Sunday, January 1, 2012

What it takes to be a media planner

Commits alumnus SUMIT SONAL (Class of 2011) has been working as a media planner with OMD Worldwide in Bangalore since September 2010. Here he gives us an insight into media planning as a profession:

Life as a media planner is hectic say goodbye to your 9-to-6 routine because it really doesn't exist and you have to be very, very patient while working on huge media plans that sometimes exceed Rs.14 cr for just a single quarter.

Sometimes you will have to make amendments to a single plan at least four or five times (if you're lucky!) before it gets approved. Presentations for global and regional teams, in the case of international clients like Intel, will take up most of your time.

Media planning has changed with time. Today's client will ask questions on each rupee spent. More and more channels are being added to the list every day, and it is the same with publications and websites. You should be updated all the time; only then will you be able to create plans that will deliver the goods for your client. To do this, you will have to stay in constant touch with your vendors and also READ! Afaqs and Campaign India are two websites that give you a good insight into what’s happening in the industry and you must make it a point to visit them regularly.

BRAND VISIBILITY: Staying in touch with your vendors will keep you up to date on upcoming properties. For example, you must have seen the promos for Avatar on Star Movies and Star Plus. The network approached us to be the associate sponsor because by then Reliance had already been finalised as the main sponsor. Being associate sponsor or sponsor ensures maximum visibility for your brand, considering the brand will be present everywhere the property is being promoted: promo runs, out-of-home media, Facebook, and paid search ads.

Avatar, a premium property, is very expensive to buy. Associate sponsorship can cost you anywhere between Rs.50 lakh and Rs.60 lakh (how far the cost can be brought down depends completely on the buying team).

We took Avatar, and it was declared as one of our big, good buys of the year as the property delivered tremendously well for both English and Hindi audiences.

To conclude, you need to be very patient and value relationships with colleagues, vendors, in fact anyone you meet if you want to become a good media planner. The media is a close-knit industry, so be sure to leave the person you meet with the right image.

One last point: It’s not important to be good at maths; I never was. You can still do well in this business. Also, be computer-savvy because it really helps!

1 comment:

  1. No wonder the word read is in Caps lock :) :)

    Good insights Sumit Sonal.


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