Effective media and advertisement plans don’t happen by accident. The best media plans come from employing a disciplined approach to the entire media placement process. This process includes exhaustive media planning, negotiating low rates and “added-value”, thoroughly auditing both the plans’ execution and results and then reevaluating the media strategy to address opportunities for improvement. We refer to that process as Media Management.
As an agency, we have the benefit of representing multiple clients every time we evaluate media. When it comes time to formulate your media strategy, much of the heavy lifting is already done. We already know where the most efficient places to reach your target are going to be, and we’re better able to quickly execute the strategy.
This isn’t limited to traditional media (local TV, radio, newspaper, etc.) – digital media is a tool that can’t be ignored. Every medium has its place, and there’s a different ideal media mix for every business and every goal. Media Management helps you to decide which media will be the most effective and best value for your business goals.
Typically, this process begins with you – defining a goal, target, budget and timeline.
When someone sees an ad, what is it that you’re ultimately wanting them to do? Are you trying to drive physical store visits? Drive direct sales of a specific product? Drive traffic to your website? Increase awareness? Defining a goal helps to shape the messaging of your ad but also helps narrow down which media will be utilized to achieve your goal.
As tempting as it may be to say “my target is everyone,” chances are that you don’t have the budget needed to reach “everyone.” The more granular the targeting is defined, the more granular we can get with media targeting. Think about the geographic area that you’re trying to reach first. Then, think about ages and income. Then, try to define your target persona, and get as detailed as possible. Persona development is an intense process that involves giving your target a name, defining their goals and challenges, where they go for information, what they do for fun, what their job is, what a typical day in their shoes looks like, who they trust and what they value. From here, we search for media that will allow us focus on your target with as narrow of a scope as possible. We then perform a value comparison to determine which route will achieve the biggest bang for your buck. Media waste isn’t a necessary evil anymore!
The budget discussion is always a scary one for advertisers. Somehow, most businesses don’t think about marketing when budgeting. If you have, then you’re already ahead of the game. We’ve heard all kinds of guidelines thrown around, from the old-school 10-12% of gross to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 7-8% (if you’re doing less than $5 million a year in sales and your net profit margin — after all expenses — is in the 10 percent to 12 percent range). Our practical experience has shown us that there is no perfect number to get started with. When we work with clients, we typically ask them to start with a budget that they’re comfortable experimenting with. By experimenting with smaller budgets, we can uncover areas of opportunity, and THEN scale the budget. Throwing a ton of money into ads before having at least a decent idea of what your ROI will be is scary for everyone. When you do have an idea of the ballpark ROI, formulating budget is easy, and the only question become “how much volume can you handle?” We handle budgets from $5/day to $1k/day – your budget, like everything else we do for you, will be as unique as you are.
Defining your timeline is more than just labeling a start date. How long will this campaign run? How often will we be refreshing it? At what intervals will we be evaluating the campaign to determine if a pivot or fine-tuning is needed? What materials are needed for development pre-launch? What research needs to be completed pre-launch? Luckily, everything we’re talking about here is covered in strategy discussions with our team. If you don’t have everything figured out, don’t worry. If you do, things can happen much faster.