What is Media Planning?

Advertising in today’s digital world is simultaneously easier and more difficult than ever before. While online ads allow you to better target your audience, the massive amount of choices a business needs to make in order to create these digital ads seems daunting, even paralyzing. Knowing where to place your ads, when to advertise, and how those ads should look prevents a lot of businesses from effectively marketing altogether, let alone successfully leveraging the power of this new digital landscape.

This is where media planning comes in.

Media planning answers these questions for businesses, providing (or creating) a scaffold for online, and print, advertising to take shape. When done the right way, media planning ensures that businesses are having success with their marketing efforts, which often translates to engagement and conversion. While some ad agencies only specialize in media planning, media planning often falls under a wider umbrella, included in a range of other services, like brand planning, creatives, and account management.


Developing a Customer-Oriented Media Plan

The ultimate goal of all advertising is to make sure the right customers see your message at the right time. When this happens, so do sales. In order to create an effective media plan, one that considers the nuances of your target customer, not just what you want to see, businesses need to assess the following factors:

1. The Reach. Your media plan needs to have a specific number in mind when it comes to how many potential customers you want to get in front of. Setting a timeframe for this “reach” to occur is another key factor.

2. The Frequency. Once you’ve determined your reach, you’ll want to consider how many times your potential customers need to see your ad in order to take action. While a higher frequency almost always elicits a better result, taking your budget into account will also determine what the frequency of your media plan can really be.

3. The Cost. Every media plan needs to have a budget. One of the easiest ways to look at the budget for your planned media is “cost-per-thousand”. To get this number, you’ll divide the total advertising cost on a specific platform by the thousands of customers it will reach.

4. The Prospect. In order for your media plan to be effective, you need to be selective about where your paid media is appearing. Before choosing a platform, understand what that platform’s audience is in order to make sure you’re reaching the right prospects.

5. The Impact. The best media plans maximize the impact each ad makes on potential customers. While simple ads in newspapers and online can still be effective, those that are better able to grab attention through all of the senses will perform even better.

There is a definite science to creating a successful media plan. Before you invest in one, make sure that you’re considering all of the factors above so that you get the most sales per ad.

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