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Media Guru

Guru Search Results: 42 matches were found

Saturday, September 13, 2003 #6156
what is a media brief? wht are it components?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, September 14, 2003 ):
A media brief is a document, usually from the account group or advertser's marketing staff, providing the information a planner needs to create the objectives, strategies and media selections of a media plan. Details such as budget, seasonality creative message, target, etc. are included. See the Guru's Parts of a Media Plan as a guide to the information needed.


Thursday, July 17, 2003 #6085
I have an $11,000 cable schedule that achieves 182 demo rating points. In Tapscan the Reach and frequency is 12.4 and 14.7 frequency. In Strata the reach and frequency is 73% reach and 2.5 frequency. I think the truth somewhere in between. Tapscan will not share the algorithims (sp)in the formula and I haven't asked STrata. What do you think?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 19, 2003 ):
The Guru imagines that the discrepancy has two bases:

One: possibly the Tapscan R&F is assuming that the input is cable GRP and the desirted output is total market R&F, while the Strata is calculating only against cable universe. For example if a market's cable penetration is 60%, then 182 cable GRP = 109 total market GRP. 73 cable universe reach = total 44 market reach.

Two: even under these circumstances, the difference should be less. The Guru suspects that dispersion and programming selection inputs differ between the two so that reach isn't calculated the same.


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

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


Tuesday, February 04, 2003 #5802
what does vertical media selection mean????

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 07, 2003 ):
It means within a category. To reach men18-34, for example, you might choose horizontally, e.g. a computer or trechnology magazine (PC World), a lifestyle magazine (Maxim), and Sports Illustrated. If you used only computer magazines, PC World, PC, and Wired, that would be verical selection.


Monday, January 06, 2003 #5723
I would like to research available media for my marketing strategy. Info on TV/Radio GRPs or newspaper/magazine print spend is readily available, but I am having trouble finding info on "newer" media outlets such as menu inserts, POP collateral (ei. postcards, take-ones, mini ads), unique destination signage, etc. Where can I look to collect info on selection (what is out there and available), cost, vendor/supplier, how to get it/who to get it from, etc. for less conventional media? Ideas and suggestions much appreciated!

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, January 12, 2003 ):
What makes these "newer" media new is that they haven't yet developend syndicated research or measurement standards. Typically,as the begin to form associations, they begin to compile research. POPAI is one such for POP materials.


Monday, January 06, 2003 #5720
We are a small agency who deals primarily in spot buys. I am putting together a network cable TV buy for a client. Network selection is largely based on MRI data against the target. I have R/F goals that were established based on a cursory "borrowed" run on an optimizer program. I know I can ask the networks to run R/F on the schedules I put together, but how can I get a combined R/F on the entire multi-network buy? We don't have a program that does that for network. Is there a formula? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, January 12, 2003 ):
Networks than can provide R&F runs can provide combined schedules. Systems vary, inout assumptions are important and some networks know how to slant results. Ask more than one network to do the same combinations as a check.

Our own eTelmar system can do R&F on a pay-per-use basis at a nominal cost.


Monday, October 21, 2002 #5570
Dear guru, How is it that I would get a lower net reach in TV when targeting a specific CPP than if I target against affinity? I am trying to determine the best benchmark for buying against A18-49 in a country with a TV monopoly - no real channel selection, some programm choices for younger audiences. I am insisting on affinity, my agency maintains that when targeting CPP, the net reach is higher for this target. I understand that affinity targeting may increase my CPP but how is it that they feel by buying on CPP I will optimise net reach AND get the cheapest CPP (?) - with the warning that, yeah, you will get the Grandmas too, but hey, they watch everything, can't help that. Are they kidding me, or what?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, October 27, 2002 ):
The Guru is not sure what you mean by "affinity: in this case, but let us assume that you mean product users, such as ice cream eaters.

A given program has a given audience, no matter how you identify your buying target.

Suppose a program reaches 10,000 people among whom are 5,000 A18-49 and 4,000 ice cream eaters. And let us suppose that the universe od persons 18-49 is 100,000 persons, while the universe of ice cream eaters is also 100,000 persons.

A spot in this program costs $100.

The program has a rating of 5 against A 18-49 and a rating of 4 against ice cream eaters, right. So the same program has a cpp of $20 ($100 ÷ 5 rating) for A 18-49 and a cpp of $25 for ice cream eaters. So there is an apparent efficiency advantage when you look at it that way, even though you get the same people for the $100. And an apparently better net reach A18-49.

The Guru believes in the long run if the affinity group is the target, you are better off buying the group and not a statistical abstraction of the group.


Thursday, June 06, 2002 #5329
Hello. I don't have access to pricing, so I am hoping you can help me. In order of most expensive CPM to cheapest CPM, how would you rank the following media (assume national activity, including local placements)? Event Sponsorship, TV Sponsorship, OOH, Radio (combo national and local campaign), Newspaper, Magazine & Online. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 08, 2002 ):
Within each category you list, there is enormous variation in cpm, more than 10:1, so that specific selections could change the rankings. Also "national activity including local placements" is confusing and again changes the range. Different demographics change the realtionships, too. And different units also are important. But in general, the Guru would rank these from highest to lowest cpm as follows:
  1. Events (not media)
  2. Magazines
  3. Newspapers
  4. TV
  5. Online
  6. Radio
  7. OOH
OOH will be lowest by a wide margin.


Tuesday, March 12, 2002 #5145
Hi Guru, I am doing research on the correlation of Ad Response by DMA (as derived from marketing mix models) to traditional sales measures (BDI/CDI/Growth Trends) and have some interesting findings. My question relates to spot buying tactics and if the list below is exhaustive: 1) Opportunistic--Strong CDI Weak BDI 2) Share Defense--Basically opposite of above 3) Spend to Business--more of an allocation strategy as opposed to a market selection 4) Impression weighting--Like number 3 but takes into account viewership Am I leaving anything off (especially sales based metrics) or not characterizing it correctly. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 17, 2002 ):
All of your tactics are presumably based on total market delivery, that is accounting for national media weight and bringing the market in line with a goal based on one of your ways of setting market levels.

Other possibilities include looking at spot on its own and at the other extreme, taking into account a complete media mix. One tactic more in line with your probable intent of allocation or level setting strategies might be Share of voice or other tactics based on competitive activity.


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

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


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

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

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


Friday, 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, May 30, 2001 #4440
What steps should I take to select test markets for DRTV?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, May 30, 2001 ):
DRTV should not be market sensitive, unless the product or it's prospects have geographic variance. You might as well test where budget will be lowest if the intended media vehicles are available.

But see a guide to test market selection posted by MediaLife Magazine


Monday, May 28, 2001 #4431
Hi, A lot of media production houses(television program producers)and smaller televsion channels are clueless about strategic issues involved in media selection, planning and buying.I feel there is a business need gap that can be filled by media experts and consultants. Are there any instances 1.where you have been approached for such projects 2. what information/analysis areas are likely to be of great value to such production houses/television companies 3. Any specific companies/agencies doing similar work. Please do let me know Thanks ABC

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, May 30, 2001 ):
TV channels (as time sellers) might well benefit form a half day's seminar on how media buyers decide what to buy. The Guru doesn't see the direct benefit for production houses.

In his role as a private consultant, the Guru has done projects for media sellers, and for producers only when they were also seling their product directly to advertisers. These projects were about how to use media numbers as selling tools and how to present the measured aspects of the media properties most attractively to potential buyers.

The U.S. system may be different than yours.


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

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


Thursday, November 09, 2000 #3958
What is the definition of dispersion and what is the formula? We are looking at various demos, their indexes across two programs to find out how stongly the shows are affiliated demographicaly. Is it a valid method to achieve such an objective.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, November 12, 2000 ):
You haven't stated an objective. "Dispersion" refers to the degree of difference in media outlet selection in your schedule. In TV it ususally refers to the number of different programs, in radio to the number of different stations, but may mean different dayparts. The usual basis for specifiying dispersion is how the reach models were constructed.


Thursday, July 20, 2000 #3636
If I put an ad in some magazine with circulation of 500,000 per month, how many people may look to my ad or go to my website?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, July 23, 2000 ):
It depends on the magazine.

Free distribution, non-requested magazines may have less than one reader-per-copy, while others may have 20 or more readers per copy.

A magazine chosen because its readers are well matched with the sort of people who would be interested in your website might get visits from 3% of the ad readers; a less targeted selection might get well under ½%.

It also depends on the nature of the ad itself. So the expectation ranges anywhere from 300 to 300,000.


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 Amazon.com)


Tuesday, December 07, 1999 #3034
Great Guru, As part of our consumer print advertising for our local convention and visitors bureau we run in a couple of in-flight publications. They have been chosen on the basis on the highest numbers of deplanements at our airport and the fact that they provide service in our region (the western United States). It is our assumption that many people have a loyalty to an airline, and we can entice regional travelers to our locale. (Although we do consider ourselves a national destination, our budget only allows us to advertise regionally.) What is your opinion on our reasoning...are we "preaching to the choir?" What considerations do you take into account when evaluating in-flights (within the category and also against other consumer print)? Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, December 09, 1999 ):
A very complex question. To break down the answers into managable pieces:
  • Airline loyalty seems a questionable basis for selection. While people may be loyal to an airline when it serves their destination, the Guru doubts that people decide where to vacation based on whether or not they can get there on the airline which they like best
  • If you were promoting one casino versus others, then advertising on the airline with the most traffic to Las Vegas would be a strong choice, but once the travelers are on a Las Vegas-bound plane, you can stop selling the city. And it doesn't make sense that a traveler presently headed to Phoenix or Ontario, CA is necessarily a better prospect for Las Vegas than a traveller headed to San Antonio or Kansas City
  • If budget is only enouogh for regional coverage, better to concentrate on the region where most visitors come from than the local region, if there is a difference.
    Preaching to the choir might be a good description of your plan.
  • Choosing among in-flights, in your case, is probably better based on ones which have travellers who like to gamble on vacation, if that's your selling point. Certainly there are media which will have a higher readership index on gambling or the other entertainments of your town than do the in-flights.


Friday, December 03, 1999 #3022
Dear Guru: I have two questions: 1. Can you tell me if there are any resources available that would provide county coverage for radio stations? 2. I am trying to find information on Hispanic Television audiences. Do the same principals apply as in the general market for daypart selections, i.e does daytime skew female? Thank you for your help!

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, December 03, 1999 ):
Arbitron provides radio county coverage.

Other than the similarly female skew of daytime, Spanish TV exhibits many differences. There is more family viewing and the nightime novelas (sort of a cross between soaps and minseries) get giant audiences; 20+ rating, 5 nights a week is typical for the top one. Nielsen has a national Hispanic TV service, NHTI, which is analogous to NTI, and NHSI for Hispanic spot in 16 markets which account for about 70% of the Hispanic U.S.


Friday, August 06, 1999 #2693
I would like to know the following: 1) how to set the effective reach/frequency for various category of Products viz fmcg, durable, etc. 2) what would be the ideal effective r&f for various categories 3) should the selection of program be based on cprp or do you have any Other method. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, August 06, 1999 ):
1) & 2) Effective reach does not depend on category, but on analysis of several factors:
  • Complexity of message
  • Ad unit
  • Competitive pressure
  • Clutter in the media used
  • Budget
  • Etc.

Some of these factors will be generalizable for categories, but they will be narrow categories, like "imported sports cars priced from $50,000 to $75,000," and not as broad as "durables."

Click here to see past Guru comments on effective reach

3) Program selection may be based on CPRP, but there are several other factors:

  • Suitability of program content
  • timing
  • program content synergy with ad message
  • package pricing of total buys with and without the program
  • contribution to reach, etc.


Monday, July 19, 1999 #2644
Preparing a long list of advertising agencies. Looking for a FREE (preferably online), brief overview of selection criteria, not including the AAAA's guide. I need it TODAY (Monday, 7/19). Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 23, 1999 ):
You should be able to come up with a list based on whatever is causing you to make the list. The biggest issue is avoiding unnecessary information.

Typical questions are billings size, category experience, years in business, media used, etc. Bad questions are billings by client - it ought to be confidential, and reasons for client departures - why would you get the truth?

One "free" on-line guide, in a way, is the criteria list at Adforum, under "Advanced search." This is an agency information lookup site, still under construction, but the search criteria used to select agencies is instructive.

By the way, please never count on getting same-day answers from the Guru, he's human, not a computer, and may take a few days to deal with a question requiring a data search.


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:
59.645.4
or
in the Caribbean visit column, dividing the %Row in HHI $100,000+ by the %Row in the "Total" row:
21.616.5.


Thursday, February 11, 1999 #2321
I have been trying to understand Plan Optimisers for quite some time now.I still am unable to understand. Especially in a complex media scenario like India where languages differ from region to region and different cities have to be covered and a lot of non- quantitative factors like regional sensitivity have to be considered , how can we effectively use Optimisers that are predominantly manufactured in the west?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, February 13, 1999 ):
Quite possibly, you cannot. Optimisers are meant to deal with quantitative issues of media selection, getting the most reach or effective reach or quintiles-of-frequency balance for the money.

Many seemingly subjective elements of the media possibilities, like the effects of regional sensitivity, can be judgmentally quantified and processed by an optimizer.

When languages differ, it is comparable to geographic differences: they are different universes and call for separate plans.


Wednesday, December 09, 1998 #2210
I need to provide some rationale for radio advertising for a local, full service nursing home (demo w50+.) Goals are to increase the number of people in the actual nursing home, as well as its independent living and assisted living facility. Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, December 10, 1998 ):
If you want to justify radio for a target of 50+, you need to compare radio's audience and efficiency versus other media. And to focus on the various, highly 50+ skewed formats radio offers.

But the Guru thinks your target might need re-consideration. In the Guru's contact with nursing home admissions, it has been apparent that the decison is rarley made by the patient, but instead by family members, particularly their children. The overall decision that a nursing home is necessary may be made by a hospital, at discharge, as often as by family, but specific selection is usually by family.


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


Wednesday, October 07, 1998 #2079
I am very curious about Internet advertising. I have the following questions to ask : Are there any studies that explore which variables determine effectiveness (defined as the ability to generate click-ons)in Internet advertising ? Can you refer me to any case studies or examples of outstanding Internet advertising ? Were I to plan for an Internet-based campaign,can you provide me with a check list of issues to keep in mind?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 07, 1998 ):
.


Sunday, August 16, 1998 #1998
i am just learning how to prepare a print media schedule, is there a standard formatt that you could supply me with. kind regards russell

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, August 16, 1998 ):
It isn't clear to the Guru whether you are referring to a presentation format or a decision making procedure.

But the simplest way to thisnk about the whole process is to present the plan in a way that shows how the decision making process produced the recommended schedule.

For example, your plan may call for

  • using magazines that are most authoritative in the topical area relevant to your product category
  • achieving a particular reach each month or in total
  • selecting magazines to accomplish the above based on greatest target audience coverage or
  • audience compostion or
  • audience efficency

You would then select candidate magizines to consider under each of the above and list them based on how well they ranked on these criteria. Finally, the schedule is assembled by trying various numbers of insertions in various numbers of titles to evaluate for overall reach or impressions delivery.

The schedule is presented by stating each of the above rules pertaining to selection, the ranking of the titles on each criterion and a comparison of the recommended schedule with others considered.


Saturday, June 20, 1998 #1912
One of my clients would like to sell pottery/teapots made by local artists in the Seattle area. We have decided that the internet is the best way to sell them, but we do not know if our sales projections are accurate. We need at least 10 sales per month in order to break even. Is this a realistic goal? We would like to start with simply registering on the search engines and maybe running a banner ad on a wedding web site. Do you think that we will be able to get at least 10 sales per month with this limitted type of advertising? thanks, Stewart McCullough

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 25, 1998 ):
There is no reasonable way to predict sales for such a product. Many sites selling computer related goods or broad-appeal goods like books and CDs are very successful. The reputation and quality of the product and how persuasive the selling message are surely more influential factors than just the selection of the medium.


Sunday, March 15, 1998 #1530
Two Questions: 1) I've been asked to prepare a presentation covering "Alternative Lifestyles Marketing". When I was given the assignment I asked for a definition of "Alternative Lifestyles", but didn't get a good answer. How might you interpret this "target"?

2) I'm seeking information on the "Optimizer" programs that have become newsworthy (in media circles) as a result of the recent mega-million P&G AOR assignment. I've heard there are two. Who are they, and can you describe briefly what they do (strengths & limitations)? thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 16, 1998 ):
1) "Alternative Lifestyles" generally refers to non-traditional social orientations which may become the major influence on a person's relationships, extending to product choices, entertainment choices, clothing styles, etc. Most often, "alternative" seems to be used to refer to socio-sexual distinction.

The Gay market is probably probably most familiar of the "Alternative Lifestyles" markets. Others might arguably be the singles market, the mature market, punk, rapper, etc.

2) Optimizer programs are designed to build media schedules based on detailed analysis of each possible "insertion" (print or broadcast).

Usually the programs optimize reach within budget. Therefore they will first select the most efficient (cost per rating point) single insertion. Next they consider every other single insertion, including a second use of the first selection. The pair of insertions with the greatest net reach per dollar becomes the next selection.

In some systems, each "best" choice is frozen as the base upon which to build additional schedule until the budget is exhausted. In more sophisticated systems, entire schedules are reevaluated for best mix at each incremental budget level.

In either, it is up to the planner to set constraints on which vehicles are to be considered, any weights or restrictions such as using each vehicle a minimum number of times, if used, or a maximum number of times.

Several agencies have proprietary systems. In Europe, there are commercial systems including "Supermaximizer" and "Expert."

In the U.S., the Guru believes the Telmar Optimizer is the only commercial system available allowing TV optimization with any available audience database (e.g. NTI, NSI, Cume studies, etc.)


Tuesday, December 16, 1997 #1478
I am adressing the respectable guru with a question regarding servicing two or more mutualy competitive clients (within the same industry). I come from media specialists company in a small market (Slovenia - not Slovakia - with 2 mio. inh.) and we are facing with this problem as companies are adressing us, but we are already working for their competitor. Some clients have no problem with such a situation as it can be efficient (joining the budgets for research for example) for both. The problem we have is what to do while planning. Let's presume we have two clients from washing powder industry and we are making a plan for both - it is like ly that the same breaks would appear in final selection and the problem may arise if we need the last ad in break: which one should get the better placement? Should we put them into the same break in the first place? Any thoughts on this matter would be very appriciated. Is serviscing two companies within same industry exceptable at all? Thank you in advance for your answer. Andraz Zorko, SLOVENIA (not Slovakia)

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, December 16, 1997 ):
The Guru's thoughts on this matter are based on U.S. experience. The Guru's international experience tells him principally that issue like the on you raise are treated differently in various countries. For example, in the UK, once a position has been sold to one advertiser, it is still possible for another to buy the position out from under the first advertiser at the last minute, by offering a higher price.

In the U.S., in certain industries, such as toys or fashion, it is not considered ethically questionable for one agency to have several "competing" clients.

From a marketing perspective, the Guru would think the two competing washing powder brands would be better served by not being in the same break. A careful analysis of all the marketing issues and communications goals ought to allow you to decide that the break is more appropriate to one advertiser than the other.

Keep in mind as well, that a plan is more than just one break. (except in the case of some US plans based solely on the Superbowl). Any one break might not be crucial to any one plan.


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.


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.


Tuesday, August 05, 1997 #1384
Are there any benchmarks for radio advertising as far as how many marketsto be in, how many $ to spend, etc. Especially for retail stores.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, August 06, 1997 ):
No, these facts change with the marketing situation. It should be obvious in a retail case that market selection depends on store locations.

Budget depends on availability of funds and the specific marketing task, like awareness or image building which may depend on continuity and long term presence, versus driving trafic to a specific, one-shotmsale or promotion.

The question suggests a student project withn an inadequate marketing brief.


Tuesday, May 20, 1997 #1350
How do marketers determine what cities they will conduct test marketing in? Peoria, Illinois used to be a popular test market....what made it so desirable and what criteria are important in determining test markets?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 20, 1997 ):
There are several criteria that may be considered:

Is the test market representative of the U.S. or the potential marketing region?

This representativeness might be judged based on various demographic characteristics.

Or on distribution or having a representative set of competitors active in the market.

Or the availability of IRI or Nielsen scanner data or other research tools to read results.

Or the local availability of the national media under consideration.

Or purity of the media environment, i.e. minimal spill-in / spill-out of broadcast media, newspapers, etc.

Or size / media pricing which made testing inexpensive.

Peoria would have met several of these standards. Nielsen and others maintain guides for the specific purpose of comparing market characteristics in selection of test markets.


Friday, March 07, 1997 #1025
Dear Media Guru, regarding controlled trade magazines, what would you consider a reasonable yearly percentage breakout, before you consider the magazine does not control its circulation well? Ideally, 100% qualified within a year is best. However in cases where circulation trickles two and three years out, what would you think? I'm just curious if you use a "rule of thumb" when you begin planning. Thanks in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 08, 1997 ):
The Guru believes that using such data to evaluate publications is a relative standard rather than an absolute standard. Assuming a set of candidate publications all have the great majority of circulation qualified, is 90% bad? Is 80% bad? Is 80% worse than 100%, if the absolute number qualified in the 80% publication is greater than in the 100% title, and all other price/quality issues are equal?

This is just one of many factors that can contibute to a planner's selections, and should be used in perspective.


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.


Tuesday, February 04, 1997 #1057
What is the best way to evaluate outdoor - qualitatively and quantitatively? Any available research?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, February 09, 1997 ):
In the US, outdoor is typically packaged in "showings" of 25 / 50 / 100 which generally mean 25 / 50 / or 100 grps per day, that is, a selection of locations with a total daily effective circulation equal to 25 or 50 or 100% of the adult population of the market. (demographic data is often very approximate).

Outdoor delivers very high reaches at low CPMs. Message lengths are of course quite limited.

Barring specific creative testing or pre-post attitude awareness and usage tracking, evaluation is very much a judgement call based on creative and your communications goals.


Friday, January 26, 1996 #1772
I am doing a research study on the concept of IMC versus it's actual use in advertising agencies. In your view, how has Integrated Marketing Communications affected advertising agencies particularly the media department. Do you think the concept is in question.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 02, 1996 ):
Where IMC has really been implemented the effect on media departments has been profound. Media plans that take account of everything from promotion to packaging and R&D can be quite different than the quick and dirty media plans that are probably far more common. Media is paying far more attention to realistic communication effects within a broader marketing overview.

Of course this style is limited to fairly sophisticated, or adventurous marketing clients and ultimately is more talked about than implemented. The guru believe that an careful comparison of media plans before and after IMC would show more differences in language than in media selection.


Friday, January 19, 1996 #1780
HELP! What is the music in the new Publix Supermarkets TV ad - I can hum it to death but cannot name it. I think it's a symphony selection made popular.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 02, 1996 ):
Oh, yeah, the Guru hates when that happens. But it's not a exactly a media question and Publix spots don't air where the Guru lives.



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