Objectives • To review the planning process • To understand the role of research in the context of advertising planning
Communications Planning: A Systematic Process • Each step builds the foundation for future decisions • and may provide feedback for decisions made in earlier steps • Research supports risk-avoidance and decision confidence
The Business Problem • Most product-related research initiatives begin with a problem in mind. • These business “problems” or “challenges” relate to marketer’s concerns about some element of product marketing • Product • Price • Place • Promotions
Research Process for Addressing Communications Problems • The fact that a business problem exists opens an opportunity for research solutions • 3 Stages of the Process • Preliminary Discussions & Agreement • Planning & Data Collection • Application
Preliminary Discussions & Agreements • Happens between the marketer and that organization responsible for implementing research • Marketer gives direction, input about the issues affecting the product/brand • Conversation can also be initiated by the advertising agency • No research is actually conducted until agreement about direction is reached
Preliminary Discussion & Agreements Stage • Stage concludes with an understanding between the marketer and the research agent • Agreement about what the research challenge is • And where efforts, budgets will be allocated
3 Categories of Research-Related Problems • Selection of Alternatives • Problems & Opportunities • Knowledge & Understanding
Selection of Alternatives/Evaluation of Alternative Actions Problems • A ‘this or that’ category of problem • The problem defines a need for research to help select the best alternative Ex: Which product package will be most effective – Package A or Package B? Ex. Which ad spokesperson will have most credibility among the target market?
Problems & Opportunities Problems • Category of problem that is focused on gaining a better understanding about past business performance outcomes… • sales, profits, volume, share, distribution, etc. • …or about future business actions • sales, profits, volume, share, distribution, etc.
Problems & Opportunities Problem Issues • This category defines a need for research to help bring clarity to what already happened or to what may happen… Ex: Do opportunities exist to extend Nintendo’s base of users targeted based on gender? Ex: Sales of male cosmetics experienced seasonal declines in the last year. What was the reason for this?
Knowledge & Understanding Problems • Category of problem dedicated to building information for the sake of becoming more competitive or more sophisticated about product marketing • Issues related to this categories can be specific to the product, the consumer, or the general societal trends
Knowledge & Understanding Problem Issues Ex.: How would our target react to our brand of potato chips if we repositioned it as a “healthy snacking alternative?” Ex. How are online social networks changing the way teens become aware of our brand?
Research Problem Statement A research problem statement comes as a result of careful discussions about • what the issue is affecting the product/brand (problem definition) • why research is needed (justification) • what research should find (informational needs)
Planning & Data Collection • Identify the type of research • Access current knowledge through secondary research • If necessary, conduct primary research • Exploratory research (Qualitative) • Descriptive research (Quantitative) • Experimental research (“Cause and Effect”)
Planning & Data Collection • Research Method • Design the research instrumentation • Sampling • Probability vs. Non-probability sample
Planning & Data Collection • Budget and Timing • Get research proposal approved prior to research implementation • Collect Data
Application • Analyze data • Interpret data and make recommendation(s) • Post-presentation decision making by management
Advertising Planning With An Account Planner’s Mindset • Advertising planners represent a hybrid between the account manager and the research analyst
Account Management • Account management supervises the work flow & budget allocations on the advertising account • They are the brand business experts who are grounded in brand performance and brand outputs (sales, profits, etc.) • Their counterparts on the company side is the brand manager
Research Analysts • Agency researchers are experts in planning, implementing, and reporting research efforts • They are masters at asking the right questions so they generate insights that will answer brand questions • They are more data-centered than brand-centered.
The Account Planner • Account Planners represent the voice of the consumer • They are less business-driven than people-curious • They see their jobs as being social anthropologists and “insight-miners”