Originally published in Latin Business Today: http://ow.ly/1IPN302C5K9
I am sitting in this meeting. The guy at the front drones on and on about the latest and the bestest tool in the toolbox. I am thinking “if he says ‘push the envelope’ or ‘out of the box’, I’m leaving”
Naturally, the next phrase out of his mouth is “and we are very happy to bring this tool that will allow you to push the envelope and think out of the box”
I try to leave. My hands are glued to the table and my feet are tied to the chair.
I have been a fan of the music industry since my 20’s, when I was a rock & roll photographer for a music magazine. One of the key success factors for a successful piece is the mixer or, as we call them, the producer.
Have you ever seen a record being produced? The producer sits at a huge table full of sliders and knobs. The sliders address the individual mikes and break down the instruments by their sound spectrum (low to high) and the knobs adjust the volume given to each one.
By mixing all the different sounds, a producer then crafts the track. It is not a simple thing. The going rates for producers are around $30,000 per track according to trade magazines, but a star producer will charge many times that figure.
To the point: Planning today needs to move away from this non-sense of “toolboxes” and “tools” and other discrete “things” and realize that your Persuasion Platform must adapt to the fluidity of your consumers.
Or, to put it succinctly: Everything moves in a continuum
Media Mixers in day to day planning for small and medium-sized businesses
Strategic Planning in advertising is not really that complex. There are only three major variables:
When addressed in old-fashioned ways, however, many advertisers over-simplify everything:
Forgetting that, in real life, the cycle is like this:
You have several consumer groups, the members of this group consume different media at the same time and for different reasons and no single message will be effective in every situation.
A quickie grid
Even if you are a small business (say, a 2 person CPA firm) you can still apply the same principles to your advertising with a relatively simple grid:
So, a good first step is the simple task of understanding your customer base. Let’s say you are a small CPA firm. Perhaps you wind up with a picture like this:
Obviously each of those groups would need customized messages and would require a quick analysis on your part:
Quintile Distribution and Media Planning
An arcane tool –quintile distribution—gives us a roadmap to media planning. A quintile distribution is simple tool: it divides any universe into five equal segments. As a result, we can compare the behaviors of light users, medium users, heavy users, quickly and effectively.
Every media follows pretty much the same behavior: 45% or 50% of all the medium is consumed by its heaviest users. 5% is consumed by its lightest users. If you buy more of the same media, you pile up on the same users.
So let’s say you buy local cable and let’s consider three levels: $50,000, $75,000 and $100,000. This is how your money would fall:
This is not necessarily “good” or “bad”. But certainly, you would want to understand what is happening to your media budget and make decisions.
Your small to medium-sized business mixer
As an SMB you have a fairly ample range of choices. They go from networking groups to e-mail, adwords, social media, radio, and print all the way to direct mail, out of home and many others.
Strategic planning will help you decide which touchpoint to use and when and how much to invest in it. We do that via a combination of:
Speaking to one person at a time.
Fairfax Cone (one of the founders of Foote Cone & Belding) said: Good advertising is written from one person to another. When it is aimed at millions it rarely moves anyone.
Dynamic Creative Optimization does give us the option of generating dozens of ads in the web. But, even in more traditionally unwieldy media, good strategic planning will allow you to:
30 years of expertise in all aspects of advertising: consumer insights, creative and media.