Media planners work with advertising or media planning agencies and are responsible for choosing the correct form of media for advertising on behalf of their customers. Their aim should be to help their customers achieve their business goals. They analyze who are the potential audiences, what is the current trend of market, what media will help to reach the specific group or audience and how the campaigning project can be made successful.
Media planning involves identifying different types of media channels like radio, television, newspaper, internet, mobiles, billboards, etc., and researching the requirement of the customers. However, before beginning with the project, a media planner should discuss the budget of the client and accordingly carry out the advertising program. Initially the work of media planners was just restricted to planning the advertising for their clients but today their role has widened and now they are also entitled to be brand planners, strategy planners, and communication planners.
The duties and responsibility of media planners is to get in touch with their clients and know about their marketing strategy. They have to understand the target audience of their client and research the buying habits of their audience. Since media planning jobs involve constant meeting with the media owners, the media planners need to build good contacts with the media personnel. They need to ensure that the media carefully advertises the offerings of their clients and makes it noticeable. Their job is to educate their clients about various effective media combinations they can use for their marketing and how they can present their offerings in front of their target audiences. It is important for a media planner to consider the timing when they can appropriately use the media activity to reach out to the public. Certain products need to be present in a specific manner and at specific time of the year. A media planner has to consider this as well.
Usually media planning jobs have fixed hours of working, but it may be extended when the deadline has to be met. Generally a media planner works within the agency and the more experienced ones tend to take up work as a part time job. More experienced media planners might have to work outdoors attending the meetings with their clients. If the client is staying out of station, the media planners might have to make long distance visits and stay away from home for a short duration.
There are many skills and personal qualities necessary for media planning jobs. This includes IT knowledge, interpersonal and negotiation skills, excellent communication skills, and confidence. Apart from this, media planners should be best researchers and be creative and resourceful. They should be able to work under stressful condition, should have good knowledge about current market trends, and should have good finesse for business. A genuine liking of advertising and media and good knowledge about the target market and audience can help you achieve a good position as a media planner.
Media planning is a professional field and to get into it, you need to achieve bachelor's degree in the areas like liberal art or advertising or communication. Since there is lot of competition in the field, it is essential for the candidates to gain some related experience. This can be done by doing market research or marketing or by taking experience from some reputed agencies.
Before taking this profession full time, it would help if you have experience of organizing events at a smaller level. You can organize events in your college or within your localities.
You can begin with by working under a senior media planner. You can even get an internship in any advertising agency before working full time. It is better if you have an experience in the media industry overall before working as a planner.
After gaining experience, the trainees can aim at achieving a permanent position as a media planner. With good performance and excellent skills, you can expect progression beyond this. You can widen your position by taking up senior responsibility or getting into data management, research, marketing or financial planning. Nowadays, digital media planners are being highly recruited.
Media planning jobs require knowledge about current market trends and therefore you, as a media planner, need to constantly educate yourself about the present business scenario. With the right qualification and better skills, you will not face any problem in getting media planning jobs.
A media planner earns somewhere around $48,000 annually. On the higher side, it can be around $55,000 annually.