Media strategists sell their ideas to clients to help with their advertising
Do you think you could sell your ideas for R60000 a month? Ryan Williams thinks you can and he dares you to try.
Ryan is a managing partner at the country's leading media strategy company Nota Bene. His job entails selling concepts to companies to help them improve their media campaigns to communicate with their customers more effectively.
The industry has essentially been around since the 1950s and its focus has changed substantially, particularly with the advent of the Internet and other forms of new media.
Ryan says that a media strategist's job is becoming tougher because they need to know everything about all the different types of media out there, not just traditional media such as television, newspapers, radio and outdoor advertising. And even within traditional media, there are new TV channels, magazines and newspapers being launched all the time.
While selling communication ideas has always been the function of advertising agencies, media companies look at finding the best channels to use to get the message across. You could have a great message that falls on deaf ears if you are using the wrong channels.
"Traditional communication strategies are a dying art. Ad agencies are losing profits because clients are limiting their budgets, which means they're not able to hire the high-level strategic thinkers they used to," Ryan says.
And the industry requires "thinkers", says Ryan - people who enjoy analysing clients' needs and finding solutions to how they get in touch with their customers.
Nota Bene deals with both large multinational companies and local powerhouses and Ryan says it is exciting to be involved with these industry leaders in giving them solutions.
"It is an intellectually stimulating career. We sell concepts and thoughts to clients - not packaged products. But it's exciting to be thinking in the same way as your clients and knowing that you have a solution," he says.
While the strategist comes up with the "big ideas" and deals directly with the clients, a media implementation planner looks at research, examines how much a specific media campaign will cost the client and generally manages the nuts and bolts of the media strategy. If numbers are more your thing and you prefer being analytical you might be better suited as a media implementation planner who works closely with the strategist but does not usually deal with the clients.
Most strategists have worked as implementation managers before moving into the strategy space. Ryan says it takes about four years of experience to move from a junior level implementation planner into a mid-level planner and about the same to move into a senior position before you become a strategist.
Mid-level implementation planners earn between R10000 and R30000 a month, depending on their experience, and top-level, heavyweights earn between R40000 and R45000 a month.
A media strategist can earn up to R60000 if he is really good.