What is Media Planning?

Media planning is the procedure by which marketers determine when, where, and how often they will run an ad to increase engagements and their ROI. The media plan might divide advertising expenditure and resources between different offline and online resources like print, broadcast, video ads, native content, or paid ads. Here, we will discuss everything about Media planning including the comparison between media planning and media buying, benefits of media planning, etc.

In today’s competitive market, marketers must serve customers with the correct message, at the right time, on the right channel to see how much engagement is happening. Media planning is where marketers decide what these “rights” are.

An efficient media plan will offer a set of advertising opportunities that focuses on a certain audience and fit it with the company’s marketing budget. While establishing a media plan, marketers will often consider these factors:

  • Audience whom the ad must reach
  • Market budget
  • Conversion objectives
  • Message’s frequency
  • Reach of the message
  • How to describe the success

Media planning is most of the time done by media planners at digital marketing agencies. Media planners must work with media buyers and the organization to create a strategy to increase ROI on media expenditure. Media planners must have a solid understanding of the company’s brand and target audience, different media platforms, and creating media trends.

What is Media Planning?

Media planning is more involved with devising a strategy, evaluating its effectiveness, and adjusting, while purchasing is the execution of the strategy. A media planner will calculate brand and audience to determine the right combination of messaging and media mix on which to promote to reach customers in an impactful and positive manner.

what are media planning strategies

Importance of Media Planning Process in Advertising

Today’s modern marketing often needs marketers to leverage various forms of media. A media plan offers marketers centralized information across all the platforms. This helps to optimize messaging and campaigns and streamline the campaign review procedure.

Comparison between Media Planning and Media Buying

Media buying is the procedure of buying ad space across different platforms and channels in coordination with the agreed-upon media plans and checking campaigns as they run. This signifies evaluating platform formats and rates to make sure they coincide with the plan, negotiating prices, keeping abreast of media trends, and building relations with the counterparts at different channels and platforms. Often, media buying leverages one of these strategies:

  • Manual bidding
  • Real-time bidding
  • Programmatic buys
  • Direct buys

Challenges of Media Planning

Media planning can be challenging as there are several contributing factors that must be accounted for, and as many believe that media planning processes and strategies have not changed with marketing.

Challenges include but are not restricted to:

Customer-level targeting- The media plan must understand customers at a coarse level to find out which kind of messages are related to them, calling for in-depth marketing analytics.

Platform preference- Brands must also understand the different platforms and channels that target audience members engage with and at what time. This will let them choose the right media on which they should run campaigns. All of this must be done by keeping a strict budget and media expenditure in mind. 

Heavy budget focus- Media planning remains to revolve around the budget instead of customer engagement. There is restricted flexibility in a budget and plan to let marketers to course-correct as campaigns run and new insights are found. Modern media planning needs the flexibility to allocate budget to various channels if they are successful.

Incorporating measurements- As there are so many channels offline and online, it has infinitely harder for marketers to calculate the success of these campaigns along with each other to decide which are most effective and which must be updated.

Now, media planning must adapt to focus on the customer experience using flexible budgets and real-time, unified measurements that permit for media plan optimizations in-campaign.

Ways to create a Media Strategy

Creating a media plan is a detailed procedure that needs planners to consider the demands of the target audience as well as the objectives of the business. Here are a few important steps and considerations that marketers must make while establishing a media plan.  

Determine Media Objectives- It might be easier to assume that the objective is to drive engagement or conversions; however, that would simplify this step. Goals may differ in terms of a department or there might be several objectives for a single campaign. For instance, for the sales goals and sales team, improved revenue is the objective. However, media objectives might be to boost brand awareness. Understanding the main objective of the campaign will decide how it runs.

Once the goals are established, media planners must research the market trends as well as the competitive landscape. This research will provide visibility to whether similar brands and objectives have attained success in the past, informing planning decisions. For instance, perhaps a brand has long dependent on email campaigns, but several studies show that competitors have had great success with native ads. This shows how the company should bring changes in its plan.

While determining and setting goals, a digital media planner must consider a budget. However, marketers should avoid assigning dollar amounts to certain channels. Rather, a flexible approach to the marketing budget will allow optimization while the campaigns run.

find right target audience

Determine Target Audience- Today, marketing is driven by creating a positive customer experience. This means that when creating messaging and choosing where to display those messages across the media mix, marketers must focus on certain audience requirements.

Initially, marketers must examine which part of the global audience they are trying to engage with. From there, marketers must look at several attribution measurements and engagement analytics to understand the kind of ads these users engage with, which is creative is effective than others, and more importantly, which channels do these customers use. While marketers often consider demographic information, including age, general interests, location, etc., they must ensure to include person-level data collected through a unified measurement approach to get the most customized results.

Consider frequency and reach- Another important component of a media plan is to consider frequency and reach. Reach refers to the number of people in front of whom the campaign will be displayed over a specific amount of time. Frequency is how many times the customer will see the ad during the campaign.

Benefits of Media Planning

Media planning is one of the significant aspects of a business. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Media planning can make or break an advertising campaign. There are several benefits of media planning. Some of them are:

Targeted audience- One of the major benefits of media planning is it gives you the opportunity to direct your marketing to the right audience. When your ad is well-targeted, the return on investment tends to be high. If you are not engaging media planning to take your business to the next level, you are leaving a lot of money on the table.

The ability to target your ads to a targeted audience will help you to reach only the right audience with your advertising promotions. Media planning is the only method to ensure that.

Targeted media- Do you want to reach out to the targeted audience wherever they are? Media planning affords you the chance to invest in the media that your potential clients visit. What is the need of wasting your budget on the wrong ads? Take your message to where your prospective customers are.

Media planning will help you to invest your marketing budget in the right media that will guarantee a high return on your marketing investment.

Investment in digital media- If your company has been investing in traditional marketing, it is high time that you start investing in digital media. In this digital age, there are so many prospective customers to reach out through online marketing.

Being present with the right message at the place where your potential customers are will offer you an important benefit over your competitors. You can attain this feat through your media planning.

With the help of media planning, it is quite easy to recognize the portals and online media where your target audience is present, and you advertise at the lowest price possible. Media planning helps your company or business to be found.

Choosing the right media- Another one in the list of benefits of media planning is the opportunity to select the right media. There are wide varieties of offline and online channels for marketers to select from, and they must use the info which they collected during the research and goal-setting stages to find which channels will help them to attain most success.

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