Becoming an Advertising Media Planner

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For the creative minded, for the dreamer, for the person who visualizes, a career in advertising is the best option to go for in life. Especially if one is looking for job satisfaction, reward, and great career growth. And those creatively inclined and looking for success and money should consider taking up advertising as a career choice.

Media planners are also referred as brand strategist or brand planners. Their main responsibility is to create advertisement campaigns for their clients. They have to work closely with the creative teams, like the copywriters. The success of any media campaign largely depends on the selecting of the media which is decided by the media planner.

The job responsibility of an advertising media planner is to select the kind of media that should be used which can put forth the advertiser's brand and their message to the consumer most effectively. Normally the media of communication in the field of advertising are television and radio, magazines and newspapers or the print media, internet/ email or mobile phones, hoardings and cinemas.

The media planner has to work in close tandem with the advertising agency's client and understand their objectives well and accordingly set the target audience. They are also required to work with the account executive of the advertising agency. Understanding the pulse of the audiences is the most vital part of their responsibilities. They have to study closely the data showing the readership of a newspaper or magazine as well as check the ratings of the television programs. This study will help them in better understanding and selecting the right media of advertising for the specific campaigns. In this way the reach to the targeted audiences can be maximized.

A media planner in the field of advertising will also choose the right time to place the advertisement on the selected media. With the help of thorough market research and analysis, the media planner will formulate a proper understanding of the customers' behavioral pattern while selecting the media. It is also necessary on the other hand to find out for the advertiser the value of its chosen medium. While working closely with their clients, the media planner is able to generate trust and confidence in the client and this further helps in suggesting a particular media to the client. It is also their major responsibility to set targets for the media buyers and make them updated on any changes that may take place in the field of media which may in turn harm the advertising campaign.

A media planner helps in getting maximum impact of any advertising campaign for their client. They use their creative thoughts along with analytical and factual data to bring in the best results. They have to mainly deal with the different avenues of media like the television, press, radio, as well as the internet. They generally work on more than one project at a time which is meant for different clients. Few advertising agencies join the role of media buyer with that of the function of the media planner.

Knowledge of audiences for different media and also understanding the media consumption pattern of the consumer is necessary for the media planner.

A certain set of soft skills are necessary to successfully work as a media planner in advertising such as good knowledge of commerce and business, capable of doing research, should be a team player, must have excellent interpersonal skills to negotiate, and have very good communication skills in both, spoken, and written communication. They should also exhibit analytical skills, should be able to evaluate things very fast and should be comfortable while working with numbers. They must be able to deliver work in deadlines and must be able to work under pressure. They should be very planned and organized and should have an eye for detail.

The qualification needed while opting for a career in media planning is that one must have a bachelor's degree. A Master's degree or a degree in management would be an added advantage. Apart from the academic requirements, an aspiring candidate for media planning should be well versed in use of Excel, SQL, or a similar program. They should also be proficient in MS Office applications and should be able to design reports.

These days a number of colleges offer graduate and post graduate degrees in advertising management. It is best to join these institutions after high school if you are considering a career in advertising seriously, as these institutions will build you from the base up.

The average salary of a media planner with reasonable experience is $48,000.
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