Media Planning vs. Media Buying

Media planning involves finding the most appropriate media platform to advertise a company or client’s brand/product. Media planners determine when, where and how often a message should be placed. Their goal is to reach the right audience at the right time with the right message to generate the desired response while staying within the designated budget. Media planners also take into consideration the product being advertised, target audience, and campaign goals for accurate results. 
Media buying is the process of buying media placements for advertising (on TV, in publications, on the radio, digital signage, or on websites). The primary goal of media buying is to achieve the highest reach for the lowest possible price. Successful media buyers are skilled in negotiating the price of media on behalf of their client.

The process of media buying and planning both involves the use of research into the target demographic to derive a deep insight into the media consumption habits and purchasing behaviours of consumers.

Media planning is more conceptual, more creative; more research oriented. Whereas, media buying requires honed negotiation skills, an understanding of the communications process and knowledge of how different media variables affect performance and advertising effectiveness. Another notable fact is that separating planning and buying functions can seriously erode the important connection between communications planning and channel execution, ultimately affecting the quality of output for clients. 

Ironically, most people (especially clients) have the belief that buying is more important than planning because that is where the money is spent. Whereas in reality, jumping to media buying straight ahead without effective planning would lead to a major investment without much result. But it is also not wise to do media planning without appropriate media buying as that would not lead to optimum business promotion.

Elements of a Good Brand Identity

Human beings evaluate information quickly and make judgments in a snap. This habit automatically transfers over to the consumer marketplace as well. Consumers want to feel comfortable with the brands they buy from, invest in, and spend time with. Therefore, as an entrepreneur, it’s important to spend a considerable amount of time and effort developing the identity of a brand.
What makes a good brand identity? Not every brand identity has all these attributes, but the best ones have most, if not all.\

1. A brand must always have a purpose- Consumers are always looking for a company’s story or a purpose. They may not be aware of it, but they are looking for some motivating factor that they have in common with the brand. They need something to connect with. Hence, the brand’s purpose needs to be expressed whenever and wherever it can be expressed. For example, Dove is one of the greatest examples of a purposeful brand. Their mission is about something far more profound than just selling soap and hygiene products. Dove recognized that low self esteem is a huge problem for females and is using its brand to help improve the self esteem of girls worldwide. 

2. A brand must deliver benefits that customer’s desire- Every brand must listen to their target audience and should be able to define their expectation and desires.  History shows that when companies listen to their customers, collaborate with them and innovate together, they thrive. Knowing the exact target audience will make branding initiatives more strategic. For example- Amazon, once an online book seller, is now not only a marketplace for nearly any product available, and has recently become a cell phone manufacturer with Amazon Fire mobile device as well.

3. The pricing of a brand must be aligned with the perception of its value-    A business with products and services that aren’t aligned with the customer’s perceived brand value will quickly fail. The message, design and positioning of the brand are key to establishing a connection between price and the perceived value for products. For example- The spectacular success of Patanjali Ayurved offering products that are positioned as being pure by Baba Ramdev, the yoga guru seems to be a dexterous mix of savvy marketing and smart pricing. 

4. A brand must be unique and distinctive- A brand simply needs to have one special thing that separates it from its competitors. Brands must establish distinct brand elements in order to win in the marketplace. For example- Domino’s Pizza used to guarantee that their pizza would arrive in 30 minutes or it’d be free.

5. A brand must always be consistent- Consistency is a part of building trust and making a brand feel more dependable. A part of engaging the right emotions with consumers is making them feel like they know a brand and that the brand can be trusted. Interacting with consumers through a consistent brand voice and aesthetic lets consumers get to know the brand as an organization. For example- Coca Cola since its inception is selling happiness. The world's largest beverage-maker has promised to delight consumers ever since it launched itself. Everything they do is inspired by this idea of promoting, developing and creating happiness which automatically resonates with consumers. 

Branding is fundamental. Branding is basic. Branding is essential. The main idea is to keep in mind that people look forward to relating with a company before buying their product or services. Hence entrepreneurs must develop a brand’s identity and show the consumers the attributes that they are looking for.

Aquarian turns 3- Happy Birthday

June 5th 2017 marks the date when Aquarian celebrates its three triumphant years in the Branding industry. Over the last three years Aquarian has grown from strength to strength, taking on more clients, expanding the team and its services.
The last three years have flown by, and it seems like only yesterday when it all began. 2016 was a huge year for our brand, so let’s take a look back at some of the highlights:
Our trusted clientele list has grown exponentially, as we’re now working for more than 100 clients in the various industry sectors including Real Estate, Pharmaceutical, Food, Hospitality, E-commerce, Fashion, Automobile, Infrastructure, and Entertainment & Leisure etc.
We’re also proud to be announcing that from a small Design Agency in 2014, we are now a 360-degree Branding Company offering more than 10 services to our client with a 360-degree market perspective.
In the past 3 years Aquarian has single-handedly managed 50+ social media profiles, made 200+ client Brochures and created 50+ corporate identities. At Aquarian we pride our self on our customer-focused, results driven services and take great pride in the fact that our clients are growing with us.
We also want to take a moment to thank all our wonderful team, clients and brand associates, who have helped us become the company we are today. Without your dedication and vision, Aquarian would have never prospered.
We are looking forward to the next year and have some fantastic plans in place for a more successful run. This includes more value added services for clients amongst a whole host of other projects. With plenty of exciting developments to come, we’re excited about the next year and beyond. Stay tuned! 

The Do’s and Don’ts of SMM

Social Media Marketing is a way for businesses to interact with their target markets over the internet via various social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram etc. The range and influence of digital media has grown by the day and Social Media Marketing services dominate a major part of it. With the explosion of newer media platforms, creating a result-oriented strategy to keep customers engaged is a whole new challenge for Social Media Marketing.

The challenge yet remains to do Social Media Marketing right. Hence we have tried to put down some of the basic do’s and don’ts of effective SMM for branding purposes.

Social Media do’s:

1.   Keep it short as it is proven that shorter posts get more engagement. 

2.   Make beneficial relationships with other businesses and brand promotion agencies as SMM is not solely for getting to your customers and helping you sell your product but also a place where communities of like-minded entities connect.

3.   Stick to your brand philosophy guiding your SMM Strategy as it will stop you from over-promising and help sustain your brand identity.

4.   Be aware of all the changes happening around you on the web, not just in Social Media Marketing, but any kind of marketing on line.

5.   Be innovative and experiment with your strategy to find new and interesting ways to present the same information to your networks.

Social Media don’ts

1.   Don’t copy the competition as copying a competitor makes it look like you don’t bring anything new or different to the market and does nothing to make you stand out. 

2.   Don’t expect immediate results as Social Media Marketing takes time and continual application. Strive to be consistent in your communication: and constant in your output. 

3.   Don’t spam your audience by posting unnecessary or same information again and again. If you are constantly bombarding your followers several times a day, they are very likely to hit the ‘unfollow’ button, very soon.

4.   Don’t just advertise on your brand’s social media feed as the trend shows that people tend to try out brands which have a diverse, informative, and responsive social media feed.

5.   Don’t try to please everyone as effectively managed businesses employ a diverse group of individuals. While that is great for innovation and ideation, it’s not always conducive to collective agree on the same thing. Identify the main stakeholders in the branding process and ensure they have final decision ability.

SMM as a medium is huge and there are endless possibilities for what works and what does not work but what remains intact are the basic do’s and don’ts. Following which any organization must represent themselves well on social media and create their own individual identity.