Media planning and buying is the process of determining and implementing your media mix to promote your business. Successful media planning and buying will determine the success of your business. The more people who know who you are and what you offer, the more you will sell. The process includes defining your objectives, identifying your target market, determining the media channels to use, quantifying your budget, buying the media and evaluating the results. Here’s how it’s done.

Define your objectives. What are you looking to accomplish? Branding? Awareness? Sales? That will determine if you should do a branding campaign or a direct response campaign. It will also determine your message.


Identify your target market. Who is your ideal customer? What is their buyer persona? What is their gender? Age? Income? Industry? Location? Interests? This will determine if it’s a more broad or focused campaign. Typically, the more focused you are, the more effective you’ll be.


What media channels does your target market use? Television? Radio? Print? Outdoor? Public transit? Mail? Social? Search? Digital? Promotional products? Television and radio have long-form show and short-form ad and feature opportunities. Print has ad, advertorial and editorial opportunities. Outdoor has static and digital billboards. Public transit has outside, inside and outdoor sign ads. Facebook has promoted posts, sponsored stories, page post and like ads. Twitter has promoted tweets, trends and accounts. YouTube has branded channels, promoted videos and in-video advertising. Search is based on keywords to show up either at the top of the first page or on the side bar. Digital advertising comprises banner ads on sites. This will determine which channels to use and how to use them.


Quantify your budget. How much do you have to spend? This is usually a percentage of your sales and calculated monthly, quarterly or annually. This percentage can be based on your industry and competition.  This will determine what media you can buy and how much of each you can do. Factors to consider when comparing various media are the number of individuals reached. The frequency needed to impact the audience, usually three or more exposures per individual. The CPM is the cost to reach a thousand individuals used for print media. The CPP is the cost to buy one rating point which is one percent of the target audience used for broadcast media. The DEC is the average number of persons passing an advertising display used for outdoor advertising. Social, digital and search are measured using CPM for banner ads, CTR or click through rate, CPA or cost per action and CPC or cost per click.


You can contact the media outlets yourself to purchase the media or hire a media buyer. Media buying is not that difficult. Contact info at media outlets is easily found. The representatives at the various media outlets can usually educate you on media planning and buying and help you to purchase their medium and other mediums.  Work with experienced representatives that you can trust. An experienced media buyer will have more knowledge of all of the media channels, relationships with sellers at media outlets and negotiating skills to minimize costs. The media buyer is mostly paid a commission or percentage out of the media cost, usually not costing you more.


Measure your results. There’s no lack of metrics and software to analyze your ROI. Have systems in place to track the channels’ responses and ROI generated. Adjust your media mix to allocate more resources toward channels producing higher ROI and trying new channels and decreasing or eliminating lower or non-producing channels.


Now you know the keys to successful media planning and buying. Are you doing everything you can? Why not? Successful media planning and buying is the key to our business success. Good luck with all of your media planning and buying. Let me know if I can help you. I look forward to hopefully working with you.



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