poised and ready

March 15, 2012 ·

a big part of my new job is to take ownership of the somewhat established, but still very foreign, concept of media as Paid, Owned, Earned (POE from here on out) and to instill it with everything our agency does. that's a weighty task - one that i'm super charged about.

where i'm going with this post is to flat-out proclaim that this holistic view on the media landscape needs to be owned by a media agency. full stop. there is no other entity with the ability to herald this vision. the real purpose is to put on the table that a shift toward greater reliance, trust, and increased responsibility that the media agency has within the advertiser's communication and even business domains.

at the simplest of levels, our deep understanding of the Paid sphere is a primary differentiator. many agencies share a on Owned and Earned, including media ones, but only those media agencies truly understand the Paid space. to clarify, by "many agencies have a view on Owned and Earned" only means that there is a general shared understanding of the principles and what works for those and not the nuance and expertise in executing. media agencies don't have the latter in all cases. the Paid space doesn't not have that same understanding beyond media agencies. so just in that, media agencies are better poised.

stemming from that, and ironically what has pigeon-holed us for so long, is our ability to leverage our investments and partnerships to better exploit the entire POE landscape. lines are blurring constantly and money still talks. that influence, unique to media agencies, opens possibilities. you don't have to like that fact, but it's true.

media agencies have also shown a greater aptitude for consumer understanding. everything we do is rooted in consumer understanding across all sorts of markers and we've owned that for a long time. as communications need to be ever more consumer centric, media agencies are positioned to best service those demands.

then there is channel planning. as a derivative of communication planning, it is the de facto right approach to formulating a go-to-market plan. in the age of an attention economy and massive fragmentation, channel-led communications are what win, not creative led ones. when technology is driving down the cost to iterate messages, the channels are what become chiefly important and the creative flows from that. channels are the unique domain of media agencies. no two ways about it.

the last point i want to make is that this isn't a call for world domination by media agencies. on the contrary. i'm only saying that our approach and position to lead that approach is the way, but other agencies with specialized services are absolutely required to realize the elements constructed in the communications planning process.

that's right, i'm calling creative agencies, technology companies, public relations firms, digital specialty shops and a host of others as specialty areas that support the communications planning process. they execute on the needs of plans derived from it. don't forget, media companies also fit into that as we execute the buys and other media elements - the stuff we've always done.

the other part to keep in mind is that the intention is not to exclude any of these agencies from the process. absolutely, they must contribute to it and be involved. i'm merely stating that my belief is that media companies lead it through their holistic view and procedures to deliver communications planning. these other partners aren't order takers to the media companies either. they are order takers to the plan, just like media companies are order takers to that same plan.

i wholly believe that this is the future shape of things. i'm excited to help make it a reality. i don't know how long it will take, i just know that it is inevitable. i'm sure there's a lot of disagreement and i'd love to open the discussion about it.

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