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There is far more to the creative process than learning how to use software and configure hardware. This blog addresses them.

 

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Journey author Robert Davis is the owner and creative director of Atlanta agency, Davis Advertising, Inc.

 

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Journey from Concept to Creation

There is far more to the creative process than learning how to use software and configure hardware. This blog addresses them.

Media Resources.

 

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As I mentioned in a previous blog, my first exposure to media planning and buying was when, due to my focus (minor) on computer science and information systems at Georgia State University's Robinson School of Business, I was asked to research and purchase a turnkey computer system for media planning and buying. My college internship had turned into a full-time agency job and this was one of my first assignments. I purchased a $30,000 (circa 1985) PC based media planning system from Telmar®. The system was primarily based on Lotus 123® macros using downloaded ratings data. Learning the system motivated me to dig deeper into Lotus® macros and dBase® programming...experience that later translated to Excel® (it is amazing how quickly Excel® replaced Lotus 123® as the industry standard).

   I learned a great deal about media simply by learning and using the Telmar® system. I was also very fortunate to receive “on the job training” via veteran agency media professionals who suffered from computer phobia. With Telmar®, you could instantly see how changes in spot selections affect the total cost and the reach and frequency of the buy, either for a single TV station or for all media in the buy. It was a great negotiating tool. You could instantly compare CPPs and CPMs between the same daypart on different stations while you have your station sales representative on the phone. The media mix capability included additional media such as radio, print and outdoor. In addition to Telmar®, I later used Broadcast Management Plus® and other software for media planning and buying. I also developed my own spreadsheets and a dBase program for entering and printing insertion orders.

   In addition to turnkey media planning and buying software, online research databases such as Dialog®, Nexis®, Lexis®, Dow Jones® and Dun & Bradstreet® are useful for doing media research and preparing media rationales. Other comprehensive tools are available through media providers – television/radio stations, media representation firms (media reps) such as Katz®, spot cable reps such as NCC®, and major newspapers. Here is a quick overview of a few media resources, many of which can be accessed via media providers:

   Scarborough® Research. Developed as a newspaper measurement tool, Scarborough® provides data on lifestyles, shopping patterns, media behaviors and demographics at local, regional and national levels. Founded in 1975, its services span 2,000 categories and brands which include retail shopping, lifestyle characteristics, consumer demographics and media usage patterns. You can have access to Scarborough via any major newspaper sales rep.

   Experian® Simmons® – formerly Simmons Market Research Bureau (SMRB). A leading provider of consumer behavior demographics information, Simmons® provides detailed brand, service and media usage information on over 8,000 brands and over 450 product categories. It provides data for Microsoft® MapPoint® software which can map profiles of consumer data by state and down to census tracts. Consumer usage of thousands of brands and services can be profiled via Simmons BrandTract® from any of six levels of geography – Total US, State, MSA, County, ZIP Code and Census Tract.

   ESRI GIS® -- formerly CACI®. This GIS and mapping software combines demographic data and mapping software which can be used for market analysis to determine which products and promotions can match the lifestyles and buying patterns of potential customers in specific geographic areas.

   STRATA®. STRATA® Marketing, Inc. develops premiere software for media planning and buying. They offer Spot TV, Spot Radio, Print, Outdoor, Local Cable, National Cable and Network TV Media Buying and agency products which provide in-depth Pre-buy, Buy, Posting, Reporting, media Billing and qualitative research capabilities. The agency media buying system, STRATA View handles the entire media planning and buying process from "A" to "Z." It includes multi-media Reach and Frequency allowing every combination  of TV, Radio and Print Media -- Reach, Frequency, GRP's, CPP's and more.

   TAPSCAN™. TAPSCAN™ is a suite of software for local market radio that is used extensively by radio station salespeople. It provides access to customized demos, geographies, dayparts and multibook averages. It includes qualitative (80 categories of Retail Spending) as well as quantitative (Ratings, CPP, CPM, etc.) data. You can enter GRP targets for specific dayparts and demos and the system will indicate the number of spots required to achieve them.

   SRDS®. Owned by Nielsen®, SRDS® (Standard Rate & Data Service) is the leading provider of media rates and data....offering comprehensive coverage of traditional media (magazines, newspapers, television, direct marketing and radio) as well as online and out of home. With 95% of advertising agencies served, it is the largest and most comprehensive database of media rates in the world. It provides an immediate, single source of rates for agency media planners for all media.

   SQAD®. An acronym for Spot Quotations And Data, Inc., SQAD® provides advertising agencies, media buying services, broadcast and cable stations, etc., instant access to real cost CPMs and CPPs by network and daypart, unit costs, CPMs and CPPs by program category and time period. Cost data is based on actual transactions.

 

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About Adman

After developing his artistic abilities from an early age, Robert Davis (Adman) started his advertising career as a graphic artist for a commercial printing company while in 10th grade. He later acquired degrees in Commercial Art and (later) Business Administration (Marketing with focus on computer science) while working in various advertising agency capacities. Robert started his own agency in 1989. He added an in-house Pro Tools® recording studio in 1999 and an Avid Xpress® DV video editing suite in 2002. He now also has two Avid Media Composer suites and an Xpress Studio HD suite in a fully equipped studio which also features SoftImage|XSI and Pro Tools. He believes that his company, Davis Advertising, Inc., represents a new model for the 21st century advertising agency…”a small, agile and responsive agency wit1h comprehensive, in-house capabilities.” He says, “Avid® software provides the creative freedom and flexibility I covet.” His focus is on developing effective creative ideas via his own strategic planning process. He loves being surrounded by cameras, lights, props and other creative professionals who share his vision. He also, of course, loves working with Avid® software to bring his ideas to life. Currently residing in metro-Atlanta, Robert is an accomplished writer, producer and creative director. His advertising agency has served Fortune 500 accounts and has received several international awards. His work has been exhibited at the prestigious Cannes Lions Advertising Festival. When not riding his vintage Italian racing bike, or working out with free weights, Robert can often be found in the late evening singing or playing drums, guitars and keyboards in the studio.

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