How Media Planners would lose their jobs because of Google Adplanner

Hi there,

I wrote this article back in 2011. Since then, Google discontinued Ad Planner and replaced it with Display Planner. And then the platform changed even more after that.

My educated guess is that you want to look for different options within the Google Ads platform, so check out this link. It is a basic guide to help you to find out the right campaign type for your market objectives. If this is not what you are looking for, leave your comment below and I will try to update the content of this page with the most suitable content.

I will keep the original content below, what I wrote back in 2011.

Google Ad planner aka DoubleClick Ad planner is a FREE tool that helps us to do media planning.
The idea behind Ad Planner is extremely powerful.
Just imagine if you are a Media Planner or a marketing executive who needs to create a media plan.
From a normal work flow, before creating a media plan, you would probably know your target audience well.
Target audience insights like:

  • Gender
  • Age group
  • Education level
  • Language that they speak
  • Other demographics information
  • Interest/habits
  • etc…

What you need to do is to select a list of sites with suitable ad format that can help you to:

  • Reach the right target audience
  • Engage them with the right ad format to portray the creative idea
  • Minimize audience overlapping to ensure cost effective
  • Brand safe
  • Conform with special regulations if any
  • Make full use of the allocated budget

If you specify your target audience in terms of:

  • Geography
  • Language
  • Household income
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Education level
  • Online activities like: sites that the target audience frequently visit or keywords that they use to search on Google
  • Personal interest like cartoon or Live commedy
Google Ad planner would give you a list of sites that mee the criteria.
Moreover, you can further filter the results by sites that allow you to run a particular ad format (flash banner size 120 x 90 or text format only), sites that end with .edu or .org, or whether the site is reached within Google Display network etc…
Information for each site like monthly visitors, average visit/visitor, ad impression available/day etc… are also available.
Before going further, one may ask How Google collects these information? and are they correct data because what can be worse than doing analysis on a wrong set of data.
Well, Google doesn’t say clearly where they get the data but i would suppose they get data from:
  • Google analytics
  • Google Toolbar especially if the user logs in. This can be a super powerful way of collecting all kind of information about a particular user.
  • Google Talk. If user is using Google Talk and surf the internet, one may contemplate that information about their surfing behavior can be recorded and attached to their Google Talk account
  • Browser cookie. This can be recorded surfing pattern, search pattern
  • Other sources
In countries like Vietnam, information Google has about vietnamese audience is quite limited due to the lack of credible information sources. Google only have limited information like monthly unique visitors per website, pageview/visit, average time on site etc… Audience demographics information is not available as well as ad format.
With a low transparency level in almost anything in countries like Vietnam, the use of tool like Ad planner is indeed quite limited.
However, the path that Google is taking is quite clear. Average media planner would eventually lose their job because small clients can do media planning themselves and buy the media directly from Google Display Network. Also if tradditionally an agency would need 3 media planners to do a particular job, with advanced tool, they only need 1 planners.
The more advanced Google Adplanner becomes, the more end user should be worried about privacy issue and the harder media planner needs to try to keep their job.
On the other side, advertisers love FREE advanced tool because it can help them to do their job tremendously.
Soon, with Google TV, Mobile operating system i.e Android, Operating system like Chrome OS, Google would have more or less a complete picture about user ‘s demographics, habits, etc…
That’s all i have for now. Feel free to drop any comments.


  1. Hi Chandler,

    I agree with you that media planners will loose their jobs if Google Ad planner is that incredible but it’s really not.

    I cannot specify my target audiences in tern of Geography and Demographics so how could I know which sites are for specific target audiences, lets say from 15-24 yo?



    1. Hi Ha,

      Google Ad Planner data is not that great in Vietnam. There are many reasons for that including infrastructure, market maturity etc…
      For many other mature markets, i found the data to be quite useful. Which market are you aiming at?

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