Media Planning: Definition, Key Principles, Challenges, and Benefits

Media planning is the process of identifying target markets, specific strategies, and specific media channels for marketing. The primary objective is to create effective digital media campaigns that reach the specific target audience – your ideal customer.

Digital media planning requires knowledge of media channels and potential customers. Media planners need to be able to think about their customers to understand how they interact with different channels and use them as opportunities for marketing purposes.

Why is media planning important for a business?

Your business can use media planning to reach your target audience, find the best media mix, and attract more customers.

The first step in putting together a successful marketing strategy is understanding your target market. You must identify where the target audience is found and what types of media are available in that area – print, TV, online, or social networking platforms, for example. This will help you to reach each audience segment through your media strategy.

The aim? To plan where, when, and how to launch marketing campaigns to maximize results, such as increasing leads and sales, developing engagement, and improving the ROI of your marketing spend.

The key principles of media planning

To create brand recognition, you must have a presence in the media space. Media channels are the key pillars of any brand’s digital marketing strategy, and they need to be planned accordingly to achieve the best media buying conversion rates.

Now, I’m going to assume that you have identified your target audience – the potential customers you wish to reach out to. What next? Let’s look at the key principles of media planning to consider before paying for ad space, selecting a media platform, and launching a media campaign.

Reach

Reach is usually measured in unduplicated impressions, which means the number of individuals who see an advertisement or post through different media platforms.

Cost per thousand

The cost per thousand is the amount you pay to reach 1,000 people in your target audience. It’s a crucial number because it allows you to calculate the return on investment for your campaign.

Frequency of advertisement

This statistic can be used to help plan an advertising campaign. It provides the estimated number of times your ad is shown to an individual based on their demographic information.

Impact

In today’s media landscape, it is important to understand the best ways to influence your audience to get them to take action. Impact is the estimate of how likely it is that your audience will take action through your chosen media.

Selectivity

There are two types of selectivity. The first is Class Selectivity, which is the ability of a medium to reach the target market without waste. The second is Geographic Selectivity, which is the ability of a medium to cover a particular geographic area without spillover.

In a perfect campaign, media planning would result in:

  • Large reach

  • Low cost per thousand

  • Medium to high frequency

  • Significant impact

  • Tight selectivity

The challenges associated with media planning in digital marketing

It’s key to understand the social media landscape to shape the most helpful media mix. However, several challenges arise when developing a marketing strategy using media planning. These include:

Understanding consumers: Consumer-level targeting using analytics

Consumers are the focus of every business. Understanding the consumers’ wants, needs, and behaviors is essential for successful marketing. To stay relevant, businesses need to be able to target consumers on a level beyond the basic demographic profile – and that means a deep analysis of audiences.

Knowing the platform your consumers prefer

Platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are extremely popular. As a result, many brands and marketers are struggling to figure out which platform they should be on. There is no ‘universal’ answer to the question of which platform your consumers prefer. The key is careful consideration of your brand’s audience and what you want to communicate.

Having budget flexibility to market through different platforms

Marketing through different platforms can be costly and time-consuming. A marketing plan that includes a mix of social media, search, and display advertising is necessary to reach as many people as possible – and this means you will need the flexibility of budget to reach your target audience because it’s impossible to say exactly how much a marketing campaign will cost.

Measuring results (How to integrate all results from different platforms)

To get a true picture of how well your campaign is doing it’s important that the data from all the platforms is being accounted for. This is easier said than done, however. The process for measuring and integrating online marketing results is complex, but it is important to measure the impact of your efforts. 

Take advantage of the benefits of media planning

Media planning is a crucial part of an online marketing campaign. It ensures that the campaign is relevant and reaches the target audience. It also optimizes your efforts. Effective media planning results in you reaching your target audience in the best, most cost-effective way. This can deliver a significant return on investment. 

Want to learn more about media planning? Then listen to my podcast, ‘Keeping your audience engaged through effective media planning with Kerry Guard.

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Publish Date: 10/12/2021 12:00:00 AM
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Media Planning: Definition, Key Principles, Challenges, and Benefits
Media planning is the process of identifying target markets, specific strategies, and specific media channels for marketing. The primary objective is to create effective digital media campaigns that reach the specific target audience – your ideal customer.
Digital media planning requires knowledge of media channels and potential customers. Media planners need to be able to think about their customers to understand how t…

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