The role of a Media Planner  ( also sometimes known as brand planner, strategist, communication planner).

The increase in demand for skilled media planners in the broadcast industry has been noticeable within our client base, so this week we have chosen to discuss the role of a media planner.

Media planners play an all important role in a company’s advertising strategy. Their focus in general is to understand what media a client’s target customer reads, watches, interacts with or hears to develop a strategic plan of relevant advertising opportunities so that . Media planning roles can be found in media agencies, specifically advertising agencies as well as TV broadcasters. Within the TV industry media planners analyse and review audience ratings to decide what would or wouldn’t work well in future campaign.

In general, analyse historical advertising campaign data as well as information which helps inform and identify the best possible target audience for a future strategy. The role of a media planner can be extremely interesting as it offers the chance to be at the hub of an exciting and evolving industry.

Think about your experience at home when you browse the Internet, Facebook, LinkedIn, or even when you watch TV on Demand. You will notice that the advertising campaigns that you see are targeted to your specific browser history. With the dominance of online television, the media industry as a whole is heading towards a position where media campaigns are successfully tailored to achieve better results within a targeted consumer profile. We predict the skillset of a media planner will become more varied and the role more demanding.

Being a Media Planner is a great way to learn about the industry. But what skills do Media Planners need?

Media Planners need to be analytical and enjoy working with numbers as they will be responsible for analysing target audiences behaviour, characteristics and media habits. They also need keep up to date on media trends. They will be knowledgeable about all forms of media including television, digital/ online, mobile, new media, press, however if they are working for a specific form of media: eg. TV or radio, they will need to be particularly knowledgeable about this too.

Media planners also need to be very good at communicating as they will often speak to internal or/ and external clients directly, or write proposals and therefore be the face of the media agency they work in.

Media planning jobs in the TV/ Broadcast industry can be found in dedicated Media Planning teams that support the Programming, Scheduling and Marketing strategies to ensure effective placement of promotional and advertising campaigns that drives performance on the channels.

How do I get into TV Media Planning?

A typical way to get into TV media planning is to start your career as a presentation scheduler. Starting off as a presentation scheduler will allow you to build up your analytical skills, as well as knowledge of the industry. Junior roles usually involve a large amount of data entry so anyone who is considering a career in TV in this area should be aware of this before they apply.

To be successful you should be confident working with numbers (eg. viewing stats) and have some experience using excel. Once you have gained some experience as a scheduler (1-2 years) in this area then a common move would be to transition into another area such as media planning.

What are the key competencies that TV clients look for?

Typical competencies companies look for when they recruit a media planner externally are:

  • Experience and knowledge of Techedge
  • Experience of TVR (analysing TV ratings) and campaign planning
  • The ability to multitask and show strong project management skills
  • Strong Research/ analytical skills
  • A knowledge of the media sector and generally some ad planning experience is preferred
  • Strong communication skills
  • Experience of working with buying agencies
  • Experience managing relationships

How do I know if being a TV media planner is right for me?

Some people want to work in TV but make the big mistake of not thinking about what actual skills they have or what things they enjoy doing.

If you are looking for a creative / design related role within the TV industry then you might be better applying for a role as an On Air Coordinator, Promo Producer, in Creative Services or Continuity. To find out more about the kinds of roles available contact the media team here


by on July 27th, 2018
posted in Advice, Sector News