Sunday, 30 December 2007
Account Handler Jobs
The account handler is a sort of project leader - the project, in the case of the advertising agency, being the campaign. The account handler ensures that the client is satisfied throughout the course of the campaign. But it is also the job of the account handler to develop a long-term relationship with the client. Account handlers must be good with people, negotiating, all forms of communication, disciplined, good at time keeping, enthusiastic, persistent and energetic.
Account Planner Jobs
Account Planning is representing the consumer in an advertising campaign. The account planner must find something that differentiates the brand to competitor brands and that will offer a real benefit to the customer. Account planners must be lateral-minded, strategic-minded, excellent at research (in most cases qualitative research), good at communicating ideas and strategies, and more.
Copywriter and Art Director Jobs
The account planner approaches the copywriter and art director with a creative brief (containing the 'big idea' for a campaign). The copywriter and art director must base their creative concept around this. Although the copywriter specializes, obviously, in copywriting, and the art director in visualizing, in reality they both often wander into each other's territory. Copywriters and Art Directors normally work together in teams of two, and will often arrive and leave an advertising agency, as a team.
Production are responsible for the finished look and quality of the finished products (whatever media that may be).
Media planners and buyers are often employed by advertising agencies, working, closely, alongside the account planner (the account planner and the media planner overlap, very much, in their focus on consumer behaviour, creative thinking, and so on), as well as others. Media planning is now very much embedded in the new types of media available today. New media (internet, mobiles, digital TV, digital singnage), relative to traditional media, is a complicated business. It is complicated because of all the different ways these types of media can be used to carry out advertising. And it is also complicated because of the variety of consumer groups within the broad spectrum of new media. Therefore you need different sorts of people in advertising with different (and similar skills) coming together to offer an overall, integrated package for the client.
Media planners and buyers can also be found outside advertising agencies. But at the end of the day, graduates looking for media planer and media buyer jobs need to be aware that working closely with people inside advertising agencies, and knowing how advertising agencies work, and the whole process that goes into the creation of a campaign, is something that media planners and media buyers have to become familiar with, and knowledgeable of.
New Advertising Job Board.
Viral marketing involves the forwarding from friend-to-friend / colleague-to-colleague of emails (normally with with funny or eye-catching video clips) or the sharing of clips on video sharing sites, with the name of a brand appearing somewhere in the clip or email.
Viral marketing is a very useful tool for the media planner in that the email or clip takes on a life of its own as it gets passed on word-to-mouth or, rather, computer to computer. It is the 'word of mouth' or free publicity that is the key behind viral marketing.
Viral marketing is a really good example of how knowing your audience and knowing the way social networking on the internet is very important in the world of advertising today. This is the kind of thing that the media planner (or digital media planner) working in an advertising agency should be looking at and thinking about as a really useful tool in media planning, or rather, as something that is tied up with media planning. 'Advertising agency' because this is where the media planner is able to work most closely with the account planner, the account handler, the copywriter and art director behind a campaign. This is also a good example of the importance of integration in advertising. As well as a good example of the power of digital media today.
But the other side of the coin is that there are a lot of very good blogs out there too. Blogs that are written with real professionalism and enthusiasm. Blogs that offer the media planner (/ media buyer) good quality, traffic. The problem for the media planner is the time it takes to look, and research, for the right blogs. It's not easy. But if the media does his (/her research) well there are great opportunities to be enjoyed.
- Try and get some sales experience under your belt. Media buying is about getting the best value for media advertising space or slots. So some sales experience would be a great asset.
- There is no point in buying media space or slots if what you buy turns out to be a dud for your client. If you are starting off in media buying then you will most likely have to do media planning as well. Media planning involves understanding the audience as well as being being lateral-minded, good at research and numbers, strategic-minded and more. You can pick up some of these skills by research on the internet, by networking and getting to meet people who work in media planning, by reading books, but above all, by doing some work experience for a media or advertising agency that has media planning / buying as one of its disciplines.
- It is also important to learn something about the world of digital media planning and buying and new media, in general. Even if the company, you are applying to for a job, is still heavily focused on traditional media, knowing about, and being interested, in new media will demonstrate commitment and interest to media buying.
- You will need to research, carefully, each of the companies you apply to for media buying jobs. Are they more focused on traditional or new media? What sort of clients do they have? How are they different from other companies? And so on.
For people starting off in this area of media, media buying will often be combined with media planning (understanding who the audience is, understanding the different types of media options available and their suitability or relevancy to a particular brand, and so on).
The rise of digital media has made the task for media buying that much greater. When media buyers only (relative to what we now have in new media) had to deal with TV, radio and print, it was much easier to get to grips with the technology and the people who worked in these areas of traditional media. But with new media things are very different. The spaces and slots for advertising are far more widely dispersed and it is much more difficult to get to know the people behind them, and to build up working relationships, and so on.
Media buyers are employed in the following sorts of organizations: in general media agencies (that carry out media planning, media buying, sales, marketing and so on); in agencies focused on digital media; as well as in both traditional and integrated advertising agencies.
Digital signage has not always been the most important tool for the digital media planner (it can be expensive and difficult to judge its success) however with technology improving, and prices dropping, digital signage is certainly becoming more popular, and increasingly, an interesting option in digital media planning. It's great plus point is that it offers the digital media planner a way of communicating campaigns and brand values to consumers in an interactive way (and the technology is improving all the time here).
For people looking for digital media planner jobs, it is certainly worth spending a little time (relative to other areas of digital media planning, of course) looking at digital signage in general. Digital signage is also a useful subject to look at for people looking for jobs in outdoor advertising.
Saturday, 29 December 2007
Although media companies have been using digital media in advertising for some time, it is only fairly recently that specialized companies have sprung up to meet the new demand for digital media.
People looking for digital media jobs need to have the same sort of skills as those who work in traditional media planning (so they must be interested in people and in what makes consumers tick, investigative, lateral-minded, strategic-minded, be interested in marketing, media and advertising, in general) as well as be interested in new media, be quick at picking up new technology, and be flexible in approaching what is now a large and complicated media smorgasbord.
Firstly, the advertising agency. Media planners are often employed by traditional creative, as well as direct marketing, advertising agencies. In this scenario the media planner is able to work closely with those creating the campaign (the account planner, the copywriter, the art director, and so on). This obviously has its advantages (integration of work).
Secondly, large media companies. Such companies might focus on media planning, as well as on media buying, sales, marketing, and so on.
Thirdly, niche media planning companies. These might focus on digital planning or traditional planning.
For graduates looking for media planner jobs, the important thing to find out is the type of media planning company / organization you would like to approach first. Or if you have applied for some vacancies, to do some research on those media planning companies that invite you in for interview. It's a good ideas to understand all the different sorts of companies / organizations that employ media planners, anyway, but focusing on what a particular media company does is really important.
Firstly, changes with consumers.
20 or so years ago society was quite different to what it once was now. Society then was much more static. It was much easier for a media planner, then, to classify people into socio-economic groups. But people now have more money, are better educated and better travelled. It is a lot more difficult for a media planner to work out who the audience is. Also, consumers, now, are more into purchasing life experiences than just mere products.
Secondly, changes in technology.
This is more recent and rapid. The most important piece of technology referred to here is the internet. Others include: mobile, digital and other forms of new media. This is compared to ten or so years ago when the media planner, only (relatively-speaking), had to deal with TV (terrestrial and some pay TV), radio, print and so on.
People looking for media planner jobs, need to be aware of these changes. They need to be able to develop a flexible approach to how they work. They must be interested in new media and in learning and keeping up to-date with continuous developments in new media, in general, as well as learn as much as they can about the advertising and media worlds associated with their work.
Wednesday, 26 December 2007
Why work experience?
- Work experience is a great way of learning quickly about the industry (backed up, of course, by research on the internet, books, and by networking with people who already work in media planning). This is useful for employers because they will be able to delegate proper work - sooner - than if you had no work experience.
- Work experience is a good way of finding out whether you really want to do media planning. It is a good way of getting to meet people who work in the industry. They can give you pointers about which companies to apply for (and how to approach them). And you never know, if they like you, then the company you do work experience for might offer you a job right away or at a later date.
- Work experience demonstrates, to possible future employees, that you are interested in media planning and an indication, to some degree, that you would like to commit yourself (it would really need to be at least a couple of years, at least) to this industry (and their company).
-Work experience, in general, is a good way of changing gears from student, into professional, life.
Therefore for people looking for decent media planner jobs, it would be no bad thing to do some work experience before applying.
For people looking for media planner jobs, you will generally need a (good) degree or HND. Marketing, Advertising, Business Studies, Psychology, Media Studies are all useful degrees to study for media planning. But by no means do you have to have studied one of these.
Why Psychology? Psychology is a useful discipline to use when trying to understand who your audience are.
In order to be good at media planning, you will need the following skills / need to be good at the following: organizing, investigation, creative thinking, strategic minded, communicator (oral, written and presentating), keeping to deadlines, networking, and more.
You also need to be interested in media and keeping up with new developments in this area.
Media planners work closely with people in advertising (media planners are often employed, full-time, by advertising agencies, therefore you need to have a good understanding how advertising works, from the point of view of the account handler, the account planner, the copywriter, the art director, the production team and so on.
You also need to be flexible because media planning has been changing, and continues to change, rapidly.
Lastly, for graduates looking for media planning jobs, you will really need to do some work experience.
Up until the advent of the internet, media planning was confined, more-a-less, to media such as TV, radio and print. But media planning has diversified and now covers a broad range of media (including new media such as internet, digital, mobile technology and so on).
Media planning, has also changed, in recent years, in the way that it views its audience (or the brand's audience). Consumers are now, generally, harder to categorize and pin down. This is due to changes in society: higher wages (and increased spending power), better education, and more variance in tastes and past-times, as well as a bigger preference for the acquisition of life experiences over products or 'things',
Media planners work closely with people in advertising. As a result many media planners can be found employed, full-time, by advertising agencies. Most other media planners are employed by media agencies that focus on media planning from one degree to another.
Media planning has developed greatly in recent years due to changes in consumer behaviour, as well as and above all, developments in new technology (such as the internet, mobiles, digital TV and so on).
In fact media planning is a relatively old fashioned word. Media planners are now often referred to as brand planners, strategists or communications planners. But for the sake of keeping things straightforward, and to avoid confusion, this site prefers to stick the term (in general) Media Planners.