Study of the target market.
Profiling of its target segments, namely the recipients of the advertising message.
In-depth analysis of its competitors and their advertising investments.
Strategic planning of the advertising campaigns, namely the selection of the channels and spaces that are the most suitable ones to reach the target and hit the goals set by the company.
Careful distribution of the budget allocated for the advertisement.
In Media Planning, “market” stands for all advertising investments done by companies on all media identified and for any type of product.
The working model which builds up the target market consists in grouping together brands/products of the same type.
This can be done one of the two ways:
Using the cataloguing applied by Nielsen storing the information in a database which is continuously updated (for example: all brands of cough syrup).
Building a market calibrated to the product, within the frame identified by Nielsen, including the brands considered as competitors of each other (for example: cough syrup A + cough syrup B + cough drop C).
Once measured and classified, the volume of the advertisements is quantified in terms of investments. The terms of reference are the price lists published by the agencies.
The costs indicated in the price lists are allocated to the advertising spaces measured. Taking account of all the variables that contribute to define the characteristics of an advertisement, we obtain a first esteem (gross investments).
In the absence of updated price lists, the last official price list is the term of reference; in case of agencies that have stopped publishing the price lists, the last and unofficially communicated one remains the price list of reference.
Therefore, it is necessary to match the processing of the gross investments data with the data of the estimated net investment: the turnover of every supplier of media communication. The ratio between those two, the estimated (net) one and the calculated (gross) one, determines the weights of the context that are published every month.
The national net advertising investment calculated by Nielsen includes an agency commission of 15%. The commission of 15% is the result of an agreement between the associations representing both companies and agencies (UPA, Assap, FCP, Assorel, etc.) and can be applied directly in invoice only for those customers that make use, for their advertising expenditures, of a professional and adequate structure that operates in the field of communication (agreement text of 1994).
The analytics of both classified and service local advertisement include no commission since it is assumed that the negotiation between company and media agency is carried out without the need for intermediaries.
Nielsen measures everything that is on air and in all media available (even if with different percentages), it segments it according to subject, product, company and stores it into the database.
The database allows us to recover the reassessed investments (investments reduced by the average discounts calculated by Nielsen) according to company, brand and subject. We can break down the information according to means (for example tv or radio) and to month. For every single means we can obtain the detail of what has been used (for example: press = Repubblica, issue 10/7, half a page B/W, position on page 45).
As a result, we obtain the snapshot of the target market of our product, having our direct competitors as parameter of reference.
Analysing competitors is important at least for two reasons:
To have a snapshot as complete as possible of the target market of our product.
To know how much competitors invest, when they invest, on what media and with what formats/lengths.
These elements will help us to decide if:
We have to present us with a “conservative” approach, in other words in line with what already done by competitors.
We have to present us with an “aggressive” approach, in other words with higher investments and formats of greater impact with the aim to become “leader” of the segment.
We have to choose alternative ways: media that competitors have not used yet, periods not exploited.
The aim of the job of Media Planning is to help the company to place itself at the top of the media or of the period, therefore to enhance notoriety and boost sales. Basically, doing better than anyone else.