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Three Easy Steps to an Effective Media Plan

Posted on July 6, 2012

As consumers, we encounter advertising multiple times throughout our day-to-day lives. And while we might stop a second to appreciate the clever copy or creative graphic design behind an ad, we often fail to recognize the strategic planning that goes behind the placement of these ads. (After all, what good is a brilliant billboard for a local community college if it appears right next to a fuddy-duddy retirement home?)

Still doubting the importance of strategic placement in advertising? Read through this blog post to see how great media planning can elevate your creative campaign to the next level. You’ll also learn three easy steps that Kiwi Creative recommends to create an effective media plan for your very own brand. 

The primary duty of a media planner sounds simple: to determine where an ad will be place. But when the options are almost limitless—television, radio, magazines, billboards, website, mobile apps, social media, etc.—this becomes more challenging. So how does a media planner decide exactly where to place an ad? Once he/she has a firm understanding of the target audience, that person will research the specific media that will best reach this group within a given budget. To a writer or designer or even small business owner, this job can sound a little technical (and even boring!). But when you get into some of the more unique media channels, the creativity can be very rewarding. Take guerilla marketing tactics, for example. A media planner can take a simple concept and expand it to fun and crazy media like a life-size installation or an interactive campaign in Times Square!

Even if you don’t have a large media budget or a campaign creative enough to go viral, here are three easy steps detailing how to create a media plan for your brand:

Know Your Target Audience…And Beyond

Figure out who the target audience is for your brand and how far outside of that target you want to reach. In other words, determine the person most likely to buy/use your product then figure out other potential customers who aren’t necessarily the most obvious choice. (This is an important step because in some cases the most direct target is already using your brand and new business can best be gained by expanding your audience.)

Research Media and Allocate Your Budget

Decide which media you are going to use and why. Start with a gut feeling then research stats like demographics and response rate to back up your initial ideas. Take your overall budget and allocate it amongst the best tactics to balance reach and response rate. Feeling overwhelmed? Above all, remember this: marketing and media planning is an educated guess, not an exact science.

Measure & Revise

Follow up on how effective each media choice was for your brand. To plan for your next marketing strategy, you must know what media was most and least effective so you can make adjustments going forward.

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Topics: Advertising

Jessica Laurello

Written by Jessica Laurello

Jessica Laurello is a media specialist with a degree in Advertising from Syracuse University.

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