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Impressions, Units, CTV, OTT, OLV, social, search, display, cinema, and OOH…

Marketers seeking growth from advertising are fighting fragmentation and decreasing ad supported entertainment. They are simultaneously navigating a rapidly evolving regulatory environment and faster advancements in technology. Our Media Planning team exists to help clients find growth, safely, in this chaos.

What We Do

We architect and steward media plans that maximize value for brands.

The fluidity in modern media requires media planners to be as skilled in optimizing communications tasks and media plans before a plan launches as they are at interpreting data in-flight, finding opportunities, and changing course in reaction to results. 

In both Media Planning and Strategy, Essence employs a Signals-based approach. Across marketing, campaign, and in-flight cycles, we use data signals ensure all tactical decisions are connected to our clients' overall business growth and strategy.

We use ‘Outcome Signals’ to help us identify the most effective options based on what we’ve seen work in the past. Good-quality outcome signals give us confidence that our advertising will perform well and that we are using our investment smartly. And we use ‘Opportunity Signals’ to help us identify new opportunities to increase value. Opportunity signals may not be based on what we have done before, but they let us apply judgement and imagination to the task of making every interaction worthwhile.

Across all three marketing cycles, Outcome and Opportunity signals help us learn from what we know about the world and imagine what we might be able to do to make it different. They fuel two different ways of thinking about problems, resulting in more effective and more imaginative plans and more valuable advertising for clients and consumers.


Technology is helping media planners do the best work of their careers at Essence.

Essence continuously develops tools and technologies that automate routine tasks, enabling our teams to spend more time on creativity and strategy.

  • Semaphore

    A suite of planning tools built on a survey of more than 5 million individuals across the world. Semaphore enables planners to select channels that suit the required comms tasks. It also explains reach and frequency of those channels against the target audience, to help planners deliver efficient reach.

  • Abacus

    We worked with our analytics team to collect normative data, detailing the ability of different combinations of publishers and formats to drive attitudinal changes. Overlaid with algorithms and a UI, planners are able to achieve a base plan based on prior success beyond their own experience quickly.

  • mInsights

    GroupM’s audience intelligence platform, putting advanced algorithms in the hands of every planner and democratizing data science. With the ability to onboard CRM data, it places potential consumers at the heart of everything we do.

  • Project Odyssey

    An automated approach for forecasting outcomes of direct response advertising. Odyssey, currently in beta, reduces time spent forecasting by 25%, while increasing accuracy.

  • Third Party Tools

    We are advanced users of the best publicly available tools in the world. We expertly use Nielsen, Kantar, YouGov, GWI, Comscore, and the like to find signals of differentiation.

Case Study

How we helped the Financial Times reach potential readers outside of the obvious Out of Home locations

As part of Essence's partnership with the FT, we sought to find opportunities for Out of Home media placements that would be seen by potential FT readers and subscribers, outside of the tried, tested, and costly global financial centers.

Using reading habit behavioral data across the GroundTruth audience network, we were able to identify postal codes with high densities of potential FT readers and subscribers and bought OOH in these locations. We then validated our targeting strategy using geofenced mobile surveys.

The resulting data-led media buy proved 50% more accurate at finding the target audience. By buying outside superprime locations, we got greater impact for the same budget. 

  • 0%

    Increase in campaign efficiency

  • 0k

    Over a quarter million more potential readers reached


Our global Planning leadership team

Our Planning leaders are expert strategists and practitioners, dedicated to reimagining the future of media, and delivering smart, creative, and provocative solutions every day.

Cutting edge. Purpose driven.

We’re leading the movement toward trust and relevance in modern marketing.

Who We Are