Creative: The New Media Planning

Joe Mandese

As we wrap up 2005, it's a good time to revisit the two disparate themes that have been driving fundamental changes in the way marketers and agencies plan and buy media. They are the simultaneous push towards both art and science. As outlined in previous columns, the artistry of media is being driven by the shift towards communications planning, and all the attendant metrics and measures that are emerging to show its substance: attentiveness, connectivity, involvement and engagement. The drive for greater science is underscored by the increased focus on accountability, return on investment (ROI), and research and metrics that can prove how advertising and media work. While the art and science of media planning are not mutually exclusive, they often require different sensibilities. But in recent months, some great strides have been made to bring the two together, giving the artists of media planning the tools to posit and track great ideas, and giving the scientists a better sense of the intangibles that make for better returns than simple media impressions can measure. If things continue progressing the way they have been, it seems we are on the cusp of a true integration of creativity and accountability in media.