Media planning is the process by which marketers determine when, where and how often to show an ad to increase engagement and ROI. The media plan can split advertising spend and resources between different offline and online resources such as print, broadcast, video ads, native content or paid ads. Here we'll discuss everything about media planning, including how media planning vs.media buying, benefits of media planning, etc.
In today's competitive marketplace, marketers need to serve customers with the right message, at the right time, in the right channel to see engagement happen. In media planning, marketers decide what these “rights” are.
An effective media plan offers a range of advertising opportunities that target a specific audience and align it with the company's marketing budget. When creating a media plan, marketers often consider the following factors:
- Audience the ad needs to reach
- market budget
- conversion goals
- message frequency
- message reach
- How can you describe success?
Media planning is mostly done by media planners in digital marketing agencies. Media planners need to work with media buyers and the business to develop a strategy to increase the ROI of media spend. Media planners must have a solid understanding of the company's brand and target audience, different media platforms and media trend-setting.
What is media planning?
Media planning is more concerned with developing a strategy, evaluating its effectiveness and adapting it, whereas buying is strategy implementation. A media planner calculates the brand and audience to determine the right mix of messages and media mix to advertise to effectively and positively reach customers.
Importance of the media planning process in advertising
Today's modern marketing often requires marketers to leverage different forms of media. A media plan gives marketers centralized information across all platforms. This helps streamline messages and campaigns and streamline the campaign review process.
Comparison between media planning and media buying
Media buying is the process of buying advertising space on different platforms and channels according to agreed media plans and reviewing ongoing campaigns. This means evaluating platform formats and rates to ensure they align with the plan, negotiating pricing, tracking media trends, and building relationships with counterparties across different channels and platforms. Media buying usually uses one of these strategies:
- manual bids
- provide real time
- programmatic purchases
- Direct Purchases
Media planning challenges
Media planning can be challenging as there are many factors to consider and many believe that marketing has not changed media planning processes and strategies.
Some of the challenges include:
Customer Level Targeting – The media plan needs to understand customers at a high level to find out what kind of message is relevant to them, which requires in-depth marketing analysis.
Platform Preference – Brands also need to understand the different platforms and channels that audience members are interacting with and at what times. This allows them to choose the right mediums in which to run campaigns. All of this must be done with a strict budget and media spending in mind.
Strong focus on budget – Media planning continues to revolve around budget rather than customer retention. There is limited flexibility with a budget and plan to allow marketers to correct course as campaigns run and new insights are found. Modern media planning needs the flexibility to allocate budget to different channels when they are successful.
Incorporating Measurements – With so many offline and online channels out there, it's infinitely harder for marketers to measure the success of these campaigns together to decide which are most effective and which need to be updated.
Now, media planning needs to adapt to focus on the customer experience, using flexible budgets and unified real-time measurements that allow for optimization of the media plan within the campaign.
Ways to create a media strategy
Creating a media plan is a detailed process that requires planners to consider the audience's needs as well as the organization's goals. Here are some important steps and considerations advertisers need to make when creating a media plan.
determine media goalsIt might be easier to assume that the goal is to drive engagement or conversions; however, this would simplify this step. Goals can differ by department, or there can be multiple goals for a single campaign. For example, for Sales Team and Sales Goals, the goal is to improve sales. However, the media objectives can be to increase brand awareness. Understanding the main objective of the campaign determines its flow.
Once goals are set, media planners need to research market trends as well as the competitive landscape. This research provides information on whether similar brands and destinations have been successful in the past and informs planning decisions. For example, a brand may have long relied on email campaigns, but numerous studies show that competitors have had great success with native ads. This shows how the company should introduce changes to its plan.
When defining and setting goals, a digital media planner needs to consider a budget. However, marketers should avoid allocating dollar amounts to specific channels. Instead, flexible marketing budget handling allows for optimization during the campaign period.
Determine the target audienceToday, marketing is driven by creating a positive customer experience. This means that marketers need to focus on the audience's specific needs when creating messages and choosing where to display those messages in the media mix.
First, marketers need to consider which portion of the global audience they want to engage with. From there, marketers need to analyze various attribution measurements and engagement analytics to understand what type of ads these users are interacting with, which ad is more creative than another, and most importantly, which channels these customers are using. While marketers often consider demographic information such as age, general interests, location, etc., they need to ensure they consider personal data captured through a unified measurement approach to deliver the most personalized results.
Consider frequency and rangeAnother important part of a media plan is to consider frequency and reach. Reach refers to the number of people the campaign is shown to in a given period of time. Frequency is the number of times the customer sees the ad during the campaign.
Benefits of media planning
Media planning is one of the most important aspects of running a business. Planning to fail is planning to fail. Media planning can make or break an advertising campaign. There are several benefits of media planning. Some of them are:
Target group-One of the main benefits of media planning is that it gives you the ability to target your marketing to the right audience. When your ad is targeted, the return on investment tends to be high. If you're not doing media planning to take your business to the next level, you're leaving a lot of money on the table.
The ability to target your ads to a specific audience helps you target just the right audience with your promotions. Media planning is the only way to ensure this.
targeted mediaDo you want to reach your target audience wherever they are? Media planning gives you the opportunity to invest in the media your prospects visit. Why waste your budget on the wrong ads? Get your message out where your potential customers are.
Media planning helps you invest your marketing budget in the right media that will ensure a high return on your marketing investment.
Investment in digital mediaIf your company has invested in traditional marketing so far, it's high time to invest in digital media. In this digital age, there are so many potential customers that can be reached through online marketing.
Being present with the right message where your potential customers are gives you an important advantage over your competitors. You can accomplish this through your media planning.
With the help of media planning, you can easily see which portals and online media your target audience is on and advertise as cheaply as possible. Media planning helps your company or business to be found.
Choosing the right media –Another benefit of media planning is the ability to choose the right media. There are a variety of offline and online channels that marketers can choose from, and they need to use the information gathered during the research and goal setting phases to discover which channels will help them achieve the most success.
- Understand your company's goals. ...
- Determine your target audience. ...
- Decide on the media types. ...
- Consider the details of the campaign. ...
- Conduct market research. ...
- Compile information into a plan. ...
- Evaluate your campaign's success.
A media plan outlines which audience will be targeted, across which channels, at what time, and with which message. An effective media plan will result in a set of advertising opportunities that target a specific audience and fit in with the organization's marketing budget.What is the difference between media strategy and media planning? ›
Media planning is how marketers select where, when, and how frequently they will promote to maximize engagement and ROI. The media strategy may allocate advertising dollars and resources to multiple online and offline channels such as broadcast, print, paid commercials, video ads, and native content.What are the benefits of media planning? ›
- You'll start and stay more organized through your ad campaign.
- You'll be able to set and track to your campaign budget.
- The research you conduct up front will allow you to better understand your audience, which makes targeting and audience segmentation more effective.
Three major types of plans can help managers achieve their organization's goals: strategic, tactical, and operational. Operational plans lead to the achievement of tactical plans, which in turn lead to the attainment of strategic plans.Why is media strategy important? ›
A social media strategy will help you map out a plan to stand out from the crowd, build an audience of activated and informed followers, and create an environment where you can take leads and massage them through the buying cycle, from awareness to consideration to purchase phase.Why do you need a media strategy? ›
A comprehensive traditional media strategy ensures you are putting both your budget and your efforts into the correct platforms, at the correct times, to speak to your target audience. This prevents the “spray and pray” approach and allows you to get maximum traction from your traditional marketing efforts.What are the five major components of media strategy? ›
- Objectives. What do you want to achieve and why? ...
- Target audience. Who do you want to talk to and why? ...
- Tone of voice. What kind of personality do you want to convey? ...
- Key messages. What do you want people to think, feel or do? ...
- Content. ...
- Media training. ...
- Crisis comms. ...
- Managing expectations.
Media planning is the process of determining how, when, and to what audience a branding or advertising message will be delivered. A media planner analyzes how a message is intended to support a marketing or advertising strategy and then develops tactics to share that message in the right places with the right people.What is an example of media planning? ›
Examples of Media Planning in Advertising
The company has a media objective of creating brand awareness and raising revenue. The company then uses television and live internet broadcasts as its media channels to reach a larger audience.
- Know Your Target Audience.
- Define Goals For Your Media Plan.
- Use Smart Tools for Your Media Plan.
- Determine the Perfect Media Mix.
- Execute Your Media Plan.
- Planning helps you declutter. ...
- Planning helps reduce stress. ...
- Planning can improve learning. ...
- Planning can make you happier. ...
- Planning promotes mindfulness. ...
- Planning improves your odds of success.
In particular, planning helps to critically assess the goal to see if it's realistic. It facilitates decision making and allows setting a time frame by predicting when the company can achieve its goal. It also defines how to measure performance against the set goals and whose responsibility it will be.What is the 6 importance of planning? ›
(6) SET STANDARDS FOR CONTROLLING
Planning involves the setting of goals and these predetermined goals are accomplished with the help of managerial functions like planning, organising, staffing, directing and controlling. Planning provides standards against which actual performance is measured.
- Step 1: Environmental Scan. ...
- Step 2: Internal Analysis. ...
- Step 3: Strategic Direction. ...
- Step 4: Develop Goals and Objectives. ...
- Step 5: Define Metrics, Set Timelines, and Track Progress. ...
- Step 6: Write and Publish a Strategic Plan. ...
- Step 7: Plan for Implementation and the Future.
A good strategy provides a clear roadmap, consisting of a set of guiding principles or rules, that defines the actions people in the business should take (and not take) and the things they should prioritize (and not prioritize) to achieve desired goals.What is the main goal and purpose of strategy? ›
The main purpose of strategic planning is to set clearly defined goals for the growth and success of your organization and achieve them with the help of an effective strategic plan. It establishes a connection between your organization's mission, its long-term vision and the established plan.What are the basic media strategy? ›
The basic intention of media strategy is not only procuring customers for their product but also placing a right message to the right people on the right time and of course that message should be persuasive and relevant.What are the types of media planning? ›
The elements of media planning include understanding marketing objectives, setting campaign goals, performing market research, managing a budget, structuring media objectives to establish a media planning strategy, creating a media plan, implementing the plan and evaluating the results of the plan.What are the stages of media planning? ›
The media plan is broken down into four stages; market analysis, establishment of media objectives, media strategy development and implementation, and evaluation and follow-up.
Media planning is the series of decisions involved in delivering the promotional message to the prospective consumers. It is the process of directing the advertising message to the target audience by using the appropriate channel at the proper time and place.What is the first thing you do in media planning? ›
The first thing you'll want to do when developing your media planning process is conduct market research. Market research allows you to tailor the content you create and the media plan you implement to your target audience and customers.What is an example of a media strategy? ›
An owned media strategy refers to an approach in which a company uses its own media to advertise or market its products or services. For example, posting information about an upcoming product launch on your company's blog is a type of owned media strategy.What does a media strategy include? ›
A media strategy is a dynamic action plan for reaching your audience and boosting conversion rates by leveraging various media types to distribute content and deliver your brand message.How to create a strategy? ›
- Step 1: Identify Strategic Issues. ...
- Step 2: Conduct an Environmental Scan. ...
- Step 3: Conduct a Competitive Analysis. ...
- Step 4: Identify Opportunities and Threats. ...
- Step 5: Identify Strengths and Weaknesses. ...
- Step 6: Customer Segments.
Media Objectives. Media objectives. define the who, where, and when of the target audience in the context of an overall marketing plan and budget. Note that media objectives don't state which media will be used, because how you reach the audience is part of setting a media strategy.What does an effective media strategy require? ›
Identifying & researching your target audience
In addition to understanding yIdentifying your target audience is essential in developing an effective media strategy. In addition to understanding your audience's key demographic traits, really dive deep to try to get to know and understand your target audience.
Media planning includes all such decisions like selecting appropriate media, appropriate media mix and deciding the scheduling of advertisement. All these decisions help the organization in achieving advertising objectives, i.e. to communicate the message to target audience and thus to promote sales.