Adopt a Test & Learn approach to build the plans of tomorrow.

The media landscape has drastically changed across the past 20 years. When I started my career, it used to be simpler with 4 to 6 media vehicles to choose from. But then Digital arrived and turned everything upside down. Digital brought not just one additional media vehicle but 10, 20, 1,000 more options to choose from.

Has it stopped now? Certainly not! It is even more fragmented with new platforms being constantly created by AdTech companies and adopted by consumers. From a media agency standpoint it means that it has become very complex not only to plan within an ecosystem of thousands of platforms but also to optimise and deliver results is more complicated. It’s not anymore about you buy this Outdoor location or this front page placement and they get delivered, job done.

However, the media agency’s role has not changed. We are here to recommend to our clients the best media strategies that will fulfil their objectives. The media plan of today will not be the media plan of tomorrow.

Do we know what’s tomorrow’s media plan? Yes and no. Yes, because we have hypothesis and we have been executing campaigns for years across certain platforms.

No, because we don’t know what the technology and consumer of the future will be made of. To know better what will be delivering well tomorrow, it is critical that agencies constantly test and learn new platforms. Having this mentality of test & learn will help understand better what will be the media platforms of tomorrow.

Yesterday I had lunch with a client and he complained that people at his agency building his plans are people with 1-2 years experience. Then it means that the same platforms are constantly used for every plans, every quarter and every year. Innovation comes with years of observations and experience hence it is important that top agency people are involved in planning so innovation can be included.

Innovation or test & learn, is not only happening at planning stage. It also sometimes happens during the campaign when we see results not being as planned or opportunities. However, being able to change the course of a campaign when you are mid-way through the campaign require agility and flexibility.

To summarise I would say that a test and learn mentality is critical in order to define the plans’ of tomorrow, but you will also need your agency to couple it with agility and flexibility.

Sebastien Lepez, Founder and CEO at JOLT Digital

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