better estimate of the reach would be 14% + 50% of 14%, or 21% reach.

For a good guestimate, combine all your insertions this way, using 60% duplication between repeats in the same title and 30% between different titles. Use judgement about titles from different countries which may have virtually no mutual duplication.

SOV is another comparitive tool. Going beyond relative communication and relative spending gets quite speculative.

Friday, November 16, 2001 #4896
I need to break down a media plan for a client by percentage of work. Are there any industry standards for this? What percent of 100% (all the time spent on a media plan) would you estimate is spent in planning/research; negotiating/placement and follow up (traffic, value added cordination, reconciliation, invoice approval)? Thank you!

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, November 18, 2001 ):
The balance can change due to many factors. If a brand has established strategies and tradtional media outlets, planning will take less time and negotiation, especially if there are new potential suppliers or a changing marketplace will take more.

Buying and stewardship with a limited set of national magazines is very simple, in local broadcast media across numerous markets very labor intensive.

A plan for a new brand or new target are very different advertisng strategy will call for more extensive research.

Averages are likely to be meaningless here unless referenced to a specific experiential framework.

Tuesday, November 13, 2001 #4884
media planners make or brake an event that i propose, if they see its not feasible, i dont get the project, so how can make an effective media plan (TV, RADIO, PRINT so that i wont see media planners as a threat to seeing my proposal being approved?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 14, 2001 ):
media planners are not likley to be support an outside media "plan." They may however evaluate a media "package" you include, as part of the added value of your event. Planners devote efforts to matching media selection with advertsing goals, while your media is probably in support of your event. Recognize the distinction and allow planners to evaluate the deal as a whole, and its contribution to achieving goals. If you can't make them see it as more than just media, it must not be much of an "event."

Tuesday, November 13, 2001 #4883
hi, i've been dealing with an ad agency and fighting for a concept event with a big cost, part of the event is a promotion to require a proof of purchase in order to join. They say they need to know the media implications of this, they need to measure if it will increase sales, and if the media planning is effective. I'm just curious, how do i make an effective media plan to justify that the cost of the event is just minimal also plus the media mileages they get from posters, streamers, and merchandizing.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 14, 2001 ):
The simplest to calculate and for them to understand is to determine the number of exposures of all the elements and then put a value on these exposures using a cpm the agency experiences in some cmparable medium, such as out-of-home.

Monday, November 12, 2001 #4879
hi,i'm a media planner in a pump producer,we are making a new ad plan to target some clients from water treatment,architect procuring sector,so we think the specific websites can lock our target custumes, but i dont know how to evaluate and compare these website, can you tell me how to get the real traffic and something alike? many many thx

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 12, 2001 ):
The Guru would expect these websites are too small to be reported by the major web audeince researchers. But you can ask each site for audited traffic results. Auditors include ABC and BPA among others.

Sunday, November 11, 2001 #4877
What is media planning?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 12, 2001 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses discussing media planning.

Tuesday, November 06, 2001 #4869
Hi Guru, Where can I find information regarding free lance media planners and buyers?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 07, 2001 ):
Without knowing the type of information you need, the Guru suggests you start at our Ad Jobs area.

Monday, October 29, 2001 #4846
What are five ways that media planners might use this site in thier work??? And what would you say is the definition of share?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, October 30, 2001 ):
  1. Find rates
  2. Find audiences
  3. Find media sellers and buyers
  4. Find a job
  5. Learn about multicultural markets
  6. Define terms

For definitions of terms, go to Media Terms or Go to the Guru Archives Search Engine. Use "share," etc, as your search term.

Wednesday, October 24, 2001 #4827
I have a few questions regarding advertising to children between the ages of 9 and 12. I am a Xavier University student working on a project for my media planning class and would really appreciate it if you could answer any of the following questions or if not, please direct me to someone who can. 1) What options are available for advertising to children between the ages of 9 and 12? I'm looking for creative ideas as well as anything that may be considered standard. 2) How do these options work and who do they reach? Are there any internet sites that may be helpful in locating this information? 3) What are the strengths and weaknesses of these options? Are any better than others at reaching this specific target? What would you recommend as far as frequency is concerned? 4) Hold are these options sold? Monthly, weekly, daily, etc.? On a spot by spot basis? Where could I get quotes for these to include in my presentation? 5) How much do they cost? 6) How are these mediums measured? Who provides measurement? For example, Arbitron measures radio in average quarter hour ratings. Do you know where I can go to find statistics on these? How many people are reached over what time span etc.? 7) Lastly, who should use these mediums? Is it better for one industry/company than another? Why? If it is easier to respond to me directly to my e-mail account please do. I would really appreciate this. Thank you VERY much.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, October 25, 2001 ):
The Guru thanks you for the opportunity to do your class project.
  1. There are numerous TV shows on the broadcast networks, as well as Nickelodeon and other cable networks. There are publications from Scholastic Magazines and Radio Disney and many more
  2. These work pretty much as do comparable media for other ages. Visit the sites.
  3. Strengths and weaknesses generally parallel the same media for all ages. See the Guru's media strengths page. Broadcast tv will have the greatest reach, others may be more targeted or efficient. The Guru imagines frequency will be more important for this age group.
  4. Timing and pricing varies, visit the sites. Request kits. You may have to talk to vendors for realistic pricing. You will encounter varying willingness to help a student.
  5. See #4
  6. Nielsen measures the tv options. Print and radio are not measured by the standard sources such as MRI and Arbitron, except on rare occasion. The vendors will have some proprietary studies, possibly online.
  7. Who should use them depends on the marketing strategy. No doubt figuring this out is the point of your learning.

Thursday, October 11, 2001 #4782
can you show me some of the formulas developed to measure cost per thousand, and other media planning formulas?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, October 15, 2001 ):
Click here to see Guru discussion of media formulas.

Monday, October 01, 2001 #4744
My boss and I are at odds regarding strategy and print selection. ( I am an AMD, she is a group director) It is making work very difficult. We come from very very different backgrounds and schools of thought. I firmly believe in my strategy (and have research to support it) and think it is the best thing for the brand. I believe in using optimizers and advanced technology to support the recommendation. She likes to go by gut. However, this isn't limited to just an isolated incident regarding print strategy. She is constantly undermining me to the junior level people in the group, and at this point they do not want to do the work I give them unless she agrees first. Can you give me some guidance? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, October 02, 2001 ):
A seasoned media executive is distinguished by the ability to make decisions based on 'gut feeling' when there is no useful research or factual basis for the decision.

However, going against existing valid research when one has no factual basis is simply unprofessional. The Guru has encountered this attitude from people who don't understand research, or have grown up in specilaized arenas with no research availble and are covering their weaknesses. If this person is undercutting you with your staff because of this shortcoming, you have an untenable position.

Friday, September 21, 2001 #4725
Hi ! I am a media planner with EuroRSCG in India. We in India are going through a lengthy and fruitless debate on the size and spread of the people meter sample in the country. Not to mention that the sample has been recently compromised. I'd like to know where i could get more information about the people meter samples in the US and the UK. Some technical details like the number of markets being measured, the size of the samples there, the demographic parameters being measured and any future trends. Would you be able to guide me on this regard? Thanks Rahul

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, September 24, 2001 ):
Different countries and cultures have very different stories. The UK consists of about 14 'markets,' the US over 200.

Your best bet would be to see the archives of advertsing trade media from the times of People Meter's introduction, the mid 80's in the US, a few years earlier in the UK.

Wednesday, September 19, 2001 #4723
Hi. I have to create a media plan using Tv spot as my main media. I do not even understand what it is. What is the trend in this media? Is it "popular"? How do you best incorporate it in your media plan? what are the benefits? Could you give me an example of how can I use Tv Spot as the part of the media plan?Where can i find more information about it? Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 19, 2001 ):
Spot TV means local tv. That is, commericials aired within local markets, the coverage areas of individula stations rather than networks. Spot is used when the geographic marketing needs of the advertiser call for a local focus.

Visit TV Bureau of Advertising

Tuesday, September 18, 2001 #4722
Hi guru, I suddenly find myself in a position to free-lance in media planning and buying. I've been asked to provide a rate structure i.e., MY hourly rates for planning, buying, stewardship and attending client meetings (different rate levels are assumed for each of these tasks). Can you give me any guidance?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 19, 2001 ):
This depends on what the traffic will bear and how much you contribute to the process or how well you present yourself. A person with 5 years of planner/buyer experience will command a different rate than a media director of 25+ years experience. Depending on the project and experience as well as all the above, rates from $25 to $200 per hour are conceivable.

Tuesday, September 18, 2001 #4721
I'm looking for a good overview of how ads are delivered over Broadcast and Cable networks. Specifically, I am interested in the value chain and the technical specs on how the advertising campaigns are managed and transmitted through this system.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 19, 2001 ):
The Guru isn't entirely clear about your terminology, such as 'value chain.' A simple overview, when an agency is involved, would be
  • Agency: media plan
  • Agency: Media Buy / place order / allocate 15% commission on gross media price
  • Broadcaster: Book order
  • Agency: Traffic commercial (ship tape and instructions for airing)
  • Broadcaster: Integrate and schedule commercial
  • Broadcaster: Air commercial
  • Broadcaster: Bill Agency at gross price, indicating allowance of 15% commission
  • Agency: Bill advertiser
  • Agency: pay broadcaster less 15% commission (may or may not wait to receive advertiser's remittance)

Various sales people or outside sales organizations will earn various commissions in the chain between agency and broadcaster.

Wednesday, September 12, 2001 #4710
How would you define 'media planning'? What si the best way of defining what media planners do?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 12, 2001 ):
A media planner evaluates advertising goals to determine media objectives and strategies. These may include market specifics, media environments and communication levels. Then the planner recommends specific vehicles and schedules to best execute these strategies.

Sunday, September 09, 2001 #4706
Dear Guru Which universties in the US have the best graduate programs in advertising? Preferably with special emphasis on media planning. Thank you in advance

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, September 09, 2001 ):
Try the US News Grad School Rankings. The Guru would be surprised to find a graduate program with 'emphasis on media planning.'

Friday, September 07, 2001 #4700
How can I measure the effects of media planNING and isolate them from total advertising effects, so as to minimise the effect of the creative? For example how can you tell the consumer has a high recognition level of a brand thanks to good time-, medium-, frequency- (etc.) decisions and not just because the ad was a creative success?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, September 09, 2001 ):
The only reasonable method is to comapre the same copy in different media vehicles. You need isolated markets or a laboratory environment to do such testing.

Roslow Research has a persuasion test that has been used in similar situations.

Tuesday, September 04, 2001 #4694
What are parts of a media plan?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, September 07, 2001 ):
See the Guru's Parts of a media plan

Friday, August 10, 2001 #4649
hello sir,myself prasad is a student of advertising & public relations management student i am at my initial plz tell me wht is exactly media planning is..? wht is ad budget..?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, August 11, 2001 ):
Ad budget is the amount of marketing money allocated to create and place advertising within the advertsing objectives.

media planning is deciding where to place it to best achieve the advertising objectives.

Wednesday, August 01, 2001 #4623
Is there a resource that lists each cable system in each DMA and their channel line-up and cost? I'm looking for a quick way to find cable subscription costs without having to call each cable system.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, August 01, 2001 ):
The Guru thinks it unlikely. Organizing data by DMA is usually done for media planners' or marketers' use. COnsumer pricing of tiers of subscription would not ordinarily be of interest to these people. The giant MSO's might consider doing this within their own systems, but again for whom would they compile such a list? The spot cable sellers like SpotCable would have most of the data, but little use for subscribers' costs.

Tuesday, July 24, 2001 #4603
I was wondering if you have any ideas were I may be able to find some sort of template for RFPs that involve media buying like requesting C.P.P. or reach & frequency? We have been working on many media bids for a department of the state and they do not request specific media numbers so the media buyers are only submitting the information that makes their plan look the most favorable. We wanted to reccommend something to them so the comparison of the different agency plans would be more like comparing apples to apples. Thank you for any help

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, July 24, 2001 ):
First we need to distinguish between requesting plans and requesting buy proposals.

A media plan is a document that details what media should be used at what budgets, to accomplich sets of objectives and strategies which meet advertsing objectives set for the planners. If you are soliciting media paln proposals, you should be setting advertising objectives and asking for plans to meet them. Some judgement in addition to quantitative comparison will be appropriate. You could use the relevant portion of the Guru's Parts of a media plan as an outline of what is to be included in proposals reveived.

If, however, the media plan is completed and you are taking proposals on media buys, that is what stations, newspapers, magazines, etc fulfil the plan, that the analysis might be simply numerical, as long as all meet the plan's specs, which should be in your rfp.

Beware of comparing reach and frequency analyses that have been created by different software, and are not therefore comparable.

Monday, July 09, 2001 #4562
Dear Guru, Our client has asked me to produce a "payout scenario" that they would be able to expect in sales based on a national plan that I have done for them. I don't know what the creative will look like because it is done in house. How can I calculate the sales potential of a media plan? Thanks again.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 11, 2001 ):
Except in direct reposnse scenarios with considerable past history, this can only be very approximate. Try the following steps:
  • What percent of the target will buy the product over the period of the plan if there is no plan?
  • What percent of persons will you reach at effective levels during the plan?
  • What percent of non-target persons will buy the product over the period of the plan if there is no plan?
  • What percent of non-target persons will you reach at effective levels during the plan?
  • Can you assume that current non-users will be moved to purchase by exposure to the plan?

Of course a lot depends on whether the advertising is aimed at new-user trial, increasing use among currentusers, using up, etc.

Once you have all these assumptions organized, then comparing the value of projected added sales to the cost of advertising leads to payout estimates.

Sunday, July 08, 2001 #4560
Dearest Guru, i'm trying to build a media plan (include its strategy for a market leader product). what do you think about put 'product purchasing cycle' is one consideration on making tv strategy? (the product has weekly-biweekly purchasing cycle). currently, the brand is using the SOV strategy (for about the last three years), but there are no significant effect on the competitor's market share. so i start to think about - i called - reach strategy. the basic idea of reach strategy is reaching as much audience in a single week. and then i arrive to R&F weekly : 3+(70%) for maintenance activity, and 4+(80%) for launching or relaunching activity. but i have a little confidence on my strategy. what do you think ?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, July 08, 2001 ):
Purchase cycle should be a consideration. Obvously a brand with weekly purchase calls for different support than one with quarterly purchase, or strong seasonality.

Friday, July 06, 2001 #4556
What do you think the best way is to charge for media services? Commission vs fee based. On some accounts my agency uses commission others they charge for a media plan and set a retainer fee each month for maintenance. Are there articles available on this topic. Thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 06, 2001 ):
In some cases commission will work, in others fees are appropriate. Generally, on full service media planning and buying, commission is best at higher budgets. For small budgets or ones with many cancellations, fees are probably better. If there are a lot of changes and revisions, fees should account for that.

Friday, July 06, 2001 #4552
Oh mighty guru...what is Audio watermarking applications for broadcast monitoring? and how does it apply to the media planning process?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 06, 2001 ):
The Guru believes "audio watermarking" refers to placing inaudible digital code into music, commercials or broadcast material so that its origin or identity can be tracked by automated mechanical means. This could allow rights holders to track mpg downloads, and competitive tracking services to automate schedule monitoring. Below are some bibliographical references the Guru came accross at Digital Watermarking World

  • P.Bassia, I.Pitas, Robust audio watermarking in the time domain, Dept. of Informatics, University of Thessaloniki Thessaloniki
  • Laurence Boney, Ahmed H . Tewfik , and Khaled N. Hamdy , Digital Watermarks for Audio Signals, 1996 IEEE Int. Conf. on Multimedia Computing and Systems June 17-23, Hiroshima, Japan, p. 473-480
  • Laurence Boney, Ahmed H . Tewfik , and Khaled N. Hamdy , Digital Watermarks for Audio Signals, EUSIPCO-96, VIII European Signal Proc. Conf., Trieste, Italy, September, 1996.
  • Klara Nahrstedt, Lintian Qiao, Non-Invertible Watermarking Methods For MPEG Encoded Audio, Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois, June 25,1998
  • Mitchell D. Swanson, Bin Zhu, Ahmed H. Tewfik, Audio watermarking and data embedding - Current state of the art, challenges and future directions, 1996
  • Sebastian Kanka, AKWA. Diplomarbeit Audiowatermarking, ZGDV, 1998

Friday, June 29, 2001 #4536

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 29, 2001 ):
Please begin by reviewing the Guru's Parts of a media plan.

A good media plan

  1. Sets Media Objectives to answer the marketing or advertising strategies that have been given as input
  2. Logically connects Objectives to Strategies to tactics and execution (media selections).

This means that any marketing/advertising objectives mentioned in the backgroun for the plan must be addressed by media objectives and/or strategies in the plan. Some plans go wrong by reviewing too much marketing background that isn't relative to the media decisions.

Every stated media objective must be answered by strategies aimed at meeting that objective. By the same token, every stated strategy must related to soem stated objective. For example if a strategy is to concentrate advertising in the southwest, there should be an objective to build sales in weak areas or support sales in strong areas or some such. This strategy should also be suported by sales data for regions, or whatever is relevant to the point.

Similarly, media selections should be supported by their relationship to strategies. For instance, media should not be included to "reach working women" unless some objective or strategy calls for this emphasis and shows why this is a segment meriting special support.

Reach or efficiency of media or combinations should be demonstrated, if asserted, but neither should be a decison factor unless a strategy calls for it.

Thursday, June 28, 2001 #4534
The advertising agency I work for has recently aquired a new local television station as a client. I am in charge of putting together a media plan. In the past, this client has used mostly radio and runs only during sweeps. We have considered recommending cable and billboards and some advertising prior to sweeps. Do you have any suggestions or media strategies that could help us? Is there a place (source) where I can see what has worked well for other tv stations? Thanks for your help

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, July 01, 2001 ):
The Guru can't suggest strategies without knowing your goals. For examples, try TV Bureau of Advertising.

Wednesday, June 27, 2001 #4526
Please tell me what is the way for calculating the media commission for a client for media planning, media buying... How are calculated the 2,5%, the 5% etc.? Thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, June 27, 2001 ):
Usually the percentage is based on gross media cost. Gross media cost is the "commissionable" rate established by the media vendor to be charged to advertising agencies. This rate is structured so that 15% of it is the commission and 85% is the "net" to the medium. If the gross rate is $100, then 5% commission for media buying is $5 or 0.05 x $100.

Wednesday, June 27, 2001 #4525
What is a Media Buyer, and what does a Media buyer do? What type of degree or level of education do you need to become one? What is a SQAD report?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, June 27, 2001 ):
A media buyer is a negotiator, employed by an advertiser or its agency, acting on behalf of the advertiser to secure media space or time from media vendors, such as publishers and station owners.

There are no specific educational requirements, but most have a bacelor's degree if hired at entry level.

SQAD provides media cost-per-rating-point and cost-per-thousand audience estimates, as a guide for media planning and buying.

Tuesday, June 26, 2001 #4524
Guru, I going into a presentation where I'm recommending a corporate sponsorship for a branding campaign. The thing is, i'm not sure how to define it to make it simple for the client to understand and powerful enough to sell the idea. Can you help?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, June 27, 2001 ):
What are you trying to define: "corporate sponsorship" or "branding campaign?"

Corporate sponsorship definitions should come from the media vendor. If there is to be a "branding campaign" the Guru would expect that concept to be defined in Advertising Objectives, prior to media planning entering the picture. Something is wrong if the media department is dertermining that there is to be a branding campaign in the absence of marketing direction.

Monday, June 25, 2001 #4515
Dear Guru, I have found out that media plans made by planners was not based on what we have learn about the concept of Marketing, and that is planning based on specific target market/segment that their clients wanted to reach. For example, a client wants to reach woman 20-45, and children 5-10 middle to upper (Social Economic Status Classification A, B). What planners will do is running ACNielsen's software combining those demographic caracteristics all together : Woman/Children/AB/5-10/20-40 to find the best media/program that would reach the highest rating and reach instead of running it separately : 1. Woman 20-40, A 2. Woman 20-39, B 3. Children 5-10, A 4. Children 5-10, B My proffesional opinion on the way planners plan, was wrong! They would end up with : 1. Combination of reach (Woman, AB 20-40, Children 5-10, AB) 2. Not knowing the exact result of how the product reach at Woman A, an B, also at Children ; not to mention the age yet! 3. A reach that is actually low for each segments, because of insufficient media selectivity. I understant that planners will not like this fact, because they would have put more effort in the future. But tell me your opinion on this ? (theoretically & proffesionally)

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, June 25, 2001 ):
First, as the Guru sees it, you are not thinking about a media plan, you are talking about determining the schedule of a media buy, resulting from a plan.

Once a target is determined, how to best reach that taget withing the media selected can be approached in various ways. Here you are talking about two compleletly separate targets, not levels of specificity; a group of children and a group of adult women.

One would not expect there to be programs with appeal to both groups. But if single televison homes were common in your country there could well be programs watched by mothers and children together.

Nevertheless, it should be far more effective to buy the best programs for the adult woman group and the best for the kid group than to try for programs getting both audiences. If the software to which you refer is an optimizer it would theoretically examine various programs to find the best schedule, not judge each program on its owm. The key to optimizers is especially to consider what each Added program contributes to buying goals, not each program in a vacuum. Recenf articles in the U.S. indicate that optimizers are used much more as conceptual new business-getting tools than in actual buying situations.

Friday, June 22, 2001 #4512
I am putting together a media plan for a new product. It is a new pill dispenser that is targeted to A45-64, who are active. I am trying to research consumber publications that would reach my target audience. I was thinking about Florida and Arizona as geographic target. But I am in need of finding publicatons to effectively advertise this new product. It is an Iowa based company, but we are trying to do a proof of perfomance and get the product sold. Then build a better image. What would be the nest way to go about planning this campaign?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 23, 2001 ):
If you target these states, presumably you are finding a concentration of the age target, because these states are retirement centers. But are "retired" people the active ones you want?

Also, you may be mostly limited to newspapers in this targeting.

Nevertheless, try MRI+

Thursday, June 21, 2001 #4508
Dear guru, Is there any different to make a media plan at segmented television than general television?. (sport television vs entertainment television). should i make a media plan separately for each television?. this because i believe that there is different audience for each television. Thanks/ AM-Indonesia

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 23, 2001 ):
A media plan is aimed at investing the advertising budget to best accomplish goals expressed in terms of the target consumer. What kind of televison to use is merely tactics.

The Guru does not believe these segments can be separated before the plan is assembled. Part of the plan might be devoted to determining how much to invest in each segment.

Wednesday, June 20, 2001 #4501
Which are the basic elements for media strategy and especially for media objectives?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, June 20, 2001 ):
See the Guru's Parts of a media plan

Wednesday, June 20, 2001 #4500
Dear Guru, Where can I find the report from Ron Lawrence,"Uniform Target Delivery:An Illusion,"Marketing and Media Decision,Desember 1987,in the internet?. The definition of target audience is still too vague for me because of some reason. An example : if i have a product with target audience ABC15+, and I want to find the best possible TV program to get higher Reach and optimal GRP for my campaign at this target audience. Should I go directly to ABC15+ program or I go to A program first, second to B program and third to C program?. If I go to A program first, should I divided it again to Male and Female program?. This is very 'crucial' because most media planner in my country usually go directly to target audience ABC15+. Is it right or wrong?, what is strong and weakness for each methods?, where is the best methods? (go directly to ABC15+ or go to each segment first).thank/ AM-Indonesia

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, June 20, 2001 ):
Assuming no part of the target is more important than the rest, you will most likely buy more efficiently on the specific target. It should not be difficult to examine different scenarios. Marketing and Media Decisions has been out of business for years, but back issues might be on file at The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230. or ESOMAR, the European Survey, Opinion and Market Research Organization, or universities.

Monday, June 18, 2001 #4497
which are the most important media planning specialists in the United States?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, June 19, 2001 ):
The Guru doesn't know what makes a media planning specialist "important." The Standard Directories of Advertising Agencies and Advertisers ('The Redbook')

If it's published thinkers then you might mean people like AMIC's own Irwin Ephron and Abbott Wool.

Wednesday, June 13, 2001 #4484
how to approach a media plan for automotive lubricants, where emphasis given on truck drivers, fleetowners and mechanics

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 17, 2001 ):
  • which media reach this target
  • what media environments are most effective
  • and what schedule is feasible within your budget.

Wednesday, June 13, 2001 #4482
what is a media planner?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 17, 2001 ):
A media planner evaluates advertising goals to determine media objectives and strategies. These may include market specifics, media environments and communication levels. Then the planner recommends specific vehicles and schedules to best execute these strategies.

Monday, June 11, 2001 #4468
My partner and I were asked by our clients to prepare a "communication strategy" for a government-sponsored responsible gambling strategy. We have already designed a brochure, a logo and we're currently working on their website. We've been looking for examples of a "communication strategy" but have come up empty handed. Our clients are not trying to sell something tangible but instead are trying to promote an idea - gamble responsibly. Any ideas where we can get a template or an actual communication strategy? We've looked through the archives and noted that you often refer to strategies only as a way to sell a product. Should we consider the idea of "gamble responsibly" as a product? Thanks for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, June 11, 2001 ):
The Guru uses the word "product" in such discussions as a generic term including prosucts, services, image campaigns, etc

"Communications strategy" is a term that can have various meanings in different contexts. In the context of a media plan, it is covers the definition of the target, media envoronments and levels of communication (reach, frequency, etc). See the Guru's Parts of a media plan

"Communications strategy" can have broader meanings in the context of an overall advertsing plan or marketing plan.

Friday, June 08, 2001 #4467
I can't beleive what an incredible benefit this site is. You make media planning just a little more manageable. Thank you !! My questions: I am planning a targeted media campaign for an upscale apartment hihgrise. Their current targets is men with upper incomes (100K+) that travel for business and Celebrities (movie and music) because it is very private and exclusive. How do I target these people??? Men - I have looked at the travel and luxury pubs, and the executives reads, WSJ. I need to target just LA & NewYork. Can you make any other reccs?? What do you think of Direct mail, internet?? Celebrities - that's a tough one, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, maybe target agents??? What do you think? I am kind of stumped on this one.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 09, 2001 ):
Thank you.

The Guru's thoughts:

$100K isn't very discriminating for such a "luxury" building that might appeal to security conscious "celebrities."

There are super-exclusive, high income, city based magazines, like Avenue and media targeted to high-income heavy travelers like American Express Platinum or Centurion card holders and platinum-level frequent fliers club members. Direct mail and bill-inserts to these latter people would be good.

Thursday, June 07, 2001 #4462
I need to locate several good archives of print advertising. I am doing a research study and need to have access to an archival resource of print ads. Do you have any suggestions?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 07, 2001 ):
Archives like this are kept by the publications or the creators. It's not exactly a media planning/buying issue.

Friday, June 01, 2001 #4452
Hi Guru! I am currently developing a media plan for a client that is interested in reaching the hispanic population of the New york - New Jersey area. I have not been able to get a list of the newpapers aimed at hispanic audiences and their circulation. Where would you suggest I might be able to get this information?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 01, 2001 ):
AMIC affiliates include Abbott Wool's Market Segment Resources. Abbott Wool is the research and media editor of Hispanic Market Weekly. Abby's weekly articles are posted within his the site. One recent article "The Mystery of Hispanic Newspapers" discusses resources which list Spanish newspapers by market.

Friday, June 01, 2001 #4451
Hi Guru. I've read through your responses to questions relating to "reach and frequency" and "awareness", but haven't found exactly what I'm looking for. In setting up goals for a new product launch media plan, we've determined that the overall goal is to generate awareness. What we don't know is the correlation between r/f and awareness. In other words, if we know that we're gong to have an effective (3+) reach of 82.85% and a frequency of 8.63, what % of unaided awareness could we expect to achieve? Will Ostrow's effective frequency model help in this case? Is there a model / matrix used to determine awareness levels? Thanks so much.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 01, 2001 ):
Awareness does not correlate absolutely with reach. There are too many other factors, like the quality and memorability of the creative and the advertising environment. Obviously only those reached by the advertising will be aware of the advertising. But there can be wide variance in how many of those reach a given number of times can report awarness in research. Even if awareness corresponded well with reach, there could be varying results due to differences in awareness research technique. Advertisers who do a lot of awarness tracking can build reliable models for thier own use, by tracking results of comparable research studies against known R&F. Similarly, research houses which frequently field awareness studies could get reach and frequencies, for the campaigns tested, and build a model.

Tuesday, May 29, 2001 #4437
I'd like to know how to do a good media planning?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, May 30, 2001 ):
Review the Guru's Parts of a media plan and see the books in AMIC Bookstore (in association with

Monday, May 28, 2001 #4432
Hi, Can you give me some guidance and resources about film/movie/cinema advertising market- the size, trends, the media planning for a product category like this and the key unique variables that need to be considered while planning media for them Thanks Abc

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, May 30, 2001 ):
You must first understand your target audience: who goes to movies?

And then the marketing scenario: In the U.S., the opening weeks' are considered crucial to a film's success and thus advertising efforts are scheduled around that.

Movies are reated to culture. Every country will have different trends. Try local resources such as Indiamovies

Tuesday, May 15, 2001 #4404
I am an a media planner, looking for opportunities to sponsor various web site opportunties for OTC brands interested in reachng MDs. I have been looking at Medscape - a pharmaceutical consumer portal. They sell advertising space and sponsorships on their site. When we look at Media Metrix data to see traffic, and determine whether we want to advertise with them, we see a fairly low number of visitors. We are told that that is because Medscape has an alliance with AOL, and when members go through AOL to Medscape, these visitors are not included in Medscape traffic counts. Rather, they are counted towards AOL traffic. We're talking about over 1 million visitors. Is this true? How can this be addressed? Is it possible to change the way Media metrix counts these visitors or is this standard. I have asked Media Metrix for a response as well, but have not heard back from them yet. What do you think and how would you proceed to address? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 21, 2001 ):
AOL, per se, is not on the internet, it is a bulletin board service that predates the popularization of the 'net. Most members dial up directly into the AOL system. AOL provides a gateway out to the 'net for its members and there is also an site which is part of the net.

MediaMetrix, which measures internet behavior, might well be unable to track areas within the AOL system. However, it appears that when an AOL user accesses Medscape, the user is taken to the internet, to Therefore, the MediaMetrix traffic for Medscape would be complete.

With a total universe of under one million MDs in the US, traffic of one million visitors seems quite high.

Monday, May 07, 2001 #4372
Dear Guru, this question was last asked in 1997. I would love to hear your comments based on current(2001) and beyond...your opinion on the changing shape of the media environment. How the media is changing for the near future, what are the main trends in the media and how will it change the media planning? Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 07, 2001 ):
In 1997, the Guru said

Media have always changed. Once there were only print media and billboards. Then radio, then TV. Not only do new media arise, but the numbers of media vehicles of each type of each type proliferate. The web is only the latest and most explosive example of this proliferation. What causes the changes for the planner is the availability of research and hard facts on which to base decisions, rather than using theory. One of the biggest changes may be the growing emphasis on direct response models for evaluating media effectiveness, rather than awareness, recall, or requests for additional information. Or is it the ability to apply computer models to planning?

Today, the emphasis on the new has shifted to internet. Its importance as media must always be kept distinct from the prblrms of dot-com's business models. In 1997 the direct response issue and internet were moslty on the same track: click rate and sell-through. Today CRM is the buzz word and the webs' data capture and branding ability fit well with marketings new emphasis on those two issues.

The Guru believes that other technologies promoted as the coming thing will continue to languish until they give the user more than they demand of him/her, these are interactive TV and wireless internet.

Thursday, May 03, 2001 #4361
Have you ever heard of the Sesame media planning System? If so, can you help us find out whose it is and what the inputs are please?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, May 05, 2001 ):
The Guru hasn't heard of SESAME. It may be some firms proprietary system.The Guru hasn't heard of SESAME. It may be some firms proprietary system.

Wednesday, May 02, 2001 #4354
I noticed in the media strengths sections you don't include Internet Advertising. Why is that? Also, have you seen any best practices in how media people compare tradtional advertising with Internet advertising. For example, how can a media planner compare reach frequency in broadcast with impressions and unique audience in Internet? Any insight would be helpful. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, May 02, 2001 ):
The actual reason is that the media strengths page goes back to AMIC's earliest days, late 1994 / early 1995, before the internet was being taken seriously as a medium. But the Guru will now add the following to that page:


Capture audience in the act of shopping (Search engines)
Narrowly select target by site appeal
Instant interaction / order taking
Instant copy change
Customer relationship building
Target customer / deliver ad variant based on customer profile or past action
Powerful environment for computer-related advertising
Streaming allows TV-like audio video within above advantages

Regarding comparing to other media, the differences are no greater than between Radio and outdoor or TV and newspaper. If you compare numbers, it's a clean comparison. If you need to explain communications impact and other differences, it's more complex, but merely a matter of choosing the right words.

Tuesday, May 01, 2001 #4351
Why use an outside agency to buy your ad media verses buying it yourself? I realize negotiating pricing and bigger buying power, but what other value added services does an agency bring?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 01, 2001 ):
A professional buyer probably:
  • provides media planning services
  • has research on hand to help in planning and buying decisions
  • stays on top of the markets to make more up-to-date choices
  • maintains relationships which can enhance your buys and merchandising
  • is better able to predict market conditions

Wednesday, April 18, 2001 #4330
My name is Mark Waddell and I am a student at Syracuse University. I am currently working on a media plan for grey poupon premium yellow mustard. I was wondering if you could tell me where I could find information on timing & purchase cycle, geography info, and the creative history of the brand. I would greatly appreciate your help. Thank you. Sincerely, Mark Waddell

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, April 20, 2001 ):
For geography, try Simmons or MRI.

Sales cyles might be measured by AC Nielsen or IRI, but not be publically available.

Creative history could be compiled through VMS.

Thursday, April 12, 2001 #4324
Dear Guru, we are working on a sort of educational document for an important client. What we have in mind is: what should the ideal media briefing look like, som basic media terms (GRP, OTS, coverage,...), what is the difference between strategic and tactical planning, media-memorisation, ... I was wondering if you have some examples of such documents that could give us an idea of such a presentation. Thanks for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 12, 2001 ):
To determine the right media briefing, you must know your audience:
  • What do they already know?
  • What do they want to know?
  • What do they need to know for future interactions?

From the syntax of your query, you seem to use British media terms (like OTS, rarely heard in the U.S.), but your email address is in Belgium. Therefore the Guru is hesitant to try to list the media terms most relevant for your needs. As a broad guide, see the Guru's Parts of a media plan and the Guru's Media Terms, keeping in mind that these are often U.S. - specific.

You may click here to see past Guru discussion of strategy versus tactics but briefly, tactics are specific courses of action taken to implement strategies. For example using TV is a tactic to achieve a strategy of attaining high reach towards and awareness-building objective.

Wednesday, April 11, 2001 #4323
Dear Media Guru, my client is a massive audience tabloid newspaper that needs to sell advertisement. Up to now, it´s excesive mass profile has been a problem in selling ad space to poweful brands. What kind of campaigns to the advetisers and the media agencies do you recomend? How can I keep the newspaper in their top of mind? Could you help me with outstanding campaigns? Cecilia

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 15, 2001 ):
Pure size should not be a problem for major, reach-oriented brands. Perhaps it's your demographics. But these are marketing and not media problems.

It's no secret that advertisers and media planners can be reached in trade media like AdWeek / MediaWeek. Something more targeted like our own AMIC might also be effective.

Thursday, April 05, 2001 #4315
which kind of programs tend to develop large reach and high frequency? Sarwar -Lintas

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, April 09, 2001 ):
Generally, programs which are more different in content from one episode to the next, and thus are more likely to draw a different audience, each time get high reach.

In the U.S. this has meant programs like prime time, feature movies, a fading genre.

Of course, GRP for GRP, the higher the reach the lower the frequency. Therefore in media planning, a mix is used if the goal is to optimize both reach and frequency.

Thursday, April 05, 2001 #4314
what are the major strengths of cross-media planning?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, April 09, 2001 ):
This question is unclear. A media plan is a process in which one determines which media in what mix best answer advertising goals. Thus one can't really effectively consider anything but "cross-media planning."

But perhaps the term means something different to you?

Wednesday, April 04, 2001 #4309
Hie l am so glad that this site exists for us media planners. Its my first time to visit it and l was have so many things that l would to ask you but firstly l needed to know how best you can describe timing/phasing of campaign when preparing for a presentation. Thank you so much.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, April 04, 2001 ):
In words, we have
  • continuous, when activity occurs every week
  • flighting, when activite weeks are separated by inactive weeks, and the periods of activity / inactivity are equal.
  • waves describe unequal periods of actitivity / inactivity
  • Pulsing is very short cycle flighting, such as one or two weeks flights.

  • Introduction refers to heavier levels at the beginning of a campaign or for new copy
  • Sustaining or maintanance refers to the lower levels used when a campaign has been established
. There are as many other terms as there are ways of determining weekly weight. Click here to see discussion of "Recency", another approach to setting levels.

If you are thinking of how to graphically present the levels, a media flowchart, like the sample below, which is an industry version of the Gantt diagram, is most useful.

Monday, April 02, 2001 #4304
Dear Guru, I want to locate the media planning&buyig companies who are specialised in radio advertising. Do you know any of them? How can I contact them online. Thanks, Muammer Oztat

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, April 02, 2001 ):
In a US context at least, it would make no sense to have a "media planning company specialized in radio planning." How would a client expect to get a plan that considered all the options to best communicate its messages from such a company.

A radio buying service is feasible, but the Guru has not heard of one which limits itself that way.

Sunday, April 01, 2001 #4301
What is the role of marketing mix in media planning? Sarwar-Lintas

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 01, 2001 ):
Advertsing is one element of marketing mix. media planning is an element of advertising. More often than not, the media paln is constructed in the absence of knowledge of other elements of the marketing mix, except perhaps sampling and promotional programs.

Sunday, April 01, 2001 #4300
Hello Guru, it's been awhile since I posted a question. I always find your advice to be informative and helpful. I'm about to ask a somewhat embarrassing question, so please forgive my ignorance. I'm interested in educating myself more on the mechanics of DRTV media planning, actually DR planning in general. The little I know about it, feels to simplistic for me. Is it simply, buying spots at DR rates, tallying up the calls, then dividing spot cost by the number of calls to see if you hit your sales lead goal? I'd like to speak more articulately on the subject. Any good reading material on direct response media planning you can recommend is much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 01, 2001 ):
Most stations have DR specialists among their salespeople. Talk to the some of them. Also consider "Saleseman of the Century" about Ron Popeil, at Amazon

Thursday, March 29, 2001 #4295
We are doing research for a media plan and we can't find the reach and frequency numbers for any of our magazines, newspapers, and television shows. Is there someplace that we can look that can give us the reach and frequency with out us having to pay a subscription fee?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 29, 2001 ):
Individual ad's reach can be found in some places, like our own AMIC's Ad Data. In these cases frequency always = 1.0.

For various specific schedules, it's not reasonable to expect all the infinite possibilities to be posted anywhere; this calls for calculations by software with a price attached.

For inexpensive, single use, pay-as-you-go software, visit eTelmar.

Wednesday, March 28, 2001 #4291
I have a client that is in the storage business. They just launched a US branding campaign in trade print in March. However, they have a new product that is launching in April and would like to promote it. How long should the branding ads run before you should begin to run product ads. Can you run them at the same time if so how much should be branding ads vs. product??

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 29, 2001 ):
This is not a media question, albeit the answer will determine some elements of a media plan. This is about which copy to run or which message to communicate to build target audience response.

These are marketing issues to address before touching media. The answers will depend on the nature of the industry and the client's current awareness and postioning.

Monday, March 19, 2001 #4262
Hi there I am a media planner from India and would like to know the various mass media options to reach Non-Resident Indians in the UK Where would I find information of this nature ? Thanks Regards Desperately Seeking NRIs

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 20, 2001 ):
This seems a rather difficult target. Try contacting travel services in India dealing with the UK for suggestions.

Tuesday, March 13, 2001 #4254
Dear MG. I am currently involving in making an internal online media planning system. It seems to me reach&frequecy planning in online media does not fit very well. I am appreciated if you tell me current discussions on reach&frequency in online planning.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 15, 2001 ):
The key issue in reach and frequency is defining your universe. If your system is totally for online planning, then your universe would logically be the population with internet access. This should match whatever audience data source is being used to generate audience figures in your planning.

Presumably, if reach is an issue, then unique visitors will be the key metric.

In comparing to other media reach estimates, it should be kept in mind that online impressions are a very different sort of measurement than in other media.

Tuesday, March 13, 2001 #4250
My ad agency is putting together a media plan for a client. Currently, the client is spending about 15% on radio and 85% budget on broadcast television. I am recommending a combination of radio, cable and broadcast. I am trying to show a combined reach and frequency. I am able to do this for radio and broadcast tv with my media software. How can I add in the reach and frequency of cable (since universes are different)? My cable rep says she can enter my entire schedule (broadcast & cable) to come up with reach and frequency. Is this possible? Won't I be neglect in showing reach to those HH without cable???Please respond ASAP. Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 13, 2001 ):
The Guru can recall when some managers opposed the introduction of computers because people would no longer know basic media math.

Keep in mind that the real story is how many people you reach. Once you determine that, it is simple arithmetic to express that number as a percentage of a target group, as we are used to seeing reach.

It is also standard to show reach within the cable universe and in the remaining U.S. For example, you might show that you reached 75% of the cable universe and 60% of the remaing U.S.

And. . . if the cable universe is 80% of the U.S. then your average U.S. reach is 72%

0.8 x 75
+ 0.2 x 60 =

Monday, March 05, 2001 #4233
Can you please tell me a great book to buy relating to media planning. Ideally, I want to pull apart what Strategic media planning is, also, what Communications planning is... definitions etc..

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 06, 2001 ):
Consider any of the first four books (Kopek's, Bumba's and Surmanek's) in the AMIC Bookstore media planning section (in association with

Monday, March 05, 2001 #4231
I would like to know about bartering for media services. As a media planner, what do I need to know about barter deals? What are the benefits/pitfalls for an advertising agency that is bartering with a corporate client? What kind of commissions/fees are typically involved in these type of transactions?, etc. Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 05, 2001 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses about barter

Sunday, March 04, 2001 #4227
What does a media outline entail? Could you give me an example?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 04, 2001 ):
See the Guru's Parts of a media plan

Wednesday, February 28, 2001 #4221
I am about to graduate with a B.S Advertising and want to go into media planning, media research. I want to stay in the Pittsburgh area. Do you have any suggestions on companies, best places to go etc.?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, March 02, 2001 ):
Check Pittsburgh local newspaper classifed to see who's advertising for these positions.

Sunday, February 25, 2001 #4205
what are the main issues and challenges currently facing the advertising insdustry in south africa?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 26, 2001 ):
According to the Guru's correspondent in South Africa:

"Research - the main challenge is to fund the research requirements 
of the industry bearing in mind the increasing fragmentation of 
media such as radio and print media. Also the addition of new 
media such as the internet. To do this within the SAARF levy and 
make the data available to all will be a major challenge which we 
expect not to meet. Already ACNielsen plan to measure the 
internet and sell the data outside of the Saarf remit.

Measuring the satellite channels via the people meter is also a major undertaking planned for this year. The accurate measurement of channels within a satellite decoder is still in its infancy.

Economic issues are creating pressures on the very survival of advertising agencies and already several agencies have gone into liquidation. Media owners and others, like Telmar, take huge losses when agencies cannot meet their financial commitments.

Consolidation of media buying into independent media buying points are making the big guys bigger reducing the advertisers choice and creating a commodity of the media planning/buying business."

Saturday, February 17, 2001 #4192
What is brand visibilty index ? How do you calculate Brand Visibilty Index from media planning perspective ? Please state examples ?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 19, 2001 ):
"Brand Visibilty Index" is not a standardized media term. It might be a term invented by one agency or advertsing school to indicate a specific concept they use in describing some situation. It might be an index of Brand GRP versus category average GRP. Or it might be something else based on awareness, clutter, etc.

Saturday, February 17, 2001 #4191
Have to take a workshop on media planning and buying where can i find enough data.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 19, 2001 ):
The Guru does not recommend such workshops.
One of the best known is Media Buying Academy.

Tuesday, February 13, 2001 #4177
Dear Guru, I am a media planner from India looking for a change of job from a traditional agency. Can you suggest any options that I can look at?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 14, 2001 ):
Within the media field, there are on-line agencies, selling and marketing jobs with media vendors, and client side media work.

Monday, February 12, 2001 #4175
Hello. Hoping you can help. I am trying to understand if there is a trend in the average number of cable networks used in a media plan. Do you happen to know, on average, how many cable networks were used in a media plan in 1997, then the % increase year-on-year for 1998, 1999 and 2000? I have already tried the CAB website and TV Dimensions 2001. Thanks in advance!!!

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 14, 2001 ):
The Guru does not think any such average could be meaningful in the absence of several other factors, such as:

  • Total weekly spending
  • Total weekly cable spending
  • Average rating purchased
  • Other media in plan

The Guru does not imagine a sensible plan specifies "number of cable networks," rather that that figure is the fall-out from budget goals, proposals made, target, importance of content vs efficiency, etc.

Monday, February 05, 2001 #4156
Dear Guru, We are preparing for launch to a Parking Meter project, and i need to know which are the best medium to use in the media plan to (People takes a ticket from it and park their cars where the meter is installed. Its a new project in our country and people never saw such a thing so we need to educate them and announce that there will be a number of parking meters installed in specific areas, and who doesn't have a ticket and parked the car next to the parking meter will take a fine). There are no competitives as it is the first company who is doing this. Appreciating your reply A.S.A.P Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, February 06, 2001 ):
"Best media" in your case will depend on what media are consumed by your target people in your country. Unfortunately the Guru is not very familair with media audiences in your country (Jordan).

You should define who is most likely to be the driver parking in the geographic area where the meters will be located and then find media which efficiently reach that sort of person.

Sunday, January 28, 2001 #4130
Guru, I would like to further my education in media. Do you know of any colleges that offer Masters program in media planning?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, January 28, 2001 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses about advertising education. The GUru would be surprised if media planning per se was a masters program somewhere.

Monday, January 15, 2001 #4100
Dear Guru: I am trying to understand the pros and cons of buying media in April for a September launch vs. June for a September launch of a product. The media plan includeds spot/local TV, newspaper, radio and outdoor advertising.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, January 15, 2001 ):
The Guru would estimate that either timing is far enough in advance that there would be little difference, unless you intend to include a special event or unique medium with very limited inventory. Some outdoor sells out far in advance.

There is alweays a small chance that by June, sales people are getting a bit hungrier about meeting their quarterly goals if the quarter has been soft.

Thursday, January 11, 2001 #4093
Do you know where information could be found on the allocations of particular media within online media plans? I am specifically interested in understanding the percentage of the buy that is allocated to list rental and email sponsorships (both opt-in, naturally) vs. banner ads, as well as any aggregate statistics on yearly spending in this category. thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 11, 2001 ):
The Guru doubts the existance of such information. It isn't trackable and not likely to be reported by users.

Thursday, January 11, 2001 #4090
I am working on a new product introduction and was wondering if any information is available that would allow me to see the GRP levels used by some major companies as well as unknown companies as they launched new products. What I am trying to do is benchmark reasonable GRP levels for successful product launches in order to gauge the appropriateness of our current media plan. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 11, 2001 ):
The Guru does not believe that there is any such public listing. Nor would these facts generalize well across different categories. There will be anecdotal reports at The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

Monday, January 08, 2001 #4087
Guru, First off, just wanted to let you know that I find this to be one of the most usefull sites on the web - as a management consultant in need of a crash course on media planning, the information found in these pages has proven invaluable...Now, on to my question: I am working on the launch of a branded consumer services play (auto related), and am trying to build a marketing budget from the bottom up, rather than as a strict % of sales. I have modeled an overly simplified media plan, and am looking for guidance on placeholders to use for weights (TRP) for TV and Radio, # of weekly inserts for newspaper, and showing level for outdoor. I know there are numerous factors and considerations I am leaving out (I know the GURU doesn't like sweeping generalizations), but I need a place to start. Goal: generate "substantial awareness" (think Midas, Maaco). Thanks for your insights.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 11, 2001 ):
The Guru thanks you for the compliments.

Keep in mind that while "substantial awareness" may be a snappy phrase for discussion of plans, you need to quantify such a term in order to quantify the building blocks of getting there.

Let's suppose we decide the goal is 80% ad awareness among the target within a given campaign period. Therefore, your advertising must reach at least 80% of the target in that period, with enough frequency for the message to penetrate and stick, let's say at least three times.

Now, you can calculate that generating that reach in TV will call for a certain number of TRP (you can use the media software at eTelmar for calculations). Or you can examine getting that reach with radio or a combination of TV and radio.

Outdoor will generate high reach more efficiently than either, with a #25 showing, but outdoor's necessary simplicity of message may not stand alone in filling your needs.

Newspaper has its own contribution and you need to judge from a marketing perspective whther you need a small store-locator ad every day, a full page branding message once a week, or some other approach, if any.

Saturday, December 23, 2000 #4063
Dear Guru, I am a very new media planner so I have a very basic question. What is the difference between average Frequency and average OTS and what is the formula for their calculation. Thanking you in advace.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, December 23, 2000 ):
"OTS" or "opportunities to see" is used differently by various practitioners. One meaning is equivalent to impressions, or the number of exposures of a campaign to individual members ot the target demographic; a summing of the audiences of all the advertsing occasions of a campaign. In this sense, "average" is not an appropriate modifier.

Average frequency is the average number of exposures experienced by the members of the target who have been exposed to the campaign (net reach) over a measured time period such as 4 weeks.

Gross impressions ÷ net reach
GRPs ÷ percent reach.

Tuesday, December 19, 2000 #4050
Dear Guru, I am a media planner interested in eCRM. Can you suggest where I can get some dope on this subject?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, December 19, 2000 ):
MicroStrategy is a good starting point.

Wednesday, December 13, 2000 #4042
Hi Guru A.S.A.P....Please can you tell me what should a Brand Review presentation contains? what are the steps for preparing such presentaion? Thanks for your help in Advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 17, 2000 ):
The Guru must presume you are referrring to a Brand review from the media perspective. Therefore, without anyother specifications than "brand review" the Guru would put together:
  1. For whatever period of years is specified, the marketing and advertising strategies which guided the media plan
    budget, etc
    emphasizing all changes in any of these
  2. Summary descriptions of the plans by year, i.e.
    objectives and strategies,
    Media Allocation, e.g.: "Primary Medium: Network TV 50%,
    Spot TV 10%,
    Spot Radio 10%,
    National Magazines 30%" or wahtever other media (newspaper, interactive, etc) were used
  3. Learning regarding sales response, ad awareness changes, etc. and media responses to that learning
  4. Plans for next year with alternates considered
  5. As back-up, flow charts, research supporting targeting and media selection, particulars of programming or magazine title selection, spot market selection, sales or awareness research, measurement of any other goals

Monday, December 04, 2000 #4015
Please help! I am currently marketing mobile billboards (Billboard trucks) to Advertisers and thier Agencies. 95% of those I contact seem to tell me flat out (before I even make a pitch) that they don't do mobile advertising. Is there a bad impression towards Mobile Billboards among media planners? Or Am I just not communicating with them in the right way? Thank you for your help!

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 06, 2000 ):
If you are contacting people who are buying outdoor, then the Guru would expect price or audience documentation to be the main issue.

Friday, December 01, 2000 #4011
What's your opinion on the media planners workload these days. The reason I ask, my director just retired and stated he couldn't handle the increased media to analyse (ie, additional stations, more mags, internet, guerilla, etc.). Back in his day, he mainly evaluated 3 networks and a couple mags. I wonder if all media professional experience burn-out much quicker than ever before. Just wanted your thoughts.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, December 02, 2000 ):
Your media director must be even older than the Guru if he could get away with only thinking about 3 networks and 'a couple mags.'

The number of tv options may have burgeoned in the the past 30 years, but not the number of spot markets, not the number of magazines which might be considered for any one campaign. And in that same period computers have taken over the number crunching load. 30 years ago we didn't even have electronic calculators.

Friday, November 24, 2000 #3984
I am currently working as a media planner, and am keen to one day work on international accounts. How much benefit would it be to sepnd two years studying a part time masters degree? The degree I am interested in is a MSc Media and Communications at the LSE.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 24, 2000 ):
Any education can be useful in given situations. But, the Guru does not think this degree would be worthwhile in pursuit of an international job in the U.S. In the UK, the job market may be different. Consult your local employment advertisements for such jobs. Do they require any such advanced degree?

Monday, November 20, 2000 #3980
how is being spent in europe on streaming

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 24, 2000 ):
The Guru has not seen any breakouts of ad spending by streaming media versus othe web formats, though there may be industry estimates.

If you mean how much is spent on production of streaming content, that is not a media planning/buying/research question.

Wednesday, November 15, 2000 #3971
Hi Guru, I currently specialize in online media planning. I want to be able to broaden my skills and add in off-line media planning as well. I am not too familiar with this medium at all. Do you have any suggestions as to where I can begin to self-teach myself regarding off-line media planning? Thanks...

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, November 16, 2000 ):
The Guru does not believe this can be effectively learned other than by doing it in a work environment, such as an ad agency.

Monday, November 13, 2000 #3963
Media Management...what do you feel is the best way to charge clients who consistently change their media plans on a monthly. The standartd 15% can only cover so much. Should there be a change fee

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, November 14, 2000 ):
Typically, full service agencies charging 15% for ordinary sized accounts put up with these changes. Hence, many agencies have fee arrangements other than 15%. make an arrangement that reflects the work you do. If you are performing only media services and getting 15% your are well compensated.

Thursday, November 09, 2000 #3959
Dear Guru - I have two questions - #1 - I have a client who wants a shifting reach pattern in place for a media test - No problem - however, there corporate department wants to run the test 2 on 2 off - I think it needs to be every week so that the hiatus time doesn't screw up the added frequency and reach you would receive by being on consistently - any thoughts? #2 - I have a new client that I am working up a media plan for in general terms of spots, reach and frequency. We are using 4 different medias in each market - Radio, TV, Internet and Outdoor - How do I estimate a total reach and frequency, GI and Persons Reached for each market to give to the client when I am using general CPP's to estimate numbers of spots, etc.?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, November 12, 2000 ):
The Guru doesn't understand your first question. What do you mean by "shifting reach pattern" and how do you ssuppose this is affected by the flighting? Where do you have a problem with reach and frequency in #2 other than the impossibilty of an accurate local market internet impressions count? Do you have reach and frequency tools for these media but face a local problem or something else?

Wednesday, November 08, 2000 #3955
Dear Guru, I'm looking for the most up-to-date total annual advertising revenues from IN HOUSE agencies in the US. I've checked AdAge, and CMR. While I'm at it, any thoughts on how I would find the same #'s for small/independent media planning agencies?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, November 12, 2000 ):
CMR (Competitive Media Reports) is the only likely source. But your quest may be fruitless, because of terminology. In house agencies might show up undistinguished from advertiser direct, if the purchaser is recorded at all. "Small" and "independent" are hardley synonymous in media shops, nor likley to be grouped together.

Wednesday, November 08, 2000 #3951
I am in the process of making a media plan targeting Germany and UK, but have had problems finding resources for those areas. What I would really like to find is something comparable to an SRDS book that gives the prices along with ratings, reach, Index, frequency. etc. Thankyou for your help!

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 08, 2000 ):
International Media Guide is the analog to srds, but don't expect ratings or reach and frequency from either.

Friday, October 27, 2000 #3921
Dear Guru - I work in a vacuum. Do you have any suggestions for associations/forums that are useful for media planners/buyers? I used to be a research manager and was a member of the MPA and found that to be helpful.I just don't know of any for media planning. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, October 30, 2000 ):
The Guru has encountered general advertising organizations, like "The Ad Club" and media research oriented groups like the Media Research Club of Chicago, but never a media planning organization. You will find relevant working groups within The Advertising Research Foundation, AAF, anf American Association of Advertising Agencies.

Thursday, October 26, 2000 #3915
Dear Guru, I'm looking for a source that explains, step by step, the process that a media planner would go through to evaluate trade publiations. Can you help?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, October 30, 2000 ):
No doubt the process is presented in some media texts: see the AMIC Bookstore (in association with The Magazine Publishers' Association might also have a checklist.

The essential process will be like evaluation of any media: audience quantity, audience quality, "added value" and cost. The differences will come in how audience quality is judged in trade media. This may depend on what categories of business read the book versus your target, how they acquire the book (paid / free / controlled) and the authority of the book in its field.

Tuesday, October 17, 2000 #3894
I'm looking for a class/seminar on how to write an effective media plan. Do you know of any?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, October 17, 2000 ):
The Guru never recommends seminars.

Tuesday, October 17, 2000 #3891
We have a client who wants an internet media plan, but will be using a buying service to place the buys. They have a monthly budget of $40k. Do you have any suggestions on how to price a media plan when not being involved on receiving agency discounts from the buys? Also, are there any average commission levels agencies use when purchasing internet buys? Thanks for any help you can offer.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, October 17, 2000 ):
The starting point, of course, is that the whole agency process is worth 15% of gross.

Many cases allocate 5% to media and 10% to the rest of the agency thinking work; creative, account service, etc.

In the internet, as in magazines, "planning" is very specific, down to number of uses per title, and on-line even more so, with pages, sections, units all part of the plan. This leaves the buying service with not much more to do than order processing. All this says planning might be worth 3 or 4% and buying 1 or 2%. If the buying service is pre-negotiating and providing you with prices on all the placement possibilites your plan will consider, then that tilts toward the 3/2 split. If it's purely order taking to your specifications, then 4/1.

Friday, October 13, 2000 #3888
what is the difference in media planning to a FMCG product and a dot com portal

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, October 14, 2000 ):
The difference in media planning between any two categories is about the markleting situation.

Fast Moving Consumer Goods need continuous presence in highly competitive marketplaces which generally rely on retail outlets to complet the circle with consumers.

Dot-coms have different targets, have an end goal of communication alone and will best rely on differnet media.

The planning process, however is essentially the same: turning marketing goals into advertising goals, advertising goals into media goals and answering the goals with the media which best deliver them.

Thursday, October 12, 2000 #3885
I've seen this question asked before and have gone adage and mediaweek but they don't have the current entry-level/salaries/per region; specifically media planning and Buying. Is there another website or publication that you can refer this soon-to-be Business/Marketing graduate. R. G. A.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, October 14, 2000 ):
There are two sources other than the trade media you mentioned. Current classified ads in the regions you want to consider or headhunters serving these regions.

Monday, October 09, 2000 #3877
What are the best computer programs for media planning? We are a small shop that does it pretty much manually and need a program to do small print media buys.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, October 09, 2000 ):
The Guru recommends Telmar and eTelmar.

Wednesday, September 27, 2000 #3843
Do you know if there is some other web-based reach/frequency analysis tool for creating media plans . . . in Latinamerica?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, September 28, 2000 ):
eTelmar has the tools, but the audience measures for Latin America based sites are up to you to bring along.

Wednesday, September 27, 2000 #3842
Could you recommend any media planning seminars/classes? I'm looking for a beginner's class as well as an advance class. Also, can you recommend media planning books and/or software?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, September 28, 2000 ):
Seminars: none recommended.

Books: see the AMIC Bookstore (in association with

Software: Telmar.

Thursday, September 21, 2000 #3822
Are they any media planning software awailable to plan campaigns on the net. If yes, could you let me know where can I access them an what do these software do. Thanx

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, September 23, 2000 ):
See eTelmar's WebPlanner

Tuesday, September 19, 2000 #3809
Dear Guru I am a media planner who is of late being asked to construct lot of net media plans. My problem is that I at times am at loss as what all (in terms of advertising) can be done on this versatile medium?? I am looking for something more than banner ad campaign. Is there an account of what all has been done on this medium in terms of innovation by various advertisers or even various things possible on this medium. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, September 23, 2000 ):
All the ideas for the net have yet to be fully realized. Visit Ad Resource and The Industry Standard for some ideas.

Saturday, September 16, 2000 #3806
Where can I find media plan information that will guide me quickly, but efficiently?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, September 18, 2000 ):
See the Guru's Parts of a media plan

Saturday, September 16, 2000 #3805
I need to set-up a media plan for a new hand tool what is the best method to go about doing this?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, September 18, 2000 ):
Determine target, budget, seasonality, if any, communications goals, efficiency and what media environmnet might best support your message.

Friday, September 15, 2000 #3801
I'm interviewing for my first entry level media planning position in a couple of days. I'm very nervous. Can you give me any tips? Any and all information will be greatly appreciated. Thanks Media Guru.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, September 18, 2000 ):
Stay calm, display common sense and communication skills.

Wednesday, August 30, 2000 #3767
Dear Guru, we are getting into awareness based media planning which means objective will be set on awareness scores, rather than GRP, R&F. Please tell me the factors which are required and procedure for setting awareness objectives.Thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, September 01, 2000 ):
Very theoretical. There is no specific rule of thumb equating awareness to GRP. There will be a big difference in saying the objective is to achieve 30% brand awareness versus increasing an existing awarness of 30% by 30 points.

You should think about:

  • What percent of "aware" persons will be purchasers?
  • What number of purchases is the pay-out level of your advertising?
  • How often does the aware person make a purchase decision?
  • Assuming awareness never exceeds reach, what reach must you acheive and what decay rate can your afford to maintain the awareness that will drive sales?

Frankly the Guru believes that saying "awareness based media planning" is just putting a marketing spin on the media plan. Ultimately a media plan sophisticated enought to have objectives almost invariably has some awareness objective mentioned. And ultimately, media must be bought in terms of GRP or impressions or insertions; the media vendors do not sell quantities of awareness. So either you have a formula which equates awareness numbers to media units or you do not. The Guru does not.

Sunday, August 27, 2000 #3754
Dear Guru, I am new here, after long time of searching i found this site & it looks that this is a great site i still have more to check in. I just would appreciate it, if you could tell me how can i become a professional media planner? in our country we have a lack of books related to Strategic media planning or else. I have a BA. degree in Psychology but never studied Advertising or Business Mang. I have good knowledege of Adv. field. And i am working as a media planner for 2 years. I read books, but still feel this isn't enough, i tried to search on the internet in Distance learning, and others but no luck I just need to know what i can do to become a Professional media planner. Can you help me. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, August 30, 2000 ):
In the U.S. it is not difficult to get an entry level media planning job in the major advertising cities like New York or Chicago, if you have a B.A.

You say you are working as a media planner now, so the Guru is somewhat unclear.

Monday, August 21, 2000 #3729
can you fill me in on zenith media's role in the advertising world?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, August 27, 2000 ):
Zenith Media is a media planning / buying service operated by the agency groups of Cordiant and Saatchi & Saatchi. It is comparable to the "ala carte" media operations of other agency giants.

Friday, August 18, 2000 #3716
Hallo, I am a media planner and I would like to attend some seminars in Europe about media planning. Could you suggest what companies I should apply to?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, August 19, 2000 ):
ESOMAR, the European Survey, Opinion and Market Research Organization has something coming up.

Monday, August 14, 2000 #3703
Do you know where I can find some published articles about how to determine the media investment base on Optimal reach & frequency level ?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, August 18, 2000 ):
This is a very basic aspect of media planning. Probably the most common approach to formal media planning is setting a communications goal in reach and frequency terms and then examining the reach delivered by various plan options.

The richest source of articles might be Journal of Advertising Research.

Friday, August 11, 2000 #3696
In dailies, for inter vehicular cost efficiency comparisons, are there any recent studies that compare ad. visibility for top of fold vs. bottom of fold or for odd vs. even..... For inter media cost efficiency comparison, Is there a way where size of a magazine ad. can be compared with an ad. in newspapers? Any research reports thanx Sandeep

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, August 13, 2000 ):
Regarding above / below the fold, see The Newspaper Advertising Association.

It is always a challenge when comparing efficiencies between media to decide which unit will be compared. Depending on the purpose, possible approaches include:

  • If creating a general package of information about media, compare the most common ad unit used by general advertisers in each medium: Perhaps TV :30, Radio :60, magazine Page 4 color, Newspaper full page, etc
    These "standards may differ from country to country or between market segments.
  • If making a rationale-supporting exhibit in a media plan, compare the creative units under consideration for the plan.

See Starch for research on print ad units.

Monday, August 07, 2000 #3682
Dear Guru, I have been challenged with justifying to agency management the addition of a new media planner. We are primarily a b-2-b agency. Is there an industry standard, or any resourse you can recommend that compares annual media billings vs. number of media department employees (ex: for every $1,000,000 in media billings, you need "x" number of media planner/buyers). I am sure that there is probably no absolute rule for hiring new employees in a media department, however I am looking for some ideas (above and beyone hours worked by current employees) to justify my request. Thanks in advance for your insight.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, August 08, 2000 ):
People per million is a dynamically changing concept. It takes the same number of people today to plan $10 million as it took for $1 million a few years ago. It takes fewer people to paln $10million when it's the budget of a single brand than when it's the budget of 10 unrelated brands.

The American Association of Advertising Agencies is probably the best source of this kind of staffing data on a current basis and addresssing the variables.

Saturday, July 29, 2000 #3663
Dear Media Guru I am a media planner from Pakistan.I need to ask what are the possible comparison tools that we can use while planning for different programs on television.At the moment while planning i calculate cost index, rating index, efficiency index, Avg GRP's, Maximum reach, and avg.viewing miniutes for each time slot. Normally i advertise in time slots with high effeciency index, is this a good comparrison tool for planning or not. Normally the decay factor that i take is 10% is this OK or not. What are the different possible ways to break the adverising clutter on television and increase the possibility of high ad exposure. Thax in anticipation Sarwar Khan Media Manager R-Lintas (Pvt.)ltd. Lahore Pakistan

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 29, 2000 ):
It always fascinates the Guru that countries sharing a common language can use it quite differently when applying it to the jargon of a particular business or interest.

What you are describing as "planning" seems to the Guru to be what he would regard as a buyer's selecting a schedule after a plan has been approved. You haven't mentioned what goals you are pursuing with your schedules. Selecting spots with the best efficiency index (audience versus cost) will get you the greatest total number of impressions, but possibly not the greatest net reach. The best rating is more often likely to lead to high reach, but perhaps not without due regard to efficiency and duplication.

"Decay factor" is an unfamiliar term to the Guru. "Maximum reach" and "average viewing minutes" don't seem relevant to assessing individual spots as the Guru understands the terms.

Overall, the Guru believes you should be comparing possible schedules, rather than individual spots to accomplish planning goals.

Optimizers serve this purpose, but running reach analyses of several schedules can get you there, as well.

Tuesday, July 25, 2000 #3649

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 29, 2000 ):
This is not really a media planning/buying/research question. Nor is it quite clear what you mean by "managing commercials in a large group of radios." If you are talking about allocating a large pool of commercial time inventory across several Brands' commercials, the Guru believes that DDS has such a system.

Wednesday, July 19, 2000 #3632
Are there any traditionally accepted reach & frequency benchmarks for TV?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, July 23, 2000 ):
The Guru wonders what you really mean.
  • Do you mean "Are there minimum R&F benchmarks when TV is the sole medium of a plan?"
    - Those who follow the effective frequency approach might ask for 50 reach at 3+ frequency
    -Those who favor "recency" might say 'as much continuity as possible with a 30 reach per week minimum'.
  • If you mean "What should be the TV reach level used when TV is the primary medium in a multimedia plan?"
    - Some might point to the reach level where the curve of accumulation 'flattens'.

Tuesday, July 18, 2000 #3625
Can you please explain what "Optimizers" do in media planning? Is it a separate program from media planning software or part of the package (e.g. Tapscan, SmartPlus, etc.)? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, July 23, 2000 ):
Generally, an optimizer is a buyers' analysis tool using respondent-level data, to select a media list which has the greatest reach within a budget or achieves a reach goal most efficiently.

There can be considerable detail specified as to target, reach at "X" level of frequency, etc. The current use of "optimizer" most often specifically refers to network TV analyzers using Nielsen data tapes as input and examining "actual" versus modeled reaches.

media planning packages generally don't include such optimizers. Optimizers typically cost more on their own than media planning software suites and also require purchase of relatively expensive Nielsen tapes. Similar buyers' analyses of print schedules, are typically built into these planning suites but rely on users' possession of Simmons or MRI data.

Monday, July 17, 2000 #3621
I have just been hired as a media planner. I am new in the field, and I was wondering if you give some guru-like words of advice to a media novice.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, July 23, 2000 ):
Question everything, assume nothing.

Monday, July 10, 2000 #3608
hi where can i find researches or information about drugs advertising? which media have the best influence on patients? t.v? press? Radio? which reach & frequency levels are recommended ? thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, July 10, 2000 ):
The answers will vary depending on typical media planning / marketing issues.
  • Who is the target?
  • What is the competitive situation?
  • What are the legal restrictions
For example, in the U.S., there is one set of rules that applies when you are marketing prescription drugs and another set for "over the counter" pharmaceuticals.

For prescription drugs, you can mention a drug name without discussing the problems it treats or its results, or you can mention a problem to treat without mentioning a drug name. In these cases there are fewer rules to observe. When you mention a drug along with its disease or results, you must also provide the "patient information" (PI) which is all the side effects warnings, counterindications, etc. This typically means broadcast advertising must be accompanied by print to carry the PI. Or that print must devote a portion of space to this detailed information.

Wednesday, June 28, 2000 #3587
Where can I find trend analysis on research on advertising by small to medium size businesses. In particular, I am interested in HOW they buy their advertising CREATIVE (i.e., through an agency, develop it in-house, through their media outlet, etc.), and how they buy their MEDIA (i.e., through their agency, media planner/buyer, media outlet, etc.). I am looking for a credible source - research or industry analysis would be great.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, July 03, 2000 ):
"Small-to-medium" is too vague a term for any standard data compilations. For instance, one government definition of small business is "less than 500 employees." This may be far larger than what you are thinking of. It also may take in range of buinesess not applicable to your needs, from multimillion dollar law firms with two dozen employees and no advertisng at all, to small retail chains doing a loot of radio and newspaper business.

Some useful Advertising Guidelines are available from the Small Business Administration . Even if you refined your question to a more workable definition, like "advertisers spending $1million or less annually" there is no doubt a wide range of answers. Even if you went to an association like AAF you would likely get answers skewed to an agency perspective.

Ordinarily, for general research, the Guru points people to the The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter, but this question need to be refined first.

Monday, June 26, 2000 #3581
Is there a website that will give me an idea of what agencies charge for media planning and buying services? Thanks,

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, June 26, 2000 ):
The Guru doubts the information is online. American Association of Advertising Agencies probably has the information, but not online.

Sunday, June 25, 2000 #3575
I've got to make some kind of media plan for one of my clients. He wants to sell very expancive villas in South Africa, but he wants to start with a small budget. Do you think it's possible to develop a decent plan without including off-line media in the mix?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 25, 2000 ):
The Guru imagines that there are many more accessible prospects for expensive South African real estate in traditonal media than online.

Thursday, June 22, 2000 #3571
What is the difference between: advertising objective vs. media objective vs. communication objective? What is the best way to do an online branding campaing for a car manufacturer? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 25, 2000 ):
Advertising objectives are a broad set of goals which include media opbectives. Media Objectives are a broad set of goals for a media plan, which include a communications objective.

For example, advertising objectives may include a brand image to establish or a specific level of brand awareness to achieve. Neither of these are media objectives.

Media objectives may include a media target, a media budget, a region of the country or sales index standard for geographic concentration. These are not communications objectives.

Communications objectives may be such goals as minimum average four week reach, frequency, effective frequency, etc.

There are many ways to do any sort of online branding campaign. There is no "one size fits all" best solution. A branding campaing for "the safest car" would certainly differ from one for the car whic is the "best value for a family." It is important to have firmly in mind what "branding" means:

According to marketing consultant Rob Frankel, "Branding is not about getting your prospects to choose you over your competition; it's about getting your prospects to see you as the only solution to their problem." (sm)

This means that most of what makes a campaign a "branding" campaign is outside of the domain of media. Study the marketing elements of the campaign and judge how you can make the media plan support it.

Thursday, June 22, 2000 #3570
Dear Guru, I'm the Media Director of a 3 person department with currently 8 accounts to handle and a ton of new business. Unfortunately, all three of us have traditional media backgrounds with virtually no online planning/buying experience. Up until now, our clients had no interest in advertising online. Now, many of our clients are requesting online media plans. Although we're trying to learn this new media as quickly as possible, we can not develop online plans quick enough nor can we go to our clients at this time with a true sense of expertise. Do you think at this point working with an independant online rep would be valuable. Any advice would be appreciated.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 25, 2000 ):
The Guru's perception of the "planning" services offered by online reps is that

  1. You are most likely to get proposed buys rather than proper plans
  2. The buys will probably only consider sites which are sold by the rep. This is not likely to have the best interests of your client at heart.

Wednesday, June 21, 2000 #3567
Hi could you give me an example of how an actual proposal has to be written for a branding campaign(on internet) for a car manufacturer?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 25, 2000 ):
The Guru does not have access to proprietary work. Follow the Guru's Parts of a media plan.

Monday, June 19, 2000 #3559
Hi Guru, I need information on the subject: Management of the Media Department. Can you give me any sources where I can learn this? (Seminars, offices, books, etc.) Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, June 19, 2000 ):
There are several books in the AMIC Bookstore (in association with about media planning and buying. Managing a department is more about managing than about media. The most likely place to find material on this topic is through the American Association of Advertising Agencies.

Friday, June 16, 2000 #3556
Are there any software programs/database tools that will help me to run reports and do comparisons on the response rate to my media plan?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 18, 2000 ):
When you say "results of my media plan" the Guru would guess you are probably trying to assess direct response results or marketplace sales results. The only software the Guru has heard of to analyze these data against media were proprietary programs of DR houses.

But if perchance you mean "results of my media buy" or post- analysis of media delivery versus purchase, then Donovan Data is the standard.

Thursday, June 15, 2000 #3554
Dear Guru: Do you have any suggestions for plotting an annual media plan spreadsheet? I have tried doing it in Excel, but it's sooooooooo laborious, and it doesn't appear MM+ offers it yet in our software package. Do you know of any stand-alone programs? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 15, 2000 ):
With a few tricks, it's not so hard in Excel. In the Guru's opinion, the keys are:
  • Set up one wide column for media names.
  • Set the next 52 columns to a width of 2 characters In the first row, in the same column as the first of the fifty two weeks (let's refer to this cell as "B2"), enter the date of the first Monday of your year, for example, 1/3/00. In the same row, in the next column (Cell C2) enter the next Monday's date, e.g. 1/10/00.
  • With your mouse, highlight these two cells. Then "grab" the little square at the lower right hand corner of the box and "drag" to the right until the dates of all 52 Mondays are automatically inserted.
  • Then, in the cell which will show just the day of the month of the first week, that is "3" under a month-wide, January header, enter the DAY function with a reference to cell B2 i.e. enter =DAY(B2). Then, copy this cell's contents across all 52 weeks. Now you have just the day of the month, which is needed to head each week.
This is the most difficult part of creating a flow chart form. Then you just need to add month headers and summing on the right and bottom, and decide whether you are going to follow the standard broadcast calendar in defining months and quarters. All else is cosmetics.

Or, you could just buy Telmar's system, the All media planner, with "Flowmaster."

Monday, June 05, 2000 #3529
Hi, I would like you to expain the terms, TG, TRP, CRP, GRP, ROS, RODP and the basic difference between the trems. Thanks a ton!. Anjali

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 08, 2000 ):
  • TG= Target group, the selected demographic or psychographic group against which a media plan or buy will be constricted
  • TRP=Target Rating Points; the sum of the audiences of the all media insetions in a plan or schedule, expressed as a percentage of the target group population, such that 100 TRP indicates a summed audience equal to 100% of the group's population.
  • GRP= Gross Rating Points; this si essentially identical to TRP, except that some planners use GRP only in reference to Household audiences and TRP for any other dempgraphic. Others use "GRP" in all cases
  • CRP= Cost per Rating Point ( some say CPP for "Cost Per Point"); Simply a division of the media's cost by the rating points (TRPs or GRPs) delivered
  • RODP=Run of Daypart, also referred to as "daypart rotator," wherein a broadcast spot is purchased to air at anytime within a defined dayaprt, such as 6am to 10am, Monday thru Friday
  • ROS=Run of Schedule or Run of Station, wheriein a broadcast spot is purchased to air at anytime from station sign-on to sign-off. Sometimes the term "Daypart ROS" is encountered. This is another version of Run of Daypart.

Thursday, June 01, 2000 #3522
Dear Guru, I teach my university's ad media course. In an effort to make it as useful and "real world" as possible, I want to know what topics/ideas/concepts you feel are absolutely critical to include. Also, we do use software designed for the college classroom to simulate buys. I would rather use the actual software buys. Suggestions on "real world" software we could purchase to utilize instead? Thanks, AdMedia Prof

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 01, 2000 ):
The Guru believes the most important concepts are
  • Turning marketing / advertising strategies into media objectives
  • Turning media objectives into media strategies and tactics
  • They ways in which different media can support different strategies
  • Basic media math and statistical definitions
. Of course, these are broad concepts which encompass a lot of detail. A person should come out of an advertising media cousre equipped, for example, to
  • recommend radio when it's more appropriate than TV
  • Demonstrate how internet advertising is often more sizzle than steak, but has its place in some plans.
  • Make media plans address the fact that the U.S. is presently about 30% African American, Hispanic or Asian American, that this proportion is growing rapidly and already 40-50% in the "major markets" that will come up on many brands' key market lists

Learning the audience data comes with the job and changes too fast for details learned in college to retain validity very long into real world jobs.

As for buying software Donovan Data Systems is the "mother of all" buying software.

Wednesday, May 31, 2000 #3512
I am looking for a resource that lists upcoming online media planning seminars. Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 01, 2000 ):
Contact The Internet Advertising Bureau and C.A.S.I.E. (The Coalition for Advertising Supported Interactive Entertainment)

Tuesday, May 30, 2000 #3503
Media Guru, I'd like to clarify my question from last week about national media vs. spot media planning. Based on the marketing and communication goals of our client, we have determined that network television is a necessary part of our media mix. We are in the process of aquiring reach/frequency software for national media, but don't currently have it so I can't do a run to determine TRP levels that will generate effective levels of reach/frequency. So, in order to get a feel of what other national advertisers planned, I looked at other plans that contained network television. In looking at those plans I noticed that the TRP levels are significantly lower than spot television plans. Have you noticed that same descrepancy in media plans that you are familiar with? If so, why?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 30, 2000 ):
You must be comparing all-TV plans where one is all spot and the other is all network for these comparisons to make sense, in the first place. If there are other media involved, naturally that will affect TV levels.

In national plans containing both media forms, the network will be mostly low-readh daytime and high-priced prime. So there are reasons to limit investment in each. Spot ususally is concentrated in fringe times, which offer better reach potential than day and better efficiency than prime, so that is one reason for higher spot levels.

In other plan where there is network as well as spot, spot may be used to give extra weight to markets with greater sales or greater sales potential or to fill in market that are underdeliverd by network versus national averages. In any of these cases, spot is typically used at higher levels, but in a short lis of markets.

There is nothing inherent in spot versus network to make spot levels higher than network when either one is the sole medium.

Friday, May 26, 2000 #3500
Guru, I have had a lot of planning experience for spot television and local cable television and am now being asked to plan network television, network cable television and syndicated television. I've noticed after looking at several example plans that network GRPs are often lower than spot GRPs ... Why is that and what are effective GRP levels for network media? Please help.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 29, 2000 ):
The Guru would surmise that in spot, you have seen more promotional or retail-oriented schedules, where noise level is the basis. In network plans, more sophisticated assessments of communications goals may have been made, focused on reach and frequency.

The concept of "planning spot tv" or "planning network TV" is also puzzling. The media choice is the result of planning, not the going-in assignment. Are you part of the buying process moving to network tv where multimedia plans may have been assembled by others, prior to your involvement with a single element?

Sunday, May 21, 2000 #3488
I'm putting together an Out of home analysis and recommendation for one of my clients. We want to use inflight magazines, inflight television, and dioramas in the international departure areas of their targeted airports. The goal is to hit international business travelers. Where do I begin? I have a list of their key markets, all of which have at least 1 international airport. Can you help me set up an outline?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 29, 2000 ):
The Guru isn't sure he understands your question. You have chosen your media. Do you just need help in documenting the plan? See the Guru's Parts of a media plan

Thursday, May 18, 2000 #3486
Hi. I writing a media plan for a B2B .com The target is small businesses and the marketing objective is "to build the brand". Should I use reach as the primary media objective or frequency? For example, the online portion, should I use larger banners and sponsorships on fewer networks and single sites or smaller banners on more nets and sites? Also do you know of any research that details the crossover among magazine hard copy readers and that same magazine's online newsletter? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 21, 2000 ):
Some research has shown that banner ads wear out very quickly, at least insofar as generating clicks. So reach would seem a more useful benefit of online ads. If your goal is branding, one presumes you have significant information content in the banners themselves, rather than relying on clicks.

Cahners has posted some research on crossover in a B2B context.

Tuesday, May 16, 2000 #3479
Are there parameters (highs and lows) for effective reach and frequency? In other words, is there a particular reach and a particular frequency that are considered "average" as they relate to broadcast media? How would one determine whether an advertiser is spending adequate funds to meet these "averages" when airing a broadcast schedule on a Mon-Sun basis?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, May 19, 2000 ):
The Guru finds the concept of average irrelevant in this context.Such measures are relevant in relation to competition and one's own communications goals. What does it benefit an auto brand if the "average" advertiser has a reach of 50% at 3+ frequency when all automotive competitors are delivering 75% at 3+?

As to turning spending into effective reach and frequency, that's typically part of a media plan. Budget gets expressed as schedules of TV, radio, print, etc. Reach and frequency are calculated by available software for these GRPs. Effective reach / frequency is an inherent part of the calculation.

Monday, May 08, 2000 #3452
hi i am a media planner in pakistan working for R-Lintas the problem that i face while planning is the clitter and how to deal with specially in TV we have tried different solutions but none worked so i need your in this regard .

When i mentioned clutter i ment the overload of advertising on television where your message is lost. in Pakistan few years back we just had one government owned TV channel so it was easier to attract big chuncks of audiences through advertising but in the past few years the media scene in Pakistan has changed alot now we have three TV channels (24 hour), cable and satellite channels are also very popular so now it has become really difficult to attract same big chuncks of audiences now every individual dwells in his or her own domain of interest and the question now arises 1-How to reach these people who are no more receptive and has more options. 2-How to get maximum mileage out of the limited resources(advertising budget) that we normally have. 3-How to increase the reach and break the advertising clutter 4-How can we make consumers sit and watch our ads?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 09, 2000 ):
Part of the answer will depend on how advertisng is delivered. If one minute of programming alternates with one minute of commercial time, the Guru would say it's hopeless. If your TV commercials run in pods, that is, 2 or 3 minute blocks of commercials after every ten or fifteen minutes of programming, then there are a few tricks:

  • Buy multiple commercials in a program
  • Buy the opening and closing position of every pod in a program
  • "Sponsor" a program to get opening and closing and pod-bumper billboards.
  • One technique to increase audience 'chunks' is "roadblocking" which means buying at the exact same time across multiple channels.

Making the consumers 'sit and watch your ads' though, is not a media issue. At best it's a creative question.

Saturday, May 06, 2000 #3448
I work in a two-person media dept. and my primary media planned & purchased thus far has been traditional(ie, tv, radio, print,etc.) A client has now requested an online banner program targeting commercial real estate landlords in NY, Chic. & LA. I don't know where to begin. Your advice is greatly appreciated.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, May 06, 2000 ):
Your starting point, without any reference books is to try to imagine what kind of websites would interest your target, and try to find them using search engines like Yahoo, etc.

These might be websites of commercial buildeing and maintenance services like construction, painting or carting.

It isn't in the nature of the web to be limited to specific geography, but sites can sell banners targeted geographically.

Thursday, April 27, 2000 #3425
Are there general guidelines for media planners so that they will know how and when to consider ethnic or cultural groups in the planning process? Are there any planning tools?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 27, 2000 ):
The three major ethnic/cultural groups are currently almost one-third of total population ( see AMIC's Abbott Wool's Market Segment Resource Locator ): African American is 13%, Hispanic is 12% and Asian American is 4%. The rule of thumb is always "consider" ethnic and cultural groups. There are several common or basic product categories in which these groups have a 150 - 300+ index of usage versus the remainder of population. These include fruit juice, baby products, rice, corn meal, and many brands of beer, popular foods or over-the-counter pharmceuticals.

General advertising doesn't reach the linguistically isolated portions of these markets (50% or more of Hispanics and various Asian national groups). Even those reached, among all the ethnic/cultural segments, are less impacted due to lack of appropriate cultural cues in the general advertising or the media environments.

Upon due consideration, the planner may find that for his or her particular advertiser, no special effort is required. But, the planners may also find that there is a 12% segment of their universe consuming 25% of their product, and reachable through efficient media. It is not really unusual for the "first mover" in one of these market segments to gain 10% market share among the segments, which equates to a gain of more than 1% national share, something that couldn't have been achieved for three times the budget in general advertising.

Non-ethnic segmetns such as the mature market may also bear consideration.

Telmar's media software includes a Spanish TV reach and frequency system, called STRETCH, created by Telemundo

Hispanic Broadcasting System (formerly Heftel) has created En Total which does general Hispanic radio calculations and media combinations.

The African American, Spanish, and Asian-American media all offer research analyses.

Wednesday, April 26, 2000 #3424
I'm doing a campaign for a small restaurant chain with a relatively small budget. The goal is to drive traffic for lunch. I'm going to run in the AM and afternoon drives. Is it really necessary to have a 3 frequency if I'm going to be on the top 3 stations on the same programs each day at the same time over a period of 8 weeks? The schedules that I'm getting back show in the low 2's.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 27, 2000 ):
The common reference to a goal of "3 frequency" which you may have heard stems from century-old learning theory which found that 3 repetitions of information were required for it to be "learned" and acted upon. Many media planners use this theory and so specifically consider how many members of their target they are reaching at least 3 times.

You, however, seem to be looking at the average frequency of a schedule, which is different. Any schedule with at least three annoucements will have some portion of its reach exposed to 3 repetions. You need to decide what portion of your audience should be reached three times. YOu need to judge this by looking at the combination of all stations: you may be looking at individual stations reach and frequencies.

Finally, you may consider the full 8 week schedule. A station may be reporting to you only the one week reach and frequency, if you haven't specified, all stations, full cume.

With a schedule of just two dayparts on three stations you are probably getting a fairly low reach at high frequency and this is a completely different sort of consideration than the "3 frequency" issue.

Many planners today are abandoning the effective reach (3+) approach in favor of "recency," the concept that the exposure closest to a purchase decision is the most effective one. You plan might agree more with this approach if it has enough weekly reach.

Thursday, April 13, 2000 #3397
Hi Guru. I've just become an official "media planner" you know of any websites for beginners? I find I still hear catch-phrases that I don't understand. Any help out there?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 13, 2000 ):
AMIC is the place for you. Look up unfamiliar phrases by using the Guru Archives Search Engine.

Wednesday, April 12, 2000 #3392
Guru, I've never used a planning program as most of my planning has been national print and outdoor, local broadcast, and things I've felt I can handle on my own.I've seen so many planning programs and websites for planning it's hard to tell the good from the bad. Have you ever evaluated planning programs and, if you have, can you recommened one or two? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, April 12, 2000 ):
To the Guru, the term "planning program" means programs like Telmar's AdPlus or Telmar's full set of individual media analysis programs or the eTelmar online suite of media programs.

Such programs calculate reach, frequency, effective reach, frequency distribution, and quintiles for individual media plus combinations of media as well as cross-tabulations and rankers from media audience databases. Flow charting is also a typical option.

These programs don't actually create media plans, that is determine how much budget to invest in each medium, ad units to use, and scheduling. There are such programs on the drawing board, but require that the planner quantify and factor those concepts which would be subjective judgements.

Wednesday, April 12, 2000 #3391
Guru, I have been assigned the task of presenting the evolution of online media planning over the years. India has very recently seen some activity in this sphere, but in general the industry stalwarts are a little lost in all this confusion about the web and new media etc. Can you please guide me on the following: 1. How was online media originally planned 2. What kind of models have evolved over the years and which ones do you think have the maximum chance of succeeding 3. Have the traditional full service or media specialist agencies lost out in the race of online media planning. If so why? 4. What is the future for online media planning 5. Do you have a module on your website focussing only on online media planning and buying, parameters of evaluation and similar resources

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 16, 2000 ):
  1. Originally, online media was planned in much the same way as any new medium, like cable TV in the early 1980's. With no audience measurement, planners looked for environment, and justified the medium in general based on who used it overall. Online was, at first, an obvious, high impact choice for computer and software makers. Nest as entertainment and information suppliers jumped on the web, website promotion came to the fore.
  2. The Guru doesn't find that there are a lot of planning "models" in use. As with other media, there are communications goals based plans, direct response plans, and revenue sharing driven plans. Each can succeed, the concepts serve different purposes.
  3. Traditional services haven't been the leading edge, but are catching up by acquisition and adding the services necessary. As the world of online becomes more research and resource driven, "deep pockets" will be important.
  4. As online becomes more established as just another ordinary medium, it will simply be just another choice in media plans, and online planning specialists will probably fade away, just as online agencies spread into traditional media, to fullt serve the advertisng needs of their web-based clients.
  5. AMIC doesn't have any purely online media palnning area. Most of the discussion on our email forum "MediaPlanning" is about online, however.

Thursday, April 06, 2000 #3371
Is there a website where freelance media planners can offer their services? Thanks for any help.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 06, 2000 ):
Try AMIC's Ad Jobs area .

Thursday, March 30, 2000 #3360
Please explain the use of BDI/ CDI and MOI in relation to the media strategy, whether media activity should be aggresive, maintenance etc.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, March 31, 2000 ):
Indices like these, (though "MOI" is not familiar, possibly Market Opportunity Index?) are used to compare geographic markets media weight/spending levels. Typically, one, geographically flexible, element of the media plan, such as spot TV is adjusted up or down in DMAs or regions, to give each area the appropriate activity based on relative sales, or sales potential index. It's not exactly a question of "aggressive" versus "maintenance."

Click here to see past Guru comment on BDI and CDI

Tuesday, March 28, 2000 #3349
Dear Media Guru: I am the publisher of a very niche oriented magazine called International Longboarder. We are a year old and the magazine is found in surf, skate and snowboard shops throughout the world. We appeal to men 18-34. Here is my question: what would be three inexpensive ways to let media buyers know about us - specifically those buyers who are looking to reach this demographic? thank you michael brooke

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 28, 2000 ):
"Inexpensive" is a matter of opinion. The least expensive (free) is a listing in Standard Rate and Data Service (SRDS). Next might be an ad in SRDS. Next, an ad on a media planner's website, like AMIC .

Monday, March 27, 2000 #3341
Hello I am currently enrolled in the 3-year advertising program at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. In response to a class project and of great interest to me, I am in search of answers to the following questions regarding obtaining a career in the Internet advertising field. 1. What programs are used in the creation of Internet advertisements? 2. What are the job titles and descriptions of jobs within Internet advertising? 3. What are the specific qualities looked for when hiring a person for Internet advertising? 4. How does Internet advertising differ from other forms of advertising? 5. What should a student keep in mind and focus on while attending school in order to further their changes in Internet advertising related career? 6. Is there an organization solely devoted to Internet advertising? 7. What forms of Internet advertising are offered? (Ex. WebPage design yes, banners, etc) 8. When should a company inquire about Internet advertising as a form of advertising? 9. How long has Internet advertising been around and how has it grown throughout the years?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 27, 2000 ):
Since this is the Media Guru, we will address those of your several questions which relate to media issues.

  1. Not a media question
  2. Other than "webmaster" all internet advertising media titles are approximately the same as in other media: General manager/publisher, sales manager, sales account executive on the website side; Media Director, media planner, media buyer on the buying side. Some companies may have invented special titles either to reflect their individuality or special business structure, such as "Channel manager" when selling multiple sites that can be grouped topically
  3. There should be no specific qualities sought in hiring media people for internet purposes rather than any other media, other than possibly better computer skills and internet familiarity. It was not unusual, in the early days of internet advertising, for employment ads to be signed only with a website or email contact information, so that those who didn't understand such information wouldn't apply.
  4. The chief differences of internet advertising versus other media include:
    Interactivity: Any consumer action in response to an ad generates a reaction by the internet
    Combines the full animation potential of TV with the detail capability of static print
    Consumer action in response to an ad 'place-marker', i.e. the banner, is required before the full ad, i.e. the click-thru target, is exposed
    Unlike other media where the medium's full audience is attributed to each ad, the internet allows us to count actual ad exposures
  5. A student should take any internet courses offered in addition to the full standard advertising curriculum, if working in internet media is the only goal.
  6. There are several organizations devoted solely to internet advertising: The Internet Advertising Bureau, which is the Web site owners trade group, C.A.S.I.E. (The Coalition for Advertising Supported Interactive Entertainment) which is primarily, if not exclusively internet focused, is the advertiser/agency internet trade group. Of course there are numerous internet sales representative organizations and ad agencies/media services.
  7. Internet advertising forms include websites, banners (meaning any less-than-full-page ads displayed on websites) interstitials, and e-mail advertising. Within e-mail advertising are three principal types: ads as sponsorships, inserted into subscription email newsletters and discussion group posts, Opt-in email, where the recipient has actually agreed to receive by email commercial information from the sender, and SPAM, or Unsolicited Commercial Email, which is commercial messages posted to newsgroups or sent by direct email. This last is completely disreputable and banned by most consumer ISPs.
  8. An advertiser should consider internet advertising alongside all other media when selecting media for any plan. Internet media should be used when it offers an advantage in efficiency (quite rare), an opportunity to reach an otherwise difficult-to-reach prospect, or the opportunity to deliver a message of a kind or in an environment which enhances message impact.
  9. Internet advertising of one sort or another has probably existed since the early days of the internet. As a real medium, internat advertising is traced to the beginnings of the commercialization of the World Wide Web at the end of 1994. The year 2000 will generate over US$5 billion online ad revenue

Wednesday, March 22, 2000 #3334
Challenge: How do we reach recent movers/home buyers? What media vehicles are available that would reach this target audience? Direct mail, magazines, etc.? Any information you have would be very helpful in my media planning. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, March 22, 2000 ):
Direct marketing through resources such as Welcome Wagon are a starting point.

Many telephone companies have special packages with new telephone book deliveries. Other utilities, such as gas, electric, cable, etc are also potential partners.

Wednesday, March 08, 2000 #3298
Please describe the major steps and information required for Network TV media planning at an Agency. What computer skills are needed or research sources most used to evaluate Network? Are there any trade journal articles that would provide a description of this aspect of media planning, as I am applying for a position in this area, but have not planned Network in many years. What are the current Network $/GRP and target delivery efficiencies? What is the current coverage of U.S. Houselholds, for the three major networks? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 13, 2000 ):
There seems to be some confusion in your terms. The job of an agency media planner is to determine which media are best to meet the advertising objectives of the specific product/service.

In some cases this will include network TV.

When an approved paln includes network TV, the Network specifications are turned over to Network TV buyers. The plan's specifications are not likely to include than demographic target and weight goals, budget, timing, dayparts and/or program types.

Network buyers will then review program package offerings and sponsorship opportunities from the networks to meet all the specifications.

Nothing more than a spreadsheet is really needed, but there are some specific TV analysis programs, including optimizers, in use. Nielsen is the basic audience measurement source used.

When optimizers, which are programs that do extensive analysis of program data to select best schedules, came into use a few years ago, there were several trade articles in Ad Age and MediaWeek about the network buy "planning" process. See the one by Erwin Ephron in our Telmar 30th Anniversary Awards section.

Telmar, AMIC's sister company, also offers an optimizer, called Transmit.

See samples of current rates in AMIC's Ad Data area.

Tuesday, March 07, 2000 #3291
Is there a formula which calculates effective reach and frequency? I know that reach x frequency=grp's, but how can I determine what the effective reach and frequency would be for 100 grp's or 150 grp's?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, March 10, 2000 ):
Of course there's a formula, but it can be immensely complicated. In fact, media planners rarely, if ever, considered effective frequency before computers became a part of everyday reach and frequency calculation in the 70's.

Your "reach x frequency=grp's" is not a formula, but merely the arithmetical relationship of these quantities as they are defined.

GRPs are the convenient weights and mesures we use in media buying. They are simple statistical measurements, whereas reach and frequency are more complex statistical models In some cases, there are relatively simple reach formulae derived from compiling the actual, measured reaches of actual schedules with known GRPs. The formula is non-linear.

To find the effective reach of a schedule, you first determine level of frequency to consider "effective" and then examine the frequency distribution of the schedule to see how many people have been reached that number of times The frequency distribution shows exactly how many people have been exposed to each integral number of announcements in a schedule.

The math is based on non-linear functions. For any given reach and GRP set, the frequency distribution can vary considerably depending on the media combined and the dayparts within the media.

Monday, March 06, 2000 #3289
Media Guru-- I have been searching for any sort of media plannning training opportunities for developing media planners. I am interested in something that will provide some academic foundations as well as some practical application. Any suggestions? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, March 08, 2000 ):
The best training is on the job, particularly at larger agencies with formal training programs.

Many universities include media planning in their advertising or communications curriculum, for example, The U of Texas, Austin.

Friday, March 03, 2000 #3281
Dear Guru: I recently became the new Sales Director for a regional Hispanic publication. In addition to the Red Book is there a listing or directory of Media Buyers and or media planners I can contact on Line to introduce our publication? Thank you, Rudy

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 04, 2000 ):
The Guru and AMIC are adamantly opposed to the kind of SPAM marketing you are considering and will not offer any help in such a program.

AHAA, the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies may be able to provide standard mailing addresses.

Thursday, March 02, 2000 #3274
What are the criteria that a media planner has to consider when planning for advertising on the internet?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 04, 2000 ):
The criteria are the same as in any media planning: reach, environment, composition, consumer response, etc.

In the internet there are merely different sources, standards, and formulas in dealing with these elements and thousands more options.

A couple of the most important differences are

  • One "page" of a web site gets only a fraction of the audience of the total site, as compared to a page of a magazine, which is treated as if it had the same audience as the entire issue
  • Audience ranking is much less relevant for the same reason: If Yahoo reaches half of all web users, but your banner is only exposed to one million of those unique visitors, how is that different than you banner being seen by one million uniques visitors to a web site which only gets one percent of all web users?

Monday, February 28, 2000 #3257
I'm an assistant media buyer and in college part time at night. I am currently attempting to do extensive research for a paper that I have to write. I am going to be writing on Television, Radio and Outdoor. I am looking to start with the basics, and work up to the specifics of how each is measured, and has a different effect on audiences. I'm looking, if you have any ideas, of particular books and/or websites where I could pull a substantial amount of information. Thanks A Bunch!

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 28, 2000 ):
Your plans seem overly broad for a single paper. The differences in how media are measured or diffrences in how they affect consumers are each big ideas by themselves.

For many thoughts on each point, go to the Guru Archives Search Engine. Use your various topics as your search terms.

Beyond this, see the books in the AMIC Bookstore (in association with, particularly the media planning section.

Wednesday, February 09, 2000 #3200
How many media buying companies are there in the US? Is there an association of media planners and buyers? Where can I find statistics on the media buying industry? Thank you Netsek

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, February 13, 2000 ):
There are numerous media buying companies in the U.S., probably hundreds, in addition to over two thousand ad agencies which offer media service.

The Guru has never encountered any national association of media planners or buyers, though there are some media research assocations locally, such as in New York and Chicago.

A search of the archives of trade publications like Ad Age or MediaWeek is probably the best bet for compiled statistics.

Wednesday, February 02, 2000 #3179
Hello Media Guru, I am searching the information about the media planning model worked out by Canadian Media Directors Council (CMDC). Please, can you tell me what is the heart of this method. I would be also very grateful for any references about this theme. Thank you in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 02, 2000 ):
The Guru's limited knowledge about this "model" includes these points:
  • It's not a media planning model, it's a reach and frequency model
  • It has not yet been released
  • When released, it is likely to be available only to Council members, and therefore not accesible for the Guru's evaluation.

Monday, January 31, 2000 #3175
Guru: I have been an Assistant media planner/Buyer for about 4 months. At my six month review I will be asking for a raise because I am convinced my current salary is well below the industry standard for entry level, even for the low cost-of-living in the market where I am employed. However, the only entry level salary survey I can find to back me up is a 1997 salary survey from Advertising Age. Can you clue me in to current salaries in the industry or web sites that have this current information?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, January 31, 2000 ):
The best starting point would be the current employment classified in the Sunday New York Times (print version), which should be available in a local library. Your market's salary ranges may be different.

In the Guru's opinion, "industry standard salary level" is a poor argument for a raise, especially for a new, lightly experienced assistant. This is at best a back-up argument when a it is agreed a raise is merited. Achievement and contribution are always most persuasive.

Thursday, January 27, 2000 #3162
I am in the midst of developing a media plan and our marketing manager is developing an Ad Library. He wants to determine at what point a commercial creative unit should be replaced. For instance, is a commercial dead after being on the air for 3 months, 6 months or 12 months? Or is a commercial dead after it has achieved a certain number of GRPs. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. K

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 29, 2000 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses about wear out.

Tuesday, January 18, 2000 #3129
What is media planning, and how does it differ from media buying?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 21, 2000 ):
To put it very simply:

media planning is the process of determining which media best meet the advertiser's objectives and strategies, as well as which geography merits what share of budget. Levels of spending and weight by medium and daypart or vehicle are also a planning responsibilty.

When these determinations have been made, Media buying identifies best locations of individual advertisements and negotiates their price.

Monday, January 17, 2000 #3124
Hi, Media Guru... I am new to media planning and need to know how to figure out how to distribute the budget among media. We have decided to use Direct Response TV ads and Radio, but how do I determine how much of the budget to put in either? I understand the definitions of the terms reach and frequency but do not know how to use these tools. Also, is there an online (free) resource that can help me come up with psychographic data either in general for a demo or by market and demo? Thank you in advance for your help!

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 21, 2000 ):
When the planner has a free hand, media mix is determined by examining various combinations to see which best meet the Media Objectives and Strategies.

You may go through an examination of efficiency, communication impact, environmental support, etc, of broad types prior to testing various mixes for reach and frequency or other measurable contributions.

In the case of direct response, you probably have some track record of the relative selling ability of each medium on which to base an intial distribution. After start, careful tracking of response will lead you to modify budgets. This direct tracking of sales, typical in DR, makes reach and frequency analysis moot.

The Guru does not believe there are any free online market psychographic/demographic resources.

Saturday, January 08, 2000 #3102
In Brazil we can't find good books with media theory. I'd like your suggestion of good american media books so I can recomend them to my college students here in Brazil. I am looking for elementary books and advanced ones. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, January 09, 2000 ):
See the selections in the media planning shelves of the AMIC Bookstore (in association with

Friday, December 31, 1999 #3083
Can you help me out in the following areas: 1. How can an online agency offer an advertiser pre campaign creative testing of ad banners? What are the variables involved and can you suggest links to sites that do offer such solutions? 2. Can you provide an online plan for any hypothetical advertiser? What is the step by step approach taken? I know one will have to proceed looking at marketing objectives, setting impression levels and then buying impressions based on the campaign objective and target audience. Do you have a ready framework for a full online plan that you could share with us?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 01, 2000 ):
1. There are companies which do such testing, including IPSOS. C.A.S.I.E. (The Coalition for Advertising Supported Interactive Entertainment) will have a list of such vendors.

2.There are no standards for how an on-line plan should look, other than those for any media plan. Because the focus will be on selecting specific sites, the overall style will probably resemble a magazine plan more than any other specific type. One plan might focus on advertisng envorinment more than another which is more aimed at raw impresions, and both may differ greatly from a third based on click-rates or revenue generation. Analysis might focus on cpm or reach or availability of relevant pages or keywords. Creativity is more the rule than following a format.

Friday, December 24, 1999 #3074
what's the best media mix for a portal site?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, December 25, 1999 ):
The best media mix is based on the portal's marketing goals, target and budget. There is nothing about a portal site, per se, that dictates mix.

New portals today are typically aimed at specific geographic, cultural or special interest groups. Different media have differing relative strengths and contributions to communications in different countries or among different market segments in the same country.

A traditional media plan in support of a portal ought to be built in the same way a plan for any other product category with the same marketing issues.

Thursday, December 02, 1999 #3015
Dear Guru, I'm preparing a media plan for a new corporate image of a finacial institution. I need some creative media buy ideas that could be applicable on TV & Press.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 08, 1999 ):
The Guru would need to know what are the image elements to be communicated, in order to help. Creativity in this case would mean using media or media positions which inherently underscore the image you are trying to convey.

Friday, November 19, 1999 #2989
Media Guru, Our client is asking us why we use reach & frequency to analyze the effectiveness of our media plans. We are not aware of any other tools/methods that have been developed. Can you give us some pointers on how best to answer this question? Thanks in advance!

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 19, 1999 ):
Reach and frequency are used to help predict the effect of plans and, more appropriately, to compare the available alternate plans, when communications power is the issue.

media plans are actually advertising communications plans: "how many people of the targeted demographic receive the message and how often?" is the most basic quantification of the expected acheivements of the plan. In the process of selecting targets amd media, other issues of prospect quality and ad impact are addressed, but the final wieghts and measures are reach, frequency, and their product, gross impressions.

During and after execution, of course, sales and awareness measures are more direct evaluative tools.

Sunday, November 14, 1999 #2967
Dear Media Guru could you tell something about differences between Target Group and Target Audience. Could you mention articles or books where this question is discussed. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, November 14, 1999 ):
It isn't clear exactly what you mean. When the Guru hears, "target group" he first thinks of the demographic segment to which marketing efforts will be directed.

"Target audience" can be simply the media aspect of this marketing designation, or an analytical result of evaluating ad vehicles or schedules or media plans. This appears to be more a semantic than media or marketing issue.

media planning texts, such as those found in the AMIC Bookstore (in association with would probably be helpful.

Saturday, November 06, 1999 #2940
Dear Guru, I am trying to conceptulise a framework for the following two topics 1) Media mix descision - how do u decide on a media mix ( i.e. between print v/s TV v/s radio etc.) and what effect does multi media have on a media plan 2) How does one advertise when one is managing a franchise - i.e do you advertise the mother brand or the sub brand and which benefits more? would there be any sites/literature availble on the net where these questions may have been addresed? Also - Love your site! i think it is a boon to the advertisng community. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 10, 1999 ):
For current information, you need Nielsen for TV and Arbitron for radio.

Thursday, November 04, 1999 #2935
How can i get more information about web media planning?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, November 04, 1999 ):
Various organization run seminars in major cities. Watch your ad trades, like Ad Age and MediaWeek.

Also send inquiries to The Internet Advertising Bureau and C.A.S.I.E. (The Coalition for Advertising Supported Interactive Entertainment).

Tuesday, November 02, 1999 #2927
I am basing a media plan on the recency theory and wanted to know how to calculate cost per reach and/or cost per reach point for my broadcast buys?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, November 02, 1999 ):
The Guru has discussed this previously.

Click here to see past Guru responses

Thursday, October 28, 1999 #2914
How to write a presentation recomending strategies?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 01, 1999 ):
Use bullet points and follow the outline in the Guru's Parts of a media plan.

Saturday, October 09, 1999 #2862
It seems that most of the news about advancements in media and in media planning focuses on the on-line arena. However, changes have to be happening in the off-line arena, even if they don’t get the same play. Introductions of products TiVo or Replay TV are going to create major concern among the television and advertising communities once the universe of ownership begins significantly cutting into the viewership of commercials. The digital superimposition of products into programming, rather than just having them featured in the show, seems to be an area where both creative and media departments are both going to have to play close attention (Stuart Elliott’s article in 10/1 NYT addressed some of this). However, with this long preamble, what in Guru’s opinion are some of the other innovative things happening in the off-line advertising side of TV, radio, mags, newspapers, OOH, etc.? Could you cite some articles or Websites that might go into more depth on these?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, October 09, 1999 ):
The offline "innovations" to which you refer are just new mechanisms for achieving the same results with which planners have coped for many years. Not long after VCRs, devices to eliminate commercials were available and never sold well. Remotes have long since made zipping through recorder commercials quite easy.

Product placement and stadium signage are old-hat as well. Placing them digitally instead of physically isn't media planning news.

The Guru doesn't see anything happening off-line as big as the creation of on-line and new advertising vehicles in the on-line arena.

News in off-line seems to focus on new ways to buy and package. Perhaps we will see a return to the early days of TV and real sponsorship. Segmentation - in the sense of a focus on minority groups which in the aggregate now outnumber the presumed mainstream majority, and personalization of media are the new direction the Guru sees in traditional media.

Ad Age and MediaWeek are still the best sources of media news in print.

Tuesday, October 05, 1999 #2848
Dear Media Guru I'm a media planner in Thailand. Here we are just at the begining to advertising on the net. Would you recommend a good books on Web advertising? Thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 06, 1999 ):
There are a few here in the AMIC Bookstore (in association with

Monday, October 04, 1999 #2842
I am doing research for a german based software company, that is about to go international with its produkct. Hereford I am completing a media plan. The countries I am mainly intrested in are Those in europe and in North America. I would like to know where I would get relevant infor mation about; How effective are different types of media in the different countries and what target groups do I reach if I use that type of media. I would prefer this data to be specified for individual magazines, newspapers, tv stations ect. I have read thru your past answers, and my main problem at the moment is that I don´t have a large budget to pay a market research company. I am still a student doing this as a final assignment (thesis) for college. I hope you can be of any assistance. Thanks. Arno

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 06, 1999 ):
In the U.S., universities which teach advertising and marketing often have in their library past years' sets of the broad product and media usage studies from MRI or Simmons. Perhaps your school has the same or a relationship with a U.S. university.

By the way, data would not be about TV stations, but about networks and programs. The U.S. has over 1000 TV stations.

Friday, September 24, 1999 #2820
Hello Guru!My question may fall outside only media planning. Neverthless I hope you can direct me to the correct info. sites. I am planning a promotion for an established FMCG-Women's product. The product is used for hygiene as well as cosmetic purposes. The promotion entails the consumer entering a contest along with a proof of purchase and a writeup on her experience with the brand. 1. Which media TV or Print would yeild the best response. The brand has high TOMA. The campaign has a duration of one month in the peak sales season. 2.Is there any model to predict the response in terms of no. of entries received and offtakes 3.How should I plan- for generating max. response, in terms of reach and frequency at a moderate budget? No previous data exsists for any such promo with me.4.Are there any rules of thumb in exsistence for a corelation between reach, frequency and responses? Thanking you in advance for your guidance.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, September 24, 1999 ):
As you imagine, your questions fall mostly outside of media, and your acronyms are not standard in the U.S., so the Guru is not clear on the background.

A good source for the sort of information you want is the Direct Marketing Association (DMA)

Within the realm of pure media / direct response concepts, the Guru does not believe there is any rule of thumb for Reach / frequency / response relationships. The Gurru has seen small audiences produce much more response than large audiences in many cases.

Monday, September 20, 1999 #2808
Hi Guru!For maintainence level of advertising for an established brand, on TV why is an OTS of three considered to be a minimum ? Or does no such rule of thumb exsist?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, September 20, 1999 ):
The 3x rule-of-thumb is based on studies dating back over 100 years to a researcher named Ebbinghaus. He determined that it required 3 repetitions of a string of nonsense syllables for them to be retained by experimental subjects.

Advertising researchers extended the research to posit that only after three exposures to a message would a consumer understand, recall and be prepared to act on the information. media planners then started using an average frequency (as in "Reach and Frequency") of 3 as a minimum.

More recently, the concept of effective reach has used the theory that only those exposed at least 3 times should be counted as "effectively reached." So, for example, a media plan with an average four week reach / frequency of 76 / 5.2 might reach 50% of the target 3 or more times.

Some planners will evaluate several issues surrounding the copy, competition and media options to decide what effective level is appropriate and set a level of 4 or 6, etc. Of course, this is meaningless without also setting a reach goal at the stated frequency level. A plan that delivers 50 reach at 3+ might also deliver 42 at 4+, 33 at 5+ etc, so there is an issue of the goal versus the level at which the plan is examined.

Tuesday, September 14, 1999 #2797
I am looking for software that figures "reach and frequency" for newspaper media plans. Do you know of any and if so, which has the most current, up-to-date data?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, September 14, 1999 ):
AMIC's sister company, Telmar is one that offers newspaper plannning software. You might check with The Newspaper Advertising Association for recommendations.

Monday, September 13, 1999 #2790
Parts of the media plan

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, September 14, 1999 ):
See the Guru's Parts of a media plan.

Friday, September 10, 1999 #2784
Dear Guru, What do you think the impact of the recent CBS Viacom merger will be for advertisers and media planners/buyers ?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, September 14, 1999 ):
Generally, less competition means higher prices. On the other hand, more creative promotion packaging is also a possibility.

Wednesday, September 08, 1999 #2776
Dear Guru: My client has asked me to provide him with a r/f on a Canadian TV/radio plan. Our research vendors don't seem to have access to Canadian data. I've got the Nielsen books, but need a resource to run the data. Any suggestions?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, September 13, 1999 ):
AMIC's sister company, Telmar, offers media planning systems which handle Canadian data.

Wednesday, September 01, 1999 #2761
Is there any source where I can find a whole and specific description of each of the media functions? (media buyer, media planner, media analyst, associate media director and/or media supervisor, media director, etc...)

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, September 03, 1999 ):
The Guru will assume you know the basic job descriptions, in general. You will find that the meaning and responsibilities change to varying degrees from one agency to another. In one "Media Director" may be the top dog of the entire media department. In another, a media director is a group head, supervising only media planning, and with the buying group under other direction, both reporting to an "executive director of media and programming."

media planner may be fairly junior in one agency, the title a new hire achieves after about a year as an assistant. In another agency it is may be a much more senior position, averaging 6-8 years of experience.

The most likely place to find a published - but not necessarily official - set of job descriptions is the American Association of Advertising Agencies.

Tuesday, August 24, 1999 #2738
Is there a difference in Reach for the same level of GRPs if they are run in one week versus four weeks? It seems like there should be, but most media planning tools don't allow for a difference. They give the same reach result regardless of the length of time the GRPs are running. I'm interested in your perspective. Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, August 24, 1999 ):
Yes, one week reach is higher than four week reach from the same number of GRPs, particularly in radio. The reason is that, while the weekly cume of stations or of the medium, does not vary much from the four week potential, your chances of capturing more of this potential is greater when GRPs are run, well dispersed, in a single week.

In TV the enormous dispersion of program options and audience fragmentation makes this less of an issue. In radio, where buys are typically on just a handful of top-ranked stations, based on the target demo, the difference can be felt.

Telmar's radio planning tools allow you to set the number of weeks in reach calculations and see the difference.

Saturday, August 21, 1999 #2733
Dear Guru. I'm interested in attention Rate in Print Media. (Example effect of size,color,placement in newspaper) Can you give me any data? In addition, How do you measure and analysis of attention Rate?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, August 21, 1999 ):
The classic measurments in this area come from Starch.

Attantion rate can be used to index values of different ads units or publications. These indices can be applied to cpms or audiences to reevaluate media plans.

Thursday, August 19, 1999 #2731
Do you know of any media planning courses/classes/ or bootcamps that a novice can attend?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, August 21, 1999 ):
The Guru doesn't believe that these courses are of much use to media professionals; they may be helpful for others involved in advertising. Media skills are best learned in entry level media positions. In any case, the Media School and the Media Buying Academy, conduct such seminars, and advertise them in ad trade publications like Ad Age.

Friday, August 13, 1999 #2714
I currently sell screen printing, p.o.s. signage, fabricated plastic and Sheetmetal. I have been concentrating on the point of purchase display Industry as it is what my background is in and my companies have a lot of Experience with point of purchase houses. Recently I have been knocking on The doors of advertising agencies. Should I be asking for the media buyer When calling or should I be asking for someone else. I know ad agencies Come across all types of promotion opportunities and I know I can help

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, August 13, 1999 ):
It would be exceedingly rare for media planners to be invloved in POS materials. It's somewhat rare for agencies, except in the creative end. If you talk to agencies, see Print Producers, or Account execs. Some agencies may have a promotions department who deal with what you are selling.

Tuesday, August 10, 1999 #2704
I am a media planner for an advertising agency. I am working on a media plan for the 1999-2000 winter season (November till April). The product is a well-established brand chocolate snack bar. The plan consists mainly of TV advertising. I am thinking of applying the Recency strategy throughout the whole season. My question to you - how much of the weekly schedule should be in Prime Time? What is the minimum required and what are the reasons? Can you refer me to any literature on this subject? Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, August 11, 1999 ):
Recency is about delivering reach with as much continuity as possible, so that your message is always reaching the most people as close to a purchase decison as possible.

Recency does not specify a daypart mix. Of course, in working on a recency based plan, you will explore various mixes to establish which works best to deliver continuous reach for you budget/ Thus the cost of building reach with prime is a key factor.

Friday, August 06, 1999 #2698
Where can I get a list of media planning companies in US?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, August 08, 1999 ):
The Standard Directories of Advertising Agencies and Advertisers ('The Redbook')

Friday, August 06, 1999 #2696
I am in the business of selling banner inventory and it is like pulling teeth to get in touch with media planners and when i do make contact they blow me off.can you offer some advice on makeing contact and working with planners.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, August 08, 1999 ):
Try Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

Friday, August 06, 1999 #2695
can you give me some advice on makeing contact with ad agency media planners.I sell online ad inventory.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, August 08, 1999 ):
Advertise to media planners in MediaWeek, Standard Rate and Data Service (SRDS) or AMIC .

Otherwise, like any media salesman, build a target account list, find out what agency handles it and call to find the planner. It is annoying to busy planners to have sales men call to say "I'm selling "X," so which of your clients can uses it?"

If you think your offereing is of general interest, you might talk to media directors to arrange a departmental presentation.

Have good materials ready to mail to planners who have some interest. Planners are legitimatley too busy to sit down for a meeting with every salesman who wants to. They have to judge before meeting whether there is potential use for what you are selling in their media plans.

Friday, August 06, 1999 #2694
Dear Media Guru, Could you please explain what Tapscan is and how it is used by media planners & buyers? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, August 08, 1999 ):
Tapscan is software which allows buyers to evaluate buys and media by manipulating data including the syndicated research, such as Nielsen, Arbitron and Scarborough.

Thursday, August 05, 1999 #2690
Dear Guru, I am a media planner in India. We have a research agency which provides us data on television viewership. The data is collected by a peoplemeter which has a picture matching technology. The problem I am facing is that the TRPs Or TVRs as they call them are calculated on the basis of the sample on that particular day, whereas Reach for a programme/ spot is calculated based on the sample on the sunday of the last week of your analysis. To give an example, if I have a spot on the 1st of June and I select my period of analysis as 31/5/99 (Monday) to 13/6/99 (Sunday)a period of 2 weeks. The TRP for my spot would be calculated based on the sample of the 1st of June, but reach would be calculated on the basis of the sample on the 13th of June. This gives me two major problems. The 1st being that my TRP and Reach figures have little relation. The 2nd being that the reach figure given for the given spot on the 1st of June would vary depending on the last week of my analysis. This is a problem that manifests itself when I try to plot reach curves. If I state that my brand has achieved 50% reach by June, I could be in trouble the next month where the reach figure might actually drop purely because of a change in sample size. I would like to ask you if you face the same problem in your country. Or is there a better system to report data. My research agency says that this is the best method, I refuse to agree. Please do enlighten me. Regards Ajay

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, August 08, 1999 ):
The system you describe does not make any sense to the Guru. Ratings and reach should be based on the projection to the population represented by the sample, so changes in daily sample size would not be a factor in the base. Usually, samples across days can be added to increas the sample for a period of time.

Monday, August 02, 1999 #2680
what is media planning

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, August 06, 1999 ):
media planning is the process of determining the most appropriate advertising investment to meet advertising objectives. Click here to see past Guru comments on media planning.

Sunday, August 01, 1999 #2675
Can you tell me about media conferences, really serious and proffesionel ones held in the US and Europe about media planning or other aspects of advertising. Again only the ones considered really worthwhile. Thank you in advance, Tal Oron

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, August 01, 1999 ):
Contact Advertising Research Foundation and ESOMAR, the European Survey, Opinion and Market Research Organization.

Thursday, July 29, 1999 #2669
What is the role and job definition of a media planner in a creative agency v/s that of an AOR agency ? Does the creative agency media planner need to give detailed plan schedules which include channelwise grps in order to justify reach/freq objectives to the AOR agency?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 31, 1999 ):
"AOR," or Agency of Record is a buying function and there is no inherent reason for a planner's role to be different. The planner should not need to "justify" anything to an AOR, assuming plans are approved by the client before buying instructions are communicated to the AOR.

Of course, there can be situations where specific rules have been set up going beyond the typical AOR role.

Monday, July 26, 1999 #2658
Dear Guru I work in an European Media Agency ( media planning and buying). I am Interested in Internet Advertising media. Where can I find Seminar´s, courses, etc (on-line and off-line) on this subject?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 31, 1999 ):
1) Watch the advertising and media trade publications in your country for event announcements.

2) Contact ESOMAR, the European Survey, Opinion and Market Research Organization.

3) Use a search engine.

Monday, July 19, 1999 #2643
Dear Guru! I've got the following question. Our client has a product to advertise. He has set advertising goals for the ad campaign. We defined the level of effective frequency needed to reach these goals. 1. What is the range of effective reach? For example, 30%

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 23, 1999 ):
media plan communications goals should specify a level of effective reach along with specifying the effective level of frequency.

Basic, as well as more advanced media software, calculates reach and frequency, frequency distribution and reach at various (effective) frequency levels. Input is typically GRPs.

Setting an effective reach goal can be based on gut, such as reaching the majority of the target at effective frequency levels in 4 weeks, or based on sales predictions. For example, this might be an estimate that 10% of those reached efectively will buy and X number of sales are the goal. Then 10 times X are the number who must be effectively reached.

Wednesday, July 14, 1999 #2631
While there are different parameters ( creative, media, marketing ) to set the effective frequency for a media plan there seems to be no parameter for setting reach. What are the different ways to arrive at reach objectives for a plan

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 15, 1999 ):
There are many approaches.
  • awareness goals: Ad awarness won't get higher than reach, obviously
  • comfort levels: When working with an effective frequency level, the Guru wants to reach the majority of his target effectively over four weeks
  • Affordability
  • recency: Recency says that maintaining some level of weekly reach is more effective than flighting, for products with regular purchase (threshold is 30 reach per week)
There are numerous variations.

Wednesday, July 07, 1999 #2614
I do the media planning for a targeted television network, and currently, we are evaluating our spot radio buys to answer the question: "Do these need to be more dispersed (i.e., do we need to buy a deeper station list vs. hi frequency on a few, targeted stations) in line with the recency approach? Please keep in mind that we essentially have a new brand every day, as people tend to watch on a night-by-night, as well as on, an episodic basis, rather than every week by rote. I apologize, as I may have asked this question previously, but I didn't realize I should check back for the answer -- for some reason I thought the answer would come via e-mail.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 08, 1999 ):
Recency values reach above frequency. Therefore, greater dispesion of you weight would be preferable under that theory.

But this theory is most typical for package goods, where there is less of an issue of whether or not to buy in the category. The Guru does not believe choosing whether to watch TV and what to watch on TV is strictly comparable.

Tuesday, July 06, 1999 #2607
Where could I find in Internet the collection of best media planning cases or cases for media awards?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, July 06, 1999 ):
The Guru does not think there is such a collection. Bits and pieces may be on trade publication sites, like Ad Age or MediaWeek.

Monday, May 31, 1999 #2548
How do you determine reach and frequency for a site?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 31, 1999 ):
Reach is the number of different people exposed to a message or media vehicle and Frequency is the average number of times the person reached is exposed in the stated period. On the web, unique visitors is the term used for "different people," and the period of time usually considered for average frequency is one month.

If your site has server log analysis software, like HitList , for example, it can tell you the number of unique vistors per month, and also the total number of page impressions served. Monthly page impressions, divided by unique visitors = Frequency .

Also, syndicated, user-centric, web ratings services like MediaMetrix report on these audiences independently. Hoever, only the top few sites, less than1% of all sites, are big enough to be reported.

Traditional media planners are used to expressing reach as a percentage of a target audience. However, for most sites, this percentage would be vanishingly small. Only the top few sites among MediaMetrix's sites reach even 1% of active web users: the 50th ranked of the 15,000 they measure reaches about 3 million unique vistors. This would be about 3% of the perhaps 100 million people on-line in the U.S. and Canada.

Thursday, May 27, 1999 #2537
I am new to the media arean and was curious if you had a basic outline for a media plan? Any kind of start would be helpful. Thanks a bunch!!!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, May 27, 1999 ):
See the Guru's Parts of a media plan

Tuesday, May 11, 1999 #2503
We will be hiring a number of new media planning and buying positions at our company, and we want to offer competitive packages -ARE there any resources I can check to get information on competitive salaries for media planning and buying positions, by years of experience,job title, company type, etc? Along the same lines, any information on health or other benfits that can be expected based on compnay type, position, etc? THanks in Advance

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 16, 1999 ):
The executive search firms who recruit such people are best informed on this. But, it seems you don't intend to use these firms. The next best option would be a careful analysis of classified ads in your marketplace, including the national trade publications

Monday, May 10, 1999 #2499
How do you calculate reach "in-market", and are you to combine that with the national numbers? How is this done? Thanks. We are trying to show total "in-market" delivery. Also, back to the average 4 week dilemma, is it only relevant when looking at sustaining levels of a continuity plan? Or would you show average four week even in a launch, retail, or promotional type heavy-up situation? Thanks as always.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 10, 1999 ):
Suppose you had national media with a reach of 40% and a local media plan delivering 50%.

You would combine the national reach of 40% with the local 50%. If you care to go the extra step, you could analyze local variation in delivery of the national plan and adjust the local delivery of the national media before combining with the local. Or if you run only national media you can look at the locally delivered weight to caculate the in-market reach resulting from national media, as if it were local spot media.

Four weeks is a traditional standard measurement period. This standard goes back to the days of the dominance of monthly magazines as an advertising medium. There are numerous ways this rule of thumb is used. Some look at "4-weeks-when-in" and examine four weeks worth of average activity no matter ho many active weeks a plan has. This focuses on the rate of advertising rather than the quantity. Other focus on cume of whatever number of weeks. One has to make a judgement of what tells the story best. The judgement can be made differently when you are comparing possible plans and when you are trying to quantify potential effects on awareness, sales, etc.

Friday, May 07, 1999 #2494
Do you have an example of a media plan available? I have to produce one, and I am not sure how the format is. I checked your site "parts of a media plan", which is very helpful. However, I would like to see a "real one" to get an idea how the layout and format looks like. If you don't have one available, maybe you know a webpage where I can find one. Thanks Birgit

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, May 07, 1999 ):
The Guru is planning to archive some media plans, but hasn't yet. He doesn't know of any on-line, but styles are infinite. Almost anything that clearly provides the "parts of a media plan," typically accompanied by a media "flow chart" is acceptable.

Friday, April 30, 1999 #2481
Is there any way to calculate duplication across a media plan using several media (e.g. print and radio and TV), or can I only get a duplication analysis within a media (radio duplicaton and then another duplication factor for print, etc , etc) I use telmar for research with simmons and arbitron access and we also use JDS for buys.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, April 30, 1999 ):
The standard assumption in media planning is that duplication between different media is purely at random. Therefore, the random probability formula is used:
  • Express the reach of each medium as a decimal (50% reach = 0.5)
  • Multiply the reach of one medium by another to determine the duplication.
  • Subtract the duplication from the sum of the two reaches to get the net reach

So, if you have a 40% reach in TV and a 55% reach in Print, multiply
0.4 x 0.55 to get 0.22
subtract 0.22 from 0.4+.55 and get 0.73 or
73% reach of the combined media.

There are a variety of ways to do the calculation. The Guru actually prefers to use the probablilty of not seeing each medium (reach as a decimal subtracted from 1.0) When these are multiplied they give the net probability of not seeing any of the media. When this result is subtracted from 1, the final result is net reach. This style is particulary useful for combining several media at once.The example would combine this way:

  • 1-0.4 = 0.6
  • 1-0.55 = 0.45
  • 0.6 x 0.45 = 0.27
  • 1-0.27 = 0.73 or

    73% reach.

Telmar's "Media Mix" program uses these assumptions.

Monday, April 26, 1999 #2472
Dear Guru, Over the one year that I have been following the queries and discussions on this web sites, what strikes me is that while discussing a media plan,there is no mention of involvement as a factor when the consumer is watching television. Do media planners not take into account the involvement levels of the audiences while planning ? Why is it that we talk of Reach/Frequencies etc and not about Involvement? Are there any publicly available studies on the same ? If not, is it legitimate to assume that agencies.. 1. Do not look at Involvement while planning 2. If they do, they do so based on certain assumptions and not on hard data. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, April 26, 1999 ):
In the early '80's, a service called TAA (Target Audience Assessment?) offered audience involvment ratings. The service didn't last long.

Long before that and since then, factors like audience attentiveness have been used to judgementally adjust media audiences in media planning.

The new "Optimizers" allow easy overlaying of these factors and other involvement indicators like audience loyalty, in planning and buying.

However, the Guru imagines that more plans (though perhaps not more money) ignore these factors than use them. They are abstractions of unproven value in judging the sales power of media.

The most likely publicly available source of such data would be Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

AMIC's Rates, Dates and Data area provides some of these attentivenss factors.

Monday, April 26, 1999 #2471
Is it possible to know that which particular segment is using the internet most-- age wise, profession ,sex etc? Which are the means to find out those things and is there any software available to know the hits for a particular site ?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, April 26, 1999 ):
  1. MediaMetrix and Nielsen-NetRatings provide this sort of user demographic information, for a price.
  2. Software to count the hits of a site is readily available. If you want to count your own site, Marketwave is one provider. If you mean software to count hists on other sites, no, you would need to subscribe to a service which provides that information, like those mentioned above.

Please also avoid using the term "hits" which refers to server log entries and might count a dozen or more file items as "hits" in loading a single page of a site. Page loads equates to media impressions which is most likely to be useful in media planning.

Sunday, April 25, 1999 #2470
Do you know of a good book detailing the process in developing the media plan. I am beginning a job as an asst media planner soon and would like to get a better knowledge of what a REALISTIC plan looks like and what goes into creating one. I am already familiar with the basic terms, etc and would like a book that not only describes what terms mean, but how to actually develop the media plan. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, April 26, 1999 ):
You can review the titles offered in the AMIC Bookstore (in association with The Guru does not believe that any text book gives a "realistic" plan. They are all reather idealized and don't reflect what one is exposed to in real world work situations.

Saturday, April 24, 1999 #2466
What is the most succesful media plan for launching new product on a very competitive market?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, April 24, 1999 ):
This question is so broad it's silly. So here is the answer it merits:

The most succesful media plan for launching new product in a very competitive market is the one with the biggest budget.

Tuesday, April 20, 1999 #2459
I am working on my thesis progect and gathering the information about internet bookselling. I was wondering if there is any way I can get the actual media plans of those booksellers. Would you tell me where I can get those info.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 22, 1999 ):
Don't you imagine these would be considered trade secrets? One of the first things you will learn when you enter the real world is that information about advertising is treated as highly confidential.

Competitive spending tracking services, like CMR (Competitive Media Reports) can report media choices an advertiser has made, but that is far form seeing the whole picture of a media plan. Especially on the internet, many media investments will be below the "radar" of tracking services.

Also, particularly for the booksellers, transactional deals are prevalent and distort the picture. That is, sites have banners and links to booksellers and are compensated when a visitor sent by the link on the site makes a purchase from the bookseller.

There has been extensive trade media coverage of these deals for years.

Tuesday, April 20, 1999 #2458
Dear Guru, I was wondering, if you could give a source where I can find media terminology or the frequent variables that are used. This could also be a book. Thanks in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, April 20, 1999 ):
Visit the media planning area of the AMIC Bookstore (in association with And look at the Guru's the Guru's Parts of a media plan.

Friday, April 16, 1999 #2454
What would you say are the three keys to determing timing and selecting geography, when developing a media plan?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, April 16, 1999 ):
  • Seasonality: Is there a time when the product is more likly to sell?
  • Is the purchase cycle of the product such that low level continuity is more likly to deliver the exposure closes to purchase decision?
  • Determine the level of media weight needed to be effective, however you have defined effective.
  • Rank markets by opportunity to sell -- this can be merely size or based on development index, efficiency indexed to size, etc.
Build up the coverage area geography from the top of your opportunity list down, as far as you can afford the media weight you have set, within the timing you have set.

Thursday, April 08, 1999 #2434
My client was told from a previous agency that 100 points a week is a standard guideline for television advertising, for sustaining levels. I know there are tons of factors that would really go into developing point levels, but other than showing r/f and eff 3+ numbers is there any way to source this or provide rationale? The client is looking for it. Thanks as always.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 08, 1999 ):
As a regular correspondent of the Guru's you certainly knew that an agency saying 100 GRP / week is "standard" is a sign of ignorance, at best, and you've come to the Guru for help in debunking this nonsense.

Looking at the 4 week reach of 100 GRP / week might show a 100% variation in reach, frequency or reach at 3+ based on daypart choice, for Adult 18-49. So ignoring whether daytime or prime is used is foolish. Will 50 GRP/week of Prime do the same communication job as 100/week in day?

When GRPs are seen as just weight, with no consideration of programming content, reach potential, frequency, etc, one suspects media planners have not even gotten into the game.

Factors such as how high is the introductory weight, how high is the competitors' weight how long are flights vs hiatuses, should all influence a choice of sustaining weight.

The simplest way to rationalize for your client is to show how different the reach and frequency of 100/week can be and what the competition

Friday, April 02, 1999 #2427
My AE has asked me to determine how much of the clients budget should be allocated to media spending. I believe this should be the AE's decision. How can I determine what should be spent on media and/or how can I help the AE to decide? GRP's

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, April 02, 1999 ):
If you've been given communication goals, like "100 GRP per week for 26 weeks", or "60 reach at 3+ frequency when in, for 26 weeks of activity" then it is fair to ask you to determine a budget, but the Guru imagines your AE's question has been asked in total information vacuum.

You're quite right then, that this is a decision that should be made before media planning comes into play.

Regardless of who makes the decision, considerations must first allocate budget to PR vs Promotion vs Advertising, in the broadest strokes.

Within advertising there's production vs research vs media.

You need to ask for the client's overall marketing plan, as your AE should have, if it wasn't the AE's responsibilty to create one from client information.

Of course, you can look at this as an opportunity to demonstrate that you can do the AE's job, since you've been asked to.

Sunday, March 14, 1999 #2389
I am going to begin a carrer in media planning and buying. could you tell me names of some sites where i could get basic information about these areas.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 14, 1999 ):
Many sites have "news" about media issues. Aside from some Unversity sites like U. Texas Austin's AdMedium, basic "how-to" and "what-is-it?" information about planning and buying is most likely to be found here at AMIC , especially within the Guru's area.

Thursday, March 11, 1999 #2385
Will you explain to me how one ad size is better or worse than another? For example: 1/4 pg bw @ $830 with a $36.09 CPM - vs 1/8 pg bw @ $520 with a $22.61 CPM (within the same publication). I am working on a mediaplan and I am not certain which one would benefit my client more and/or how to justify it. Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, March 12, 1999 ):
It is very straightforward to compare cost or cpm of two ad units. Creatives usually like a bigger ad (and will judge executions from across the room).

The question for a media planner is "if ½ page costs 60% more than ¼" does the larger ad give 60% better results?

"Results" might mean sales, copy recall, awareness or many things. And the percentage differential in question is key. Rarely if ever does a spread do twice as well as a page, though it cost twice as much. Cost must be balanced against impact. One of the common research bases of results comparisons, when past sales results are not an available standard, is Starch .

Saturday, March 06, 1999 #2375
Regarding internet terms used, do you know what a "bot", "passport", "wallet", or "aggregators" are? I checked your on'line terminology page and they were not listed. Also, do you know what ADSL and DSL transmission is (not to mention what is the difference.) Thanks much.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 06, 1999 ):
It is interesting to the Guru that, in the context of the internet, media people are discussing technical terms that have no more to do with the media elements than an understanding of ink chemistry or printing press machinery has to do with print media planning. Of all the terms you mention, only "Aggregator" really relates to media, but the Guru will take a crack at all of them.
  • An aggregator is a web media rep firm who sells across networks of sites, like DoubleClick or 24/7 Media.
  • Bot is short for robot, a search engine tool that explores the web cataloging sites; it's similar to "spider," or "crawler." Bots perform specific searches, such as those one requests on "where-to-buy-it" search sites.
  • Wallet is a piece of software that holds your credit card and password data for automated use with your browser.
  • DSL is digital subscriber line, a phone line which delivers greater speed or bandwidth to an internet user. Just "DSL" usually means the same as the older term "ISDN." According to the very informative site, ASDL Forum, ADSL is Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line: Modems attached to twisted pair copper wiring that transmit from 1.5 Mbps to 9 Mbps downstream (to the subscriber) and from 16 kbps to 800 kbps upstream, depending on line distance. Compare this to the so called 56 Kbps modems which are the fastest possible with standard phone lines. The 1.5 - 9 Mbps downstream speed is similar to cable modem and T1, although the ADSL upstream is much slower, as noted. The family of fast DSL's including ADSL is referred to as "xDSL."
  • Finally, the term least familiar to the guru is passport, but at a guess it refers to general, paid-by-credit card passwords, that give admimssion to many sites, most commmonly used for "Adult content" sites to prove the user is old enough.

Tuesday, March 02, 1999 #2365
I am looking for a seminar/course/program which teaches "internet/web/on-line media planning & buying." Please e-mail me at your earliest convenience: Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, March 03, 1999 ):
The Media Buying Academy is one of several traveling media schools which might include a course in internet media. There are others, as well. And watch the trade press, like MediaWeek and Ad Age for announcements of workshops.

The Guru doesn't believe one can really learn effective internet buying and planning without a basic understanding of general media planning.

Tuesday, February 23, 1999 #2354
I am a student working on a media plan for a new product in the fast food industry. The restaurant is well established and my target is 18-34 males. I am in the Lexington, KY market and wondering what would be a good reach estimate.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 25, 1999 ):
This question lacks most of the necessary information. First, the Guru must assume that you want to know what would be a suitable reach Goal. Establishing communication goals in a scenario like the one you describe will depend mostly on the competitive climate: what levels are being acheived by the other advertisers seeking the same target for similar products?

At times the standard can be based upon levels that the same advertiser has found to be successful in prior launches, but that too should depend on judging whether the competitive climate this launch faces is comparable to what was faced by the prior successful launch.

Thursday, February 18, 1999 #2347
As a buyer I have always been given the necessary information needed to put together a buy. I am currently in a new position, and I am being asked to provide information that I've never concerned myself with before, or gotten involved with the how's or why's of the decision. I'm in dire need of help. Here goes: I have been asked to determine the number of GRP's that should be used in a proposal for a new client. I have not received any budget information. The schedule will run 6-8 months, my demo is A 25-35 and the GRP's should be spiked during the 1st & final week of each month. Also, I am to include TV, Cable, and Radio. My question is: Do I simply request avails from the various TV & radio and cable stations within the market, put together a proposed schedule based on the avail information I receive, and add up the number of GRP's accordingly? HELP!!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 18, 1999 ):
Congratulations, today you are a media planner. But apparently you are working with people lacking professional advertising experience or perhaps a retail client.

You either need some marketing goals input or you need to suggest some goals and get agreement before proceeding. You have been presented with a question equivalent to "how many pounds of nails are needed to build a building?"

You need to know how big a building, what materials it will be made of, how many nails in a pound, to what use will it be put and how big must it be?

To recommend schedule weights you need either a budget or a communications goal to deliver. In media / marketing terms you need to establish -- whether you are given direction or someone accepts your suggestions:

  • What has priority: Reach or frequency?
  • is there a minimum reach or effective reach to attain; per week, in four weeks, or in total?
  • To help answer those questions, if no simple answer is available, you might ask is it a new or established product or service?
  • What levels are used by the competition, if any?
  • Are there any specific product awareness, ad awareness or sales volume goals?
  • (In planning advertising, assume everything is a result of advertising: there is no awareness among people not reached; there are no sales to people who are not aware of the product.)

Knowing all this, you could examine reach frequency and continuity impact of various levels and combinations of your media choices. In other words, you somehow need to establish what must be accomplished by the GRPs, before you can decide how many to use.

It is puzzling, in this great information vacuum, that someone has decided to "spike" certain weeks. Apparently there is some information around which you haven't yet been given.

Wednesday, February 17, 1999 #2346
Could you please provide the basics on how to read a crosstab? Also, the definitions of the terms %col, row, composition, coverage, index - what do all of these mean? This would be very help to folks who are new to media planning and research, so that they could explain crosstab results to others. Thank you!

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 17, 1999 ):
Crosstabs, those typical computer analyses of data from MRI, Simmons, The Mendelsohn Media Research Affluent Study and other respondent databases, are an essential tool of media planning, used for target selection, media selection, etc.

Here is a section of a typical "crosstab," taken from The Mendelsohn Media Research Affluent Study Reflecting Households with Income of $70,000 plus . It concerns Cosmetics users, persons who visited the Caribbean and Vodka drinkers:

To the left, first the description of each row appears. The top "row," which consists of five lines of data, describes the total population. The next "row" of five lines of data describes readers of Money Magazine, etc.

The next sets of text to the right describe the data content of each of the five lines making up the data rows. "Projection" is the total number of persons the research estimates to be in each category (in thousands, in the total adult universe, which is specified at the top left of the table. This is sometimes labeled "[000]"). Often the term "Audience" appears instead of Projection, especially, though not exclusively, when magazine audience is being analyzed).

The column headings, such as "Total," "Cosmetics," " Drink Vodkas" etc, describe the data in the columns below each heading.

So, at the #1 mark, we learn that 24,855,000 Total affluent adults used Cosmetics in the past year.

At the #2 mark, we see that the number of respondents (persons in the sample) whose educational level is college graduate or better and who use Cosmetics is 3469. In other words, the overall study found 3467 members of its sample who fit both descriptions as to education and cosmetics use. It is important to note this is a whole number and not in thousands. The number 12295 above this indicates that, from this sample, the study projects there are 12,295,000 college (or better) educated cosmetics users.

At the #3 mark we see 12.4 on the %Column line. This means that 12.4% of the column definition (Vodka Drinkers) also fit the row description (Money Magazine readers), that is, 12.4% of Vodka Drinkers read Money. Another way we refer to this is to say that Money's coverage of Vodka Drinkers is 12.4%

At the #4 mark, "%Row" is 16.0, so we learn that 16.0% of the Row definiton (Money readers) drink Vodka. Or, we can say that Money's Vodka Drinker composition is 16.0%

Finally, at the #5 mark, we have an index of 131.3. This is also called "index of selectivity," indicating how much more likely, as compared to the average affluent adult, the persons in the row are to also be in the column. (Traditionally indices are used with no decimal places, so, in application, one would refer to this in future use as a "131 index.")
In this case, the index tells us that a person in a Household which has $100,000 or higher income is 31.3% more likely to have taken a Caribbean trip than the average affluent adult. The index can be calculated either dividing the %Column under Caribbean visit by the %Column under total:
in the Caribbean visit column, dividing the %Row in HHI $100,000+ by the %Row in the "Total" row:

Tuesday, February 16, 1999 #2339
As a media planner wanting to integrate ambient media into a campaign, where can I find information about the various ambient media contractors in the UK and international?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 17, 1999 ):
The Guru does not believe the term "Ambient Advertising" has become common industry usage as yet. A Yahoo "advanced search" for "outdoor advertising UK" will return web sites of several vendors of the sort you are seeking.

Monday, February 15, 1999 #2334
what are the various measurement techniques for ourdoor media?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 15, 1999 ):
Outdoor is measured by counting traffic passing the location and applying factors for the age/gender of those passing and an average number per vehicle.

Harris Media Systems offers software for outdoor media planning.

Sunday, February 14, 1999 #2331
How can i measure and incorporate the effectiveness of outdoor mediai(hoarding,transit etc)in a conventional media plan?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 15, 1999 ):
Do you actually incorporate the "effectivenss" of other media in your plans?

Outdoor is measured, and you should be buying outdoor by audience size as you do other media. 30-sheet and 8-sheet outdoor, for example, sell in "showings." The current standards of "Showings" call for expressing showing in GRP-per-day. In other words, a "50 showing" of outdoor means that the locations you buy have a combined "daily effective circulation (DEC)" -- or number of daily impressions -- equal to 50% of the population.

Some people may discount the passive, short copy outdoor medium by a certain percentage, say 50%, when combining with or comparing to other media such as broadcast and page-dominant print.

Saturday, February 13, 1999 #2330
What are the various media planning software available on the net

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 15, 1999 ):
If you mean free media planning software which can be used on the net, there is very little, perhaps only the Telmar Flighting Calculator and University of Texas at Austin's "AdMedium" which requires the planner to supply all data. There are details regarding professional media software, which is not free at such sites as Telmar.

Thursday, January 28, 1999 #2296
Guru, I need to do research and media planning to target VERY BUSY upscale professionals in urban areas. (Men 25-45, HHI $75K+). Beside the usual methods, do you have any bright strategies/ideas for how to identify and reach very busy people? Really the busy lifestyle is what differentiates this target audience. Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 04, 1999 ):
Assuming you mean people who are busy with more than just their jobs, think whether their other demands have some common ground. Do they research investments? Do they go to the gym? Something in your definition of "very busy" ought to suggest media or locations where adverting might reach these folks.

Thursday, January 28, 1999 #2293
While trying to decide the future potential of DTH as a medium/entertainment option, I came across this view that the USP of DTH being the abundance of choice it offers to the consumer, it will face obsolescence at the hands of cable-delivered internet/web TV. How likely do you think this is? What are the possible ways in which DTH can hold its own ?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 04, 1999 ):
There is another important DTH advantage: it can reach homes not "passed" by cable, though these are relatively few.

True, cable should soon be able to deliver as many choices as satellite, making the competition essentially price-based. A big disadvantage to satellite is the failure of the systems which the Guru has seen to offer any savings for connecting additional sets in the home, while cable typically discounts added hook-ups.

Adding commercial-free channels might help DTH penetration, but that doesn't help the media planner.

Tuesday, January 26, 1999 #2290
Hi Guru! I have a new advertising venue I'd like to jump-start (March air date)and looking for suggestions. I have 1 minute spots available on a major airline in-flight programming for International flights only featuring "The Best of the Web". Looking for a few quick sponsors to jump start this. As an alternative to having our salesperson call all over the place, because of the near term of the air date, I'm looking for the best direct way to expose the inflight venue.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, January 26, 1999 ):
The answer will have to be advertising, of course. To reach media decision makers quickly, one option would be a web site devoted to media professionals, like AMIC. Otherwise, if you have a list of potential advertisers (in-flight magazine advertisers, perhaps?) and their agencies and can get e-mail addresses of the relevant media people, that would be a quick approach, but might get a negative reaction as "Spam."

Since you have ruled out telemarketing, the only other option would seem to be the advertising news section of newspapers in major ad markets like NY, LA, Chicago, Atlanta, etc., or the weekly ad trade press like Advertising Age and AdWeek. Of course, these last few are less focused on media planners and buyers.

Monday, January 25, 1999 #2288
Under the new measurement system in India, we do not get Ratings. We get TVRs (about which I mailed you earlier) which are not equal to reach . To find reach, I have to do a separate analysis.

My original query was that why is TVR being used at all in the first phase. What advantage does a TVR have over the Ratings that it has replaced as a system of measurement ?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, January 25, 1999 ):
What you call "TVR," a time specific audience, is equivalent to the U.S. term "Rating."

What you call "Rating" is equivalent to a little-used U.S. term, "Total Audience Rating, or the accumulated net audience over the duration of a program episode, or the "Reach" of that episode.

The advantage of TVR is that it gives an audience that relates to the commercial aired in the time period. U.S. reach systems are keyed to working from TVR style commercial audiences.

The total audience of a program (your "Rating") does not relate to commercials' audience, which is what a media planner is focused on.

Except in the (rare) case of full program sponsorship, the Guru sees little use to a media planner in what you term "Rating."

Friday, January 22, 1999 #2285
Dear Guru, This is a bit of a theoritical problem.I am currently working on a shaving cream brand which has been on decline for a few years now. Currently it has a market share of 3.9% and is ranked 7th.The markets where it is doing relatively better are actually the smallest markets, but here too, it is not better than 5th on market shares. It has a media budget which is about 1/5th of the biggest spender, which incidentally is not the market leader. My dilemma is - in the given scenario, for a relaunch, where should media focus be - on the overall smaller markets but where the brand is but marginally stronger or on the bigger markets for the category, where a greater potential lies ? The distribution strength is the same in all markets and no directions have been provided by the marketing team on priority markets. Thank you Guru. My name is Abu Huzaifa and i am media planner in Bombay, India.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 22, 1999 ):
Firstly, these are really marketing issues, not media issues, but to try to look at it from a purely media perspective, consider:

Think beyond the "bigger opportunity of the larger markets," because the impact you can deliver in a market is important. In other words, do you get more consumer response to 100 GRPs against 2 million people or 200 GRPs against 1 million people?

For example:

1. Assume that every impression delivered, no matter the market size, has the same potential to generate sales and / or share growth - where will your budget buy the greatest number of impressions?

2. Assume that the ability of the impressions to generate sales growth is influenced by current share of market. Estimate the value of this effect, plus or minus. Apply this weighting to the impressions you can buy and recalculate sales potential, according to paragraph 1.

3. Or assume that every exposure after the third one (or a level of your choosing) is some degree more effective. How many "effective impressions" can you deliver to each market set?

Sunday, January 10, 1999 #2257
Dear Guru. I am a media planner in India. Need some information on latest effective frequency models. The Ostrow model as described in the Scissors and Bumba is the only one I have seen. Are there any other models developed? Also it would nice if you could pass on some info on recency planning theory.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, January 11, 1999 ):
The Advertising Research Foundation library would be the best source for alternative models.

The Guru has often discussed recency. Click here to see past guru responses on recency planning

Thursday, January 07, 1999 #2251
Hi there I am a media planner from India and would like to clarify the method of calculating BDI & CDI for a country like ours where population dispersion is not uniform across the SocioEconomic Class (the parameter used for setting the target audience. Iit is a cross tab of education and profession of the chief wage earner of the household) in different markets In such a situation is it advisable to use the total population of the country rather than Target Group Population. Sissors and Bumba advise using the Total Population but i guess thats more applicable to developed countries where TG dispersions are uniform Thanks a lot

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 07, 1999 ):
The concept of BDI and CDI is based on different sales rates (units or Dollars of sales ratio to units of population) within specific marketing regions.

Logically, the same demographic should be used locally and nationally. If each person in demographic "X" consumes 10 units of "y" nationally, than the national rate is Y ÷ X.

In each market, the demographic population is also compared to consumption and a similar ratio calculated. Then the market's ratio ÷ the national ratio becomes the BDI or CDI, depending on whether Brand or Category data, respectively, was used. If the total national population is the base but you use the target pop. in markets, then each market's CDI is inflated by the same percentage. That is, if the target was selected because its members, nationally, have a 150 index of consumption of the product, then each market's BDI would be inflated by 50% if the National population was used as the BDI base.

On the other hand, there may be not difference in effect, because in either case, whatever the national base used, the realtionship between markets will be the same.

However, since it is really sales, not people with which you are dealing, it is cleaner to use total, not target population in each case. Otherwise you assume that in every market, target members consume the same, which obviates the BDI excercise. Suppose someone other than the target is a major consumer in some geographic are, why mask that in planning market allocation? After all the whole idea of BDI/CDI is based on the concept that a product's consumers are not evenly distributed demographically, even in countries where some demographics may be.

Tuesday, December 29, 1998 #2239
Dear Guru, How can i work for any US/UK-ad agenicies just through the net? and also please tell me the way to get the experience ( design the ads and making of the media plan} so that my work will be properly acknowledge and honoured.For more details-- i`m pussuing my MBA course in Pune(INDIA) and also worked in AD Agency (member of IP GROUP).

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, December 29, 1998 ):
This does not seem like a realistic plan. Why should an agency in the U.S. or U.K. want to take on the trouble of of working with an inexperienced person in a distant time zone? What do you offer that is not available to them locally, in person, in synch with their work hours and possibly with more experience? It is hard enough to work remotely, but training remotely is all the more difficult.

Also it is rare, if it occurs at all, for an agency person to work on creative as well as media at the same time.

The only possibility the Guru sees if you can find an agency, with no Indian office, that specifically needs an agent to plan/pace media in India or copy written in an Indian language in which you have native fluency.

Tuesday, December 22, 1998 #2233
Dearest Guru, I am in desperate need of your help. I have a hotel client that would like both a Corporate anylysis & indivdual property anylysis based on what was spent last year. I need to calculate total impressions by business unit (there are 4 units) & also what the cost per impressions were. This is where it gets tricky, can I calculate this information without last years media plans? I am new here and the person before me kept, shall we say, no records of last year's activity. If I can get total dollar's spent by business unit for 98' how can I calculate the above impressions? (ie: last year's circulation per publication / by total cost per media buy) Please help!

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, December 22, 1998 ):
If the plan was all print, and you know the spending per title and the magazines' actual rates charged as well as the creative units used, you will be able to do your figuring. But. . .

this means you are using circulation for impressions while audience would tell a fuller story.

Someone in your financial area should have the bills for the schedule, which would tell you the number of insertions and eliminate all that calculation with questionable spending and rates.

Better yet, be a real media pro and contact the salesmen at the magazines to give you the impressions anaslysis you need, they'll probably be delighted to introduce themselves to the new media person this way.

Sunday, December 20, 1998 #2227
Dear guru, i am a student of media planning and am currently pursuing my thesis on recency planning and its applicability in India. what are the sites on the net which give information on recency planning? how can i access various studies done on this subject?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, December 21, 1998 ):
There is considerable information here on AMIC . Use the search function in the Media Guru archives or in the Ad Talk and Chats area, where the Mediaplanning and Awards Papers list have all discussed recency extensively.

The Advertising Research Foundation also has all the published material.

Sunday, December 20, 1998 #2226
Dear Guru, which one is the best thing to do for a begginner in ad field-- to do a job in big agency or to take the experience in small agency first before switching to a good one?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 20, 1998 ):
If you are interested in a specialist job, like media planning or buying, the training will be better in a big agency. If you want to learn the big picture of advertising as a whole, the opportunities are better at a small agency.

Please keep in mind that "big" does not necessarily equate to "good."

Monday, December 14, 1998 #2221
What is the value of adding TV to an all-print media plan?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 20, 1998 ):
Adding any medium to a single medium plan will add reach and equalize distribution of impressions among those reached.

TV of course has sound and motion to allow different kinds of messages.

For advantages of different media, see the Guru's "Advertising Media Strengths".

Monday, December 14, 1998 #2219
Dear Guru, How would you define the role of a media buyer? And what would you say are their principal tools and techniques?

Have you any suggestions as to where I can obtain information on media buying from a complete novice angle? How closely are media planners and buyers related if at all?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, December 19, 1998 ):
Generally, a media buyer's role is to negotiate the purchase of broadcast time or print space in accordance with the goals established in the media plan. More often, people with the buyer's job are broadcast specialists and print is often negotiated by the planners. There are more and more print specialists. This differs from country to country and according to agency size. Smaller agencies in the U.S., for example, often use planner / buyers.

Tools are the research to evaluate the value and appropriateness to fulfilling goals of the media possibilities. The techniques use various calculations and evaluative processes to compare media and negotiating techniques applicable to any form of negotiation.

The media planner's job is to determine which media will meet the advertising goals of an advertiser, within stated marketing and creative parameters. This means selecting media, designating vehicles within the media, determining levels of media to use and timing.

For the basics, try one of the media planning texts from Amazon .com in the AMIC Bookstore.

Friday, December 04, 1998 #2199
Dear Guru, From your point of view, what would be the principal reasons why media planners would prefer to use one media rather than another? Taking into consideration TV, Radio, Press, Outdoor, Direct Mail, Cinema etc. What would you consider as being the attraction of each to the media planner? Many thanks for your help

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, December 04, 1998 ):
The Guru hopes that professional planners are looking at these media for their contribution to achieving the objectives and strategies of the advertiser, not for individual appeal to the planner.

Sometimes a product needs a visual medium to illustrate product benefits or shelf appearance. Other times a better known or less differentiated product benefits most from the frequency of radio.

Please visit the Guru's Media Strengths page.

Wednesday, December 02, 1998 #2194
Dear Guru, can you name any media analysis tools and media predictive tools that media planners use on a regular basis without being too technical, of course. Many thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, December 03, 1998 ):
Here are several:

  • Reach: the number of different target households or persons exposed to a campaign (most often expressed as a percentage of the target universe, and most often calculated over a 4-week period).
  • Frequency: The average number of exposures of the campaign to those reached.
  • Gross Rating Points (GRP) / Target Rating Points(TRP): Essentially interchangeable terms for the sum of the audiences of all the ad units in the campaign, expressed as a percentage of the target universe.
  • Gross Impressions: Same audience count as GRP/TRP but expressed in whole numbers rather than percents.
  • CPP / Cost per GRP and CPM / Cost per thousand impressions: should be self evident from the previous. These are referred to as the "efficiency."
  • Effective reach: Those in the "Reach" who experienced a specified minimum number of exposures (effective frequency)

All the above stem from the audience research tools and investment figures. So called "reach and frequency" systems typically generate all these figures.

Other tools, especially in print media are also occasionally used. These may include "time spent with" media vehicles, "page openings", attentiveness, etc.

Wednesday, December 02, 1998 #2193
Dear Guru! We were asked to prepare a presentation for one of our clients about media planning, since he works with several agencies and wants to concentrate the media planning in one of the agencies' hands. I visited the "parts of a media plan" which I found very helpful. Do you have some other tips? Specifically, we were asked to present a formula for a benchmark acocrding to we recommend to define what reach is needed for a campaign. Basically, we define it according to various factors such as competitors' share of voice, share of market goals etc. but we don't know any formula. We should be grateful if you supply any guidelined in this matter.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 02, 1998 ):
You just need to formularize the thinking you are already doing.

For example, you could say that your formula to set reach for a campaign to equal competitor's share is:

Competitor's Reach times an index calculated by comparing the goal share to your current share. (i.e. to increase share 25%, exceed competitor's reach by 25%).

The Guru is not recommneding this particular formula, just illustrating how to turn philosophy into something apparently quantifiable.

Another approach is to build a matrix of your factors and set a 5 point scale for each; for example competitor's share: 0 point if it's equal to yours 1 point if it's 10% better, 5 points if it's 50% better, etc. Suppose you have 8 factors based on the sort of considerations you mentioned. Suppose further that you set a minumum for all campaigns of 50 reach (reaching the majority of the target). Now add a reach point for every point in the matrix. You have a maximum of 40 added points (90 reach), and an apparently highly logical "formula" for getting there.

The cleverness will be in setting up each 5 point scale. Or perhaps youy will have fewer factore and more possible point on each scale.

Monday, November 30, 1998 #2188
This is more of an office etiqette question but maybe you can help me out. My media planner is not dressing appropriately for the office. What is the politically correct way to tell her to dress more professionally? This really applies to her hair. Thanks Guru.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, December 01, 1998 ):
This is certainly not a media question, but . . .

If you just have a personal objection to her hair style, you probably should ignore it. If the hair style is inherently disruptive or offensive to clients and vendors, to whom she is visible, then you should point out that particular aspect of the problem. There should be a written office policy about dress and grooming which is generally distributed and the hair issue discussed in the context of the policy, rather than taste.

Monday, November 30, 1998 #2181
Can you tell me the origins of media planning in the UK? i.e How and when it began, who instigated it etc.? Many thanks in advance

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 30, 1998 ):
Surely the answer is lost to antiquity. media planning is not an invention it's a process which has been somewhat formalized.

Advertising in the media, (i.e. newspapers) has existed for hundreds of years. At some early time in this history, no doubt as soon as there was more than one medium to consider, advertising agents began to think that deciding on ad placement was a process worthy of some time. As choices expanded and agencies grew, specialists in this field arose.

Monday, November 30, 1998 #2180
Dear Guru, can you tell me about the tools and techniques that media planners use? or failing that, where can I get hold of information on the above? Thanks for your help

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 30, 1998 ):
This is the contents of an entire university course or two, or perhaps the learning of a year or two's work.

For some idea, see the Guru's Parts of a media plan.

Friday, November 27, 1998 #2177
Dear Guru, I am about to begin a market profile on media planning in the UK. I've got hold of some books on advertising, but there appears to be a close synergy between account planning and media buying in the books I have. What actually is the difference in the specs of the two roles, is there a very fine line or just differing titles for essentially the same job? Many thanks in advance for your assistance.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 27, 1998 ):
An account planner is not a media planner, but is the liaison between media and the other key strategic disciplines, of research and account/marketing management. The responsibility is to assure that media planning, creative, etc. are all working from the same understanding of the consumer.

Media buying is an executional responsibility which is a partial fulfillment of the strategic process.

Monday, November 23, 1998 #2170
Dear Guru! Since there are several media planning softwares in the market I wanted to ask: are there any guidelines for measuring the gap between the prediction and the actual results. What I mean is: Is there a "normal" gap, for example: 20% gap between the predicted reach\Grps (pre campaign)to the results (post campaign). Thank you!Irene Kol.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 23, 1998 ):
This is a two part question:

1- The "gap" in GRPs will not be due to the software, it is based on your buyers' estimating ability and the accuracy of post analysis as well as the reliability of your audience research.

2- Since reach is derived from models based on averages, there can be variance. Variance will also depend on the medium you are considering and how it is measured.

For example, if your magazine audience research is conducted once a year when you plan a quarter's campaaign of 1 insertion in each of 5 magazines and then buy exactly that, how will you ever know if the reach was different than you planned?

On the other hand, suppose you plan radio based on a specific number of GRP on a specific number of stations, in a specific daypart mix, and you buy exactly that. How would you judge that the reach goal wasn't met, unless the buy did not deliver as planned, whether because of poor estimating, station failing to schedule properly or a new ratings book?

In no case are you dealing with the accuracy of the planning software.

Many agencies and clients agree to a +/- 10% range in delivery of broadcast GRPs. Other standards are often agreed as well.

Saturday, November 21, 1998 #2168
I am looking for an example of a marketing plan, especially one that a non-profit organization might use.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, November 21, 1998 ):
The Guru is building a media plan and research library, but it will probably not include marketing plans. You should try asking our non-profit organization marketing discussion list, To subscribe, send an email to The message should only say
subscribe org-marketing
A return email will confirm your subscription and explain how to ask your question. There is a link to the archive of previous org-marketing discussion on AMIC's Ad Talk and Chats page.

Friday, November 20, 1998 #2166
I am a college student doing an independent study for media planning. Where can I find a map that indicates where the Claritas groups are located? Also, where can I find the costs for stadium advertising?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 20, 1998 ):
Claritas (PRIZM, CLUSTER PLUS and others) groups are based on a complex lifestyle segmentation. Maps show concentrations more than location. You may find Claritas willing to supply a map. Mapping systems like COMPASS and CONQUEST which use PRIZM clusters are in the hands of many media.

Stadium advertising is likely to be sold directly by individual stadiums' promotion departments.

Friday, November 20, 1998 #2165
I have to do a media plan for a gourmet mustadrd of the New England poblation with $20,000. What should I do?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 20, 1998 ):
New England has a population of over 13 million and is made up of 9 media markets, including the very large Boston and Hartford / New Haven. The Prime Time spot TV cost per point for Boston alone is in the range of $1000.

Even small space newspaper or late night tv ads across the area will cost a few hundred dollars each in the larger markets.

The budget does not seem realistic for anything you could call a campaign.

Wednesday, November 18, 1998 #2160
Dear Guru, I'm a Portuguese student and I'm doing an essay about media planning. I intend to explain everything about media planning: history, concepts, applications and examples and maybe to do one comparison between what is done here, in Portugal, and around the world. So, what I'm asking you is one suggestion of index to my work: topics, recommended sequence of subjects and which kind of persons it will be nice to talk to. This will also help me to specify my search of information, because I've already too much material and I'm a little bit lost. Thank you! Lena

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 20, 1998 ):
See the Guru's Parts of a media plan as a starting point.

Friday, November 13, 1998 #2154
I am working on a pharmaceutical drug and need to make a media recommendation. I have the marketing goals, targets, etc. Other than the traditional quantitative resources (runs, quintile analysis, comp/cov, etc) what qualitative resources can I evaluate to determine media mix and title/program selection? For this industry are there any unique studies or obscure methods of researching and media planning? Thanks Guru - your help is invaluable

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 13, 1998 ):
See Query Number 2093, of October 13

Monday, November 09, 1998 #2142
On an interview I was recently asked the following question: "If I were a client and I told you I had a budget of $3MM, what would you tell me to do?" I find this question extremely broad, esp. considering I do not have all of the factors required in advance before making a recommendation (i.e.,marketing objectives, targets, etc.) What is the best way to answer this on an interview without giving too much information? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 09, 1998 ):
Assuming that the specific job gave no clues (i.e. you weren't interviewing for a job selling a specific medium), and you were just interviewing for a job at some level in media planning at a general agency, the Guru thinks you were on the right track; your answer should have been:

"That's an extremely broad question. I would tell the client that we need to know marketing goals, advertising targets, geographic concentrations, etc, before making any recommendations regarding media investment.And then I would offer help in collecting and analyzing the information."

Of course, the danger in such a response is that the interviewer will realize you're smarter than the interviewer.

Friday, November 06, 1998 #2130
Dear Guru, Thanks for your service.What are the terms associated with online media and its defination(like CPM,CTR etc).What are the factors media planners consider when they plan for Online campaign.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 06, 1998 ):
For terms visit the Guru's web glossary


Net or gross audience.


Cost per net or gross audience, cost per response, cost per sale, cost per dollar revenue.


These are mostly the same as a traditional media planners considerations, but measurements and terms are different

Wednesday, November 04, 1998 #2122
1) Guru, Could you please explain what is meant by implementation planning ? Where does it fit into the media planning process?

This is with reference to my question on Implementation planning.

Implementation Planning as I came across it was unexplained and there wasn't any context to it. I came across it in a curriculum vitae of a media planner. I haven't met this person whose CV it was and neither are there any chances of me seeing him.

I do understand, as you clarified that this may be a proprietary term, etc. but what does it mean in media jargon ? U see, I think it'd have to do with plans for implementing (on a monthly basis)a business plan made for the year and evolving buying strategies ? please do answer my query since I'm quite anxious to hear from you.

2) Also, When is the library of media plans that AMIC is to have, coming online?

3) Guru, one last question. The books that you reccomend from the AMIC-Amazon bookstore are for new or relatively new planners. what books would you reccomend for planners at a middle level ? Please, no Amazon - my searches on online bookstores have proved fruitless. can you reccomend a few titles, maybe I can scour a second hand bookshop, somewhere.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, November 05, 1998 ):
1) As the Guru commented in his private request for clarification, Implementation planning is notstandard media jargon. (many agencies develop their own terminology for proprietary processes or approaches to common tasks).

It could describe what some call "buying platform" which compiles all the considerations for choosing and negotiating media during the "implementation" of an approved plan.

Or it could mean the work flow / critical path for implementing an approved plan; an intermediary step between planning and buying.

Or it could be referring to a philosophical approach to creating a plan, like "recency planning."

2) The call for submissions to the Guru's AMIC media plans and Research Library is expected to be announced this week. (AMIC's media Guru is often asked where one might find a sample plan or research analysis to serve as a model for one's own project. As a service to our advertising professional members, AMIC is collecting a library of AMIC users' media plans and research analyses which can serve as models or starting points for your own projects.)

Registered AMIC users can expect to get details in their AMIC-News November e-mail. Have you picked out one of your own plans to submit?

3) media planning texts are inherently basic. Beyond that, more advanced learning is best derived from

  • experience - learning from those with whom you work
  • trade publications and conferences - the two latest big issues in advanced planning: recency planning and buy optimization, have principally been documented in these forums, and
  • information, whether texts or otherwise, from related areas such as marketing.

Tuesday, November 03, 1998 #2121
I have been asked to write a report on media planning and buying in the UK, such as what it involves, what the drivers are, and how it fits in within the advertising industry as a whole. What can you possibly recommend as some good sources to use in order to gain a good understanding of this sector of the industry?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, November 03, 1998 ):
What you propose requires a great depth of understanding of a professional field. Reading a few issues of Campaign or some other trade publication won't be enough. Your best bet is to talk with some experienced U.K. media planners and buyers at a firm like Zenith Media or M&C Saatchi

Thursday, October 29, 1998 #2116
Dear Guru, I am the Media Relations Coordibnator in Indian Institute Of Management, Lucknow, India. On request of some students, I have to deliver a lecture on quality parameters of media planning. Could you enlighten me with inputs about some research which has been made in this area or some other resources. Ashish

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 02, 1998 ):
Quality is in the eye of the beholder. To some (but not the Guru) quality is simply a large audience. Others look to measures such as attentiveness, audience involvement, time-spent-with, etc.

Still others will look for supportive environment, authoritative content, positioning or other factors. Each concept has its adherents and valid arguments to be offered in support of the standards.

In still other cases, nothing matters but tonnage, or reach, or other statistical / arithmetic factors.

Your presentation would best cover all these issues.

Friday, October 23, 1998 #2111
Dear Guru, I am currently working as a media planner . I would like to graduate to media planning on the Net. How do I go about it ? Are there any specific schools offering courses that can help ? Thank You

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, October 26, 1998 ):
The Guru is not aware of any schools offering interent media planning courses on an a la carte basis.

In the Guru's opinion, internet planning is based on three elements

  • An understanding of media planning in general
  • An understanding of the differences in how some of the basics apply in the internet arena
  • Knowledge regarding types of sites, techniques and tools used in working with internet media

Perhaps you can add the missing elements by getting involved with interent work being done at your current agency. Perhaps you can find an online specialist agency looking to hire someone with your background (how else do you suppose internet planners get the first of the three elements?)

The Guru hardly considers this process to be graduating to internet planning. Specializing in one medium rather than working with all media is a narrowing of expertise.

Thursday, October 22, 1998 #2109
Let's say I am live in a country where television technology is in a relatively primitive state but is expected,in a few years time, to graduate to most of the technological choices available to veiwers in the West. Could you refer me to a discussion of how technological advances, taken to mean more than a simple proliferation of channels, affects media planning ? Anirvan

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 23, 1998 ):
> The Guru would say that technological advances in media do not themselves change media plannning. The planning process, i.e. making the best choices among media to answer marketing goals, just becomes more complicated when there are different media choices. Often this complication is answered by technology, that is, computerized planning tools.

In the case of a "primitive country," new technology that exists elsewhere can simply be imported, rather than the evolutionary entry it may have undergone in its home country. making planners suffer throough more rapid learning curves.

Wednesday, October 21, 1998 #2104
Dear Guru: I'm a media planner with a media independent company. One of the most often requested assignment by my clients is media budget setting. I know there's gotta be either books or resources where I can look for budget setting model (eg., advertising:sales ratio; SOV:SOM; etc.) Could you please help me out on this topic? Thank you very much.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 23, 1998 ):
The Guru's recommneded books for media planning are listed in the AMIC Bookstore (in association with The Advertising Research Foundation library will offer articles on this topic.

In either case, you will find out how to apply these models and what kind of result you will get, but probably not much basis for choosing between them. This is usually a marketing decision, supplied to a plannner as direction. So if you merely need to determine a budget within one of these marketing allocation models, you're all set.

Tuesday, October 13, 1998 #2093
I am a novice at media planning. Recently I acquired a job as a media planner due to my overall advertising experience. I've been assigned a medical account with a focus on orthopedic surgeons and the media type is print. I've been instructed to base my analysis for publication recomendation on CPM. The number of orthopedic publications is limited but I feel there should be more to my analysis than CPM. Can you tell me what other types of analysis I can do and how to accomplish them?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, October 15, 1998 ):
If you have titles that are not purely for orthopedists, then you can compare their compostion -- the percentage of audience who are orthopedists. This indicates their focus on your target.

If you have the specialized physician audience studies, i.e. PERQ's FOCUS, you can compare audience duplication between titles and develop reach and frequency for various schedules of the publications you might use.

The same study might tell you which titles have more audience members who purchase what you are advertising.

An editorial analysis might show that some titles have more coverage of the category of the product or service which you are advertising.

An advertising analysis might show which books get more of your competitors' business.

Sunday, October 04, 1998 #2069
Dear Media Guru, I have recently got an exciting job offer in media planning/buying from Mccann Erickson in Romania. Despite my best efforts i have not been able to get any information about the advertising industry, basic salary offered, ranking of agencies etc. Could you let me know of any site or get this information ? Many thanks Amrish

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, October 04, 1998 ):
For the U.S. and Worldwide, Ad Age and possibly some other trade media publish the information annually. The Guru has never encountered such information specific to Romania. ESOMAR , the European Survey, Opinion and Market Research Organization might have a resource for you.

Monday, September 28, 1998 #2058
Hi Guru, we 'meet' again. What is the best choice of media to be used while advertising for a major shopping mall? Are there any case studies or previous campaigns I can refer to?. Thanks for your replies Guru.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, September 28, 1998 ):
"Best media" is always relative to the marketing goals. You will probably want to focus on media which closely cover the trading circle of your mall.

Newpapers, radio and out-of-home are the ones most often thought of on a smaller local basis.

Your target and whether you are doing image advertising or promoting a sales event will also be a factor.

AMIC is about to establish a library of model media plans including the retail category, but it isn't there yet.

Tuesday, September 22, 1998 #2052
I am working on a national cable buy. First question, please explain VPH. I have been asked to provide the following information: -How many households will my schedule reach and how many times. Of course, I have to have all this information by tomorrow at noon. I have selected my networks and have asked for proposals from each network. The networks inform me that it will take several days to pull a reach and frequency. So my question to you is, can I take the HH's thousands and add them? It this the right way to approach this project. How will I calulate for a frequency. I can give the client the total number of spots, but is there a way to calculate frequency? Please Help? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, September 22, 1998 ):
VPH is "viewers per Household" and is used as a simple way to express persons audience in relation to housholds. In other words, if a network has a measured average quarter hour (aqh) audience of 1000 Households and a measured aqh among women 18-49 of 550, then its VPH for women 18-49 would be .55

Estimates of reach are based on modeling from actual past schedules and are typically calculated with computers. These calculations take only minutes, but you are probably facing a backlog in your vendors' research departments or, typically, a turnaround time policy which can be overriden if you apply the right charm or pressure to your sales reps.

Because these models reflect varying audience duplication between one spot and the next and between one network and another, adding household impression would be wrong. Such a calculation would produce "gross impressions" which is much greater than reach.

Frequency is calculated by dividing reach into gross impressions (or percent reach into gross rating points), so you need reach to calculate frequency.

If you have any media planning software at all, such as Telmar's AdPlus or Maestro, you would find that these system usually have a general calculator of cable reach built in.

Friday, September 18, 1998 #2050
Dear Guru, I am curious if you know of a website that is a good resource for finding case studies (maybe old media plans)? I checked the Newsweek site and had little success. I am interested to find information on targeting computer retailers.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 23, 1998 ):
Other than the Newsweek Media Research Index site, the Guru relies on the library of the Advertising Research Foundation. AMIC itself is planning to add a library of model plans in the near future.

Wednesday, September 16, 1998 #2045
what is persuasion rating points?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 16, 1998 ):
Persuasion rating point is not a standard term. It would seem to imply an adjusted rating point based on testing of the effectiveness of specific media in specific situations. For example, the Roslow Study, for Univision, summarized in the Abbott Wool's Market Segment Resource Locator area of AMIC, measured effectiveness of English language advertising among Hispanics, using persuasion as one of three metrics.

Based on theis study and other data, many advertisers use an effectiveness adjustment when planning Spanish language media.

E.g: If I (the advertiser) want to have 100 GRP per week among my Hispanic target, before buying Spanish media, I wish to account for the fact that Hispanics watch some of the English language media in which I advertise. From Nielsen's NHTI I can see that for every 100 general market media rating points I buy in English language media, I get (for example) 60 Hispanic rating points.

But I know from the aforementioned studies that the GRPs Hispanics receive in English are less persuasive that GRPs of Spanish media. So I apply an effectiveness adjustment to calculate effective Hispanic rating points to which I might refers as "persuasion rating points".

Now the 60 GRPs among Hispanics might become only 33 persuasion rating points. So instead of buying only 40 Spanish language media rating points (100 Goal minus 60 delivered), I should buy 67 (100 Goal minus 33 delivered), to have an effective (persuasive) media plan.

Saturday, September 12, 1998 #2040
hi guru the 16.5% commission, exactly what does this finance from an advertising agency point of view... thankyou

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, September 12, 1998 ):
Because you are writing from South Africa, the Guru must acknowledge that the standards may be different than in the U.S., but here are his thoughts:
  • Traditionally, in the U.S., "standard" agency commission is 15% of the gross media cost or 17.65% of the Net
  • The only time when 16.5% applied, and this may no longe be true at all, was in outdoor, because there was considered to be some additional agency expense in "riding the boards" (evaluating the actual posted locations)
  • In any case, media commission (whatever the normal rate) typically finances media planning and buying, marketing and creative strategy development, in other words, all the service and advisory activities of an agency.
  • Some other agency work, such as costs of production, research and events management are charged for separately on a cost-plus basis, when there is a commission deal in place.

Today, however, the Guru believes there are few "straight commission" deals and many varied and original financial agreements between agency and advertiser exist.

Wednesday, September 09, 1998 #2032
where can I find a media plan example?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 09, 1998 ):
Try the Media Guru's "Parts of a media plan". Though not an actual plan, it is a detailed description of a plan's contents.

If the idea is to see how a plan is documented at an Ad Agency, your best bet would be to find a friend in a media department.

Otherwise, you can look up trade magazine archives of media planning contests or analyses, but these are likely to be topline summaries at best.

Tuesday, September 08, 1998 #2031
Dear Guru, I'm new in the Advertising field. I would like to know how to calculate the Target Market Reach1+, Reach2+, abd the Average Frequency. TIA. -- SKY

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 09, 1998 ):
The answer depends upon what data you are starting with. At its most simple, "1+" reach is the same as just saying "reach". If you know the GRPs, and the reach, then the average frequency is calculated by dividing reach into GRPs.

At bottom however, in each medium, TV, radio, print, etc. reach was actually measured at some point, rather than calculated . That is, using respondent level measurement, such as Nielsen or MRI or Simmons, actual schedules advertiser were evaluated for gross audience accumulated and the net reach accumulated, as well as how many people saw exactly one advertisement in the schedule, how many saw 2, how many saw three, and so on. As the Guru stated above, reach is defined as those who saw one or more (1+) advertisements. 2+ or 3+, etc, is determined by adding those exposed to each discreet number of ads.

Taking the results of many of these schedules as a scatter graph, a classic reach curve may be plotted. Or, by arraying GRPs and frequencies in a table, a formula equivalent to the curve can be determined statistically. This formula then becomes a "model" for calculating reaches of other schedules in similar media. Formulae for 2+, 3+ frequencies can also be calculated. There are no simple formulas for doing this. "Beta Bimodal" is one statistical function frquently used. These functions and models are usually built into large computer media planning systems like Telmar's.

Saturday, August 29, 1998 #2017
Dear Guru Can you recommend a few recent books on the fundamentals of media planning? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, August 29, 1998 ):
Please visit the Guru's media planning shelf at the AMIC Bookstore.

There are several recommended books of the type you need.

Wednesday, August 19, 1998 #2002
When reviewing syndicated research (SRDS, Simmons, MRI)for media planning purposes, I generally use the index. When comparing two or three columns of data using an index, how can I determine if a finding is important or significant? Is there a rough rule I can use to determine this? I have heard that an index difference of +/- 10 is significant.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, August 19, 1998 ):
"Significant" is a statistical term relating to sample size, etc. You can't judge significance by the index alone.

+/- 10 is a reasonable level at which to begin paying attention for importance, but first, scan the whole array of indices.

When there are several at 200+ or under 50 index, and these have reasonable sample sizes behind them, the 110's and 90's no longer seem important. In short, it's all relative.

Tuesday, August 04, 1998 #1991
Dear Guru! What could you say about STAS ( Short Term Ad Strength)model usage in media planning istead of effective frequency approach.How could you estimate STAS advantages, limitations and forecast its delevopment in the future for the different countries. Thanks. TE. 1)

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, August 04, 1998 ):
For the latest on STAS, see the Telmar Awards Paper by J.P. Jones, creator of STAS. Other articles explaining STAS have been published in the Journal of Advertising Research from the Advertising Research Foundation.

Monday, August 03, 1998 #1988
Dear Guru Thanks for answering my last question on major media planning changes over the next five years, however I am based in London England where we have had three terestrial commercial stations and around fifty cable and satalite stations. Over the next few years that number is expected to increase to around 150 - 200 Terestrial stations and who knows how many satalite and cable stations. We expect a lot of changes in the way we operate. Any comments greatfully recieved Newboy

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, August 03, 1998 ):
If you accept the idea that Television is Television, you will find only two issues relating to this growth:
  • The variety of types of programs available will increase.
  • The average audience available to each programming source will decrease.

In the U.S., as broadcast stations increased from 3 or so available in in each market area to 6 or 10 or more, programming quality stayed with the 3 which were network affiliates. Little changed, in Prime Time (evening), at least.

As cable networks increased from a handful to 50 or 100 with 30-50 available in most places, and quality programming was delivered by cable, audiences shifted from the broadcast networks to cable, until today where cable's share is often greater than broadcast networks, although it is divided among many outlets.

Still, this does not change the questions faced or techniques used by planners. More detail oriented research tools are needed (some of which is already more typical of UK vs US research) and it is only the answers which become different. But the planners' job is not much changed. Certainly not as much as is the buyers'.

Monday, August 03, 1998 #1987
Dear Guru, I am new to media planning and have been asked to predict the major changes for media planners over the next five years. can you give me any starters? Thanks in advance

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, August 03, 1998 ):
Since this must be a training exercise for new planners, isn't asking the Guru cheating? But since this sort of exercise is silly anyway, the Guru will go along; after all nobody would have predicted the media planners' involvement in on-line, five years ago.

Come to think of it, on-line may have been the only major change of the past five years.

For example,the incremental importance of cable and the slow decline of broadcast ratings is not a major change for planners. They face the same questions, but the answers have changed somewhat.

The new millennium, whether one considers the "popular" start date of January 1, 2000, or the actual date of 1/1/2001 will, no doubt, be a time to look for new approaches and focus more on the future. Marketers will finally recognize that the various major ethnic markets: Hispanics -- newly the largest ethnic group -- plus African American, Asian American and smaller minorities will encompass most Americans in the first decade of the new century. This will mean planners must pay far more attention to assessing the importance of and covering these market segments.

Also in the next five years the Guru sees the debate between advocates of "Recency" plannning and those backing "effective reach" being settled. Categories of marketing or rules on which to base application of one or the other will be clearly defined and two distinct styles of planning will emerge.

Finally, coming back to online, the internet's amazing growth will max out. No more than 50% of the population is likely to be on-line. The internet universe and internet ratings, on a U.S. basis, will be readily available, so that on-line media will become just another element of media plans. Specialist agencies will fold into general agencies and internet media will have no more mystique than out-of-home.

Wednesday, July 29, 1998 #1978
If I'd like to compare cost-efficiency of certain radiostation and certain TV station, would it be correct to apply some coefficient for radio GRP's (like 0,3 radio grp's vs 1 TV's)? Is there any reliable research findings concerning the question of comparable value of, say, the same kind of units but for different media? Thankful for your answer, Elena, Moscow

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 29, 1998 ):
Cost efficiency is typically used to compare media while intentionally ignoring "qualitative" differences. Of course, planners like to assign values to represent the differing value of communication power or whatever.

What is your measurement standard in a media plan? Reach, effective reach, sales per grp?

It is quite unlikely that a TV grp has 3 times as much of anything - recall / sales motivation / etc. And one must keep in mind that GRPs have their effects as part of schedules, not one at a time. Even if one radio announcement was 30% as strong on some basis as one tv annoouncement, the accumulation of effect over the course of a schedule would become much less, especially if radio's lower cost per GRP allowed a bigger schedule for the same money, which is why efficiency is compared in the first place.

Short answer - develop comparisons of efficiency and effectiveness separately. Then use effectiveness as an index on efficiency if you must.

ESOMAR , the European Survey, Opinion and Market Research organization or the Advertising Research Foundation may have studies on the relative effectiveness question.

Friday, July 24, 1998 #1973
I need help! I need to know the forumla (or formulas) for figuring the reach and frequency on a television schedule. I need it to be demo / and have the following information: universe, impressions and grps. What else do I need and what is the magic FORUMLA! At this point we are using the cumulative impressions into the universe to figure the reach - but could that be right? I don't think so - but the reach is what I need to figure (already have grp and freq is easy if I have reach!). Please help - and thanks tons.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 24, 1998 ):
When you divide the accumulated impressions by the universe, your result is GRPs. There is no simple reach formula unless you already know GRPs and frequency. There are various very complicated algorithms for calculating reach for a given average rating size, known average duplication between programs used, etc. "Beta Bimodal" is one of the best known.

But today, Reach calculations are done by computer, using models built from Nielsen's actual measurements of net audience reach from meter-measured schedules.

Telmar, AMIC's sister company, is the leading provider of software for such analyses.

Before computers were commonplace, media planners had tables which gave reach for various GRP levels depending on demos, dayparts and duplication. These, too, were based on average Nielsen audience accumulation reports.

Monday, July 06, 1998 #1937
Dear Guru, I'm trying to find info on the relationship between reach and frequency known as the prime axiom in media planning. Such as, what it is, why is it useful and how is it directly or indirectly measured? Also, I need research on the volatility of broadcast media. For instance, how can broadcast media avoid law suits if they fail to run a commercial. I'm frantically completing a take home exam for a graduate class and can't find research on these topics. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. I'll let you know if we get an "A."

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, July 07, 1998 ):
One wonders at the sort of course where these terms matter but are not thoroughly taught. Reach and Frequency are the weights and measures of a media plan.
  • "Reach" tells you how many different people are exposed to an advertising schedule. It is commonly expressed as a percentage of a target group's population. E.g. 75 percent reach among women 18-49.
  • "Frequency" tells you the average number of exposure to the schedule experienced by the people reached.
The usefulness should be obvious: no matter how great or impactful an ad may be, it will not sell product unless it reaches enough people and reaches them frequently enough to have an effect on their behavior.

The various research tools media planners use which measure the audience of TV shows, radio stations, magazines, etc can also tell us how many people are reached by schedules of several uses of theses programs and books. From these direct measurements, statistical models are built which can estimate the reach and frequency of schedules being planned. media planners can therefore compare alternate schedules to determine which ones will best meet reach/frequency goals.

Thinking of pure arithmetic relationships, reach and frequency are linked with GRPs -- Gross Rating Points. When the ratings (audience as percent of target group) of all the individual ads in a schedule are added up, the resulting total is GRP. GRP divided by reach = frequency and reach X frequency = GRP. 2. Mistakes happen. Fine print in contracts protects broadcasters against liability if they inadvertently miss airing a commercial, or deliberately do so because a higher paying advertiser comes along, or because the decide to air a news special. etc. Their only obligation is typically to give a "makegood," another commercial location with equal or better quality.

Monday, July 06, 1998 #1936
Can you recommend on media planning departments to study in the U.K.??

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, July 07, 1998 ):
It depends on your reason for studying them. Saatchi, of course is the biggest worldwide, UK-headquartered agency.

Wednesday, June 03, 1998 #1882
how much more effective is an exposure on print compared to TV in case of consumer durables?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, June 03, 1998 ):
A TV exposure is generally more effective than a print exposure. However:

  • There can be very bad TV executions and very good print executions, which outweigh the general rule.
  • A TV :15 may not be more effective than a 4 color bleed gatefold off the 2nd cover.
  • media plans don't usually operate in an exposure vs exposure mode. A given budget might buy 25 TV exposures for every print exposure or vice versa, depending on ad units, programming, geographic coverage, etc.

Monday, May 18, 1998 #1597
how will media segmentation affect media planning ?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 18, 1998 ):
"Media Segmentation" is a two edged sword. Highly segmented (fragmented) media allows better targeting. But, at the same time, it works against building higher reach levels.

A clever plan will find the best compromise between these two.

The current, "recency" approach to planning can take advantage of the efficiency of reaching lower levels of target consumers on a more continuous basis.

Thursday, May 14, 1998 #1592
Dear Guru, There are two questions I wish to address to you: 1. Is there any rule of thumb regarding the weight of 10'' spots? How effective can a relatively 'small' campaign composed chiefly of such short spots can be? By a small campaign I mean one that has arounc 300-400 GRP. 2. When it comes to factors that either enhance or lessen the effectiveness of a campaign, are there any conventions regarding the use of relevant factors? The order in a break may be a more familiar example but there are other factors that one may incorporate to a media plan, e.g whether the commercial is new or not. Thank you so much for the attention Iris Kalka Pelled3 Communications

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, May 14, 1998 ):
1) The Guru's rule of thumb in general, is if the effectiveness - relative to a :30 - is better than the price ratio, a :10 can be a good investment. In the early days of :15s in the U.S., they were evaluated as about 75% as effective as :30s, and sold for 50%, so they were popular. The Guru believes he has seen research to say a :10 is worth 75% of a :15.

However, you are posting from Israel. Your local standards may be different, because of the different culture and different media environment, clutter, media mix, etc. If you can ascertain a local effectiveness ratio, you can make an informed decision.

In any case, the Guru believes these short executions are best used as a supplement to longer copy. The Guru does not believe most creative people would be comfortable with only :10 copy and just 300-400 GRP. 2) The number of factors, such as break position, age of commercial, complexity of message, product interest, etc, which can be influential is almost infinite. The relative influence is a judgement call. Evaluating through a logical process, by establishing your rules and executing them, is best.

The Guru has seen these factors used to develop an effective frequency basis for a media plan's communication goals. In this way all considerations come down to a single number.

Tuesday, May 12, 1998 #1589
I am a interactive media planner currently tracking a buy via a third-party ad server. When comparing the results from one site with the third-party server, the difference between the impression delivery and clicks is enormous (about a 600 click difference). My third- party sales rep says that this particular site counts clicks that are generated by robots and spiders. I did not know that spiders were clicking on banners??? Please help me make sense of this Guru!

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 12, 1998 ):
Perhaps he said the site counts impressions generated by robots and spiders.

Since Clicks must always be less than Impressions, only that version would explain robots and spiders increasing the discrepancy.

Friday, May 08, 1998 #1585
Being a newbie to web planning and buying, what is the difference between AOL and the Web?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, May 08, 1998 ):
AOL is an "online service." There is an AOL website but that isn't what. an AOL member goes to when signing on to AOL.

AOL, with its chatrooms, information areas, etc is essentially a BBS service. It has imitated the web in some ways, with clickable ads, etc.

AOL does provide a gateway for members out onto the web, and to many users the difference between AOL and the web may be unnoticable.

Some estimates are that about half of the people with internet access have it through AOL. Additional estimates are that many people who think they are "on the internet" have never gone beyond the bounds of AOL.

From a media planning perspective, buying ads on AOL or accepting value added "banners" in magazine's AOL areas when buying print has an audience limited to AOL members and not accessible to other web users.

Thursday, May 07, 1998 #1584 to achieve better reach in lesser media budget? 2.please provide some tips on clever media planning. 3.who is best media planner as per you and why?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, May 08, 1998 ):
1. If reach is the only concern then it is usually easy to find media with higher reach per dollar. For example, outdoor delivers enormous reach and has the lowest cpm of all traditional media.

Smaller units also stretch budgets without losing reach. Fractional pages or TV :15's instead of :30's, radio :30's instead of :60s also help.

But of course, there are other, copy effectiveness and impact issues associated with these media choices. There is always a trade off; you can't get more reach in the same media for less money, unless you can persuade the sellers to lower the prices.

2. Clever media planning includes some of the ideas above, but also requires a planner to sell the ideas for their benefits, and get past the negatives. The goal of media planning is to deliver on the marketing objectives.

"Clever" is doing it in non-standard ways. Can you persuade the media to create special programming which ties into your campaign? Can you show the media a benefit to them in carrying your ads so that they want to resduce the price or give more than the usual value added elements?

If the Guru has one real tip on clever planning it is: Learn to use and understand the research which is available. Few in media today do. An knowledge of what research is available and how to apply it to media decision making will make a planner stand out, and appear clever and creative, because that planner, in fact, will be so.

3. The Guru himself is the best planner he knows. The nature of the media planner's position in the ad business is to be subordinated to creative and account services. There is little chance for planners to become known beyond their agencies. No doubt the "best media planner" lurks in unsung obscurity in a hundred agencies.

Tuesday, May 05, 1998 #1581
Hi Guru! This is a follow up on my question yesterday. If u can buy cable locally how do I go about finding the rates, research data, programming information etc. In the media planning package that we work on, only the national cable buying is mentioned. Appreciate your prompt reply. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 05, 1998 ):
There are a some spot cable representative firms. One is National Cable Communications. They would provide the services you need.

Monday, May 04, 1998 #1580
Dear Guru I am working on my final media plan for this semester. 1.Could u tell me if u could buy cable locally, like spot TV. 2.Could u also tell me the best web sites and any outdoor/ specialty magazines for my target group Men; 18-60; $35000+. 3. Is it possible to buy internet ny market? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 04, 1998 ):
1. Yes

2. You need audience research resources to help select media for your target. For magazines and the web, try Simmons and MRI. For more detail on web sites alone, try MediaMetrix, RelevantKnowledge or Netratings

By the way, your target, 18-60, is not a standard media "age break," you should decide whether to use 18-54 or 18-64, which is what will be available in research studies.

3. There are web sites focused on particular markets and cities. However, their audience is potentially worldwide. There are techniques which will control which ads are seen according to the location of a vistor's ISP, but that technique can go far wrong. For example, all people browsing the web through AOL appear to be in Virginia. Other large connectivity providers generate the same deceptive impression regarding location.

Sunday, March 29, 1998 #1556
Could you please tell me where I can find on-line books about theory and practice of advertising.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, April 06, 1998 ):
Amazon and Barnes and Noble are good on-line sources of business books.

The Guru has not found any full texts of advertising books on line. Look at the Guru's Encyclopedia of Media Terms and Parts of a media plan.

Many Universities with advertising curricula have course outlines on-line.

By now the Guru's archive of hundreds of answers is a large part of an advertising text, albeit not very organized and somewhat media skewed.

Monday, March 23, 1998 #1541
I need latest info on the recency theory for tv media planning and the general opinion of the industry on this theory.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 30, 1998 ):
Trade publications like Ad Age, Mediaweek and Jou rnal of Advertising Research cover this topic regularly, with articles from Erwin Ephron, Walter Reichel and John Paul Jones.

Newsweek Media Research Index and theAdvertising Research Foundation Library also archive such information.

The Guru believes the industry is still divided on Recency vs Effective Reach.

Tuesday, February 10, 1998 #1505
Where can I find out the salary range for media planner/ buyers in the Columbus, Ohio area?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, February 10, 1998 ):
Ad Age publishes salary surveys by position, by region. A Columbus-based recruiter who specializes in the advertising industry might also help you.

Friday, February 06, 1998 #1501
Which source could I find information regarding the top ten cities with the highest population of females 18-34?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, February 07, 1998 ):
Both Nielsen and Arbitron provide management booklets with DMA (Designated Market Area) population ranked this way. These are the standard media planning/buying geographies. Additionally, the Arbitron book has metropolitan area population, if that's what you need.

If you literally need cities, the U.S. Census site should have what you need.

Tuesday, January 27, 1998 #1494
Dear GURU I am interrested in media planning consultancy services. What are the most important services that these consultants offer? Would you please give me a list of the consultants company's servers. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, January 28, 1998 ):
The key service of such consultants is linking marketing goals to media solutions. See AMIC's "Web Sites" area, under Media / Consulting Services.

Tuesday, January 27, 1998 #1493
Dear Guru, I'm working on a project named 'advertising strategies'. How would you define an advertising strategy? Do you believe the mediaplanning proces lays within or without the advertising strategy? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 29, 1998 ):
Certainly, media planning is a part of advertising strategy.

An advertising strategy is a planned way of accomplishing a marketing goal through the Marketing Communications method called "advertising."

Advertising strategies may include those defining copy strategy, geography and more.

Advertising is usually understood to be marketing messages delivered through media.

Thursday, January 22, 1998 #1491
Dear Guru, My client is a Bank Investment and it wats to ad on outside country veihicles. I need your help to identified the best magazine and newspaper to my client. Country: USA, Europe. Client Category: Bank Investment Are you familiar with CFO Magazine, TMA Journal? Are they a good sugest? What kind of advertiser run on these magazine? Thanks a lot, Thaya

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 22, 1998 ):
No print media plan should ever be completed without the planner having seen the magazine and absorbed the information in its media kit: rates and editorial focus at minimum. Doing this will be the best start to answering your questions

Saturday, November 29, 1997 #1465
hi there, I will be starting media planning studies in a few weeks, and wondered if you could help me find some free literature (on the web) , that explain the basic methods , and terms of the proffesion . thank you for your help. eran , Israel.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, November 29, 1997 ):
There is plenty of material, right here on the AMIC site, especially in the Media Guru area. Explore the "Parts of a media plan" and "Encyclopedia of Media Terms"

Thursday, November 27, 1997 #1463
What about wear on and wear out

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, November 27, 1997 ):
"What about" is a question that invites too broad a response. The Guru has discussed wear out frequently: see Oct 27, below, and the Guru Archives under media planning, Media Effectiveness, Media Math and Media Research.

"Wear on" is not a familiar term to the Guru, perhaps it is peculiar to Italy, from where this query comes.

Thursday, November 06, 1997 #1451
I am involved in an ad agency that is now ready to hire a media director/planner. One of he things we hear quite often in a market as small as ours is that many clients want to know what they get for giving up commissions they would not normally by dealing with media direct. Does the Guru have a list of keys benefits that can help clients see the value of moving from managing their media to using media professionals? This info will also help us select a suitable candidate for the position.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, November 22, 1997 ):
The media professional is a person who focuses on the right media for the right price.

On any given day, anyone might get a better price than anyone else for a specific media purchase, but not just anyone will select the best media to support creative, reach the right consumer or make the biggest impact.

Negotiating skills are a product of experience and focus, but they can be developed in fields other than media.

media planning and management skills are about learning what tools exist and how to use them:

  • Audience research
  • product usage and other consumer segmentation research
  • media analysis tools
  • media predictive tools
  • and more that are not likely to be available or understood by other than an experienced media professional.

Tuesday, October 14, 1997 #1434
Dear GURU, I'm a student who study media planning. I've to develop media plan for the new perfume. The target is female, 18-34 year old, upper income. Where could I find the consumer behavior,buying pattern and life style for this group? Thank you. Penny.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 15, 1997 ):
For U.S. data, try S immons and MRI

Thursday, October 02, 1997 #1420
Hi, I am a marketing student. During our course of media planning, we came up with the following question: Do advertising agencies contact publishers themselves or are they contacted by publishers. If they are contacted by publishers, with what information does the publisher provide the agency (brochures/ clients/ etc.). What would the publisher need to present that the agency will recommend it to their own clients?? Who would be the person within the agency that the publisher would speak to?? Thank you for your help Jan, Germany

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, October 02, 1997 ):
The Guru's response may not apply equally in all countries, however:

Agencies contact publishers, usually while actively working on a plan for a specific client for a specific promotion or period of time. The media planner or buyer is usually the first line of contact for a publisher

Publishers contact agencies, usually continuously, when they learn of a new account at the agency, or new staff involved in the media decisions, or when they have something new to tell the old staff or old accounts about the publication.

Publishers typically have brochures (in the US, called "media kits"). These usually describe the editorial content and mission of the publication, describe the target audience, list the advertising rates and circulation details, provide audience research when available -- either from syndicated or proprietary sources -- and may compare the publication to its competitors. Production requirements are also offered: sizes, materials, closing dates for ordes and materials, editorial and publication calendar.

Different advertisers and different media planners may be looking for different aspects of the publications at different times.

One day, audience size or composition may be the most important, another day cost or cost/audience ratio.

Sometimes, editorial environment or authoritativeness of the publication are most important, etc.

The kit is an introduction and reference tool. The publisher needs to:

  1. Focus on agency accounts that make sense for the publication
  2. stay in touch with the agency to know when decisions will be made and what extra information is helpful
  3. keep information up to date
Watch for a forthcoming media kits feature, here on AMIC

Tuesday, September 16, 1997 #1414
We are in need of international media planning sources. We need planning data for the U.K. and the Caribbean. We are interested in sources that will identify available local market advertising media to begin our media selection process. We also need audience delivery research sources. The media classes that we are considering are: television (local broadcast and cable), local market radio, newspaper, magazines, outdoor and transit. If anyone could help, we would appreciate it. Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, September 16, 1997 ):
There are media services which offer international support. The Standard Directory of Advertising Agencies (The Redbook) would list these. Another option is to form an affiliation with small local agencies in each country.

"The Caribbean" covers a multitude of countries and you will find agencies mostly divided along language lines, i.e. Spanish speaking vs English speaking vs French speaking islands, such as Puerto Rico vs Jamaica vs Martinique, as well as by national affiliation, i.e. different agencies for Puerto Rico vs The Domincan Republic.

One organization, Publicitas offers print representation around the world and may be helpful with other media.

Wednesday, September 10, 1997 #1410
Dear Guru, we are utilizing newspaper to reach the leisure travel market(weekend travelers)for hotel properties. Can't find any research on how well the "weekend guide" versus the Sunday "travel guide" sections perform in regard to : How well do each of the sections reach the local market and/or feeder markets? Are readers looking at Sunday "travel" for outbound opportunities only? Any answers on the use of each section would be appreciated. I know it looks like a no-brainer, but we need some info. to back- up our recommendation. Thanks tons,

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 10, 1997 ):
The The Newspaper Advertising Association is a good source for this type of information.

Another is the e-mail discussion list they operate, where such questions might be answered from the differing perspectives of the many newspapers which participate in the discussion

To join this discussion send e-mail to . The message should have no subject and a body saying only


don't type the quotes, and be sure to insert your name, not your e-mail address, where indicated.

Another resource where your media professional peers can share information, is AMIC's own media planning discussion, whose archives are in Ad Talk.

To join this discussion send e-mail to . The message should have no subject and a body saying only

"SUBSCRIBE Mediaplanning"

again, don't type the quotes.

Friday, August 22, 1997 #1400
Where could I find information regarding how automotive companies (i.e. Toyota, Oldsmobile, & Cadillac), handle their media planning and buying on a local/regional level?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, August 22, 1997 ):
Contacting the radio and TV stations or reps in the regions in which you are interested should tell you who is buying for each auto company in a given area. Only two or three calls to the major reps, should produce all the information.

The planning techniques may well be closely-guarded proprietary information.

Whether A/S style budgeting, investment spending, share gap, etc., etc. is used. Whether computer models and optimizations are used or not. Whether regions have freedom or just participate in nationally-based plans.

Whether agency leads in media selection or the advertiser.

Whether media types are purely based on creative considerations or media effectiveness and targeting ability.

Thursday, August 21, 1997 #1398
Is there a place on your site or any other site where there is a listing of media (specifically radio and tv and newspaper) terminology? Also is there a site that gives some info. of the basic techniques of buying radio, tv and newspaper?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, August 21, 1997 ):
For terminology, see the Guru's Encyclopedia of Media Terms The Guru is not aware of any sites that "teach" buying techniques. One interesting resource is the U Texas Austin TECAS media planner site.

Thursday, August 21, 1997 #1397
Where could I find information regarding how automotive companies (i.e. Toyota, Oldsmobile, & Cadillac), handle their media planning and buying on a local/regional level?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, August 22, 1997 ):
Contacting the radio and TV stations or reps in the regions in which you are interested should tell you who is buying for each auto comapny in a given are. Only two or three calls to the major reps, should produce all the information.

The planning techniques may well be closely guarded proprietary information, whether A/S style budgeting, investment spending, share gap, etc., etc. is used. Whether computer models and optimizations are used or not. Whether regions have freedom or just participate in nationally-based plans. Whether agency leads in media selection or the advertiser. Whether media types are pruley based on creative considerations or media effectiveness and targeting ability.

Wednesday, August 20, 1997 #1396
Who puts out a good radio and tv buying training book? How do I go about getting a hold of this information?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, August 21, 1997 ):
At Amazon Books, the Guru found Ntc Business Books' Introduction to Advertising Media : Research, Planning, and Buying by Jim Surmanek, who also has one of the standard media planning texts.

The same publisher also offers The Media Handbook / A Complete Guide to Advertising, Media Selection, Planning, Research & Budgeting by Helen E. Katz

The old standard media text Advertising media planning by Jack Z. Sissors, Lincoln Bumba probably gives less attention to buying.

There are many more books about planning than buying. Probably because (the Guru believes) broadcast buying can't be learned from a book. After the basic facts are digested: understanding ratings, cpm, programming and forecasting, it's people skills and technique that matter.

Monday, August 11, 1997 #1388
Before we start media plan, we wanna know which factors could help us to define a media strategy to present. Please consider that we are talking with a marketing manager. present our strategy with s.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, August 11, 1997 ):
Please look at The Guru's "Parts of a media plan". The flow of information from "Marketing Situation" through "Objectives" and on to "Media Strategy" will answer your question.

Wednesday, July 23, 1997 #1377
Enjoyed learning from your answers. I have following questions. 1. Is there a rule of thumb for decising how much to spend on advertising vs. public relations? 2. What is the role of ad agency in determining advertising budget? Or is it determined primarily by the client? 3. How common a practice is it to perform a computerized analysis of media plan to determine the final impact in terms of reach, frequency, etc. 4. Is there a magic number in terms of GRP's, or other ratings needed to convert a prospect to a buyer? If not how does one establish the optimum budget? Thanks so much. Raj

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 26, 1997 ):
1) Advertising vs Public Relations decisions are based on a complex mix of marketing issues. One advertiser, mostly concerned with establishing an image or with community relations may spend the majority of funds on PR and the next, seeing a simple need to move units of a basic impulse purchase low-competition, product, may do no PR at all.

2) Some clients merely tell the agency how much there is to spend. Others will go through a process of determining marketing goals with the agency and consider the agency's recommendation on the cost of accomplishing those goals. More often the budget will come from the client, based on issues other than marketing goals, and then be allocated in accord with achieving the goals within the budget.

3) Computerized media delivery analysis is common. Some small retail advertisers may just hipshoot media decisions, often because the geography is small enough to track directly.

4) No, there is no magic number of GRPs to convert prospects to buyers. The marketing issues in each case vary. It should be obvious that persuading you to order a 7-Up versus a Coke next time you go out to lunch, given your background knowledge of the products and benefits, and the consequences of the wrong choice, is quite a different proposition than persuading you to buy a Mercedes Benz, select a vacation destination, or in which hospital to have surgery.

Tuesday, July 15, 1997 #1373
Media Guru, I would like to know your opinion or if there are any generally accepted principles regarding advertising in print with multiple ads for the same brand within one issue. Thank you for your response.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, July 15, 1997 ):
Generally accepted rules? The Guru thinks not. From a media perspective it has been demonstrated, for example, that two, consecutive, one-third page ads on the outside column or right hand pages will do far better in awareness, recall, etc than one full page ad,

Despite this, it is difficult to convince advertisers to use multiple, small space ads. Unfortunately, from the media planners perspective, advertisers are more likely to judge an ad's impact by the single ad alone rather than what can be achieved in a schedule.

Wednesday, June 25, 1997 #1370
Dear Guru, I have a fundamental question for you. As media planners we recognise the need to look beyond numbers. How do you factor in the context in which the media is consumed,i.e. the frame of mind or mindset in which a program is viewed or a magazine read and the content of the medium, i.e. the edit environment, or the surrounding advertising. Is there any international learning on this subject? I am looking for research in this area, and examples of application of the same. Are there any brands you are aware of, that have consciously used such a philosophy in guiding their media plans? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, June 25, 1997 ):
This "factoring" is the art of media planning. If it were achieveable by application of established values, media planning would all be done by computers and there would be little use for media planners.

Expressing a Brand's synergy with specific media placements, and expressing the interaction of that synergy with the marketing situation and goals, then using those ideas to "sell" a plan are the art and craft of media planning filtered through experience.

The writing of plans for many brands uses these techniques. Major package goods companies have long used general factors for weighting media, based on measured attentiveness, average recall scores, etc.

About 12 years ago a company called TAA developed a more complex measure for evaluating attentiveness and attitude toward programs, as an added way to evaluate programs, beyond cpm and similar, simple counts. It went out of business fairly quickly.

Two research compilations the Guru mentions regularly, at the Advertising Research Foundation and the Newsweek Media Research Index are the best sources to consult for published research in this area.

Friday, June 13, 1997 #1365
Dear Guru, Could you please give your opinion on what can be viewed as a recommended level of GRP, frequency and effective frequency for a highly competitive advertising category on TV. As an example we can take a carbonated soft drinks' category. What should be the planning guidelines? When and why we should use flighting (pulsing) or what is the rationale for a continous campaign. Additionally to TV which other media should we use and why? Thank you in advance, Bob

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 13, 1997 ):
You are actually asking for the complete Objectives, Strategies and communications tactics of a full scale media plan, without offering enough background.

Nevertheless, here are some considerations:

One theory of competitive media planning calls for delivering a minimum of 10% more impressions than the key competitor, in head to head media. This assures beating the competition in GRP, reach and effective reach.

Budget is a consideration. If there is not enough money to compete as above nationally, then selecting geography where the delivery advantage can be maintained should allow you to beat the competition, bit by bit, until you can afford national support.

When there are time-sensitive promotional issues, then pulsing can be an effective way to deliver more impressions over the crucial period. Recent media theory has emphasized the benefits of continuity, because "the impression delivered closest to the purchase decision is the most effective impression." In the soft drink category, where purchase decisions are constant, continuity may be generally preferable to pulsing.

In other, highly competitive, seasonal categories pulsing may be needed.

As far as recommending other media, that calls for more information, but please look at the Guru's Media Advertising Strenghths

Friday, June 06, 1997 #1361
Hi, I'm a student in Brazil. Please, could you answer these questions or indicate links in the web where I can find these info?

1) Concerning the choice of an agency, which are the most usual criteria?

2) Is there a formal communications / media plan? Who is responsible for ellaborating them and who actually applies it?

3) Which would be a good definition for briefing, and who makes it?

Only the first question relates to the choice of an agency. The second and third questions relate to the standard procedures adopted when an advertiser requests a job (for instance, the ellaboration of a communication strategy) for the agency.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 06, 1997 ):
1) Different advertisers will have differing criteria. One may emphasize experience within its category, another may focus on marketing insight, still another on creative thinking. Media support may or may not be an issue in a review. A wise agency probes for as much information about advertiser needs as possible. A wise advertiser does its best to prepare candidate agencies to show theselves to their best advantage in the context of what the advertiser wants. Often the preliminary candidates are selected through a questionnaire circulated by the advertiser. A lot can be learned from careful reading of the questionnaire, especially "between the lines."

2) "Major" advertisers usually work with a formal communications and media plan, using objectives, strategies, and tactical concepts along the lines presented in the Guru's "Parts of a media plan"

Other, smaller advertisers, especially local retailers, may just make a buy "by the seat of their pants"

In the formal situation, the advertiser, with the agency account staff will typically agree to marketing goals which the media planners can interpret into media objectives and then into strategies and tactics. Also typically, a media buying staff executes these plans.

3) Briefing usually means an organized presentation (in person or on paper) of the marketing situation upon which plans are to be built to resolve the situation. The advertiser may give a marketing briefing to the account staff. The account staff may brief the media staff. The advertiser may do all briefings, especially if they have their own internal media staff.

Wednesday, June 04, 1997 #1360
Do you know where I can find any information on newspaper readership by day of week? I *know* that the newspapers and their associations know, but they don't seem to want media planners to know!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 05, 1997 ):
Of course ABC doesn't audit by day of the week, but as you surmise, the papers must know the daily variations. The Guru suggests you begin by discussing a "pre-print insert" with the newspapers.

To allow you to plan quantities and assess production costs, they would have to discuss with you circulation by day of the week.

Thursday, May 29, 1997 #1357
Hi, I'm a student in Brazil. Please, could you answer these questions or indicate links in the web where I can find these info?

Only the first question relates to the choice of an agency. The second and third questions relate to the standard procedures adopted when an advertiser requests a job (for instance, the elaboration of a communication strategy) for the agency. 1) Concerning the choice of an agency, which are the most usual criteria? 2) Is there a formal communications / media plan? Who is responsible for ellaborating them and who actually applies it? 3) Which would be a good definition for briefing, and who makes it?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 06, 1997 ):
1) Different advertisers will have differing criteria. One may emphasize experience within its category, another may focus on marketing insight, still another on creative thinking. Media support may or may not be an issue in a review. A wise agency probes for as much information about advertiser needs as possible. A wise advertiser does its best to prepare candidate agencies to show theselves to their best advantage in the context of what the advertiser wants. Often the preliminary candidates are selected through a questionnalre circulated by the advertiser. A lot can be learned from careful reading of the questionnaire, especially "between the lines."

2) "Major" advertisers usually work with a fromal communications and media plan, using objectives, strategies, and tactical concepts along the lines presented in the Guru's "Parts of a media plan"

Other smaller advertisers, especially local retailers, may just make a buy "by the seat of their pants"

In the formal situation, the advertiser, with the agency account staff will typically aggree to marketing goals which the media planners can interpret into media objectives and then into strategies and tactics. Also typically, a media buying staff executes these plans.

3)Briefing usually means and organized presentation (in person or on paper) of the marketing situation upon which plans are to be built to resolve the situation. The advertiser may give a marketing briefing to the account staff. The account staff may brief the media or creative staff. The advertiser may do all briefings, especially if the have their own media staff, for example.

Wednesday, April 30, 1997 #1336
looking for researches about media planning. i'll be glad if you could help.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, April 30, 1997 ):
The Guru's two favorite sources are the Newsweek Media Research Index and the Advertising Research Foundation Library

Saturday, April 26, 1997 #1328
As a small ad agency starting out, how would I handle the media buying end for my clients?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 27, 1997 ):
There are two simple ways:

1) hire a resonably experienced buyer with good knowledge of ratings services and stewardship systems (pre-buy/ post-buy/accounting). Then acquire the needed ratings services and stewardship sytems. Ideally, you should have a media planner as well, and this assumes you have someone in place in the financial end to handle the billing.

2) Contract with one of the numerous, a la carte media services, who have these people and systems in place and can provide just as much if the service as needed, probably averaging a fee of 5% of billings placed, though there is a wide range of compensation arrangements.

Though the second way is the most economical as a start up, you would do well to have an experienced planner on staff under either method, and a Media Director as soon as affordable.

Thursday, March 20, 1997 #1296
I have a client that is interested in obtaining an easy to read and understand book on reach and frequency. Do you know of one? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, April 23, 1997 ):
There are two types of books that would cover "reach and frequency." Statistics texts and media planning texts. In either, most of the content would be about othewr topics. The media planning text is probably more useful. One such is Advertising media planning, by Jack Z. Sissors and Lincoln Bumba. It's available from Amazon Books and other sellers of texts. The ARF's library contains many articles on the topic which might fully answer your needs, and their publication about the "ARF Media Model is a classic.

Thursday, March 20, 1997 #1012
Media Guru! I`m a student at the Budapest Universityof Economic Sciences. I`m working with an essey on thebasic of media planning/buying. Maybe you can suggestsome web-sites which includes articles or case studieson this topics. Thank you for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 20, 1997 ):
Of course, the Guru's "Parts of a media plan will be useful.

The University of Texas at Austin's Advertising Department has an excellent site devoted to media planning.

In addition, the Guru's old favorites, the Advertising Research Foundation and the Newsweek Media Research Index may have some useful information for your request.

Thursday, March 20, 1997 #1013
Dear Guru,What in your opinion are the personal qualities andprofessional qualifications for a media planner? Thanx

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 20, 1997 ):
The Guru believes the the key personal qualities are an eagerness to learn, and ability to learn and and openess to new information.

Professional qualifications today include

-good mathematical skills, e.g. ability to rough-estimate percentages without a calculator, to avoid being overly reliant on computer output.

-Computer skills

-Writing skills, especially the ability to explain though processes logically and clearly

Wednesday, March 19, 1997 #1014
I need an example of a media plan, could you give me one? I am doing one for a breakfast bar

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 20, 1997 ):
A complete description of allof the parts of a media plan is defined in the Guru Sectionof AMIC Parts of a media plan. Note that most media plans containonly a limited set of the information described. Some are fairly brief documents, while in other situations a more complete plan is required.

Wednesday, March 12, 1997 #1304
Dear GuruI am interresting in your oppinion on the changing shape of the media environment.What do you think how the media changing for the near future, what are the main trends in the media and how will it change the media planning?Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 24, 1997 ):
Media have always changed. Once there were only print media and billboards. Then radio, then TV. Not only do new media arise, but the numbers of media vehicles of each type of each type proliferate. The web is only the latest and most explosive example of this proliferation. What causes the changes for the planner is the availability of research and hard facts on which to base decisions, rather than using theory. One of the biggest changes may be the growing emphasis on direct response models for evaluating media effectiveness, rather than awareness, recall, or requests for additional information.

Or is it the ability to apply computer models to planning?

Saturday, March 08, 1997 #1313
I'm going to start (next month) to work on media planning. I'm not an experienced guy. I graduate my self in business communications and marketing. I wanna be a good professional. What's your advise for a beginner?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 24, 1997 ):
This is a very broad question. You should find yourself a mentor. If there is no one suitable in your new company, get friendly with a media salesperson who seems knowledgeable.

Friday, March 07, 1997 #1026
What steps are taken for a direct respone campaign?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 08, 1997 ):
Given the nature of this forum, the Guru's answer assumes you refer to the media planning steps and specifically to the aspects that differ from other kinds of media campaigns.

For instance, in any media campaign, delivering messages to the right target is crucial. However, in a direct response campaign, the target is more often judged on response characteristics than on general demographic characteristics supposed to be true of product users. This can mean mailing to a list of persons known to buy by mail order, in product categories similar to the one at hand, or by trial and error, broadcasting direct response commercials in programming that is shown to produce response.

It is one of the awesome mysteries of direct response that one placement in a program with "X" number of the right demographic audience may repeatedly generate less response than another program with far more target audience.

Therefore response tracking during campaigns is a key difference. In broadcast this can mean that an "inbound telemarketing" company is hired to receive calls. This company takes orders, and send reports the next day tracking sales by time, which can then be associated with particular commercials or infomercial placements. Schedules may then be adjusted to focus on best producing times / stations / programs.

Similarly, variations in direct mail copy or mailing list may be compared.

Thursday, February 27, 1997 #1029
what is the process of planning and buying on the internet?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 27, 1997 ):
The process is very much like traditional media planning and buying. The current lack of good information about sites' audience size and demographics make the planner think harder. The lack of any readily available listing of sitesby category and price makes the buyer work harder.

Oneuseful planners and buyers resource is Focalink'sproduct, Market Match, which compiles a lot of what info isavailable on the largest ad supported sites, including AMIC.

Tuesday, February 11, 1997 #1049

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, February 11, 1997 ):
In the US, Sissors and Bumba's "media planning" is considered the classic. This and other US texts may have very little relevance in another country where media availability, cume patterens and culutral context are totally different.

The Guru would suggest contacting a few local Universities' bookstores to find the most commonly used text for Israel.

Monday, February 10, 1997 #1052
How do I even begin the Internet planning/buying process ?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, February 11, 1997 ):
1) you already know media planning/buying in general, and
2) you have already allocated a budget expressly to internet (Web) media,

Then your question would seem to be how to identify the appropriate web sites and how to evaluate and negotiate with them.Starting poins include;

Search engines which can be used to identify topically relevant sites.

Services such as FocaLink which compile descriptive material as well as audience info about sites into a database.

Specialist web media services such as i-traffic.

There are pure audience surveys such as PC-Meter, and there are traffic counters like Netcount.

Friday, January 24, 1997 #1069
Media Guru, have you ever used or heard of "Compass" media planning software? I was curious if you have any opinions about it and who manufactures it. Thanks in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, January 26, 1997 ):
The Guru was more familiar with Conquest, a similarproduct. Compass software is a VNU / Claritas product based on the PRIZM geodemographic system, while Conquest is a system originated by Donnelly, then a Nielsen company, and linked to their Cluster Plus geodemographic system. The Guru believes Strategic Mapping, Inc was the buyer from Donnelly, and recently Claritas acquired Strategic Mapping.

Equifax' National Decision Sytems is one other supplier of such systems

The Guru is fascinated by the potential of geodemographic planning, which can identify customers' or prospects' concentrations geographically, the demographic make up of retail trading circles and many other fascinating manipulations of target populations. It is also feasible to link customers by location to Simmons MRI, JD Power, and other respondent data bases.

Tuesday, January 07, 1997 #1082
This may sound dumb but what is the difference between a marketing plan and a media plan? Can I use your on-line provided media plan as an outline for my marketing plan?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, January 08, 1997 ):
The descriptions of the parts of a media plan here include all of the possible parts of a media plan. In practice only a small portion of those topics would be usedin a typical plan.

Only new business presentation plans are likely to contain this muchinformation. Keep in mind that the Guru has presented a description of the parts of a plan, not an outline of a plan.

For your purposes the key differences are that a media plan takes much of the marketing plan as givens, whereas the marketing plan needs to set up and support the facts and decisions that become the starting points of the media plan.

Marketing plans are broad, covering manufacturing, distribution, profit and marketing communication issues not usually included in media plans.

By fleshing out and rearranging the marketing element, you might come close to having a reasonable marketing plan.

Sunday, December 08, 1996 #1095
Hi Media Guru. I am interested in the amerikan TV und Meidaplaning Market. I would like to get some information about the TV Market Situation in the State. Do know some books concerning this subject. The same with media planning. I coudn't find any Book in the inter bookstores concerning that subject. Can you give me a hind, where I can find these literature. You would make me very happy. Thanks Markus

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, December 20, 1996 ):
SQAD and MediaDynamics are different resources which reflect the TV marketsituation. Both offer data in the AMIC Rates andDatesarea.

Tuesday, October 22, 1996 #1120
I am a consultant to a TV station. Recently most agencies have adopted one or another media planning software. We have tried to undersatand what type of optimizers they have and what effect in their decisions may have. For example one that uses integer programming seems to benefit high GRP programmes while others low cost and low audiences. How does the type of optimizer influence the plan? Thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 23, 1996 ):
Optimizers must be set to Optimize something. It may be pure reach, reach at a given level of frequency, reach within a specific budget,etc. Usually some form of reach is in the goal, because other considerations like cpm or GRPs are simple arithmetic, while reach involves more complex computer models.

The reach models must be based on some measurement of "actual" schedules to be worth anything at all. If each optimizer is merely based on some programmer's opinion of how audience accumulates, there is no way to predict results without owning a copy of the program.

When reach within budget is the issue, it is possible forlow cost/low rated programs to be preferred if theydeliver so much more gross audience that even at low rates of net accumulation, the total reach can be more than quicker 'cuming. high-rated schedules.

Sunday, October 13, 1996 #1126

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, October 14, 1996 ):
One of the best known texts on media planning in the us is "media planning" by Sissors and Bumba. There are other books with their own adherents.

However, these books are about US media planning. In other countries, like Israel, though general principals would be similar, specifics may vary drastically, based on media types available, and standards of measurement or exchange, etc

Wednesday, October 02, 1996 #1134
what is your view on the "accordion assumption"?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 02, 1996 ):
By the "accordion assumption" the Guru assumes that you arereferring to the situation in radio, for example, where 25 spots ineach of 4 weeks is considered the same as 100 spots in 1 week.

In general the Guru believes that it will slightly underestimate thereach. Since there is a larger potential audience over 4 weeksthan over just 1 week, it is reasonable to expect less duplication with the same number of spots over the longer period. However, in atypical schedule, the differnce will likely be small. Unfortunately there is little in the way of concrete data to make more than just a small general adjustment when using a longer period.

You might consider posing this question to the "media planDiscussion List" and see what opinions you can ilicit fromthat group.

Wednesday, August 28, 1996 #1159
What do you think are the chances for a media planner from a third world country in the US? Do I start from scratch or will my experience of two years in an internationally affiliated agency help?Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, August 29, 1996 ):
The factors will be how similar your own country's media environment is to the US and how well you can generalize your experience, on an interview. Will your "internationally affiliated" agency help you make contact with its US affiliate?

Your experience may be exceptionally valuable to an internationally oriented US agency doing business in your home country. There are also agencies specializing in advertising to Asian Americans where you would have an advantage, YAR in New York is one such.

Good luck.

Friday, August 16, 1996 #1167
I am working on a media plan to introduce a name change of a Busisness to Business Office Equipment dealer. Is there any guidelines as to what the media mix should be? Are there any examples of case studies on these types of media plans-and where would I find them? Do you have any suggestions?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, August 20, 1996 ):
The only guideline the Guru can think of, from your information is to specifically determine and use the media your B to B customer consumes.

Tuesday, July 30, 1996 #1174
What is a good source(s) for evaluating the impact of advertising on the Web for a multi-media plan? Also, in your opinion, what is the value-added the Internet or Web in particular has to offer an advertiser than other media does not?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 31, 1996 ):
Sources for evaluating impact will probably be scarce for a while...when will there be an advertiser big enough to have a prototypical "cool" web site who is willing to test the web's ability to sell without other traditional advertising support?

Some of the B to B media sites might be close. There seem to be a few logical analytical steps that someone considering WWW advertising could go through if they're not prepared to spend on actual research.

Consideration 1:
Does the target participate in the web to an extent that could even conceivably affect sales if the site was a raging success in drawing traffic?

IE the Ragu site is frequently mentioned as one of the coolest, but what fraction of Ragu's probable target audience (Working LOH 25-54, maybe?) is a regular web user -- not merely having "access."

Consideration 2:
Is there some logical connection of the web to the advertised product/service that could add value, eg computer or entertainment industry or some other where the web could provide an interactive demo or sample.

Consideration 3:
Is building a database of visitors of particular value?

Consideration 4:
Is there any clear marketing goal that the web can achieve better than traditional marketing communications.

Just so this doesn't come across as the Guru downplaying the web, recognize that it is of value to certain advertisers to be perceived as cool, leading edge, etc and the web is today's ultimate credential in that arena.Yahoo or AltaVista can find you others.

Sunday, June 23, 1996 #1192
I am working on a media plan for attracting tourists to our small town. Is there a source of information to tell me what works best in this mix, target audience, etc.?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, June 24, 1996 ):
Your town may or may not have the same target tourists as the next. Standard syndicated sources, such as Simmons and MRI can help with targetting.

Media mix depends on budget, geography and creative considerations among other issues. You probably should put together an overview of other tourism accounts' media use, with the help of the media you might consider using, or the help of commercial ad tracking services like CMR and VMS / RTV.

Thursday, June 20, 1996 #1195
How do I maximize distribution of my message with a minimum amount of advertising dollars?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 21, 1996 ):
You are asking for an entire course in media planning.The simplest answer is to find the lowest cpm medium for your target group in the geographic area you want to cover.

This, of course, raises numerous goal-setting questions and leaves out evaluation of individual media vehicle effectivenss.

Simple answer #2: go to a media professional. His/her fee will be easily offset by the added value of a properly structered plan.

Thursday, June 20, 1996 #1196
Do you know about media planning and/or media effectiveness courses or congresses, in the united states or europe that you recommend?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 21, 1996 ):
There is not a lot one can learn from these 2 or 3 day courses. But often a good insight or two on a specific topic can be gleaned. The Guru (who has often been on the faculty of these seminars) does not recommend any in particular, but the trade magazines Inside Media and Media Week will generally carry advertising of the schedules of the major seminar series.

Friday, May 17, 1996 #1213
Dear Guru,I have two questions which you might have heard before.
a)I do know that a :15s commercial on TV cost between 50% to 75% of a :30s depending on market etc. Is there any studies that show what the benefit of either length is (if any) in terms of reach, frequency, effectiveness, memorability, etc.
b)I have seen studies praising the advantage of multiple media usage above single media; in other words using TV and radio instead of just TV. Can you elaborate on that and update with new info about this topic. Reason being a client who would like to slash the budget down to just using TV for campaigns. I however feel that there is an added benefit in using multiple media.Please respond by Monday if you can.Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 19, 1996 ):
a) There is is no difference in reach and frequency between a :15 and a :30. In the same time period, they have the same audience, within the tolerances of research measurement.

On the other hand, a schedule using :15's in place of some or all the :30's will provide more reach and frequency, because it has more announcements, hence more GRP, etc, for the same budget.

When :15's started to become popular several years ago, there was considerable research regarding effectiveness versus :30's. The general findings were that :15's had about 70 - 75% of the recall of a :30. At the time, :15's were typically a network option priced at 50% of :30's so the trade off of price vs effectiveness seemed favorable.

b) Multi-media plans chief benefit is in reach development, though the effects of the added reach have ripples in many directions.

Adding a new medium adds more reach than adding weight in the same medium: There are more likely to be different people in the audience of a different medium, over a given period of time. This applies to effective reach as well.

There are a variety of philosophical approaches to taking advantage of this.

One approach says to build reach up to a minimum effective level in the primary medium first, before adding the next medium. Another says build the first medium to the point where the reach curve flattens, then add the next medium to resume reach growth.

A newer, different line of thought, the "recency" theory, de-emphasizes reach in favor of delivering messages to the consumer closest to the point of making a purchas decison. This argues for continuity, to reach more people at all times rather than highest levels in sporadic flights. Again, multi-media will produce more reach, but other theories of minimum weekly levels may effect scheduling, ie radio bought to a minimum of 12x weekly when active.

Judgements must also be made regarding whether TV and radio is perceived as the same message by the consumer. Of course, this same judgement must be applied to different executions in the commercial pool of each individual medium as well.

Wednesday, May 08, 1996 #1224
I am composing my first interactive media plan for a regional bank client. It is a three month campaign. I am trying to set a monthly gross impression goal that would generate adequate on-line exposure for launching a pc based banking product. Any rules of thumb?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, May 08, 1996 ):
You could try to "back into" your goal.

How many customers for the PC product would be considered a "success?"

What response rate can you expect from a web site?There may be some published infromation in the trades.

Suppose it's the 1 - 1.5% that's considered successful in some other direct response media. Divide your customer sign-up goal by the response rate to project needed site visits. For example, if you want 1000 pc accounts, 1000 divided by .01 (1%) is 100,000.

Is this realistic? If there are 10 million US households using the WWW (a mid range estimate) how many might be in the "regional" service area of your bank? We assume there is some need for a personal visit to the bank at some point in the process.

Let's take a generous estimate of 10%. So there would be 1,000,000 potential customers. You would need to draw 10% of them to your site to get the 100,000 vistors who would produce the 1000 accounts.

This certainly indicates that you would need a strong traditional media campaign to draw site visitors.

But, plug in your own numbers in the suggested process, and as the saying goes, "you do the math."

Thursday, May 02, 1996 #1229
I am looking for the most efficient and wide-spred meansof reaching media buyers regarding available banner spaceon some of our prominent web sites. Is there a comprehensiveindex or posting service that will give me access to the big guns ?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, May 03, 1996 ):
You probably want to reach people with planner titles, rather than buyers. In most cases planners will be making the decision on whether to include web media and which to use.

If you are not restricting yourself to those already known to be using the web, then the two trade journals for the media segment of the ad business could be your best bet: Inside Media or MediaWeek(212) 536-5336. You can use them as advertising vehicles or sources of media planner lists. The Standard Directory of Advertising Agencies could also generate a mailing list of persons with media titles listed in the Agency "Redbook."

Wednesday, May 01, 1996 #1230
Are there any software packages that allow you to collectmedia data over the internet? Also, what are the latestprograms dealing with media planning? I work with a small agencyin New York that places local radio, newspaper and televisionin a few markets in the midwest and we are looking forways to go take our media planning into the digital age.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, May 02, 1996 ):
Telmar, (AMIC's parent corporation) is in the business of providingits clients with leading edge technology for internet, dial-up and local access to media software as well as to the hundreds of syndicated databases available for clients with legal access.

Telmar has programs for print, television,cable, radio, and newspaper. The All media planner allows the user to do all media advertising media planning, including reach/frequency analysis, media mix, optimization, budget allocation, flowcharting, graphics. Also note that there is free cost per point information provided by SQAD on AMIC.

Contact for further information about Telmar's services.

Tuesday, April 30, 1996 #1231
I'm working on a presentation on how media planning professionals go about determining a media mix, and how a percent of budget is allocated to each medium being used. It's a general presentation for a client who is not very familiar with media planning terminology or methods. So far my sources for info include a couple of similar documents that I and others that I work with have written in the past, and the media planning textbook (by Scissors). Do you know of any other RECENT sources of info, points-of-view, articles on this topic? Or have you answered a similar question recently? If so, please tell me the category under which your response would be filed (I have looked through several categories of your responses and did not see anything relevant to this topic). Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, April 30, 1996 ):
In the broadest terms, the process may be thought of as

Marketing Goals ---> Marketing Strategies ---> Media Goals ---> Media Strategies ---> Media Tactics, etc.

A very simple example:

A marketing goal of increasing the number of users of product X might lead to a strategy of converting users of competitive brand Y.

The media goal might then be to optimize reach at effective levels of frequency among a demographic group matched to current users of brand Y.

The media strategy to achieve this might then be built by examining various media mixes to determine which produce the best balance of effective reach for the budget, within the creative limitations.

Of course this is just one possible marketing goal, one possible strategy that might emerge.

There are many ways to set reach goals, to set minimum effective levels or decide to apply the recent "proximity" or "recency" theory of exposure.

In short, one doesn't decide on percents of media and see how it turns out, one decides which media will best answer the marketing and media strategies. Often, some creative decisons have precedence: if TV is designated as the "primary medium" because of communications ability, need to demonstrate, etc, then the strategy migh dictate putting all money into TV "until the effective reach curve is exhausted."

There are infinite ways to express and measure goals and their achievment. Some standard media planning software, such as Telmar's Media Maestro, and Hispanic Media Maestro, allow easy examination of various mixes, instantly showing how reach/frequency/effective reach change as budget or schedules are shifted between media by the planner.

Tuesday, April 30, 1996 #1232
Can you recommend any good books on how to plan/negotiate/buy national broadcast. My experience is only in print and spot TV so I need a good book to get me up to speed. Thanks in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, April 30, 1996 ):
There are a few books on planning, such as Sissors and Bumba's "media planning." Negotiating and buying is more a matter of apprenticeship and seat-of-the-pants learning. While essential principals of National Boroadcast are similar to spot, there are many differences in details, like guarantees, "re-caps," special math applications, etc. Your best best would be to befriend a salesperson in each medium and get a quick course in the special issues that apply, assuming there is no one to guide you in your own company.

Wednesday, March 27, 1996 #1253
what is the going rate for advertising on web sites?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, March 29, 1996 ):
The various trade publications often discuss this data.Ad Age is one, and most libraries have it on file if the web site doesn't. CMP, Meckler and other computer publishers may such articles filed on their sites.

Finally, i-traffic, a Web media planning / buying service, maintains a listing on their site.

Wednesday, March 20, 1996 #1256
Can you recommend any mail lists (online) that deal with media planning, buying and/or media research?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, March 22, 1996 ):
Thanks for asking. As a result of your inquiry, and the need for such a list, the staff at AMIChas created a new list devoted exclusively to media planning / buying / research. The list has just this evening been established.It will be announced in all of the appropriate places. You can bethe first to join the list. Send email to with any subject and the message:

The archive for mediaplan will on AMIC in the section of AMIC.

In an answer below on March 5, the Guru has described some marketing mail-lists which do include media topics in their discussions.

Elsewhere on the AMIC site, the Forums section offers newsgroup-style discussion of some other media and media research topics.

Wednesday, March 06, 1996 #1268
I am developing plans for an online publication and am need of some advice regarding advertising sales. I'm looking for a resource that can review my plans for editorial content and data I've collected on my potential competition and offer projections on traffic and advertising revenue. I'm also looking for a heads up on where to find the rate cards of selected online publishers.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, March 06, 1996 ):
One firm that could answer both your needs is i-traffic an on-line media planning service which also maintains a site providing traffic and rate data for major web advertising sites.

Thursday, February 15, 1996 #1759
Can you give me a range of rates charged by senior media consultants- daily, hourly, longer term? The rate structure and rationale should be for someone with 20+ years experience as a Media Director at large and medium sized shops, but is now in business for themselves.Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 22, 1996 ):
There are many variables that enter into the determination of rates. These include:

* The presence of a retainer
* The guarantee of a significant number of hours
* The nature and value of the project - i.e., being asked to critique a 20 million dollar media plan vs. a small local market media buy

Rates can range from as low as $55 per hour to up to $300 per hour depending on a number of issues such as those described above.

Friday, January 26, 1996 #1772
I am doing a research study on the concept of IMC versus it's actual use in advertising agencies. In your view, how has Integrated Marketing Communications affected advertising agencies particularly the media department. Do you think the concept is in question.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 02, 1996 ):
Where IMC has really been implemented the effect on media departments has been profound. media plans that take account of everything from promotion to packaging and R&D can be quite different than the quick and dirty media plans that are probably far more common. Media is paying far more attention to realistic communication effects within a broader marketing overview.

Of course this style is limited to fairly sophisticated, or adventurous marketing clients and ultimately is more talked about than implemented. The guru believe that an careful comparison of media plans before and after IMC would show more differences in language than in media selection.

Tuesday, January 23, 1996 #1777
how would you make two different media plans with the same budget for the same product? theoretically Is there any literature, examples or cases in this field?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 02, 1996 ):
This question seems to be "tell me all about media."

But assume you have one media plan built properly. That is, by setting up media goals flowing out of the marketing goals and then strategies and tactics which will accomplish those goals best. The next step to create the "different plan" is to begin at the strategies and tactics phase. Develop alternate strategies and tactics which could also achieve the goals.

"media planning" by Sissors and Bumba is a classic text in this field. University libraries and some public libraries would have others. The Advertising Research Foundation has a library of case studies and texts, available to members.

Saturday, January 13, 1996 #1784
Query:What are the primary benefits of including Sports Marketing in a media plan. Are there sites on the Web where I can learn more about Sports Marketing, > specifically Collegiate Sports marketing?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 02, 1996 ):
Sports Marketing can mean different things to different marketers. In a media plan it could mean something as simple as ads in game programs or sponsorship of a team.

The benefits in a plan can be developing a relationship with fans of a team or of a sport or more closely targeting prospect for the advertiser who are known to be especially interested in a sport. The extreme can be becoming the official "xxx" of a sport or event. Investing in sports marketing may be highly inefficient in media terms, though often there is only the undefinable cachet of association with an event seen as prestigious by a fan who is a prime prospect. After all, what objective logic leads the game show "Jeopardy" to be an "Official Olympic Sponsor?"

A search through Yahoo produces many entries under sports marketing, which indicates what a broad umbrella is this concept. The "sports and marketing" links provided by AltaVista, seem more likely to answer media plan rationale questions. Space prevents me from displaying them here, but you should be sure to do a search at AltaVista.

Wednesday, January 10, 1996 #1792
Please provide some sources for a small ad agency to use to conduct national magazine print planning for a demanding client. I have several programs with very different audiences and don't have the time or staff necessary.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 02, 1996 ):
"Programs" shouldn't be providing audience data, they should be reading the current data of SMRB, MRI, MMR, etc.

Telmar has software which will analyze media plans using any of these or several other audience studies. SMRB and MRI also offer systems to analyze their audience data in media planning.

If your concern is primarily software cost or staff time, the print media also have these systems and are eager to help you run Reach & Frequency or other analyses of print alternatives. It would be wise to specify the data (SMRB or MRI, etc) which you will use as your standard and ask more than one of the candidate publications to do analyses.

Magazine audience change over time, new magazines come along; it is important to be using current research.

Monday, January 08, 1996 #1795
What do you perceive the future of advertising ?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 02, 1996 ):
Much too broad a question for the Media Guru to answer in a reasonable way. What items of advertising are you interested in; Ad content, spending, new media? Please ask a narrower question, relating to media planning if you wish the Media Guru to answer it.

Sunday, December 03, 1995 #1813
I am an advertising student at Penn State working on a media plan for Oakley Inc. The resources at my disposal (library, Simmons, LNA, SRDS, MRI) do not even have my client listed. Can you point me in the right direction to find this information? My main search at this point is Oakley's competition. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 03, 1995 ):
When a brand isn't listed, then one works with category information. Eg if the Oakley product is sunglasses or ski goggles, that *category* might be in SMRB, even if the Oakley brand isn't. If the category isn't there another category of equipment in the same price range and with the same degree of necessity/optionalness for the same activity, might be a good analog. Failing that, similar equipment for a different activity. In short, generalize outward from your sepcific, then add details to make assumptions. Ie, if Oakley is relatively expensive. assume your user is upscale from the category average. There may be other product facts that can guide you from category information.

Thursday, October 05, 1995 #1836
Could you give any information about a journal:Journal of media planning? Is this exist now? From where and how can I order it from Hungary? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, October 05, 1995 ):
If memory serves, the Journal of media planning was published by NorthWestern University. The Advertising Research Foundation would have it in its library and could provide contact information. Phone (212)751-5656 or write ARF, 641 Lexington Ave., NY, NY 10022 or send email to

Friday, April 07, 1995 #1855
How do you obtain MRI information?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, April 07, 1995 ):
MRI, at (212)599-0444, are in the business of selling their information.

However, the media you might buy for your plan will have access, and can provide it. The major radio rep firms, like KATZ, etc., can analyze MRI, etc for media planners.

Friday, April 07, 1995 #1856
Do you have information on how to promote new releases of computer software via radio?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, April 07, 1995 ):
MRI or SMRB, or perhaps Mendelssohn, would cross software or PC users with radio formats to help media planning. Some radio stations may have such information available through Scarborough studies or their own custom research.

Tuesday, March 28, 1995 #1861
How does the All-media planning Suite deal with Web sites as an element in the overall mix?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 28, 1995 ):
The program allows input for Specialty media. If you have an estimate for its delivery, you can enter it and mix it with other media.

Monday, February 27, 1995 #1867
What system can I use to analyze on line services and the internet for a media plan?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 27, 1995 ):
Telmar's ADplus System is particularly designed for analysis of unmeasured as well as measured media and should be examined to see if it meets your needs. You can find more information on ADplus in the Software Products and Services section of AMIC.

Sunday, February 26, 1995 #1868
Is there any marketing or media planning library on www-netscape available for public?Would you please give me any usefull addresses? Thank in advance!

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, February 26, 1995 ):
Well, for a start you could look at the Encyclopedia of Media Terms and the Parts of a media plan in our Media Guru section. We'll keep an eye out for any additional resources.

Monday, January 23, 1995 #1877
It seens that the effective reach concept is falling on disrrepute. What do you think. Is it a valuable concept for a package goods advertiser?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, January 23, 1995 ):
Despite some media pundits, effective reach/frequency is not dead yet. A good media plan should directly address the communication strategy of each particular product campaign. Frequency will depend upon such parameters as purchase cycle, complexity of the message, competitive advertising, the ability to deliver the message in a timely fashion at the height of consumer interest, as well as other tried and successful principles. The current heightened interest in frequency takes into account the length of the advertising commitment, a concept that was always vague in the original effective reach/frequency theory. Because this topic is of great importance, we have created a news group under Industry Forums so that all AMIC members may participate.