Is technology driving your media efforts, or is it holding you back, drowning you, and your company, in bits and bytes? This question has been posed by Chicago-based media software provider MediaBank. MediaBank has designed and successfully implemented a planning and buying solution for any organization involved with purchasing media.
While creative executions comprise the shiny surface of the industry that the public remembers, creative is but one facet on a diamond. By itself, it’s not capable of producing a shine; however, in concert with 113 other facets, light bounces from facet to facet, gaining brightness to form a brilliant stone. Guiding creative executions using media insights increases the overall effectiveness of the advertisement. Media planning and buying is a process of research; the goal being to determine as much as possible about the audience that’s being targeted. As the amount of information increases, the target audience becomes clearer, ensuring less waste and greater effectiveness. Intimate knowledge of each media vehicles strengths and weaknesses further solidifies the overall effort by providing the best media vehicle to use to engage the audience.
While this is a simplified view of the advertising process, the overall goal is to deliver a campaign that effectively communicates with specific audiences, delivering an emotional appeal meant to evoke a specific action.
The process is a logical sequence of steps.
Yet, the obstacles presented by this “logical” process have plagued media professionals for years. As new media vehicles – like in-game or mobile phone advertising – emerge, the nature of the challenge facing media departments becomes glaringly apparent: The processes for each media vehicle lack integration, and there’s no efficient method for implementing, and measuring, a full-blown, multi-dimensional media campaign.
In grade school, we were taught that fractions with different denominators don’t add up without a little finagling (i.e., 5/32 + 3/5 ≠ 8/37). Likewise, rating numbers, universe populations, and measurements don’t simply add together, either. Without delving too deeply into “why” it’s a matter of "uncommon denominators" (each media vehicle's universe is not the same size), differing measurement standards, message duplication (consumers may see the same product advertised using different vehicles), and the very nature of the vehicle itself (advertising impressions are not the same for all vehicles). Further complicating the matter is that companies measuring media usage do so using dissimilar methodologies.
Many companies specialize in media planning and buying software, but have never offered a comprehensive solution. Thus, a media department might have three sets of planning and buying software (one to purchase and measure online efforts, another for print, and a third for TV, cable, and radio) plus an overall accounting system software. However, the problem of inconsistency remained.
Thus, when MediaBank released O|X Suite, an all-inclusive platform that combines forms and templates used to perform daily job functions with an integrated database that’s accessed via a user-friendly interface, media pros began to take notice.
The system allows planners and buyers to take advantage of technology, not drown in it. O|X incorporates network and spot TV, cable, radio, online, print, out-of-home, and direct response vehicles in a single package. MediaBank’s O|X offers impressive functionality, connecting the media buyers and planners with their vital inputs/outputs. All of the pre- and- post-buy duties are within O|X, including research, pre-buy planning, media stewardship, ad trafficking, vendor payment, client billing, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), and sequential liability (vendor payment on receipt of client invoices).
MediaBank raised the bar with the introduction of O|X, enabling media departments to spend less time tracking down and fixing cross-platform problems and more time on planning and purchasing media. MediaBank has received some attention in the past months, partnering with DraftFCB, Active International, Doner, and Critical Mass, to name a few.
Agencies are realizing the advertising landscape has changed, and that they need to provide their media departments with the tools that provide a competitive advantage. If there's one thing that's come out of the recession thus far, it's an increased focus on ROI; indeed, companies like Coca Cola and P&G are reviewing their agency compensation models in an effort to make agencies prove their worth. Basically an incentive-type program, advertisers will be measured and paid based on their contribution to their client's sales. Agencies that aren't capable of moving the needle won't be paid any commissions but will be reimbursed for their expenses.