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Media Guru

Guru Search Results: 39 matches were found

Sunday, November 21, 1999 #2993
guru-what are the major benefits to advertising online versus other forms of media?(tv,print, ect.)thank you guru

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, November 28, 1999 ):
The biggest advantage, if that's your target, is the high composition of computer users.

Another is the potential for instant, interactive response.

Another is the possibility of segmenting the audience with almost infintite specificity, by virtue of selecting pages by topic or placement based on keywords.

Internet advertising also conveys something of an up-to-date, with-it image, if that is an issue for an advertiser.

More quantitative advantages, based on efficiency or reach must be compared on a case by case basis. Sometimes on-line has an advantage, other times not. One should never lose sight of the fact that only about half of the population uses the net today.


Friday, November 12, 1999 #2964
Can research determine which media is best to drive traffic to a local retail business? If there is a particular medium or media, what research approach can best determine which media works? Please consider that this a local business that currently advertises in radio, newspaper and billboards and is very successful at driving traffic to retai outlets that are not highly visible in their marketplace.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, November 16, 1999 ):
A specific individual business can use research to determine this.

Most simply, it is easy to include something in the advertising which makes people want to tell the business's operators where they heard of them. Or staff can be instructed to inquire where customers heard. More expensively, a commissioned study can probe awareness and shopping behavior from a random sample or a customer database sample. In any of these cases, the research must be carefullly studied and interpreted, to distinguish the results of branding efforts from promotions.

If the business has a long history of establishing its name and offerings in the community through radio and outdoor campaigns, the research might still find that "What brought the cusotmer in today" was a newspaper or Yellow Pages ad. Analysis might well show that the newspaper or Yellow Pages ad would have had little impact without the other media's branding effects.

Different businesses enjoy different effects from various media. A roadside, impulse business, like a highway restaurant chain can get immediate results from highway billboards which would have much less benefit for an in-town, white tablecloth eatery. A branding-oriented newspaper campaign for the latter would likely be more effective than one for the highway chain.


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

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


Monday, November 01, 1999 #2924
Please share your thoughts on the value of paid vs. controlled circulation of consumer magazines. Thanks so much.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, November 02, 1999 ):
Controlled circulation is not common among consumer magazines. It is likely to be something like pre / post natal publications, requested for a limited period.

The Guru thinks its is important to distinguish true controlled circulation magazines, meaning those received through active request, from those received incidental to a menbership, such as Modern Maturity from AARP, or Costco Magazine.

The supposed benefit of paid circulation is the presumption of interest on the part of the reader who spends money on the magazine. Yet, most magazine comparisons are based on total audience, not primary (subscriber/purchaser) audience. If a paid circulation magazine has 4 readers per copy, should we consider the 3 in addition to the purchaser more valuable than the "primary" reader of a controlled circulation magazine?

Bottom line, this issue could be a tie-breaker between otherwise comparable titles, but isn't important enough to make broad strokes eliminations.


Wednesday, October 27, 1999 #2908
Doing a BDI/CDI on an entire population makes sense since in some cases it could point you towards a group of the population whi is not your target audience but is purchasing your product in large volumes.This could be true of categories like FMCG's. In the case of categories like white goods especially at the premium end - like premium end cars - wouldn't the given target audience be filtered out by set of demographics and psychographics and therefore a BDI/CDI done in that case should be on the target audience rather than total population. Can I have your views on this issue ?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 27, 1999 ):
As the Guru uses the terms and techniques, BDI/CDI are meant to evaluate and prioritize geographic markets.

Whether the demographic target has been correctly identified or not, using total market populations will work to evaluate geographic markets.

Premium goods or package goods equally have their specific targets. While narrower population groups may account for more of premium goods sales, nevertheless accounting for all sales has its benefits.


Thursday, October 14, 1999 #2872
I have a client in the travel industry who is still not convinced that advertising on-line will increase sales. They have a website, but do not use it for its full benefit such as bookings. They have read somewhere that there is only a 1% clickthrough on banners and therefore are convinced we don't need to include Online Advertising on any media mix even though we have the budget for it. Can you offer any advice.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, October 14, 1999 ):
"Only 1% click-through" is only good or bad in relation to cost and business expectations. If you buy one million impressions for $30,000 and get 10,000 click-throughs (1% of 1 million) and they all book something, it's all net profit after the first $3 of profit each one generates. If your conversion rate on clicks is less than 100% (which of course it is) than you just need to estimate the conversion rate and profit per sale to judge the value of on-line.

And don't take the Guru's $30 as gospel, see what you can get.


Friday, October 01, 1999 #2839
We work with a client who is a franchise of a larger hospitality company. In previous years, their plans have consisted of heavy spot TV schedules in their various markets. In 2000, they are making a large jump into network, leaving minimal dollars for supplemental spot buys. They are not achieving total TRP levels of previous years, and want to know the trade off of heavy spot vs. lighter, higher quality network. Besides anecdotal info, I'm at a loss. Please help! Thanks in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 01, 1999 ):
The key consideration is how close to national your client is. How much waste are you buying when you use national media versus media falling only within target areas?

You are using an assumption of "quality" here that the Guru couldn't justify. What is your definition of quality, rating size? First run versus rerun? The Guru doesn't believe those factors contribute much to sales. In either case, whether in spot or in national, you can chose your programs, air in prime-time, first run programs, etc.

If there are large parts of the country where advertising weight is waste, and if you must short-change good prospects in order to be national, what's the benefit? If your coverage area had been close enough national, you would have found economies of scale in moving from spot to network.


Thursday, July 15, 1999 #2635
I am looking to determine whether we should advertise on TV during Christmas/New Year's or not. Historically we have not advertised during that period, but we would like to reconsider. Are there any guidelines on this, particularly for an insurance product that is not seasonal? Is there a way of looking at costs/benefits to evaluate whether we should advertise during the holidays? Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 15, 1999 ):
First, look at the historical sales pattern your product experiences. If you can't afford to advertise continuously, focus on better sales periods.

The theory of avoiding Christmas because of more clutter doesn't stand up to examination, but at Christmas time, people's attention is on the holiday and more cheap, quicky commercials seem to air and create a cluttered feeling.

On the other hand, because of these theories, advertising prices are often down at and just after Christmas, so bargains abound if you can take advantage.


Wednesday, July 14, 1999 #2632
What are GRP's and what do they stand for in a media buy? I am an Account Manager and don't have the Media background but need to explain the GRP levels to my Product Managers. Please help.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 15, 1999 ):
GRPs are gross rating points, the pounds and ounces of media buying and selling. The target audience of an advertisement divided by the population of the target group is the ad's rating. The sum of the ratings of the ads is the Gross Rating Points. Plans specify how many GRPs of each medium to buy. For print, specifications are more often numbers of insertions in specific titles, but the GRPs can be calculated the same way and one plan compared to another.

Allowance must be made for :15 versus :30 GRP or half page versus full page. A given program or magazine has the same rating (GRP) whatever the ad size/length, but obviously there is more benefit from 100 GRP of :30s or pages than from 100 GRPs of :15s or half pages.


Thursday, May 27, 1999 #2536
dear guru, i am working for a newspaper and am in charge of a supplement targeted at women. it is a newly started supplement and thence we are in the process of approaching advertisers. the point is that although the cpt for this supplement is very high it offers advertorials and other such options. what are the specific benefits that tailored editorials can offer the advertiser. please give me certain points that i can present to the client.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, May 27, 1999 ):
The key advantages of advertorials are the implied endorsement of the product by the publication and the appearent authoritativeness of the publication in the product category.


Tuesday, April 27, 1999 #2475
Every motor vehicle can be EASILY adapted to hear free over-the-air broadcast television programming through its EXISTING in-dash sound system. We want to work with stations/networks to promote this niche as a whole and distribute "station/network branded" products through an affiliate-marketing model. What would be the best way to quantify this usage for the benefit of TV broadcasters and their advertisers? Allen Mostow, President Synergy Systems amostow@tvincars.com

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, April 28, 1999 ):
The benefit to broadcasters and advertisers is obviously the audience increase. So the way to quantify it is to have either the TV or radio ratings services report its audience.

Since the stations own the signal content, and would probably have legal, technical and business problems by plugging in different content replacing purchased commercial time it is baffling to the Guru to understand what you are thinking when you say "distribute 'station/network branded' products through an affiliate-marketing model. "


Wednesday, March 24, 1999 #2406
I have read MRI's Top Line circulation report and am concerned to see that the average CPM value is much lower than our own magazine (105,000 senior readers). The publications on MRI's report have a huge circulation. Where might I find CPM values for smaller audience magazines? Am I correct in assuming that CPM increases for publications of small circulation? Regards, Ray Mallett

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 25, 1999 ):
First, you need to be clear on the distinction between circulation and readership (see query #2403, below).

If you are comparing other magazine's readership cpm to your circulation cpm you place yourself at a disadvantage.

Of course, economies of scale do make it possible for larger circulation titles to gain pricing advantages.

Also, magazines distributed by associations, where the magazine subscription may be a membership benefit but not ordered for itself, tend to have very low readers per copy, perhaps even less than 1.0. Note Modern Maturity (AARP), Amrican Legion Magazine and VFW magazine on that MRI list reference in Query #2403. Using that list and Standard Rate and Data Service (SRDS) Consumer Magazine Source you can compare circulation cpms for various sizes of publication.


Tuesday, March 16, 1999 #2396
What is your opinion of running different messages for different brands for the same client in the same issue of a magazine? Will the consumer be confused or will the messages get lost? Or is there an overall benefit? What do you think? The client is currently against this, but we are trying to make an arguement for it. Thanks Guru.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 20, 1999 ):
The Guru may be misinterpreting the question, but this seems like a non-issue on the surface of it.

If the client is one which never associates the name of the client company with consumer communication of Brand messages and the Brands are in unrelated categories, like Procter & Gamble's Tide Laundry Detergent and Jif Peanut Butter, what difference does it make that the Brands are seen in the same magazine?

If you mean same-category brands from the same client, like P&G's Tide and Cheer, perhaps each loses a bit appearing in close proximity in the same issue, and gains nothing. But in any such magazine, there are likely to be other manufacturers' competing brands, so at least the competing message might be weakened

If you mean same-category Brands where the consumer would be well aware that the manufacturer is the same, like Miller Beer and Miller Genuine Draft, the copy must be clear on different Brand positions and benefits to avoid consumer confusion.

Assuming there is a price benefit that makes the question worth considering, weigh the benefit against potential negatives in the situations that seem to have them, i.e. same-category Brands.


Thursday, March 11, 1999 #2385
Will you explain to me how one ad size is better or worse than another? For example: 1/4 pg bw @ $830 with a $36.09 CPM - vs 1/8 pg bw @ $520 with a $22.61 CPM (within the same publication). I am working on a mediaplan and I am not certain which one would benefit my client more and/or how to justify it. Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, March 12, 1999 ):
It is very straightforward to compare cost or cpm of two ad units. Creatives usually like a bigger ad (and will judge executions from across the room).

The question for a media planner is "if ½ page costs 60% more than ¼" does the larger ad give 60% better results?

"Results" might mean sales, copy recall, awareness or many things. And the percentage differential in question is key. Rarely if ever does a spread do twice as well as a page, though it cost twice as much. Cost must be balanced against impact. One of the common research bases of results comparisons, when past sales results are not an available standard, is Starch .


Saturday, February 27, 1999 #2357
Mr. Guru, I am a student and am currently working on a campaign for a car company. My team and I would very much like to use the internet as a major media vehicle, but do not have enough information to give an accurate recommendation. Can you please give me any information or websites on: cost, who's on the net, CPM, what kind of advertising can be used, and why it would be an ideal vehicle(or how I can find out). Can you please send this information to my E-mail address: AiWare@. . .

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, February 28, 1999 ):
It must be remembered that the Guru does not provide personal answers, only what is posted on this page.

The Guru wonders why you would "very much like to use the internet" if you lack information about cost, audience, advertising possibilities and benefits. Companies like Nielsen, MediaMetrix, MRI and Simmons can give a broad strokes picture of which sites appeal to your target and to what extent your target uses the web. Major web sales rep sites like DoubleClick, 24/7,and 2Can, can give you an idea of pricing and other aspects of advertising.

The Advertising Research Foundation library and C.A.S.I.E. (The Coalition for Advertising Supported Interactive Entertainment) have research regarding web effectiveness.


Monday, January 18, 1999 #2275
Dear Media Guru: How would I go about analyzing the benefits of advertising on national cable TV vs. spot TV? For example: a retail store has locations in only 8 DMAs and therefore only buys local time in those markets. Is it feasible to compare the out-of- pocket costs of a local buy vs. a national buy? Would the wasted exposure outside of the 8 DMAs outweigh the cost efficiencies of a national buy? Are there any - simple - models that do this? Thanks for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, January 19, 1999 ):
This should be very simple. According to your question, only impressions delivered within your 8 DMAs have any value.

So, for a given amount of money invested in national cable and the same money invested in local cable, which will put more impressions into your 8 markets?

If the 8 markets are fairly large, it could be easy for the national buy to be less costly.

It also depends on the system structure of the markets. Some markets are served by just one or two systems and can be purchsed more efficiently than markets, like NY, for example, which has dozens of systems. By the same token, it can be more expensive, out-of-pocket, to buy just a segment of the NY market, like northern New Jersey, than to buy all of the DMA, because of price structure oddities.

At any rate, "waste" isn't your issue, the issue is what value do you get for your investment.


Sunday, December 27, 1998 #2237
Dear Guru, I am a successful businessman out of the Computer industry and a recent perhaps "naive" entrant into the Media field. As a relative newcomer to the industry I don't have the benefit of years of experience nor the disadvantage of "old school thinking". I just have the feeling that certain media is being entirely overlooked by the "wise old owls" of the Advertising business. With all the clutter clogging up the traditional advertising "channels", one would think ad pro's would jump at an opportunity to help their clients stand out from the crowd. I think we have something new and unique to offer in this regard. Could you visit our web-site and perhaps critique it for us? I would like to know what if anything is wrong with our "picture". Thanks in advance for your time and attention. Rich Fagin, President AdverTrailer Systems

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 27, 1998 ):
In the Guru's opinion, there is nothing "unique" about yet another truck-side billboard. And, as your own sample pictures show, it is a medium as cluttered as any.


Friday, December 04, 1998 #2203
Dear guru, what is the Media Multiplier Effect and where could I find information on studies conducted on it? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, December 07, 1998 ):
The Media Multiplier Effect is a system originated by Magazines Canada to demonstrate the benefits of adding magazines to TV schedules. There are details and research summaries on their site.


Friday, December 04, 1998 #2199
Dear Guru, From your point of view, what would be the principal reasons why media planners would prefer to use one media rather than another? Taking into consideration TV, Radio, Press, Outdoor, Direct Mail, Cinema etc. What would you consider as being the attraction of each to the media planner? Many thanks for your help

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, December 04, 1998 ):
The Guru hopes that professional planners are looking at these media for their contribution to achieving the objectives and strategies of the advertiser, not for individual appeal to the planner.

Sometimes a product needs a visual medium to illustrate product benefits or shelf appearance. Other times a better known or less differentiated product benefits most from the frequency of radio.

Please visit the Guru's Media Strengths page.


Monday, November 23, 1998 #2171
I have a client that will not commit media dollars for more than a calendar quarter at a time. It will be my job to explain why he would want to purchase media for at least 6 months or the entire year for reasons of efficiencies. Obviously I will let him know the savings in dollar value. It is a known fact that he will spend the money. He just needs to be sold/told why. Like I said, other than rate efficiency, better value-add/merchandise, the promise of long term relationships with media reps and how that will ultimately benefit the client, what else can I tell him that will convince him to commit long term? Sounds like a question for Cosmo instead of the Media Guru.) Research/facts are what work best for this client.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 23, 1998 ):
You have covered all the reasons, the issue is either convincing the client to believe you or getting the advantages without his commitment After all, if he has no interest in the more-for-the-money advantages you are offering why would should he even consider making a longer commitment?

Since you say it is "a known fact" that he will spend the money anyway, why don't you buy for the whole year anyway, negotiating no-penalty, full cancellation rights after the one quarter for which you have a commitment?


Thursday, November 05, 1998 #2124
Dear Media Guru, You directed me to the Direct Marketing Association for additional research information. When I hot-link to that site I can not seem to find a way to access their research information? Do I have to become a member to do so? And if so, will I be able to access all of their information from the Internet? I have the same question in regard to the Advertising Research Foundation site. Thanks......

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, November 05, 1998 ):
The Guru often offers a hotlink merely as a way leading inquirers to more information about a suggested reosurce, even if actual studies are not on line. You may call the DMA's phone number to inquire further. The Guru is confident that the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) offers a lot of background information about Direct Marketing at no charge.

The Advertising Research Foundation is a membership organization. Access to its best-anywhere research library is a key member benefit.

However, a lot of the ARF's best material is published in conference procedings and in the Journal of Advertising Research. Copies of these with relevnt articles are available at nominal cost.


Friday, October 30, 1998 #2118
This is a two part question: PART 1: Attendant to the: (1) clutter in primetime television and (2) the erosion of the 4 network's share of audience, are there any current studies out that addresses the effectiveness of advertising on network TV in prime? PART 2: If the effectiveness of advertising in prime on the net is being affected, then how much less effective does advertising in spot tv (in prime) become? Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 02, 1998 ):
Answer to Part1:

The Guru has not seen studies of the specific factors and chain of causation you desire to examine. It seems most likely that the two causes you cite would work entirely separately to erode the effectiveness of prime time.

The two key benefits of prime were generally taken to be

  • attentiveness, which is likely to be hurt by clutter and

  • high ratings, not important in themselves, but leading to what is often cited as a planning goal, -- high reach. This becomes less avialable with the decline in network share.
The diligent planner will seek various combinations of vehicles to deliver the desired reach within budget, and put the supposed "prestige" of prime time in perspective. (Do viewers of E.R. accept the commercial more readily because they know they are part of a larger than ususal viewing audience?)

Answer to part 2:

Spot prime will or will not be effected to the extent it suffers from the same clutter and erosion. (See the adjacent query about clutter and attentiveness for related information). Your definition of spot prime will effect your answer, too. If you define spot prime as only that which runs on the 4 networks affiliates, that means the effect are more similar. But if spot prime on "independent" stations counts that changes the picture. After all, a good portion of the 4 networks' erosion is due to the WB and UPN shows like Buffy, Felicity, Dawson's Creek, Charmed, etc.


Tuesday, August 18, 1998 #2001
I have been using Simmons as a resource for consumer research information, my contract is up for renewal and I am evaluating Simmons vs. MRI. I have been hearing that many companies have been moving to MRI. What is the share each has of the market (simmons vs. MRI)? What are the key differences/benefits now that Simmons has changed their research methodology to the same approach as MRI with regard to magazine readership? I thought that was the key differentiator between the two. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, August 20, 1998 ):
The differences have indeed lessened. A detailed analysis will discern small technical differences remaining in methodology. Brand lists and other aspects of measurement other than media will have differences.

Otherwise, if you have no special comfort level with your service people, or the Choices software, it will come down to which vendor offers you the better deal.


Monday, June 29, 1998 #1929
We are producing a 90-second radio vignette for our client. It will include :30 for their commercial and :60 of new entertaining content that relates to thier product. When scheduling this vignette to air on network radio once each day for 26 or 52 weeks, is it better to get a fixed time or an ROS type schedule? Thanks for your help!

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, June 29, 1998 ):
There are pros and cons to either. An ROS schedule should cost less per spot and per GRP. It should also develop better reach. A fixed time lets you pick your environment, but you may not have any particular prefernces, so that can be an illusory advantage. Over the course of an ROS schedule, ROS should get the network's average rating as the schedule's average rating, or a better one if that's what you negotiate. Picking fixed positions will not likely give any advantage over that.

The greatest remaining benefit of fixed positions is being able to tell the client to listen for his spot at a specific time. However, even with an ROS schedule, the network should be able to give you a scheduled times a day or two before they air.


Thursday, May 07, 1998 #1584
1.how 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.


Monday, May 04, 1998 #1579
Guru, A partner and myself have recently started a company that specializes in custom audio for radio and television advertising (eg. jingles,custom music beds,voice-overs, or anything audio). My question is this: How do we go about finding the agencies or businesses that could benefit from this service? Our goal is to be the most cost effective professional service provider in this field. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 04, 1998 ):
The The Standard Directory of Advertising Agencies lists contact information, services and staffing of Advertisng Agencies


Monday, March 23, 1998 #1547
Does direct response television work for telecommunications companies? ie, long distance offers. Does direct response work best as an adjunct to traditional media? Any info on drtv would be great

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 30, 1998 ):
There are two key factors controlling whether or not Direct Response works: The creative of the advertising and the quality of the mailing list used or TV target reached. This can work for telecommunications. The Guru belioeves that the branding and awareness benefits of traditional media will make DR more successful.


Friday, December 12, 1997 #1475
Dear Media Guru: This query addresses: How are advertising agencies generally organized? and How do I determine the proper person to present a proposal for a media buy? I work for a five-year-old minor league baseball team that has, until now, concentrated its efforts in selling advertising upon local businesses. However, we are the top entertainment attraction in our region, and we feel our market size combined with our reach and influence in the market should warrant our attracting some business from regional and national advertisers. Our availabilities include print, radio, billboard, and promotions. What would you suggest is the best strategy for approaching regional/national advertising agencies regarding the opportunities we have available? Should we work to contact the people in each agency who are responsible for making buying decisions for each individual client? Or would establishing a relationship with those individuals who are familiar with buying our market on behalf of many different clients be more productive in the long run? Thank you in advance for your assistance.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, December 12, 1997 ):
Agencies generally have a media department or at least a Media Director / Media Buyer who is responsible for evaluating a media proposal. If an agency is so small it doesn't have any media titles, the acount executive for a given advertiser would be the appropriate person.

Be sure to do your homework and be ready to talk about which clients at the agency wold benefit from your proposal and why. It is generally annoying to agency people to have a media seller show up with a non-specific proposal and ask "which of your clients would want this?"


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.


Monday, October 13, 1997 #1429
Dear Guru, I need your input for a white paper I am helping develop for a client. The topic is what are some of the advantages of upfront/year long planning versus developing several mini-plans throughout the year. I guess I always took planning for granted until this particular client changed ownership and campaigns began to develop on a case by case basis. Trouble is, not much changed from year to year so it would be fairly easy to forecast the client's objectives into an upcoming year. I already came up with: time savings by planning once a year and then there is only a slight bit of execution/maintenance to worry about, the chance to lock down positioning for print, and more leverage in negotiating broadcast. Any other top line suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, October 13, 1997 ):
If you are on a commission basis, savings based on amount of work would be yours more than the client's.

The Guru believes that most benefits of long term planning are the ones you already have, leverage and opportunity (positioning).

But, if you separate long term planning from buying campaign by campaign, there are opportunities in short term buying, as well. If you always have uncommitted money to spend, you will always be able to take advantage of last minute opportunities, TV specials, special events, "fire sales" on unsold inventory or cancelled space, etc. The media sellers, knowing there is money waiting for opportunities, will seek you out when they occur.

From your experience with this client, you should be able to identify the particular media and vehicles that offer best opportunities in long term commitments versus those where short term buys give the greatest advantage.


Wednesday, July 23, 1997 #1377
Enjoyed learning from your answers. I have following questions. 1. Is there a rule of thumb for decising how much to spend on advertising vs. public relations? 2. What is the role of ad agency in determining advertising budget? Or is it determined primarily by the client? 3. How common a practice is it to perform a computerized analysis of media plan to determine the final impact in terms of reach, frequency, etc. 4. Is there a magic number in terms of GRP's, or other ratings needed to convert a prospect to a buyer? If not how does one establish the optimum budget? Thanks so much. Raj

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 26, 1997 ):
1) Advertising vs Public Relations decisions are based on a complex mix of marketing issues. One advertiser, mostly concerned with establishing an image or with community relations may spend the majority of funds on PR and the next, seeing a simple need to move units of a basic impulse purchase low-competition, product, may do no PR at all.

2) Some clients merely tell the agency how much there is to spend. Others will go through a process of determining marketing goals with the agency and consider the agency's recommendation on the cost of accomplishing those goals. More often the budget will come from the client, based on issues other than marketing goals, and then be allocated in accord with achieving the goals within the budget.

3) Computerized media delivery analysis is common. Some small retail advertisers may just hipshoot media decisions, often because the geography is small enough to track directly.

4) No, there is no magic number of GRPs to convert prospects to buyers. The marketing issues in each case vary. It should be obvious that persuading you to order a 7-Up versus a Coke next time you go out to lunch, given your background knowledge of the products and benefits, and the consequences of the wrong choice, is quite a different proposition than persuading you to buy a Mercedes Benz, select a vacation destination, or in which hospital to have surgery.


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


Monday, February 10, 1997 #1050
I'm interested in determining a definition of the term'addressability' as it pertains to cable and DTH systems. What are the key benefits of addressability, and how many homes are currently addressable. Also, where might I find results of the interactive TV trials that have actually occurred (as oposed to those that never got off the ground?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, February 11, 1997 ):
As the Guru regards the term, "addressability" refers to systems that can send different programming to individual households in response to that household's selection. This is most often seen in Pay-per-View systems, whether cable or satellite.

Searching the term "interactive tv" at Yahoowill lead to various information which you may find helpful. Addressable tv is almost antithetical to advertising, so the Guru's involvement has been minimal.


Monday, February 10, 1997 #1051
Dear Guru,Our publishing company has recently aquired another company that hosts a site on the internet. This site is very popular with a solid demographic. As of yet there has been little effort to sell advertising/banners on the site. What would you suggest is the most effective (revenue producing) way of getting advertisers to place ads on our site?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, February 11, 1997 ):
The Guru suggests determining who is the ad decision maker at companies which would most benefit by advertising on your site; ie, have their own site an target the same demographic. Then approach them by mail or by phone followed with a good written piece documenting your selling points.


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.


Monday, August 05, 1996 #1171
In regards to print advertising, what is a wear-out report? What data do I need to complete this report (reach, frequency, formulas)?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, August 08, 1996 ):
The Guru has discussed Wear Out previously (see below July 17 and May 7).

A wear out report would state the status of various print executions in your campaign in comparison to the wear out standard you have established.

Clients have a way of asking the wear out question without setting a standard or even being able to decide how to set one.

Essentially an ad is worn out when it loses all or most of its ability to accomplish its marketing purpose with its target. The purpose may be as simple as product sales, or lead generation in a direct response campaign, or it may be as difficult to define as building brand imagery or awareness of a specific product benefit. Since directly relating any of these to a specific ad would require custom research, it is typical to use whatever research has been done in the past as related to easily modelled media measurements, such as reach, frequency, GRPs or quintiles.

For example if in the past, a custom study showed the average ad was worn out at a time when the planners knew that 80% of the target had seen it 8 or more times, or when the frequency in the top 2 quintiles passed 30. (Don't use these examplenumbers). Naturally, different ads perform differently, but you will need to work on an average basis.

A wear out report then becomes a matter of reporting something like how many of thetarget have seen the ad at least "x" times, or that the frequency in the top 2quintiles will exceed the standard measure as of a certain month of the schedule, or"X" number of GRPs will have run for the ad by some date.

The key is knowing how one of these media measures relate to your wear out standard. Then the report is a simple task.


Friday, May 17, 1996 #1213
Dear Guru,I have two questions which you might have heard before.
a)I do know that a :15s commercial on TV cost between 50% to 75% of a :30s depending on market etc. Is there any studies that show what the benefit of either length is (if any) in terms of reach, frequency, effectiveness, memorability, etc.
b)I have seen studies praising the advantage of multiple media usage above single media; in other words using TV and radio instead of just TV. Can you elaborate on that and update with new info about this topic. Reason being a client who would like to slash the budget down to just using TV for campaigns. I however feel that there is an added benefit in using multiple media.Please respond by Monday if you can.Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 19, 1996 ):
a) There is is no difference in reach and frequency between a :15 and a :30. In the same time period, they have the same audience, within the tolerances of research measurement.

On the other hand, a schedule using :15's in place of some or all the :30's will provide more reach and frequency, because it has more announcements, hence more GRP, etc, for the same budget.

When :15's started to become popular several years ago, there was considerable research regarding effectiveness versus :30's. The general findings were that :15's had about 70 - 75% of the recall of a :30. At the time, :15's were typically a network option priced at 50% of :30's so the trade off of price vs effectiveness seemed favorable.

b) Multi-media plans chief benefit is in reach development, though the effects of the added reach have ripples in many directions.

Adding a new medium adds more reach than adding weight in the same medium: There are more likely to be different people in the audience of a different medium, over a given period of time. This applies to effective reach as well.

There are a variety of philosophical approaches to taking advantage of this.

One approach says to build reach up to a minimum effective level in the primary medium first, before adding the next medium. Another says build the first medium to the point where the reach curve flattens, then add the next medium to resume reach growth.

A newer, different line of thought, the "recency" theory, de-emphasizes reach in favor of delivering messages to the consumer closest to the point of making a purchas decison. This argues for continuity, to reach more people at all times rather than highest levels in sporadic flights. Again, multi-media will produce more reach, but other theories of minimum weekly levels may effect scheduling, ie radio bought to a minimum of 12x weekly when active.

Judgements must also be made regarding whether TV and radio is perceived as the same message by the consumer. Of course, this same judgement must be applied to different executions in the commercial pool of each individual medium as well.


Saturday, January 13, 1996 #1784
Query:What are the primary benefits of including Sports Marketing in a media plan. Are there sites on the Web where I can learn more about Sports Marketing, > specifically Collegiate Sports marketing?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 02, 1996 ):
Sports Marketing can mean different things to different marketers. In a media plan it could mean something as simple as ads in game programs or sponsorship of a team.

The benefits in a plan can be developing a relationship with fans of a team or of a sport or more closely targeting prospect for the advertiser who are known to be especially interested in a sport. The extreme can be becoming the official "xxx" of a sport or event. Investing in sports marketing may be highly inefficient in media terms, though often there is only the undefinable cachet of association with an event seen as prestigious by a fan who is a prime prospect. After all, what objective logic leads the game show "Jeopardy" to be an "Official Olympic Sponsor?"

A search through Yahoo produces many entries under sports marketing, which indicates what a broad umbrella is this concept. The "sports and marketing" links provided by AltaVista, seem more likely to answer media plan rationale questions. Space prevents me from displaying them here, but you should be sure to do a search at AltaVista.


Wednesday, November 08, 1995 #1822
Do you have any ideas where I can find information regarding the benefits of trade (business-to-business) advertising? Specific case stidies would also be helpful.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 08, 1995 ):
The MPA (Magazine Publishers Association) would have case studies. Many Trade Publications might also have some. The Interep Radio Store also compiles success stories, some of which would include Business to Business.



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