Algorithmic Media Planning – a Primer

Elsy is a pioneer in the emerging field of algorithmic media planning – the process of using algorithms to develop granular, omnichannel media plans which are optimized towards business outcomes.


How is this different from traditional approaches to media planning?

Media planning has traditionally been a human-led task - where media planners leverage disparate industry data sources, tools and personal experience to make the best possible investment decisions; using best judgement and best effort.

The media marketplace has become far too complex and fragmented for this to consistently lead to the best potential business outcomes, or to be the most efficient use of available resources.

Elsy pre-integrates many of the same data sources (and more) and augments them with brand proprietary data and measurements from prior campaigns. We then equip decision makers with powerful predictive algorithms to efficiently identify the most effective investment strategies on a forward-looking basis.

Media planners can then efficiently interface with activation teams to tactically optimize and execute the buys.

How does it differ from existing media planning software?

Planners have traditionally used a range of tools to inform or produce their media plans. These include communication planning tools (such as Pointlogic), audience data sources (such as Nielsen, comScore or MRI), flowcharting tools (such as Mediatools, Mediaocean Lumina or even Excel) or attribution studies (MMM, digital attribution etc.).

Elsy is unique in that its algorithms help generate the actual media plan, not just inform it or streamline the existing workflows. Our software does not replace any of the existing tools, but rather help systematize and elevate the planners’ decisioning process.

In doing so, we are unique in the following respects:

·         Omnichannel: We optimize portfolios of media investments across all paid media channels including traditional, digital, programmatic and social

·         Granular: We allocate resources down to granular media investment line items - meaning a platform or vendor being used to reach a specific audience, in a specific location, using a specific message

·         Outcome-driven: We optimize media investments towards expected business outcomes - not reach, clicks, or (god forbid) cheap CPMs. We do so against a full-funnel measurement plan, which is fully tailored to the brands we represent.

What are the benefits?

The benefits of algorithmic media planning are twofold:

·         Effectiveness: By harnessing all available data from the media marketplace and from the brands that we represent, we drive smarter media investment decisions; which results in greater return on investment

·         Efficiency: Through automation, we create significant operational efficiency in the media planning process. This allows us to plan with greater granularity or greater cadence, and allows decision makers to focus their efforts on strategy and smarter decisioning.

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