Monday, September 29, 2014

What a media planner/buyer's "To Do" list looks like during 4th Quarter

As media buyers and planners enter 4th quarter, a few items pop-up on “To Do” lists:
·        Reconcile all outstanding credits, invoice issues, payment issues to make the accounting department happy.
·        Settle all makegoods, missed spots, and odd trafficking problems before the fiscal year ends.
·        Verify all reporting has been done, checked and verified. Any anomalies need to be addressed ASAP.
·        Compare the planning budgets from last year to what actually ran this year. Use this as a starting off point to planning budgets for next year.
·        Reach out to the client to see how this year has been performing.
o   Discuss high and low points of the year.
o   Look for correlation between media and high and low points to discern how best to adjust the plan for next year.
o   Investigate any new opportunities that may work for future campaigns.
o   Evaluate current media partners and determine if it still beneficial to include them into the pending media plan.
·        Get back to the cubicle ASAP and start constructing budget options for the client and sending out RFPs to vendors.
·        Get RFPs back and convert into an agency approved proposal and send to the client.
·        Wait.
·        Wait.
·        Revise the proposal per client recommendations.
·        Wait.
·        Approval- MUST BOOK AND BILL EVERYTHING ASAP. Be sure to tell accounting staff that they are Rock Stars. They are and should be reminded of that from time to time.
·        Send out orders and confirm.
·        Update all flowcharts accordingly.
·        Check billing and approve it to be sent out.
·        Set up reminders to remind client for creative.
·        Send out traffic and ads. Confirm.
·        Set up reminders to get online summary reports, makegood requests, pull posts, etc. Pray your hard drive doesn’t crash because your brain can’t hold anymore reminder dates.
·        Cross of everything on your “To Do” list.
·        Get a call from the client and/or vendor.
·        Revisions needed.
·        Set up a new “To Do” list.

While this is not the full and thorough list, it covers the basics of a buyer/planner’s job during this time of the year.

Some people may read this and think, “Who cares?” First of all, thanks for reading up to this point. Secondly, most may not care, and that’s ok. Really, this is to provide a little insight in a buyer/planner’s internal monologue during this time of year. Believe it or not, we love this timeframe because it’s a chance to dig in and start a new campaign. Bring it on 4th quarter!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

US internet users weigh in on how they make purchases digitally

While digital purchasing can be the preferred payment method by the consumer on goods and services, it is wrong to state that consumers choose to buy all categories in that manner. eMarketer reports the results of a June 2014 study performed by Harris Interactive.

Not surprisingly, US internet users used a digital device of some kind (desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet) to purchase clothing 69% of the time. The remaining 31% had never purchased a clothing item online. 

Some of the categories that had internet users prefer a brick-and-mortar experience over a digital one were cosmetics and personal grooming, prescription medications, specialty food and beverages, over-the-counter medications, and general food purchases. Cosmetics and personal grooming was the only one among these groups that saw digital purchases reach past 30% at 35%.

A few categories had close to an even split between consumers who have purchased items online and those who never have. Those include accessories, personal electronics, and household electronics.

As marketers work to reach a target audience, it can be crucial to know how a product or service is purchased by a consumer.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

More magazines launch vs. close in first half of 2014

According to the online database, the first half of 2014 welcomed approximately 93 new magazines in the media landscape. By comparison, 30 magazine titles closed during that time frame.

MediaPost reports that the biggest magazine category that launched was classified as “regional interest.” In addition, of the 93 new titles, approximately 15 of those were business-to-business geared magazines.

Of the publications that closed between January and June of this year, 13 of them were automotive enthusiast niche titles. Two noteworthy magazines ceased publication this year. The first being Jet and it will now just be an annual special print edition. Also, the long-running title Ladies’ Home Journal shut down the monthly print magazine. Instead, it is transitioning to a newsstand-only quarterly publication.

Overall, the total ad pages purchased have seen a 4% decline from 2013. First quarter of 2013 sold about 29,745 pages, and the same time period in 2014 showed 28,567 ad pages.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Electronic devices top lists for back-to-school shopping

With the passing of Labor Day, the swimming pools close down, and the schools start up for another year. Parents and students alike need to shop in order to prepare for a new term. Recent research shows that 2014 is anticipating a 5% increase in overall back-to-school shopping.

According to eMarketer, research conducted by ebiquity on behalf of American Express reports that electronic devices are the most expensive item on the shopping list. Below is a list that shows the average back-to-school spending for the last few years according to US Parent Internet users.

Electronic Devices

Clothing and Accessories

Interesting to note is that clothing and accessories had the most expensive category up until 2014 when electronic devices and textbooks usurped it.

Another report from PunchTab notes that mothers used smartphones to aid in shopping this year. About 48% of mothers surveyed planned to use smartphones to look for coupons or sales. The next reason at 30% is to compare store prices with other vendors. Approximately 37% of those surveyed do not plan to use a smartphone while shopping for supplies.