Media Planner Career Information
What a Media Planner does
This department decides on the best media to release the ad so as to maximise its impact. This is done after researching information about the group the ad is targeted at. Of course the media planners have to work within budget constraints of the client and within the time frame. It's a very challenging job, especially because so many clients and advertising agencies are vying for premium space and time.
In this department, as a media planner, you will be dealing with numbers and charts. You will have to go through loads of data on the habit of your target customers. A media planner will also research on which television channels they like to watch, which newspaper they read, which web sites they log onto, and so on. After going though all this data, the media planner will use some computerised (or use your judgements and experience) models to find out the best media for your advertisement.
After the media plan is laid out, the media planner will have to go out and buy the space and time for your advertisement to appear as per the plan. And this is hell of a lot of work. This is because a host of other agencies are also vying to buy the same space and time. So, a lot of bargaining and deal making goes on. Your job as the media planner is to get the best deal for your client and to make sure that the advertisement comes out as per the plan. So, you will meet the media executives in the newspaper companies, magazine publishing houses, television companies and other related companies.
A Vice President/Director - Media, heads the media department.
Senior Media Executives report to him and Junior Executives report to the Senior Executives. Trainees generally report to the Senior Executives. If you join as a trainee (which you will in most probability) you'll be mostly involved in the legwork that is needed to buy the required media space and time.
You have several options to choose from:
• Advertising agencies
• Creative Consultants
• Companies specialising in media planning, buying and selling.
• You can get an entry-level job as a Management Trainee/Executive Trainee/Trainee.
Do we really have to tell you about the prospects as a Media Planner? You must have gauged it by just going through the number of ads appearing on television and newspapers.
The need for trained people in the advertising industry is always on the rise. Don't take our word for it - just go through these facts:
• Companies in the IT and insurance are investing a lot of money on advertising. Not to mention the traditional spenders like the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods like soaps, detergents, salt, cooking oils, etc.) sector. The Internet too has become popular as an advertising medium.
• The growth in the industry has pushed the need for manpower in the field of Media Planning. The industry pundits are predicting a positive growth in the industry over the next 5 years.
• With the growth in digital medium like multimedia which uses advanced technology to develop communication tools and materials the demand for skilled media planning professional is on the rise.
Abilities & Traits Required
• You will have to be a 'number cruncher'
• Very strong reasoning abilities
• Very good in comprehending complex data
• All the attributes that an account executive needs.
Generally, people armed with an MBA degree are inducted in the Media Department. You'll undergo one or two years' training in media planning and media buying to become a Media Executive.
Another route could be through the space/time-selling department of a newspaper/magazine/television company. Even fresh graduates or postgraduates are welcome to take up media planning.
However, postgraduates in Communication/Advertising are given the same status as MBAs. But in this era of specialisation, you got to be an MBA or a trained professional in space selling/time selling to be the preferred one.
As a Management Trainee/Executive trainee: With an MBA or equivalent degree from a reputed institute you can expect Rs 240000 – 300000 or more p.a., as the starting salary in big advertising agencies and large companies.
Junior Media Executive: Rs 300000 – 450000 p.a in big agencies.
Senior Executive: Rs 600000 p.a., in big agencies plus perks like a car
Vice President /Media Director: Rs 600000 - 1200000 p.a, plus perks in big agencies.