Media Planning Part 1

Media Planning is at the heart of what we do. The production of a single media plan involves hours of work in the form of team discussions and negotiations both with clients and media publishers – among other activities! Here we walk through a media planning process, with all its challenges and its thrills.

Media Planning is the process of identifying the most appropriate channels to advertise a brand’s product or service. Media space cannot be purchased without prior scoping and evaluation of channels. Time-consuming though it may be, this process is vital to ensure clients and brands get value for the money they are willing to spend. Different agencies have their own processes in place for undertaking this task. Those procedures represent the highest standards each agency wants to aim for in its media planning activities. In practise however, there may be a significant degree of deviation from best practices and established processes.

1. Campaign Brief

The brief is a document provided by the agency’s client to the agency. Its purpose is to outline information such as:

  • Brand or product to be promoted;
  • Available media budget;
  • Target audience;
  • Goals and objectives;
  • Other considerations.

That information will in turn help the agency’s media experts to select relevant media channels. For instance, an FMCG product aiming to achieve high sales volumes would probably not fit in a niche magazine with a target audience of professionals. The agency would instead suggest media channels with high levels of reach, such as OOH, radio or digital.

While considered as a best practice, a brief is not always readily available. Advertisers have their own priorities and in cases may not even have developed a template for such purposes.

Hence the brief will often need to be compiled by the agency itself, using bits and pieces of information collected from their client through email or phone discussions. This can be likened to scattered puzzle pieces that will later be assembled to form a larger picture.

To be continued

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