There’s something very wrong with media planning.
We all seem to agree that things have changed.
However, too few of us are doing anything to really harness that change.
Bizarrely, we seem to be perpetuating an old, broken model.
I’ve seen this dangerous image in far too many places recently:
Every time I see it, a little piece of me dies.
People think it shows how far we’ve come, but I think it shows the opposite.
I recognise its accuracy – it paints a realistic picture of advertising today – but it’s that very reality that I find so disturbing.
It highlights a ‘menu’ approach that continues to stifle media planning; an apporach that erodes the value we should be adding to our clients’ businesses, and destroys their trust in our work.
It proves that we still see the world from our perspective, instead of planning from our audience’s lives.
The sad fact is that we’re barely scraping the surface of what we could do.
I can’t stress this enough:
So why do we continue to focus on so few channels?
As Neil pointed out earlier this week, many of us blame our inertia on clients who “just don’t get it.”
But really, we are the problem.
So what can we do to fix things?
Firstly, we can adopt a more strategic approach to planning – planning based on the things we want to share, the people we want to share them with, and the lives those people live.
The second point goes much deeper.
The real barrier to making the most of the opportunities at our disposal is a revenue model built on commission.
Fundamentally, that model means that we can only survive if we sell paid media.
But if we are to succeed, we must stop operating as mere brokers, and aggressively push the strategic agenda we know to be correct.
These changes must begin with us.
So, I’m asking for your help.
Do whatever you think it takes: tweet it, share it, write your own version and blog it; even better, do them all.
But above all, let’s do something: it’s high time that we make a real difference, instead of just talking about it.
I believe the channels graphic first appeared in the FT.