I read a recent article that touted the benefits of hiring a seasoned media planning team. When I first discovered this piece online, I was gratified to find such a favorable perspective about my chosen discipline. Despite the fact that the author’s perspective was neither game-changing nor unique, it did lift my spirits. Just the fact that it had been written was a good sign. Reality is, I don’t see as many articles written about the field of paid media planning and buying as I do for other aspects of the advertising industry.
When I got started in the advertising business, most of the agencies in Portland, Maine, housed internal media planning and buying teams. In fact, my first step away from the receptionist desk and up the career ladder was towards the media department just down the hall. My boss at the time had generously offered me a spot anywhere in his firm, and perhaps to his surprise, I chose media over the more glamorous options of account service or creative. All these years later, I continue to enjoy my focus on this branch of the business.
I’ve built my firm’s identity on media planning and buying. In the four years since we opened our doors, we’ve reinforced the integrity of our business model many times over. I’m enormously grateful to our growing list of clients and agency partners whose willingness to join forces with us proves that there’s a huge need for professionals with our expertise in the marketplace.
We’ve found our niche, and along the way, we have partnered with some terrific people. I feel optimistic about our future. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention three challenges that we continue to face, despite our bullish outlook:
Ad industry trends lean toward fewer agencies housing internal media teams. More and more client-side teams are bringing their marketing services in-house, indicating a growing demand for our dedicated model. We partner with all sorts of marketing teams: creative, branding, PR, web, and others. The common thread between our partners is that they don’t have the high level of strategic media expertise that only a seasoned media director delivers. When we’re on the team, we are the ones to showcase how different facets of paid media campaigns perform and how multiple media tactics work together to achieve our clients’ marketing goals.
I know that there are still misunderstandings about what we do and the value we bring to the development of an advertising campaign. As agency owner and media director, it’s up to me to consistently deliver high-performing media strategies. The best way to communicate our worth, while turning up the volume on our talent, is to do our best work each and every time.