EXCLUSIVE: Navigating Today's Wild, Wild Media World
To make matters worse, the silo mentality creates an administrative nightmare. Media agencies grapple with a massive shortage of talented people to fill entry-level and midlevel positions. This talent shortage is the result of high staff turnover as entry-level people tend to jump ship for other agencies (or sales positions in publishing firms) at double the salary within a year or two of being hired. In this context, a siloed media structure leads to an institutional memory vacuum. Important information is almost certain to fall through the cracks if an employee leaves his or her job.
Given the complex, fragmented media landscape and the need for media buyers to be skilled and savvy across all media, what's the solution? How can media buying organizations survive, and even prosper, in this challenging environment?
A first step many companies can take is to break the silo mentality by developing cross-functional media buyers armed with the tools for capturing knowledge and sharing information. Given the multifaceted reality of the media jungle, there is a fast-growing demand for seamless, easy-to-use planning solutions that tackle all aspects of the media buying process across all media—print, online, broadcast, outdoor, events and more—along with advanced planning, knowledge management and communications features such as RFI and RFP functionality for contacting publishers directly.
These emerging media planning and buying solutions offer advertisers and agencies a win-win solution. Not only do they bridge the media fragmentation gap, but they also equip advertisers with a wide-angle view of the media opportunities that are most likely to connect with customers and increase the bottom line. In addition, these powerful new tools provide media organizations with a competitive advantage by allowing them to shift their efforts from administrative work to high-value strategic services.
Along with outfitting media buyers with the ability to research and submit RFPs across all media, some of these new platforms offer planning and tracking functionality that acts as a storehouse of institutional knowledge (think Salesforce.com for media planning). Throughout campaigns, buyers have the ability to save searches, develop favorites lists, and add notes and reviews to specific properties. This information is then available to other buyers in the organization resulting in an institutional knowledgebase that drives continuous improvement over time, regardless of staffing changes.