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Blog Think Like a Media Agency: Planning Your Media Mix

Think Like a Media Agency: Planning Your Media Mix

When planning your media mix, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Each business and campaign requires a unique media buying strategy to achieve its goals effectively. Here’s a comprehensive guide to approaching media planning like a professional media agency.

Where to Start

Our team begins the media planning process by clearly defining the following key elements:

  • Campaign Goals
  • Measurement of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Timeline
  • Budget
  • Target Audience

For tips on defining your target audience, check out our Valentine's themed blog here.

Campaign Goals and KPIs

Campaign Goals

Setting clear campaign goals is the cornerstone of any successful media strategy. Goals' can range from increasing brand awareness to driving conversions or boosting engagement.

It’s crucial to prioritize these goals based on your overall business objectives. For instance, a new brand might focus on awareness, while an established brand might aim for conversion and customer retention. What we normally see is a need for both branding elements while driving conversion and then level of importance is refined to understand the allocation of budget between the two objectives.

The established goals will shape the media tactics selected. Some media is better utilized for raising awareness or educating such as mass media like TV, Billboards, and radio. Digital media tends to be much easier to measure when looking for conversion.

Measurement of KPIs

KPIs are vital for tracking the success of your campaign. Common KPIs include:

  • Impressions: The number of times your ad is displayed.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): The ratio of users who click on your ad to the number of total users who view it.
  • Conversion Rate: The percentage of users who take a desired action after clicking your ad.
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): The revenue generated for every dollar spent on advertising.

Your choice of KPIs should align with your campaign goals. For example, if your goal is brand awareness, you might focus on impressions and reach. If you aim to drive sales, conversion rate and ROAS will be more relevant.

Timeline Considerations

Media Lead Times

Different media channels have varying lead times. Digital media, such as paid social media ads, typically offer quick turnaround times, allowing you to launch campaigns swiftly. In contrast, traditional media like print ads or billboards require longer lead times for production and placement.

Creative Asset Availability

Assess your current creative assets and production capabilities. High-quality TV and streaming ads are effective but may not be feasible if time or budget constraints prevent you from producing a commercial. If working with a media agency, they can help you understand what assets are needed for each medium. They may also be able to work with vendors to include creative support as part of the paid media package.

Budget Allocation

Determining Your Budget

Budget allocation is a critical aspect of media planning. Your budget determines the scope and scale of your campaign. Our historical knowledge of rates and necessary investment levels allows us to quickly decide which media tactics could feasibly fit within your budget. Here’s how to approach budget allocation:

  • Prioritize Your Goals: Allocate more budget to the most critical goals.
  • Consider Media Costs: Understand the cost structure of different media channels. Digital media typically offers flexible pricing models like CPC (cost-per-click) and CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions).
  • Plan for Contingencies: Set aside a portion of your budget for unexpected opportunities or challenges.

Overcoming Budget Constraints

For those unfamiliar with purchasing media, the process can seem daunting. Your ideal billboard might be out of reach financially, but don’t be discouraged. There are numerous media channels available to support your marketing efforts. Digital media, local publications, and social media platforms often provide cost-effective alternatives.

Understanding Your Target Audience

Identifying Media Habits

A deep understanding of your target audience’s media habits is crucial for effective media planning. Research their preferences, behaviors, and the platforms they frequent. This information will help you tailor your media strategy to reach your audience where they are most active.

Audience Profiles

Creating detailed audience profiles can significantly narrow down your media choices. For example:

  • Profile 1: Young Professionals
  • Age: 25-35
  • Interests: Technology, Travel, Fitness
  • Preferred Platforms: LinkedIn, Instagram, Podcasts

  • Profile 2: Stay-at-Home Parents
  • Age: 30-45
  • Interests: Parenting, Cooking, Home Improvement
  • Preferred Platforms: Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube

By analyzing these profiles, you can determine which media outlets to include in your plan.

Crafting a Multi-Layer Strategy

Kick-Off Meetings

Before starting media planning, we hold a "kick-off" meeting with clients to delve into their needs and goals. This collaborative session helps uncover multiple goals that may require a multi-layered strategy. We define how to measure campaign success, develop necessary reporting, and set up required tools before the campaign begins. This process also identifies custom opportunities with vendors that provide essential measurement tools.

Adapting to Real-Time Data

Effective media planning doesn’t end once the campaign starts. Continuous monitoring and adaptation are key to maximizing results. Use real-time data to make informed adjustments to your strategy. For instance, if certain tactics outperform others, consider reallocating your budget to capitalize on these successful channels.

Now Time to Give it a Try!

By following these steps and thinking like a media agency, you can create a tailored and effective media mix strategy that meets your business goals. Remember, successful media planning involves clear goal setting, thorough research, strategic budgeting, and continuous optimization. Stay patient and flexible, and your efforts will pay off in the form of a well-executed, results-driven campaign.

And if this all seems like too much of lift or overwhelming that’s why we are here! As you partner in media, our expertise allows us to bring a wealth of industry knowledge, reduce time spent, provide vetted vendor connections, and cost reducing opportunities.