The Art of Creating a Successful Media Plan

Media planning is the process in which marketers determine where, when, and how often an ad or campaign will run in an effort to maximize brand awareness, engagement, and ROI.

Media planning is the process in which marketers determine where, when, and how often an ad or campaign will run in an effort to maximize brand awareness, engagement, and ROI. Creating an effective media plan allows you and your client/brand to have a set of advertising opportunities to reach a specific audience that fits within the budget.

However, creating a successful media plan can be challenging. There are many parts to it. Below is a general step-by-step overview of how to pull this off like a pro.

Understanding the Client’s or Brand’s Goals

A marketer’s objective is to understand the client or brand’s marketing goals and objectives when coming up with a strategic media plan. Most times a media brief will be generated which highlights what the campaign is and what its objectives are, followed by an outline of the target audience, total budget, and a sense of timing. When reviewing the media brief, it’s important to take notes and ask questions in case things sound confusing. This is the time when you are setting up clear goals for not only yourself but also for the campaign itself because this will help develop the overall media strategy.

Research and Target Audience

So, you’ve read over the media brief and have an understanding of the target audience. Now you can dive even further into understanding this audience by utilizing research tools such as Nielsen and MRI which provide you with more information such as their media habits. Understanding the target audience’s media habits is crucial because you want to make sure the media strategy and media recommendations are relevant to the specific media your audience is consuming. The last thing you would want to do is recommend a media that is not relevant to your campaign and audience.

In addition, you should also research the industry itself and take a look at any current trends. This will be beneficial because trends can give you an idea of where the market is going. For instance, if you are working in healthcare, you may have noticed that over the past year many people were doing telehealth visits rather than in-person visits, so advertising efforts should be shifted to promote that.

Building the Media Plan

Once you have done your research, you can start to build out the media plan with media channels you will utilize to reach your target audience. When creating your media plan, it is important to also break down the flighting of each tactic, as some tactics might be used for the entire campaign while others will only be used for certain periods of time. In addition, consider the budgets for each tactic and give a recommendation that will allow the campaign to see movement. Sometimes it’s best to recommend a higher budget, that way the brand or client can react and scale back if needed.

What Happens Next?

After presenting the media plan, the client or brand will usually take some time to review it internally and provide any adjustments before final approvals. Once approved, you have the ability to start creating the assets that will be used per media tactic and get the campaign live.

Once live, you will need to analyze and optimize the campaigns toward the campaign goals and objectives so marketers can understand what is working and what isn’t.

In the end, media planning is essential to the success of a campaign and delivering the most relevant ads to the right people at the right time on the right devices.