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Advertising Media PlanningTitle: Advertising Media Planning, 6th edition
Author: Jack Sissors and Roger Baron
Copyright: © 2002
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
ISBN: 0-8442-1563-5

Relevance: Advertising Media Planning will interest anyone involved with the back-office, sales, marketing and management aspects of newspaper, magazine, TV and radio production. Inside, readers learn about various sales and marketing metrics involved with advertising.

Review: Advertising Media Planning is a definitive look at media planning including important discussions on media, timeframes and dollar distribution. Now in its sixth edition, Advertising Media Planning takes the reader through sample media planned presentations, the relationship among media advertising and consumers, basic measurements and calculations, differing marketing strategies, and many other key factors involved with a media campaign.

Aimed primarily at advertising buyers and other media types, Advertising Media Planning provides very useful comparisons between different media classes, different media vehicles and media costs.

Unlike other books that purport to educate readers about media buying, Advertising Media Planning covers a wide range of media such as newspapers, magazines, newspaper supplements, television, cable TV, radio, the Internet, direct mail, telemarketing, outdoor advertising, and transit media. Also covered are several new media concepts such as place-based media, database media planning and cross-media (or multimedia integration). Helpfully for the readers, both the limitations and reasons for using each advertising medium are covered.

Sample media plans
Another key advantage to Advertising Media Planning is in its early use of a sample media plan. Unlike other books in this category that vaguely talk about demographic profiling, spending habits and media costs, the sample media plan has specific numbers and real-life information relating to subject matter. The book sports several case studies that underscore the authors' many years of industry experience. We see this, for example, in a chapter titled Advanced Measurements and Calculation. Here, readers learn and understand the often discussed but rarely described Gross Rating Points calculation (GRPs) in both broadcast and other media.

The concept of reach including kinds of reach and the relationship of reach to coverage, as well as how reach builds over time, is also well explained and illustrated. Frequency including frequency distribution and the relationship of reach to frequency is discussed, as is effective frequency (including a short section detailing response curves and effective-frequency numbers).

Much of the book is devoted to strategic planning including target selection, where to advertise, and of course, when to advertise. An excellent section detailing geographic waiting, reach and frequency, and a good case study on how to set effective-frequency levels also help the reader understand these key topics.

Another good section details how to evaluate and select specific media vehicles. Here, the concepts of target, reach, composition and cost efficiency are re-introduced and the subjects of secondary audiences, editorial environment and special opportunities in magazines are handled. This sixth edition of this seminal text also includes many specific mentions of the Internet and Internet-related media buying.

Media buying practitioners will also appreciate the detailed chapter discussing various media costs and buying problems associated with each medium. Here, television, cable TV, magazines, newspapers, radio, the Internet, and out-of-home media are introduced, discussed and compared.

Budgeting, which plays a huge role in the average media planner's day, is mentioned throughout the book and is specifically discussed in a short chapter titled Setting and Allocating the Budget. Although the chapter could certainly be longer, it does illustrate many of the traditional and experimental methods used in advertising budget planning.

A nice bonus for media buying practitioners is a section detailing testing and experimentation with respect to media planning. For instance, this chapter explains why (and how to) use tests and experiments in one's media planning strategy, the purposes of test marketing, media testing, and media translations. An extensive glossary (almost 40 pages!) and a suitably detailed index round out the book.

Overall: Advertising Media Planning is an admirable update of this venerable classic tome and is recommended for anyone who needs real-life, factual information when making media buying decisions. The book provides an unusually broad-based introduction to almost every aspect of media buying and advertising decision-making but can still provide seasoned veterans with additional facts, case studies and other useful pointers.

End of Review

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