Tips on Choosing the Best Media Planning Software for Your Agency
If your agency offers media planning services to clients, having the right media planning software is crucial to delivering the best service possible. Often, each client’s media needs are unique, and consequently, not every media planning solution will be the best fit right out of the box. Some legacy systems might be too cumbersome for your agency’s requirements, while others might not have enough in the way of features. It’s important to know which features are must-haves and which ones are nice-to-haves prior to investigating media planner options. Here are some tips to make your search for the right media planning software quicker and more efficient.
Identify Critical Capabilities and Features
Even before you request the first demo of a media buying software, you should determine which features and capabilities your agency simply cannot do without. For agencies that subscribe to a ratings service, being able to tie in to their ratings accounts—as well as having the ability to average and project ratings—is a necessity. Conversely, for agencies that buy a lot of media for direct response clients, which judge success by phone calls or website orders. For them, it may not be worth it to subscribe and pay for a feature they aren’t going to use. Instead, they might find insights like the correlation between spot times and website conversions to be more useful. Some agencies need invoice reconciliation, while others are more concerned with the flexibility to buy many forms of media. It’s best to analyze your needs and your clients’ media needs and make an inventory of required features prior to researching.
Research the Right Vendors
As with many categories of software, there are numerous providers of media planning solutions. Some players in the space are long-established companies that have essentially marketed the same solution for 20 years. Other vendors are small businesses that are trying to evolve the field but are limited by their resources. There are also tech companies that view the category through an entirely different lens. A media planning software is generally a long-term purchase; you want to partner with a company that supports your strategic objectives. If you see your agency trending toward more digital media purchases, you’ll want to make sure the vendor you choose is aware of media trends. It’s probably more important that the vendor is constantly refining its product, rather than relying on their big name to win your business.
Set Up Your Demos
Once you’ve refined your list of possible software options, you’ll want to set up demos with each. Some will offer a free trial or money-back guarantee to allow you to test the product without any risk. This option is great because you can assess the product’s ease-of-use. On the other hand, other vendors will only let you look at a demo via a screen-share, which can make it difficult to determine the intuitiveness of the platform. It’s always easier to learn by doing rather than seeing, but either way it’s important that you ask pointed questions about the required features you identified earlier. Remember to take diligent notes because you will probably forget all of the software’s capabilities! In fact, we recommend you book all your demos closely together, that way the last experience is fresh in your mind when you are testing the next media planning software.
Determine Which One is the Best Value for Your Agency
Now that you’ve demoed the various media planning software options, you should know which ones meet or exceed your agency’s requirements. And of those, which ones are the easiest to use? Once you’ve established which solutions meet your requirements and are easy to use, compare them against their respective costs to determine their value to your agency. If one option has 100% of the features you need and a lot of features you don’t need, consider that when assessing the cost. If another product has 95% of the features you need but will streamline your process because of its ease-of-use and comes in at half the price, that product might be one to consider, as well.
GaleForce Digital Offers Cutting Edge Media Planning Software
Next time your agency is shopping for a new media planning solution, consider GaleForce Digital. We have developed the next generation of media planning software—MediaForce. It has the wide range of features needed by today’s ad agency with the ease of use of a modern SaaS tool. It comes in tiered pricing to suit the needs of various types and sizes of agencies, and isn’t clunky and outdated like the legacy planners that have been on the market for decades. Call us at (866) 233-8499 to speak with a specialist and learn more about our cutting edge media planning software, MediaForce.