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Guest Column: Creative & digital media buying: The new power couple - Rohan Mehta, Social Kinnect

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Guest Column: Creative & digital media buying: The new power couple - Rohan Mehta, Social Kinnect

“Continuous innovation in media is providing brands with a seemingly endless stream of ways to connect with consumers, but knowing where to focus budget and for what purpose is becoming increasingly complex.”

This is what Marketing Week wrote about at the beginning of the year 2016.

“Success or failure comes down to content and effectively honing it to meet consumers,” read a line from the same article.

And in fact that holds true especially when media teams struggle with a deeper understanding of content. Or when creative teams face challenges due to complexity of media buying and planning. More so with technology becoming more and more dynamic. 

2016 marked the year when digital spends outdid TV spends worldwide. In India digital spends are still behind but 2017 will be the year in which there will be a quantum shift in our behavior and thinking which will drive the largest change we have seen in spends towards digital.

Think about this, for ages we’ve seen Advertising being heavily influenced by the Mad Men who have put Creative on such a great pedestal. Media buying and planning has always only been about taking that creative and placing it across media to drive impressions. Yes there were analytics involved, number crunching too, but by and large, the data and analysis for an OOH, print magazines, television and radio channels primarily dependent on the size of the audience based on interest they generated at strategic points of intersection.

There wasn’t much that one could do once the campaign has launched across platforms in most cases than to just wait for the ‘Creative’ to make its mark and hang tight for people to go buy your product, call for enquiries and so on.

All that has drastically changed since the evolution of Digital! We all know that. But a lot hasn’t changed in the way most brands have worked with agencies / partners. Most large agencies have focused solely either on media or creative even in Digital, at least in India.

Understanding of media buying and planning in digital is a lot different than in mainline. The basic skillsets required have changed drastically, while mainline was all about relationships and bulk buying, digital is completely driven by platforms, analysis and targeted buying.

We’ve also seen the growth and demand for various technologies across Digital space that drives media buying and planning. At the same time, innovations and form factors that require a deeper understanding of how to use creative innovatively to push for maximum output. e.g. GIFs, Canvas Ads, media innovations across platforms and form factors (smartwatches, Snapchat, 360 Video/Images, Interactive banners etc.)

Hence it becomes all the more important for brands to think of both these factors at the same time. Right from the campaign pitch to the execution, end-end involvement of both media and creative will garner greater traction, positive impact and of course a winning campaign! If we need to tweak the campaign mid-way, there’s a stronger connect and faster turn around time especially when dependencies are interconnected.

This kind of planning is what will change the way brands adopt creative and media in digital and break through the adopted mindsets of the past to evolve to a thinking that is contemporary and much more effective.

(The author is CEO, Social Kinnect)

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of

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