Integrated Media Planning Tools by any other name

Nov 21, 2019 • Aaron Goldman

We believe the latest research from Gartner is truly a work of Shakespearean proportions. In the Market Guide for Integrated Media Planning Tools* Research Director and Analyst, Eric Schmitt, addresses a “fast-changing and increasingly video-centric advertising environment” in which “media planning software vendors run the gamut from established veterans to innovative newcomers, and encompass capabilities including research, targeting, automation, and financial and analytical scenario planning.”

In establishing the category of Integrated Media Planning Tools, Gartner estimates that there are at least 50 vendors in the market and groups solutions providers based on the year the company (or its most relevant acquisition) was founded. Here’s further explanation of the methodology: “Categorizing by age provides perspective into how a vendor may approach media planning. It is not a value judgment, but, rather, underscores the varied vendor mix, which runs from well-established veterans to innovative newcomers.”

In the report, 4C is recognized as a Representative Vendor for the current decade (2010-2019) to which Gartner says, “a new generation of video-centric capabilities gains traction.” The report states, “The last few years have seen the launch and adoption of a range of software tools that aims to help coordinate and, ultimately, unify traditional and advanced TV, OTT streaming, and digital and social video advertising.”

Additional key drivers of today’s market direction include:

  1. Changes in media consumption patterns.
  2. Changes in the mix of paid advertising spend.
  3. Changes in end-user skills and requirements.
  4. A messy data and integration environment.

Gartner notes that goals for investments by marketing leaders in this category are anchored on three themes:

  1. Integrate video planning.
  2. Enhance the use of data analytics.
  3. Streamline advertising workflows.

To capitalize on these investments, Gartner highlights Integrated Media Planning Tools, stating that they “are helpful to media and advertising teams that seek to methodically organize the management of ad budgets and campaigns. The tools can streamline inefficiencies, inform decision making based on measurement outputs and other data, and orchestrate execution.”

Finally, Gartner recommends looking for tools with these key characteristics:

  1. A self-serve user interface.
  2. An independent stand-alone model.
  3. Reference data.

These are three areas in which our commitment remains steadfast. 4C was named a Leader in The Forrester New Wave™: Cross-Channel Video Advertising Platforms, Q3 2019. The report stated that 4C “leads the pack with extensive linear and OTT/CTV inventory” and “is the best fit for companies that need a pure self-service tool.” Pluses identified by Forrester include “a strong identity graph, sophisticated data science, and additional TV data from Inscape, Nielsen, and others.”

For more on the 4C point of view regarding the new Gartner Market Guide, please check out the press release we issued yesterday. And, to see a demo of our Integrated Media Planning Tools in action, please contact your 4C rep. Otherwise, I encourage you to go beyond the Cliff Notes and download the full report from Gartner on our website.

I look forward to seeing your book report – or sonnet – on my desk Monday.

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