'Nitty gritties of buying for television'

Sohrabji lists out what goes behind planning and buying for television at MediaCom:

  • An analysis on how relevant a channel is for our brand on various parameters and not just on reach and ratings,
  • The future of a channel in terms of the level of investments they are making in future shows,
  • The sense of optimism we get from the channel officials when we talk to them on their channel's performance going forward?
  • We do an analysis on if we had to do without a particular channel in our plan, how bad it would be for us? So I would know how dependent my plan is on that channel and how desperately do I need them?

"At the end we have a "cheat sheet" - a full list of things that we know, which we can put on the table while negotiating with the channel. The planning team sits with the buyers and equips them with exactly how needy or not needy that channel is for us in the year ahead and therefore with what confidence we can tell them whether we require them or not unless they come down on their rates," she says.

Also there are channels where the agency is not interested in doing rate negotiations because they know that the channel gives them great flexibility in quality and innovative thinking.

"So there is no fixed process but there are certain hygiene factors and then it all depends on how flexible the channel is and how open are they to do things to make my brand more visible than just giving me ratings. While ratings are imperative, I also want the channel to think about my brand. What makes a difference to me is that the channel should ask me what the positioning of my brand going forward is rather than my budget. So one has to gauge the channel's personality and fit your brand accordingly," she adds.

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