Media planning is more competitive than ever, thanks in large part to the innovative and nimble work by smaller agencies. In recognition of this, Adweek's Media Plan of the Year Award for 2014 has gone broader by going smaller, with smaller dollar thresholds in several categories to offer those agencies more and better chances to win.
Jonathan Lee, one of the 2014 jurors, plays a key role in overseeing Huge's cross-disciplinary Strategy group. We asked Lee what tactics smaller agencies can use to create standout media plans. Here's what he had to say:
1. Timing is everything
Know when to schedule media to increase consumer response. Reach people when they're in the most conducive state, rather than just reaching them whenever.
2. Cookie delineation
Not all cookies are born the same: First party cookies belonging to certain customers are worth a lot more to you than to others, so you should bid exponentially more for them.
3. Creative optimization
Plans that feature A/B testing, creative sequencing and contextual adaptivity and exclusion targeting are among the key techniques for improving response rates.
4. Connecting to the real world
While digital media consumption continues to increase, it's important to remember we live our lives in a physical world. Finding ways to connect online channels to offline behaviors is key.
5. You do what you measure
It's critical to set the correct measures for any plan, and it's not always about sales. If you change what you measure then you can create new and interesting ideas.
6. Be mindful of the category
Great planners consider how the competitive set typically go to market. Planning with this in mind can influence everything from budgets, creative, timing and goals.
7. Go direct
Anybody can pull together a programmatic buy. Strong media planning used to be about working with your vendor partners to integrate brands more deeply into publisher experiences. In a world of automaton, the potential for such endemic partnerships has never been more fruitful.