Too often people jump steps in life, and rush to the finish line. While reaching the finish line is fun and brings a sense of satisfaction, half the excitement is the journey. It’s the preparation, the planning, the work and the focus of tackling each step. All contribute to the bigger picture and should never be skipped, as they’re arguably more important than the finished product. And in most cases, the journey is what makes finishing even possible.
The journey in media planning and buying is not only more fun than the destination, but also incredibly critical to the success of a campaign. From the campaign’s inception to its conclusion, there are a series of steps for an initiative to become successful. Inside Morgan & Co., those steps are condensed into phases based on skills, tasks, output and the roles of team players. It’s a unique mix of services when you look at it under a microscope. The early phase is more internal and discovery oriented, culminating with an output of insight and strategy. The middle phase is more on the execution side, building and designing the channel plan. The latter phase is oriented around campaign management, steering media performance, and working with creative to empower ad delivery.
Like many things in life, none of the stages or phases can be skipped or taken for granted. Resist the urge to head straight to the finish line. Case in point, the early phase – mostly inward facing and rarely seen by the client’s team – is arguably the most critical. It’s built upon the vitals of the initiative and rooted in goals of the brand (business goals, not media goals). This stage is an opportunity for us to dig into the landscape, study the business issues – challenges or opportunities – and design an effective strategy.
Strategy lives on the backs of overarching insight(s), which the media team and client agree are areas that need to be addressed. We then move them forward through media. These insights live in the realm of audience, brand, marketplace and competition, among others. They reveal where the brand lives in the customer’s mind, in the decision making process, and even on the shelf. Insights are born from features and benefits of a product or service, needs that customers have, or how technology is evolving and changing life as we know it.
Collectively, these pieces of knowledge lead to a big idea which fuels the media strategy. They support the goal of the brand and clearly define how media can play a role in capitalizing on opportunities or solving problems. It’s the media strategy that, when interpreted correctly, lays the foundation for channel and tactic mix, flighting and weight. It also underscores how channels and tactics should interact with customers, within the environment they live in, and how media should be rolled out and portrayed.
If your brand is trying to get to the next level, and is lacking insight and strategy to drive its media program, Morgan & Co. can help. We’re a media agency using data and strategy to deliver better results for brands.