Cast your mind back to when audiences had little choice. When changing the channel wasn’t such an easy option, brands and media planners could afford to be a little lethargic when it came to the plan for the next campaign adopting an ‘If it ain’t broke…’ kind of attitude but re-evaluating media plans has never been so important.

In days gone by, nobody thought to ask why re-evaluating media plans was important because it mostly revolved around doing the same thing that worked last time, which was actually kind of OK because it would likely work. Audience behaviour and media consumption didn’t change dramatically year on year, so media planning behaviour didn’t either.

That was then. This is now. Audiences are fickle, which means that brands and media planners and buyers, like us, have to be reactive. That means re-evaluating media plans regularly. 

Brands are sometimes scared about changes in a media plan because, well, if it ain’t broke, they don’t want to fix it. But media planners have to be firm and brands have to be brave – the media landscape is in a period of constant flux and so is the media consumer. The audience won’t stay in one place for long and neither can the brand. Complacency just isn’t an option.

if it ain't broke
Image courtesy of http://mattymatt.co

Media planners need to re-evaluate more frequently, conduct more research and not simply rely on last year’s success on the assumption that it will work again. Justification and rationale in the 21st century need to be a real-time operation, as does measuring brand awareness, and audience comprehension/action. Both the creative and the placing of adverts need to be re-evaluated (although not necessarily refreshed) more often to keep up with the audience.

Measuring brand awareness is critical to all of this. The brand that is most aware of where it sits in the consciousness of the audience is the brand that is best placed to sit or twist at any given moment.

Sea changes in audience behaviour present a problem for complacent brands, who will get left behind, and create opportunities for those brands who are willing to trust in innovation and research. 

Which brand are you going to be?