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Guru Search Results: 207 matches were found

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.

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.

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.

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.

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, 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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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
HOW TO JUDGE A GOOD media planning

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.

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 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.

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.

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

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.

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

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?

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

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.

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

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 #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

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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 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')

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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 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.

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.

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:

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.

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.

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 #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.

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 #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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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, 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.

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.

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

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 #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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 #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.

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.