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Career Over Coffee with Domnick Hadley, Media Planner

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In today’s Career Over Coffee, we sat down for a virtual coffee meeting with Media Planner,  Domnick Hadley, to discuss how to break into the world of media planning, the importance of being up on digital trends and what makes someone successful in this space.

Tell us about what you do and how you go to where you are

I’m a media planner/buyer, primarily focused on digital + eCommerce marketing.  After graduating from Syracuse University with a M.A. in Advertising, I was fortunate enough to land an assistant role at an agency in Santa Monica. There, I had the opportunity to learn and work with a group of talented people and one of the most innovative and exciting CPG brands. I leveraged that experience into communication and marketing roles at various agencies in Los Angeles and continue to hone my practice in the digital marketing space.

What skills do you need to be successful as a Media Planner?

To be a successful media planner, you definitely need an acute understanding of full-funnel marketing. It’s not uncommon for a consumer to take several steps before officially converting. To get the most out of your marketing efforts, it’s essential that you take a multi-dimensional funnel view of the consumer journey in order to have a meaningful conversation that ultimately leads users to the finish line.You need an acute understanding of the digital landscape. Digital has become increasingly more pervasive, in my opinion, converging in more traditional vehicles as well (digital OOH, OTT, streaming radio, etc). Understanding the ever-expanding digital marketing space has been essential to my growth as a media professional. I’d encourage any buyer/planner who isn’t knowledgeable in the space to immerse themselves or at least gain a workable knowledge of digital.

What trends do you see emerging in your field?

Media is more democratized and centrally focused around lower funnel engagement as brands/agencies continue to realize the power and scaleability of marketing platforms like Google and Facebook. When I first entered the field several years ago, it wasn’t uncommon to see budgets heavily skewed toward traditional mediums with digital as sort of an add-on to each plan. I’ve seen that trend reverse completely, at least in my own work, as digital platforms like Google and Facebook consume much larger SOV in all marketing plans. I look for that trend to of course continue as brands and agencies leverage these platforms to connect directly with consumers and build/scale their businessesSecond to that, I see an intense focus on growth marketing as an emerging practice in most agencies. I had the opportunity to partner with a team of brilliant growth marketers in my past role. As the DTC space continues to grow, brands/agencies will increasingly rely on individuals who possess the ability to drive revenue and scale ROAS positive campaigns in this era of increased transparency and democratized media.

Are there any specific tools you use?

Basically, every self buying platform that there is to use, I’m on it:) I’m enamored with Google Ads - central hub for search, display, YouTube and shopping. I’m a recent convert of Google Ads Editor (makes building/execution 1000x easier). Facebook Business Manager and all of the tools that come with it including its Analytics suite and attribution tool. 

What advice would you have for someone looking to get into media planning?

If you want to break into media planning, be prepared to dive into the ultra technical side of marketing. The tools are available, free to use/learn and are frankly essential in the ever evolving media landscape. Take every certification course that is relevant on Google (100% free and 100% fascinating). Get to know Facebook Business Manager very well. Basically get as much ‘hands on keyboard’ buying experience as possible, while also learning the strategies necessary to drive results.Become very comfortable with data analysis. These platforms produce countless streams of user data. But as one of my graduate professors would say, “data means nothing if you don’t know what to do with it.” Learn to spot trends in data. Have an acute understanding of full-funnel marketing and what drives consumer behavior. If you can understand the human side of marketing (there’s a human behind each data point) then you’ll be in a better position to capitalize/leverage the mounds of data for the collective benefit of your clients and agency.Interested in growing your career as a media planner? Click here to check out our open media planning jobs!