Be Big Somewhere – Simply stated, this approach held that in order to break through the clutter and gain the attention of an advertiser’s target audience one had to focus their media in places and at times where they could achieve a significant share of voice vis-à-vis the competition.
Aperture – Core to this concept was the belief that each consumer had an ideal time and place when they could be reached by an advertiser’s message. Simultaneously, there were times when the consumer was either prepared to buy or was gathering information regarding a potential future purchase. The intersection of these two points was the “aperture” and was considered to be the ideal point to expose consumers to an advertiser’s message.
Simple proven concepts that had withstood the test of time… up to a point.
At a time marked by the hyper-fragmentation and proliferation of media where consumers have access to a plethora of choices for accessing information and entertainment, it is questionable whether or not these concepts still hold true.
While the dynamic of a rapidly evolving media marketplace creates exciting content access options for consumers, it poses challenges for advertisers and their agency partners. For example, while the average amount of time consumers spend with media is significant, averaging 721 minutes per day (Source: Statista, 2019) determining the right time and place for targeting an advertiser’s message is difficult at best:
Avg. Time Spent with Media by Consumers in Minutes per Day (2017)
TV – 238
Mobile (non-voice) – 197
Online (laptop, desktop) – 123
Radio – 86
Other Connected Devices – 33
Print – 24
Other – 21
Total Minutes per Day – 721
Further, over the course of a typical day, studies have shown that consumers are exposed to somewhere between 4,000 and 10,000 ad messages. This exposure leads to increased levels of consumer apathy and message burnout. Thus, achieving a meaningful share-of-voice to break through the clutter, and then to effectively reach the target audience and finding the right aperture in this environment, is certainly more complex.
Compounding these environmental factors, at least for advertisers working with multiple media agencies, is the added challenge related to the development of an integrated, holistic planning process to help optimize media allocation decisions across agencies, platforms, publishers, networks, etc.
Moving forward there are three evolving, but yet to be perfected, media planning tools whose furtherance would greatly aid advertisers and their media partners:
- Cross-channel, multi-touch attribution models – In order for advertisers to truly optimize their media investments, it is imperative that they be able to assess the role that each consumer touchpoint plays in achieving their goals.
- Cross-platform media measurement tools – Simply put, planners need tools (e.g. common metrics) that will allow them to better understand campaign reach by platform and overall, while being able to calibrate total content ratings, regardless of where consumers view the message.
- Artificial intelligence platforms – AI has the potential to greatly assist media planners (and buyers) in analyzing multiple data sets to aid in everything from audience segmentation to creating and comparing alternative strategies and leveraging data on a real-time basis to optimize buys while a campaign is underway.
As the industry continues to perfect these tools and agencies master their application, the ability to plan media seamlessly across platforms will be greatly enhanced. In the words of NHL Hall of Famer, Wayne Gretzky:
“A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”