5 Urgent Priorities for Media Directors


There is no shortage of topics for major advertising media directors to look at this year. From inflation, talent acquisition, the metaverse, NFTs, and media diversity, to new brand safety topics, sustainability, privacy, the shift to a cookie-less world, geopolitics impact, and advertising legislation e.g., High in Fat Sugar or Salt (HFSS). The list could go on and the critical issues coupled with necessary opportunities seem endless. In the past, Flock has, fortunately, had the convenience to speak to a host of global, regional, and local media directors and found some commonalities and general principles that could be adopted to transcend and transverse many of these topics.

We have made a summary of their thoughts and insights and distilled them down into 5 priorities for newly appointed and experienced media directors to take onboard.

  1. Look After Your Skills

Taking care of the skills you already have will be at the forefront of priorities before considering anything else. Essentially, you’ll want to carry out a brief SWOT analysis directly based on your skill set to understand your strengths, and of course, your weaknesses, and then at this point, invest in yourself and your team. Focus out what capabilities or knowledge you lack, upskilling where possible which will ultimately manage current or future stress and workload which can easily become a major bump in the road if not prevented.

  1. Reduce Your Agency’s Talent Turnover

In a new era where digital and social media is evolving and growing at an accelerated rate, professionals no longer feel tied to their agency and with agency staff turnover running at 40% in some markets, ensure you have a sustainable plan for your agency talent. Carrying out regular staff surveys will give insight into the reasons staff decide to leave and provide clear feedback. This will give you the support/evidence to consider discretionary personal rewards for your agency team such as a lunch, a night out, or brand discounts. Inspire employees to execute ideas and be in control of their own career journey. Focus on the positive. Ensure you contract the right people and accept a certain level of churn to maximise pitch commitments on your team.

  1. Test, Learn and Innovate

There are so many aspects to test, prove and experiment with. But, without a clear program, it can seem chaotic trying to manage each stage of it all. So, with that in mind agree with what successful innovation looks like for you and define it formally for the team to refer to. Create and maintain formal test and learn tests, and set “action standards” so that is agreed on what happens if a test works, or fails.

It can be hard to give each area the attention needed so concentrate on those of most value first e.g., is getting a media up weight test of the same importance as the NFT test? You can take this further by weaving innovation into budgeting, planning, and wash-up meetings so it becomes a standard and not an afterthought.

  1. Improve ROI measurement

Measuring ROI is the weakest part of media agency appraisals and the weakest part of agency on client appraisals. It is also one of the weakest skills we see from our Marketing Skills Assessments, but the most important skill essential for any media director.

Measuring media ROI has never been easy, but now so much harder due to the amount of data. Creating a framework to measure media ROI, the impact of different weights, channels, flighting and creative, etc. should be delivered at the level of confidence that the organisation requires. There is no need to be any more confident in media ROI than that which applies to other parts of the business. Unfortunately, many companies overcomplicate, sweating the small stuff thus missing the big topics entirely.

  1. Clear Data Strategy

To deliver a great ROI framework and to support your Innovation programs, you’ll need great data. And, to deal with a cookie-less environment, and to operate more efficiently (to fight inflation), you’ll need new and different data.

To help build your data strategy, list the consumer behaviours you wish to influence. Understand whether your 1st party acquisition strategy is scaled enough to get you the data you need. Is the data taxonomy shaped in the right way to meet your needs? Do you have an agreed 2nd and 3rd party data strategy and a test and learn program to calculate ROI on the acquisition of data?

We hope that these identified priorities will help get you in shape for the year ahead. If you’d like to see how we have helped build out our media transformation programs don’t hesitate to let us know using the form below.

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