Advertising media planners decide which media to use for advertising campaigns. This may include radio, television and newer media such as the Internet and text messaging.
Working from a brief about the product or service to be advertised, they devise strategic plans appropriate to the target audience and available budget. They base plans on industry statistics such as National Readership Surveys (NRS), viewing figures from BARB (Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board) and the Target Group Index directory. Because precise targeting is essential, additional research may also be commissioned.
Account planners monitor public reaction to the advertising campaign, and adapt the campaign if necessary.
Planners present a media and cost schedule to the client, recommending the most appropriate media and where and when is best to advertise the product or service. When this is agreed by the client, the planner briefs the media buyer. In smaller agencies the roles of planner and media buyer may be combined.
Working hours are normally 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, but may vary in order to meet deadlines. Some agencies have flexible working hours on the understanding that staff will work late if a job needs finishing.
Most of the work is office-based, but some time may be spent visiting clients and media owners.
To be an advertising media planner you should:
Advertising is a very popular career among graduates, and there is a lot of competition for jobs. Agencies with a structured graduate recruitment programme are listed in the IPA Factfile, which can be accessed on the IPA website, although the best approach may be to contact agencies directly. The website also has access to job vacancies IPA Jobs Online.
Specialist media agencies have developed in response to the growth of new media industries such as cable and digital TV, and the Internet, which may provide further job opportunities.
Career progression is based upon experience and ability. Gaining qualifications such as those mentioned previously may be advantageous. Promotion to senior or director level is possible. Head-hunting is very common, as is movement between agencies.
If you would like to know anything about Advertising Media Planner that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
Media Research Group (MRG)
Account Planning Group
16 Creighton Avenue
Tel: 020 8444 3692