Media Planning Part 2

The agency now has a campaign brief, or at least something resembling it. This information will be used to identify and select appropriate media vehicles and channels for the campaign.

Let us take the example of a brief for a new brand of clothing, targeting teenagers and university students. Taking this information into account, as well as other considerations outlined in part 1, the agency’s media experts will hold discussions and come up with media placement suggestions.

In this instance, billboards located close to university campuses would seem a highly relevant choice. But, on their own, the billboards may not have enough of an impact. Hence other channels should be included in the media mix that will be presented to the client for approval.

Keeping our example, further channels of interest may be magazines that target a teenage/young adult audience or social media such as Instagram. Having one campaign and message exposed across multiple media ensures maximum impact, reach and visibility.

On the other hand, if available data suggests that radio or television are not suitable channels to reach the desired audience, the agency will leave these out of its selection.

The role of data

Data is a key element of this decision-making process. Derived from market research or analytics tools, it complements the information collected in the media brief. This ensures evidence-based decisions are taken regarding the choice of media vehicles and channels.

Those different sources of information are collated and combined to form a global picture. That global picture has to correspond to what the agency’s client has in mind for their campaign. Otherwise, it is back to the drawing board!

Another even more crucial element is the personal expertise and judgement of the media planner. It is what enables them to make sense of the bits and pieces of information collected from a brief or from market research.

To use an analogy, the brief and data are lines that will guide the media agency along each campaign. But within those lines, media planners have to find the most suitable path, the right direction towards which to guide a client.

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