In media planning, you need to rely on the most current marketing trends and conduct analysis of competitors’ activities using professional tools and technologies. All this makes many companies decide to outsource media campaign planning to an organization. Finding the right specialist and integrating him into the company’s structures often proves too expensive and time-consuming. However, even if you use the support of a media house, understanding the whole process and what to expect is recommended.
Media planning is a process whose main goal is to optimally plan the broadcast of advertisements in the media on the basis of research results, the nature of the medium’s impact, media specifics and other information. The word “information” is key here. When creating a media brief, clients often provide only basic information in it due to lack of time. However, it is worth remembering that the time spent at this stage will more than pay off in the form of saved working hours on both sides, as well as satisfaction with the results.
Media planning step by step
The agency divides the media planning process into several stages. The first contact with a media planner is to provide a brief, which should include an analysis of the market, target audience, competition, etc. Among the information gathered, data on the product/offer, campaign goals, budget, duration, key target audience, main communication channels and exclusions must not be missing. Knowing the campaign’s landing page, the preferred billing model, a description of the validation process and the time in which billing takes place, the media planner can proceed to the actual media planning. What is worth emphasizing, in case of doubts or difficulties in determining any of the described elements, the task of the media house employee is to support the company and provide the necessary information.
Often the intermediate stage between receiving the brief and planning the media buy is the so-called debrief. The agency may contact the client to clarify the main points of the brief. At this stage, the media planner will ask questions that will supplement his or her knowledge enough for the information obtained to allow the client to work freely on the draft media plan. The debrief is therefore a necessary stage to the briefing process and it is worth taking advantage of this opportunity.
How many needs, so many goals
The list of goals that can be achieved by a media campaign is long. While sales goals are still the most significant, activities aimed at creating a desired image, conveying information, creating reach or acquiring contacts can be equally important. It is important to remember that different tools are used in pursuit of such diverse goals, and moreover, one works at different stages of the customer’s purchase path. Once the goals of the campaign have been defined, it is important to determine the key performance indicators (KPIs) that allow you to analyze the results of your activities.
How much does it cost
As far as the client is concerned, it is good practice to indicate the planned budget for the campaign. The media planner, in turn, is supposed to adjust the proposals taking into account the funds available to the client.
It happens that the goals of the campaign may not match the planned budget. Then the role of the agency is to present all the possibilities, and then both parties must look for a common solution.
Competition under the microscope
The stage of competitor analysis is a step often overlooked in media planning. Meanwhile, such omission makes it very difficult to implement effective marketing campaigns. A properly conducted analysis includes social media activities, promotional campaigns, SEO, paid advertising, inbound links, PR activity, among others. The information gathered allows you to assess in which channels your competitors’ exposure is greatest. This, in return, allows you to look for a communication niche.