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Media buying and Planning: The need for media independents to sustain

As the need of advertisers  increase in the face of new expectations, the need for media buyers to follow the trend of things is imperative, as new demands from advertisers emerges Princewill Ekwujuru writes that media independents should sustain the tempo of there jobs.

Media Buying in short words is about paying for advertisement space or airtime from a media, whether in the print or broadcast, at an agreed rate to advertise a company, brand or service in order to create positive or negative outcome for a company, brand or service. Over the years, a new breed of media specialist format had emerged . Media independent as they are referred will  have to re-invent the business of media buying and planning , if they are to survive in the nearest future.

This is because clients  requirements have shifted base. What is being experienced today will no doubt lead to rise of a new breed of Media specialists in Nigeria.
To all advertisers, whether multi-national or locally grown, Nigerian business now strive for quality performance and productivity in their operations, and media strategy, planning and buying should be of no exception.
However, from what is observed, advertisers and Media agencies are now working together, focusing on quality of print and performance (Circulation Figure).

The future of media independence is now and media agencies need to take their rightful place at the forefront of the communication process. There is need for media agencies to become full service communication channel experts and consultants, among their menu of services will be their bread and butter implementation planning and buying services, but this alone will not be enough.

Media specialists companies are expected to gear up to meet advertisers increasing needs and expectations and should be able to deliver quality information, advice and service that will be out in front.
Where media independents do not gear up, they will remain mere buying points, providers of the media administration centres.  The role of media agencies is in danger of being surpassed by research agencies, media auditors, chartered accountants and strategy consultants.

All who are in trusted positions, know their clients fortunes and misfortunes better and may from this trusted positions seek to enhance their own position by offering information, advice, strategy direction and as well the full media agency service.

One could recall that few years back ther were no media specialists agencies, no computers, no comprehensive continuos media research (AMPS),no software to interrogate media research, no mobile phones, no satellite Television, no trust in  data. , no GPRS based planning, only planning and buying media by perception, gut feel and old school tie networks.

But all that rapidly changed all thanks to APCON, AAAN,MIPAN, ADVAN and by some notable practitioners. The medium has witnessed the rise of the media independents and the introduction of media research like AMPS, TAMS,RAMS, and schedule construction and performance evaluation tools. What are seeing today, nothing but a rapid and fundamental shift in the way advertising space and time is planned and bought.
This came with the emergence of the first media independents led by young and hungry breed of foresighted planners. In a short while, long standing agencies cut lose their media departments and set up their own media independent companies.

On one hand, the rising cost of advertising, could be said that Nigeria was following a global trend by advertisers to entrust the buying of their media to specialist media buying companies to achieve higher discounts, pay lower advertising rates thereby getting more for their advertising.

Increasing rates based on costs without a commensurate increase in performance delivery continues to hound the industry.   Clients begin to expect more. There needs were changing and so too were their media delivery expectations. What clients wanted then was not only a better control on advertising costs, but more certainty, more justification and more re-assurance that the recommended schedule was backed by sound reason and independent and trusted audience research data. This still holds true, but clients expect more.

Conversely, the full service agencies were not giving the client the media expertise they now expected. The alleged perception was that more emphasis was placed on the creative product than the media department.
However, the agency media department was a backroom function; a rate negotiating, scheduling and material posting operation. An operation alleged that relied heavily on an agency media connections.


Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.