Media planning: Grow organic planning and buying

Melanie Varley and Charlotte Wright

The digital 24/7 era needs a new 'organic' approach to media scheduling, where resources are continually reallocated to the most effective ideas and content during the campaign, based on consumer response

In the age of the social web, the annual marketing plan has become a barrier to more active engagement with consumers. Technology, data and the digitally-enabled consumer have changed the marketing and communications industries almost beyond recognition. As a result, advertisers and marketers have realised that, to adjust to this changing landscape, it is crucial that innovation lies at the heart of how brands behave, more closely integrated with what they say.

For this mindset to truly bear fruit, media planners first need to update their strategic thinking. As an industry, planners persist in developing detailed 12-month marketing and communication plans, which force them into fixed evaluation patterns and review dates based on a calendar that is driven by budget, rather than consumer opportunities. This outdated structure needs to be jettisoned. In the digital era, we need to be able to continuously evaluate communication in response to market developments and to take advantage of the rich insights offered by the wealth of available data.