Whether small or large, new, or established, nearly every business wants or needs to advertise. Unfortunately, not everyone understands the full scope of advertising. Many people are looking for the next Don Draper to create a beautiful, smart, catchy campaign. This is the glamourous and sexy part of the advertising process. They expect that once they put the new artwork ‘out there’ for the public to see, consume, and act upon, the advertising is done and sales will magically appear.
However, the expectation that once the advertisement is created, the hard work is done, is anything but true. Creating the advertisement is exciting, it gets all the glory because it’s glitzy, sexy, and fun but the advertising job doesn’t stop or even start there. In reality, advertisers need to not only focus on what their message is but how and where it’s delivered. A great message or advertisement will fall flat if it’s not delivered to the consumer where and when they are receptive to listening.
Typically, creative creation is only 20-50% of the entire advertising budget. Media placement accounts for the remaining 50% to 80% of the budget. Leaving that much of the budget as an afterthought or in the hands of someone who doesn’t focus on media placement is unwise. Think of the creative as a shiny new car and the media placement as the gas to fuel it. Neither the car nor the gas alone will get you where you need to go. A media agency is the high-octane gas used to fuel your car to get optimum performance.
A media agency specializes in bringing your advertisement, the beautiful and smart creative, to the right person at the right time through the right channels so the consumer can hear, see, and act upon your message. Great media agencies get down into the weeds analyzing loads of data to develop strategy and media buying plans. They evaluate your markets and the media channels available in each market. They analyze your target consumer beyond age and gender and dig deep into their persona in order to choose the right channels to meet them where they are. The media agency is the wizard behind the curtain, quietly directing the placement of the creative to the right channels of distribution. Simply put, the media agency’s job is to follow the consumer and deliver that message to where the consumer is and when they are ready to ‘hear’ it. In short, media agencies are experts at placing your advertisements ‘out there’ for the best possible results.
“Media is an investment against your strategy, and creative is an expression of your strategy. Both media and creative are only useful if they connect with consumers. Media and creative need to work to jointly capture the consumer and deliver the strategy.”~ Graham Robertson, author of Beloved Brands
Much of what a media agency does happens after the creation of the creative. However, for the media agency to do an exceptional job, they need to be involved in the creative process from the beginning. Each advertising channel has its own specs and quirks. An advertisement that works in one channel might not be the right advertisement in another channel. The media agency understands your target audience and knows which channels of advertising meets them where they are. That’s why it is important to design specific advertisements not only to ‘speak’ to your target audience but also to ‘meet’ them where they are. When the media agency works in conjunction with the creative agency and the client, the entire advertising plan benefits.
The relationship between creative creation and media placement is mutually beneficial. Having a strong creative vision is important, but well thought out media placement is essential!