Effective collaboration between teams is key to effective marketing. Sales and marketing; agencies and clients; agencies and other agencies— and creative and media are no exception. Sometimes that can be a challenge both logistically and mentally for the parties involved. The ad plan is the ad plan and the creative is the creative, and typically, the creative follows the advertising plan. Maybe it’s time to reframe that.

We have written about the need to talk less about “traditional” media and more about tangible media. Now we’re taking it one step further. Instead of talking about media planning and buying with terms like traditional, digital, mobile. cable, radio, etc., we need to reframe how we think and talk about ad schedules. In today’s media landscape it is more appropriate to discuss message format and distribution channels.

To do that, let’s reframe advertising outlets and options into three main categories: audio, video & display.

At first this may seem like an unnecessary change we’re making for the sake of being different—we’re not that fussy, we promise. By pinpointing the message format and combining distribution channels, we’re painting a clearer picture of how to reach the target audiences.

So what category suits your message best? Is your message more visual? Maybe display is a good starting point. Then you can layer your campaign with digital and tangible tactics to deliver that visual message in the way that best reaches the target.

This leads to a more effective campaign because the message takes center stage in the campaign, working as the primary factor that informs the strategy and tactics (closely followed of course by timing and budget).

This way, you don’t end up with display ads when what you’re trying to communicate isn’t as visual or actually needs more space—like what a video offers—to convey your message.

Or maybe advertising isn’t what you need at all and your campaign needs to include or solely use the marketing category of engagement or experiential. This includes those hybrid tactics like social (which has an ad component) or trade shows (which can include sponsorships). 

It’s really a pretty simple reframe: your campaign strategy isn’t tangible vs digital; it’s about what you’re trying to communicate and who you’re trying to reach. Once you review your campaign goals and what message you need to get across, you can determine what medium will be most effective, display, video or audio (or experiential) and how to distribute it from there.

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