More than a few business leaders are under the impression that their organization’s media strategy only affects the marketing department. The reality is that, although the marketing team likely leads media planning efforts, a company’s media strategy directly relies on various operational processes and departments across a business to succeed. 

An effective and scalable media strategy spans more than just advertising campaigns. For their media planning to be fruitful, strategists must consider the overarching structure of the business’s internal operations.

Breaking Down Operational Processes

Operational processes are the key activities that must be performed to generate revenue. They include any activities (or, in many cases, departments) that contribute to income and sustain the business, such as accounting, HR, sales, marketing, and manufacturing. Put simply, operations encompass whatever actions a business is taking to remain competitive in its space. 

Media Strategy in Operations

One foundational element of any company’s operations is its media strategy, which is essentially the brand’s plan for using various digital and traditional media channels to achieve its marketing goals. Modern organizations rely on a robust media strategy to effectively reach, engage, and delight target audiences, making it a critical component of efficient operations.

Quickly understanding how a plan is pacing to expected results is an essential part of media planning management. As a brand or media buyer, you should never be in the dark about how much media you’re buying and how performance is tracking, regardless of how complicated your plan is or how many regions you operate in.

The Cost of Poor Processes

According to a widely cited statistic from market research firm IDC, organizations lose anywhere from 20-30 percent of their annual revenue as a result of inefficient processes. And if that doesn’t illustrate the clear cost of poor operations, Aberdeen Group found that marketing operations inefficiencies alone cost businesses an average of $1.5 million annually. This immense loss is most often attributed to wasted resources, which accumulate over time, leading to delays, duplicate work, and, of course, strategic misalignment.

Neutralizing the Biggest Threat to Business Growth

In the advertising space, revenue’s greatest adversary is misalignment, particularly between sales and marketing teams. In fact, research by SugarCRM showed that 63 percent of sales and marketing leaders agree that misalignment between marketing, sales, and service teams directly inhibits business growth.

Like many aspects of operations, developing a strong media strategy is multifaceted and requires input from virtually every branch of an organization. This complexity is likely why misalignment in this area is so pervasive. A media strategy must align with budgets (accounting and approvals), personnel needs (HR), and global technology policies (IT), just to name a few. Although the marketing department typically heads the design and execution of a media plan, misalignment tends to manifest when key operational branches are excluded from this strategic process.

4 Ways Poor Operations Are Hurting Your Media Strategy

1. Absence of Accountability

Lack of approvals can lead to costly mistakes. Media investment is often one of a brand’s most significant investments. In a world of constant optimization of media spend, it’s essential that brands track, measure, and audit their media investment. A typical media plan is complex and requires flawless precision when it comes to execution. Relying on emails to memorialize approved changes to the plan is a recipe for disaster and won’t pass any audit, which is why having an audit trail for every media purchase regardless of the region or buyer is a must-have functionality for every brand.

2. Subpar System Integration

Unfortunately, most media planners are all too familiar with the need to switch between programs, screens, and spreadsheets in search of the information required to make the most informed strategic decisions. This constant back-and-forth is a result of poor or lack of integration between systems, leading to wasted time and costly mistakes from manual entry.

3. Poor Data Management

Is more data always better? Certainly not if your data management practices are lacking. A consistent taxonomy is key to enabling period over period reporting and measurement for decision-making. It is next to impossible to measure the impact your investment has over time if you can't consistently locate, validate, and align on the information. Without establishing the proper taxonomy and access permissions, efficient data management and hygiene go out the window, and no one truly knows what data to rely on.

4. Lack of Alignment and Unity

When operational procedures aren’t optimized, teams tend to take their frustrations out on each other, resulting in miscommunication, tension, and disengagement among personnel. The organizational alignment that comes from a unified and intentional transformation is invaluable for team collaboration. Teams can’t work well together if they don’t know how to best do so in the context of their role.

Bridging the Gap in Your Media Strategy

Overcoming misalignment in operations and media strategy doesn’t occur on its own, nor is it achieved overnight. Media planning is a perpetual work in progress; it requires constant research, analysis, and refinement to remain effective. Attaining this level of market visibility means media planners must actively leverage intelligence from numerous sources simultaneously—and they need to be confident that media data is timely, reliable, and accurate.

Where the Guideline Planning Platform Comes In

Media plan management is a crucial operational process that affects nearly every aspect of a business. For this reason, planners need access to unmatched media intelligence that allows them to:

  • Clearly visualize the fragmented media landscape and understand customer patterns and consumption
  • Effortlessly track and manage advertising budgets while accurately estimating ROI.
  • Develop and sustain superior visibility into the market with ample time to respond.
  • Reinvest resources saved by simplifying and standardizing media buying and reporting processes.
  • Enforce a structured, accurate data set and establish an audit trail for all global media expenditures.

Meet Your Media Strategy’s New Favorite Platform

Guideline Planning offers the accuracy, transparency, and timeliness that media planners need to enhance decision-making and create competitive benchmarks with ease. You can unlock the full potential of your media strategy with a software solution that offers effortless integration, real-time insights, and seamless collaboration. Contact us for more information about our platform so you can boost your planning efforts with Guideline.

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