Driving Media Planning Efficiencies
Advantage Media is a powerful tool that can help your media team save time, reduce financial risk and increase effectiveness. Alexis Lancellotti, Advantage’s former Northeast Sales Director explains how you can streamline your media planning process.
When we view a media plan in Advantage, what’s the first thing we’ll notice?
Alexis - When you view a media plan, you’ll see all estimates and orders under a campaign. This view will also give you summary information like dollars, billable amounts and even commission structures with a color-coded indicator to show at-a-glance whether the estimate has been ordered.
This seems like an easy place to start with your media planning. You mentioned commission structures; how does Advantage calculate and track commissions?
Alexis - Our commission calculator is a wonderful feature. When you start working with Advantage, commissions can be stored in the background based on vendor or client. If your commissions vary for different campaigns such as display, social, etc., that can be easily set up as well. You can also see the spend vs. billable amount right in your media planning window. This helps eliminate mistakes from having to manually calculate everything. The software is here to do that for you.
Avoiding manual processes: a great way to avoid mistakes! What else do you want to highlight about Advantage Media?
Alexis - Next, I want to talk about a really impressive feature: dashboards. They display summary information of your media plans and put them into pie charts, summary charts and bar graphs to easily export and add to your presentations. These dashboards can be customized using the Dashboard Editor. Easily drag and drop data points, change the graphs and even edit colors. Pretty cool, right?
Very cool! Advantage comes loaded with a ton of time-saving and easy-to-use features like this. Any other features you’d like to highlight?
Alexis - The Media Mix & Rate Templates feature is one of the latest additions to Advantage Media. These templates are designed to help you quickly take your budget and automatically allocate spend among different tactics and vendors based on campaign goals.
Expert-designed digital templates with goal-oriented tactics are provided with the feature. Use them to create media plans or create your own. These templates can be customized by goal or by client and can be built on the way your agency buys media. Vendors and tactics are outlined in the template, and ready to use to quickly create a media plan. All you have to do is allocate a percentage of your budget to the different tactics and vendors.
Additionally, you can create an overall plan that combines various tactics, so instead of just having one digital template for overall branding, you can actually have a full media plan template that includes all media types. Allocate your budget among digital, television, out-of-home, newspaper, magazine and/or radio. These media templates are very easy to add to any one of your campaigns.
What about vendor rates?
Alexis - Advantage can store those rates in the background for you. But as we know, some of those rates tend to change, especially on the digital side. But it's totally up to you if you'd like them stored in the background. If you don't, it's very easy to add the rate.
What’s your favorite feature?
Alexis - There are so many! One of my favorite features comes from the digital world. Advantage actually calculates impressions for you, so there are no more manual calculations about how many impressions you’re going to assign to this campaign. Your estimate will be based on the dollar amount from your rates, and Advantage calculates the projected impressions for you.
Once you’ve created your media plan in the system, it'd be great to get it out. Is there a straightforward way baked into Advantage to visualize information?
Alexis - In addition to the dashboards we discussed earlier, we can create flowcharts for your client to sign off on. You can customize what you want the client to see. You can select which estimates you want to include, and you can even group them by the layers that you've included within the media planning window. With just a couple clicks, you have a great media plan to show your client.
And you can easily export it for internal reviews or send directly to your client. There’s also a media authorization signature line at the bottom so that you don’t waste any time once you have your client’s approval.
These flowcharts give all of that same information that you had in the media planning window and summarize it into an Excel document for your client to see and sign off on.
Wow! That’s a huge time-saver. Once you have authorization from your clients, what’s the media order process like?
Alexis - You can create orders in Advantage directly from your media plan. Orders can then be sent to your vendors directly from the system for confirmation. Vendor communications are tracked in Advantage and sent to you via a confirmation email. You can also check the status of the order in our system anytime.
Additionally, by creating an order in our system, it automatically creates a billing record to be reconciled at a later date. This reduces media liability and helps with ease of use by eliminating the need for manual entry of order information.
This means one click creates the order for the vendor as well as the billing record. It’s a game-changer.
Thanks, Alexis! This is a lot of great information about Advantage Media. In summary, here are Advantage Media Planning features that drive efficiency:
Media Mix Rate Template- Automatically create media plans with just a couple of clicks. Expert-designed digital templates take the guesswork out of what tactics to use to help reach your goals and increase campaign effectiveness.
Flowcharts & Dashboards - Generate a client-ready visual representation of your media plans in seconds, and save your media team hours of work.
Instant Order Creation- Another great feature that will easily allow you to create and send orders directly from your media plans, saving you time and reducing financial risk by eliminating human error.
There’s so much more that we’ll cover in future webinars and blog posts. Advantage Media is packed full of additional features such as the Broadcast Research Tool and Broadcast Worksheet. They help you to completely plan and buy your broadcast from the RFP process to posting. Another great feature, the Digital Campaign Manager, allows you to choose whether to roll forward unused campaign funds or actualize. And the Media Manager provides a central location to easily view, manage and reconcile orders for all media types.
If you want to purchase Advantage Media, schedule a demo today. If you're already an Advantage Media Client and have questions, our support team is here to help. Plus, the Advantage User Community is packed full of helpful videos!