Disclaimer – “Short Notice” is a copyright word of media planners, use it with caution if you are not one”. TIME – “We neither get it nor give it”
Of late, the industry dynamics have shaped up in such a way that it leaves less time for Media planning and more goes into buying and execution. The challenge now rests with the media planners as to how they plan and use their TIME judiciously so that quality of delivery is never compromised as a major portion of a company’s outlay goes into its buying. What is missing in today’s scenario is the appreciation of the fact that every successful execution needs proper planning and evaluation. However, the neck to neck competition among industry players underplays the essence of planning which is always pushed to second place and buying i.e execution takes precedence.
Every function of business needs time to prepare itself be it sales or HR, finance or product, which is obvious and so do media planning. One needs to understand the backward calculation which goes in to planning, negotiation and buying in order to be fair in what to ask for and within what time limits.
The best price and the best media mix comes with constant negotiation, building rapport and prudence of a media planner to work it out with sales people. It has never been a 09 to 05 job. It has to be considered in spirit of assignment or project which has a deadline with dynamic media mix brief coming from all sorts of executives in an organisation.
The media space sellers expect you to buy / consider the proposals within their time limits. They have their own agenda to pursue. Respect media sales professionals for what they bring on table as they are the ones who will walk an extra step if required. However, they are not engineered to hear “NO” from clients. Whereas media buyer has to know the art of saying “No”. Always remember, the thumb rule of Media Planning & Buying is never say “YES” when you want to say “NO”.
Planners are pseudo supermen who are always expected to deliver within a very short window of time. The organisation expects them to be ready with the plan overnight and their understanding of planning revolves around buying. Selling is an art which takes a lot of efforts and the same is well recognised across the industry whereas buying is considered a relatively easy task to accomplish. The essence of buying is always overlooked. Let’s put it in accounting parlance, “debit what comes in credit what goes out”. Buyers will always be a debit entry in the books of the company. What is not understood is that buying requires more detailing, evaluation and accountability for every penny which goes out of company’s pocket. For every “Sales” there is a “Buy” happening simultaneously. Every time a sales guy goes out of the way to do something for his clients means they have been pushed or asked by buying professional to do so. They don’t do you a favour on their own as long as not asked for.
Let’s accept the fact that buying something does not mean that we can dictate our terms. It’s a misconception to perceive. Are we dictating terms when we are getting our wards admitted to schools? Are we dictating terms with insurance companies? “The Buyer and the Seller are on equal footing”. A proposal to work together becomes a deal only when both the parties involved in it get equally benefitted. It doesn’t matter who is buying and who is selling, for a deal to be a successful both the buyer and the seller should have the feeling that they are the winner out of the negotiation.
Once allowed minimum needed time and liberty, a media professional can help a brand decide best media mix at optimal cost ensuring the maximum reach. There is nothing called “Buying” without “Planning”. Allow a planner to plan on what, when and how to buy.
Therefore, the word “Short Notice” suits the Media Planners most when it comes to delivery as we never get the time nor give it. Irony of many jobs is such that perfection hides and imperfection shows off but it gets more prominent in media planner’s work.