Media planning is the process of identifying and selecting media outlets like television, newspapers, radio, magazines, etc., on which paid advertisements can be done. The person who is in charge of evaluating these media options and strategizing the advertising campaign to promote the said products or services is known as the media planner. Media plans help in finding the most efficient way to deliver the advertiser’s message across its audience.
Delivering messages to your audience is an essential and also crucial step to advertising. Media planners help the right message reach the right audience.
What is Media Planning?
Media Planning is the process that advertisers go through before launching advertising campaigns to increase effectiveness. It is a crucial first step to any ad campaign. It is the process by which marketers where, when, and how often they will advertise so that the engagement and ROI (Return on investment) are maximized.
The Forms of media planning
Every business differs concerning what form of media would be profitable to it. The requirement for well-executed media planning is the effective delivery of a message to the targeted audience and positive customer response. Digital media includes all the assets a customer finds on the internet. Some of these are PPC (pay-per-click) ads, banner ads, video ads, etc. Media planners rely on the various forms of digital and traditional media to choose which kind best serves the purpose for different advertisers.
Some forms of these media platforms include:
1. Owned Media
Owned media is any web property that one can control and is unique to one’s brand. These include blogs and videos on any website. These kinds of media advertisements are shared on the platform, which the marketer owns. The more owned media a brand has, the more chances it can increase its brand presence in the digital space. These are an extension of one’s brand and creates additional avenues for the people to interact with one’s brand.
2. Paid Media
In simple words, paid media is marketing one pays for. Paying to promote content helps in gaining more exposure. Several social media platforms offer paid media advertising that can help boost the content and the website. It increases the probability of driving the searches to one’s websites. It is a great way to promote content to generate more earned media. It also drives traffic directly to the owned media properties.
3. Earned Media
Earned media is publicity or exposure gained from methods other than paid advertising. Earned media essentially is online word of mouth. It usually consists of mentions, shares, reposts, recommendations, or content picked up by 3rd party sites.
All three elements, owned, earned, and paid, are essential to digital media strategy.
Factors in Media Planning
Each media platform has its pros and cons. For example, some advertising media is cost-effective, and some have a vast reach. The followings are the factors that a media planner should consider before selecting a media platform for advertising and promotion.
The reach of an ad is the most crucial factor that influences the decision of a media planner. The reach of media can be defined as the number of individuals who see an advertisement or post through different media platforms. Traditional media platforms like television and newspaper have greater reachability as compared to media platforms like radio.
However, in the era of the internet, the social media platform has maximum reachability. If a company is planning to target youngsters, then the social media platform is the best platform to reach them. Therefore, it is essential to consider the reachability of the media platform before you invest your money in it.
2. Cost per thousand
In advertising, the cost of advertising is divided per thousand people. How much the company needs to pay to a newspaper to reach one thousand people? The total cost of advertising is calculated by multiplying the cost per thousand with the total number of people.
For example, if a newspaper has 100,000 subscribers and it takes $100 for an advertisement to reach 1000 subscribers, then the advertising company is required to pay $10,000 to the newspaper to get its ad printed in the newspaper.
As a media planner, you would like to choose a media platform with lower cost and high reachability.
3. Frequency of advertisement
The frequency of advertising can be defined as the total number of times an ad would be shown to an individual. It is considered that an ad is required to show at least three or four times to make an individual familiar with the brand.
Therefore, the higher the frequency of advertisement better will be the outcome. However, the cost is also an essential factor that affects the frequency of advertisement. You are required to pay more if you want your ad to be shown frequently.
The impact of the media platform means how likely the chosen media can persuade your audience to take action. Different media have different effects on the audience. For example, an advertisement for perfume in a fashion magazine is more impactful than in a local newspaper.
Similarly, the ad of millennial products should be advertised on internet websites and social media platforms. An advertisement for food items will be more impactful on television. Therefore, a media platform should be selected based on the kind of product that you want to advertise.
If you choose the wrong media platform to promote your product, then the outcome will not be as good as you would expect it to be.
This factor focuses on the number of logical audiences in the advertisement of your product. The high reachability of your media platform will be ineffective if the percentage of the valid audience who can afford to purchase your product is low.
For example, a full front-page advertisement of Porsche car in a local newspaper will not get you enough return on investment because the percentage of the audience who could afford your car will be meager.
Therefore, the role of media planner becomes essential as an expert who can calculate the return on advertising investment and can choose the right platform to advertise your products.
Importance of media planning process
The success of your advertising campaign depends mainly on the media planning process. An effective media planning can result in a significant return on investment, whereas ineffective media planning might result in a poor return on investment and lowered brand image.
Have you ever realized that a particular tone or song can remind you of a brand without even mentioning its name? For example, you will be told of thumbs up beverages just by hearing the tune of the song “AjKuchtoofaniKartehai”. Similarly, the tagline “I’m loving it” will remind you of the McDonalds.
This is all possible because of the effective media planning of the brands. They were able to succeed in targeting the right audience, at the right time through the right media. The choice of right media is significant for the success of an advertising media campaign.
An effective media planning is essential if you want to get into the minds of people. The choice of right media will attract the right customers towards your brand. Companies with small advertising budgets get successful in making their brand’s name in the market because of the correct media planning.
In the next section, you will learn about the steps involved in the process of media planning.
Benefits of Media planning
The advertisement campaigns will become more organized from the beginning.
Tracking and setting goals would become more accessible.
3. Determining the target audience
Planning leads to in-depth research of the audience, which will make targeting the audience more effectively.
4. Conducting analyses to keep up with the competition
In the competitive environment of digital media, planning an advertisement before the campaign would help stay ahead of the peers.
5. Keeping up with internet trends
Media planning agencies have several tricks to engage the audience. The internet keeps on upgrading and introducing trends. Media planning helps advertisers keep up with these trends, which increases trafficking.
Media planning also helps the marketers remain within the budget and avoids overspending the capital.
7. Media Planning Strategies
Forming media planning strategies can help marketers in extracting the full potential of an advertisement campaign. Some of these strategies can be:
8. Choosing Relevant Media channels
Choosing the right media channel to share content is an essential step. There are several traditional as well as digital channels that serve a range to users. Traditional channels include television, radio, magazines, etc.
Digital channels include social media, blogs, websites, videos, and other online platforms. The choice of channels should be in relevance to the targeted audience. Channels are selected based on the kind of content being promoted, demographics, geographical aspects, etc.
9. Formulating a marketing strategy
Forming a marketing strategy is an intricate step in a well-executed media planning method. It helps the marketer thrive in a competitive environment. It helps maintain the budget over an advertisement campaign.
Forming a marketing strategy involves
- Study the external and internal factors that may affect the media plan.
- Conduct segmentation regarding the target audience, so the message is reached across the maximum number of people.
- Take into consideration and acting according to the four marketing mixes, i.e., product, price, place, and promotion.
10. Prioritizing the targeted audience
If a media planner has succumbed to all the strategies and made a successful advertising campaign, the sales are still not what one expected. This can hugely be because even though they did everything right, the advertisement was not directed to the right people, i.e., the targeted audience.
Once a company chooses the right target audience for its brand, choosing the correct media channel becomes easier.
11. Setting goals
The main aspect of any successful advertisement, especially in the digital context, is the number of people it reaches. This is known as the reach of any content. This reach can be measured by the likes, comments, shares, views, etc. that content receives. Tracking such information and setting goals accordingly can be a vital element to increasing an advertisement’s engagement. Marketers can set a benchmark according to the reach that their content is receiving. This further helps them in improving the quality of their content.
12. Setting the tone
The “tone” that any advertisement uses can make or break the product’s reputation. This tone refers to the choice and length of the words and paragraphs used in the content in the written context. In visual media, this “tone” refers to the message spread across by the kind of pictures, colors, and shapes being portrayed. The tone of an advertisement builds trust between the marketer and their prospective customer. This tone needs to be promising to tell the customers that their needs will be fulfilled.
Steps in the media planning process
There are four important elements of a media plan
1. Proper Research and Analysis
There should be in-depth research about the stated brand and its components. These include the targeted audience, keynotes from previous ad campaigns, market segmentation, media channels, budget, etc.
2. Incorporating ways to increase engagement
Digital advertising is all about who saw your brand. Media planning includes implementing ways to resonate with the target audience based on demographics and viewership.
3. Media strategy
Forming a media strategy includes reaching out to the targeted audience, budgeting, setting goals, etc., to bring out the most effective in the campaign.
Forming a perfect plan for an advertisement campaign would go to waste if the plan is not implemented correctly. Implementing simply means when and how and you will launch, monitor, and measure the ad campaign’s effectiveness.
What is Media Buying?
Media buying is the next step after successful media planning. Both processes take place side by side. Media buying involves the set of strategic wholesale multi-platform ad space purchases, negotiations, and arrangements that are aimed at finding the most effective ad places at the lowest rates. A specialized media buying requires a special set of skills and techniques, such as an intricate understanding of the market. Media buyers also indulge in networking and building relationships with people in the industry. This provides the companies with an advantage as they have a better chance of getting a fair deal.
The process of media buying includes prelaunch, launch, and post-launch. The first part of the process involves media buyers getting the right set of opportunities for a client to advertise. During the launch phase, buyers must be able to guarantee that advertisers deliver on their objectives. The final step, post-launch, involves assessing how effective the campaign was and reporting back to businesses to provide feedback.
Key differences between media buying and media planning
The main aim both for media planning as well as media buying, in the end, is to help establish a successful advertising campaign to help a brand flourish.
Media planning helps in identifying what mix of media platforms will best achieve the goals of a campaign based upon the constantly changing trends of the marketplace. The goal is to determine when, where and how often a message should be placed to optimize audience response.
Media buying, on the other hand, is the acquisition of media space and time slots that ensures that the message reaches the set target audience across different media channels. Media buyers mainly deal with concerns like ad impact, ROI (Return on investment), taking care of ad frauds, engagement, among others.
The process consists of various steps like researching about various platforms, the audience, and the pricing for these platforms.
An overall media strategy incorporates both these processes. Media planning as well as buying both are critical functions of the building and executing contemporary marketing strategies. An imbalance created between both of these strategies can hugely influence the quality of the ad campaign. The results may diminish in purchasing media without ensuring its potential for optimal results. It could also affect the development of a sound plan that lacks actual media placement.