Advertising is a key contributor to the success of your brand — so it’s no wonder so many organizations pour their budgets into their marketing campaigns. In 2020, advertisers worldwide spent a combined total of $614.03 billion to attract and keep customers.
Researchers estimate that global media ad spending grew an estimated 25 percent in 2021 compared to the previous year, and also find it likely that these figures will continue to grow in 2022. Market research can be immensely helpful, but in inexperienced hands, it can sometimes be misinterpreted. This results in ineffective media plans and wasted advertising funds, with very little to show for it.
However, brands don’t have to “go it alone” when it comes to media planning strategies. In fact, brands are investing more and more each year to partner with media strategists to help navigate increasingly complex media ecosystems.
Strategic media planning is crucial to making the most of your advertising dollars. But this requires insider knowledge and robust, quality research. By carefully planning your campaigns with a media strategist, you can ensure that not only are your campaigns being seen but that they are being seen by the right audiences and contributing to your long-term success.
The Benefits of Media Planning
With record spending year after year, the current media landscape is highly competitive. For organizations to find success, they must share the right media content, using the right channels, to connect with the right audiences.
Well-placed media and thought-out campaign strategies can build brand awareness, increase engagement, and drive conversions, leading to revenue growth. It can also serve as an important differentiator between one brand and the competition. But with so many potential channels and media types including email marketing, social media, digital marketing, broadcast media, radio, and television advertising, print ads, and more, it can be difficult to know where to start. Media planning is the best way to overcome these challenges.
Planning your media with expert strategists will help pinpoint your ad campaign strategies, outline the creative process, and determine the best ways to reach your ideal audience.
What are the benefits of working with media experts to plan your next campaign?
- You’ll get to know your target audience better, drive engagement, and learn how to reach them effectively through your advertisements.
- You’ll plan which channels are the best fit to share your message.
- You’ll determine the best timing and frequency to reach your audience based on research.
- You’ll learn more about the latest media trends and technology and decide if they’re right for your brand.
Additionally, you’ll be more organized throughout your campaign, you’ll be able to set and stick to an ad campaign budget, you’ll know what your peers are doing, and you can use your current plan to track and refine future ad campaigns.
Questions to Ask Your Media Planning Agency
Developing a media plan is a complex process with a long list of considerations. That’s why having media strategists on your side is a smart investment.
Before you hire a media expert to guide you, you should investigate their processes to discover if they are the right fit for your brand—and if they can help you develop a winning media buying strategy. Once you have the right agency on your side, it will be much easier to choose the best media placements for your organization.
Here is a list of questions you should ask prospective media agencies about their planning practices:
- What are your media planning practices? What makes you unique from the competition? What is your approach? What are your capabilities?
- What research tools do you invest in? What research do you do to learn about my brand, our goals, and our target audience?
- How do you ensure transparency throughout the buying process? What checks and balances do you have in place to ensure privacy? What anti-fraudulent practices do you have established? How do I know we’re not experiencing bot activity or fraudulent clicks?
- How will you analyze and optimize my media plan to ensure the best efficiency and results?
- What metrics do you track during my campaign? How do you measure these results? How do you decide which media channels are right for me?
By understanding your agency’s media planning and buying processes and getting a sense of their strategies, you will feel more confident that you’re investing in the right media placements.
Evaluating Different Types of Media
Once you have a media strategist team in place, they will help you uncover which media types and media sources are a match for your brand. An experienced media strategist will help you identify the right channels through a detailed discovery process. They’ll guide you through which social media platforms to take, what broadcast media spots to invest in, when to opt for interactive digital media, and more.
As they help you examine your options, how will you find objectively effective, high-caliber media sources? Here’s just a tiny part of what a media strategist will do to help you develop a winning plan:
- Create a list of the target demographics you want to reach with your brand messaging. Your strategist will consider factors like gender, age, income, education levels, and marital and parental status.
- Study media kits to find the media outlets that will reach the most people in your target demographic. Examples can be social media, podcasts, radio, television, websites, billboards, banner ads, and publications. Your strategist will help you select quality kits over opting for a large quantity — after all, why would your organization pay for 100,000 impressions if only 5,000 of them fit your target demographic?
- Calculate the cost per thousand impressions. This doesn’t necessarily mean your strategist will automatically select the cheapest option! They are looking to provide value to your marketing investment. If impressions are connecting with a specific, targeted audience, this may be a place to invest more of your advertising dollars to make a more significant impact.
- Compare each potential medium and evaluate the big picture. Your media planning agency will look at the total number of target customers, cost per thousand, total cost, gross impressions, cost based on your budget, and the possible number of net impressions for each advertising format.
How MBI Helps You Plan Your Campaign
Our mission at MBI is to connect you to the media channels your brand will benefit from the most. Our media strategists specialize in thoughtfully combining a variety of media types, and we collaborate to develop solutions and strategies that are tailored to your audience and your brand.
We’ll partner with you to create a smart media approach where the impact for your brand exceeds your media investment.
How do we make this happen? Here’s our process:
- Client Discovery: We’ll work to figure out what makes your brand
- as well as what makes your business tick. We’ll learn all about your objectives so we can customize our work to your company.
- Research and Development: Our media strategists pinpoint your target audience and conduct thorough, insightful research, so we have clear, specific, and actionable buyer personas.
- Planning: Our media strategists seek out the most effective opportunities and the right combination of media that will make your objectives a reality.
- Price Negotiations: We work to maximize your advertising dollars, using the knowledge and connections of our entire team to obtain the best price for you.
- Analytics and Optimization: Once your campaign is live, we’ll follow through by evaluating your results and compiling actionable insights, so we can finetune the process.
- Reporting and Verification: We’re transparent with you. We’ll let you know what’s working — and what’s not — so we can make improvements. We’ll conduct airchecks, share our reports and send our affidavits, so you know you’re getting exactly what you paid for
The benefit of this process is that we’ll do the legwork for you to determine the best types of media to reach your audience, how to drive conversions, and how to expand your readership. Perhaps this is the secret to why we have so many success stories; we will bring the full media department to you.
Astute Media Strategies to Match Your Brand
Each year, the ad media industry sees an influx of new and emerging ad technologies to add to the long list of channels and platforms you can leverage to amplify your brand. And with each passing year, consumer trends and preferences change and shift too. As a reflection of this, it’s worth noting that 84 percent of today’s consumers expect brands to create content—a new trend to keep in mind as you explore advertising on various social networks.
All this change is a lot to digest. And your media strategy should be created like a custom-tailored suit; meticulously altered to meet your specific needs. There will always be an increasing number of channels from which to choose as you build your media strategy, and always countless questions to ask. We’ll help you sort through the media options available to you and help you come up with a plan that suits you perfectly.
The smartest way to evaluate types of media when you’re planning media placements is to leave them to the professionals. At MBI, we know what it’s like to navigate the ins and outs of building brand awareness and running a business. We’ll take a deep dive into your organization, handcraft a customized media buying strategy to fit your brand, set it in motion, and help you refine your processes over time to drive conversions. And we’ll always offer guidance as you evaluate different media. Want to discover more about how we can turn your objectives into realities? Contact us today!