Over 240 billion dollars are spent each year in the United States on advertising. Ads are meant to establish a brand’s identity, tease a customer’s interest, get more eyes on products, and produce more sales.
Advertising is one of the most high-stakes, scientific processes in the marketing world. The perfect alchemy between creativity and numbers is necessary to make a successful advertising campaign.
There are so many different channels, assets, media platforms, and products to balance. Marketers are keeping so many balls in the air with media planning that it can feel impossible to track the success and impact of each one.
Media planning helps marketers and advertisers keep an eye on success, make tweaks and optimize campaigns, and get the most revenue for their advertising dollars.
That’s why we’ve assembled a guide to the top five benefits of media planning to help you get the most return!
1. Get A Comprehensive View
What is media planning? In a nutshell, it’s the process that marketers use to make decisions on running advertisements.
Where should they run it, and when? How often should they run it? All of these questions might seem small, but they add up to big rates of return when it comes to advertising.
These questions also help advertisers decide what channels to spend advertising dollars on. Radio, television, video, print… there are so many ways to get your product in front of consumers these days, but all of them cost money.
All of these questions eventually become answers that dictate the action. When, where, and how an ad runs can make or break a company or product launch. All of these decisions eventually coalesce into a media plan.
Advertising is all about making the ‘right’ decision. Sometimes the right choice depends on statistics and knowledge, or personal experience with the demographic, or a gut feeling.
Consumers are swamped these days. Wherever they turn, they’re bombarded with opportunities to spend their hard-earned dollars.
In order to stand out, advertisers have to nail their delivery at every turn. That’s what a media plan is for—to ensure that all bases are covered. The media planning process isn’t easy, but it can help identify pitfalls and potential disasters before they ever happen.
2. Understand Your Audience
Media planning and buying require a significant amount of research. The old saying is ‘know thy enemy.’ Why?
Because knowledge will enable you to understand what your competitors or doing. It will also help you understand your audience.
If you take a buckshot approach to marketing, your reach will be wide but ineffective. Your ads will reach people that aren’t interested, don’t have the money to spend, or aren’t even the right demographic.
If you take a research-first approach, you can target your ads and experience a much higher success rate. Building a media plan relies on the following tenets.
Start by researching the audience, the insights your company has developed and recorded from past ad campaigns, competitor performance and advertising, and market segment stakeholders. This information is an invaluable foundation for your media plan.
Knowing what you’re aiming for is also crucial.
3. Are You Making Progress?
Say that you’re a runner. You don’t track your stats, though, which is demoralizing. You’ve been running for six months, but have no idea how your speed and stamina have improved over that time.
You’re putting in the work, but you have no idea if you’re making progress. This holds true if you’re not setting KPIs and objectives, too.
How do you plan on figuring out if your media plan actually works? Whether you’re doing it yourself or using a media planning agency, you need to calculate metrics like conversion rates, clicks, purchases, engagements, and more. Measuring progress is one benefit, but being able to track costs is another.
4. Know Your Strategy
Whether you’ve been in the marketing game for a long time or you’re a rookie, verbalizing your strategy can be difficult. How are you supposed to get stakeholders, supervisors, or peers on board if you don’t have a plan?
A media plan shows that you know what you’re doing. You have a budget in place, and you’ve done your research to know what media types to avoid and which to embrace.
A media plan can highlight the weak points in your strategy before you ever try to launch. Media planning tools can save a lot of money so you don’t prematurely launch a campaign.
For instance, what is your plan for content? You’ll need to nail down the appropriate calls-to-action and key messages that will be embodied in your advertising.
To really demonstrate your strategy, it needs to have boundaries. We already mentioned the budget, but what is the timeline? What deliverables are necessary, and what specifications are being used to measure the quality of these deliverables?
5. Get Ready for Media Buying
In any media plan example, media buying is where the proverbial rubber meets the road. If you’ve done your research and cleared your strategy with superiors, it’s time to pull the trigger on buying advertising.
This can be a big moment, for both your personal career and for the future of the company. One of the top benefits of media planning is the knowledge that you’re fully prepared for the buying process.
When you engage in media buying, you’re leveraging the plan to make choices. From manual bidding to programmatic buys and real-time bidding, there are a lot of ways to purchase ad space.
Determining reach and frequency is one of the final steps of your media plan. How many people will be exposed to your campaign in a given amount of time? And how many times will that same consumer see your ads?
Sometimes, it takes more than one incident for your consumer to take action on the ad. The first time tickles their curiosity, the second time provokes a feeling of familiarity, and the third time prompts action.
Using approaches like continuity, flighting, and pulsing are good ways to decide on your advertising reach and frequency.
Embracing Media Planning
When it comes to media planning, there are a lot of bases to cover. That’s why it’s important to take the time to develop a comprehensive plan that covers all of your bases.
If you pay in time on the front-end, you won’t be paying in money, lost impressions, and tarnished reputation on the back end of your campaign. Those types of benefits are definitely worth it.
If you’d like to benefit from the expertise of a media planning agency, contact us today! We’d be happy to help.