A Day in the Life of a Media Professional…

Day-In-the-LifeTo be successful in media one must have an eye for detail, possess excellent organizational skills, demonstrate flexibility and work well in a team. It takes an army to accomplish our goals and ensure our clients are ahead of the trends. No two days are the same. As the day evolves, you will find it harder and harder to stay true to the planned agenda as new projects arise (like writing a blog entry). You work with teams across multiple markets on a daily basis. Processes for evaluating and selecting the media vehicles that best achieve campaign objectives are constantly evolving as new platforms and opportunities emerge. It’s an art form in many respects—half data-driven and half intuitive.

8:00 AM:

You roll in with an extra-large coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts and find a client approved an increase to the scope to investigate on-site promotional opportunities at an upcoming scientific meeting for the American Diabetes Association (ADA). You take a few minutes to update the job budget in Dashboard and get the ball rolling by requesting the exhibitors prospectus and sponsorship guide. You remember to ask for the list of programs already spoken for so you don’t include them in the consideration set. You make one more call to the outdoor media company to inquire about airport advertising and other out-of-home opportunities in the host city but must remember to check the society guidelines around the minimum required distance from the conference hall.  You also recall some organizations forbid taxi-top advertising, so you want to make sure you are following the guidelines for the ADA.

Turning back to your inbox, you see another new request. This one, from a sister agency in the network located in Australia, requires a brief presentation outlining the current spending trends across professional media channels in the U.S. They are specifically interested in the shift from medical journal advertising to e-detailing and other digital forms of promotion. It’s time to scour the trade publications for articles and pull some reports from the department’s third-party market research. You grab the data points and pull together a few slides.

 9:00 AM:

Time for the weekly team status for your global oncology account. The team has just learned the client is ready to plan their paid advertising schedule in Germany based on imminent country approval. They are interested in all promotional channels, so you need to prepare a publisher Request for Proposal (RFP) in order to understand reach to oncologists in Germany and geo-targeting opportunities. If the publisher has a print journal, can they geo-target offline advertising to a specific country or do they accept promotional pieces for poly-bag targeting?  What is the online site traffic for German physicians? Do they register to use the site and validate their specialty to ensure media dollars are being spent against the most relevant prescribers? What are the specs, timing and costs associated with offered programs? You work internally with the team to check on country-specific regulations to ensure all planned promotion is compliant.

10:00 AM:

Your 10 o’clock appointment just arrived. The publisher of a leading online physician medical portal is rolling out a new program with enhanced targeting and measurement capabilities, and they want to share the details. You’ll need to ask questions around cost, reach, timing, guarantees, editorial environment, etc., that will help you evaluate the opportunity for your current campaigns. You may find the program offers significant benefits over current programs and make recommendations to revise media schedules. The sales representative brings you muffins, which go nicely with the cold coffee you haven’t finished.

10:30 AM:

There is a pitch under way at the agency. You’ve been assigned the media lead to assist the pitch team and they need a market assessment covering competitor activity and the media consumption habits of the target audience. You’ll need to find a few hours somewhere to search the advertising audit service sorting copies of journal ads and online banners, pulling spend reports, and listing the media vehicles where the competitive set has appeared. Are there any insights in the data?

You’ll go back to the research subscriptions and pull the survey results for cardiologists to understand their adoption of mobile technology, what type of apps they use most often and what professional purposes drive their use of digital platforms. You’ll go one step further and compare the habits of these specialists to the physician norm.

11:00 AM:

Fire drill! No, not the real kind. There’s a problem with the banner ads for one of your campaigns—the kind where the FDA will hunt you down until it is fixed. You need to disable the tags (third-party ad serving codes) in DoubleClick immediately and contact all publisher partners to ensure the creative is completely out of their advertising rotation.

11:30 AM:

The creative team pulls through and immediately provides replacement files for the ads you just disabled. So, what does this mean? You’re going back into DoubleClick, uploading the new creative and reversing all the work you just completed. There are URL changes with different tracking codes added to the end of each one, so this time around it takes time to match and assign the correct ad to the correct placement to the correct URL. You blast out a mass BCC email asking all your publisher partners to send along screenshots of the new creative so that you can deliver the slide deck to your client team as proof of flighting.

12:57 PM:

Your first break of the day. You volunteer someone to swing by Dunkin’ Donuts, hit the bathroom and jog back to your desk just in time to make your 1:00 PM call.

1:00 PM:

You’re jumping on a tactical planning call to discuss branded launch plans for an upcoming blockbuster in the rheumatology market. You find out they need some slides from you to include in the master deck outlining a recommended advertising budget by channel—print, online, mobile, email, convention, search.

You’ve already completed the market analysis, so you’re a step ahead. Based on the maximum potential exposure to the universe of rheumatologists by channel, you were able to show that the competition has oversaturated the market. You learned that rheumatologists are the highest adopters of EMR/EHR platforms and mobile technology among all physicians. Considering the point of diminishing return, audience behavior and the attributes of the new compound (will introduce a novel MOA to the market), you recommend a highly focused mobile and EMR/EHR dominance strategy. Blocking the competition from these channels will offer a competitive advantage and provide the right environment for messaging around the patient support program and billing and reimbursement tools that will be offered.

3:00 PM:

Someone on the team hosted a lunch ’n’ learn today, so you get to eat. You grab a sandwich and head to your next meeting—which, of course, is on the other end of the building and down two floors.

Arriving at the meeting, you present your media plan for a new medical device to the agency team. You walk them through each recommended vehicle, placement and creative type. The conversation appropriately turns to defining success. It’s time to identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) and arrive at a measurement plan, including an understanding on how monthly metrics will be analyzed and how your plan will contribute to the overall campaign objectives, in this case driving enrollment in the new CRM program.

4:00 PM:

Finally back at your desk with no calls or meetings for the rest of the day. You realize you have a voicemail and after a quick peek at your missed calls, it looks like it was one of your other brands in the dermatology market. You listen to the message and find out that they have approved your multichannel media schedule for the upcoming year. This is great news—but now you need to contract for all the media space by the next day in order to lock in rates and hold the online inventory.

Buckling down, you gain client approval in writing and prepare the 50 contracts, one for each publisher. You begin development of the traffic workbook—the master placement breakdown grid providing digital specs, ad sizes and pricing. You’ll have to sit with the analyst tomorrow to review all the details.

6:00 PM:

Stir crazy and in need of a break, you decide to grab your mail and engage in a quick conversation with colleagues over the latest trends in the industry. Then it dawns on you.  You’ve promised your client a Point of View (POV) on the newest social network for physicians and haven’t started. This unfortunately won’t do, since you are meeting with the client tomorrow.  Heading back to your desk, you read through past email chains including concerns and questions along with what the team would like to better understand, and prepare a guide as to how you’re going to present the opportunity.

9:00 PM:

You finish the POV and are surprisingly happy with the finished product. After a few tweaks to the work and a 15-minute fight with the printer (which never works when you need it to), you sit down to read and respond to a few emails before heading home for the night.

9:30 PM:

As you prepare to shut down your computer, you see one last email come in and decide to check it before departing. Upon reading, you sigh heavily. The client meeting scheduled for tomorrow…was just cancelled.

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