I’m currently employed by Starcom MediaVest Group – a media agency – as a graduate media trainee in their London office. The program is a 13 week rotation scheme in order to gain exposure to different aspects of the business! The basis of media agencies, although difficult to explain at times, is their position between brands and consumers. The agency acts as the liaison between their clients [ ex. CineWorld ] and media owners [ex. The Guardian ]. With the data-driven research and expert knowledge, media agencies solve business problems through marketing campaigns.
As a media planner…. here are some of the typical questions you would have to ask/answer:
1. From all the data on consumer behaviours, what is the one simple, meaningful insight into your target audience?
2. How can you use different media channels [press, radio, TV, outdoor, digital…] to create one unified message for the consumer? What do you want your brand experience to be?
3. How well is your campaign performing? Can you optimise the budget to maximise the return on investment?
4. How are you going to get the right message in front of the right people at the right time?
Thus far, media as a career path has only been positive! The industry is extremely young [ the average employee age is around 29 ] and very fast-paced [ with digital technology, the rate of change is faster than ever ]. The work is intellectually stimulating and heavily relies on communication and networking skills within the small world of brand managers and media owners. Despite being a niche speciality, there is plenty of opportunities for travel and career mobility. As an arts and humanities graduate, I was lost in the sea of Google search results which suggested I would never find a job. But they were wrong. I love my job. [ SMG has ‘hot desking’, running clubs during lunch, chalkboard walls, free cappuccinos, and hilarious brainstorming sessions.] At the moment, it’s not very well-paid, but hey, you gotta start somewhere! And in 5 years time, I’ll have the expertise, the salary, and the happiness. How about that?
“Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.”