This type of planning includes the implementation of an Advertising Campaign in a Media.
For its implementation, it relies on a set of tested quantitative tools such as measuring Gross Rating Point, Cost per Rating Point, Analysis of Effective Reach, Frequency, Frequency Distribution; and qualitative tools such as Target Affinity Index, Target Groups, differences between the various potential media vehicles, performance related to development in time, etc.
The Media Planning process begins with the reception of the Advertising Brief, a tool that helps to prepare an Executive Summary of an Advertising Campaign.
The process will follow different steps:
1. Framework: refers to the process in which a member of an advertising agency or media planner will be in charge of reading and analyzing the Brief in order to help his clients accomplish their marketing objectives, according to their advertising budgets.
This analysis will focus on evaluating the best possible use of the available media, making audience analysis, tracking the evolution of competition in media, reading market trends and understanding consumers’ motivations, among other elements necessary to answer questions such as:
1. What percentage of the total audience can be reached through different means of communication?
2. Which media category (and / or channels and advertising media) should be used to place ads?
3. How frequently should the audience be exposed to messages?
4. How should the advertising budget for the campaign be allocated across media categories over time?
2. Media Strategy: after having analyzed the questions mentioned before, the Media Strategy will be defined. Media Strategy includes several components: a General Purpose, Specific Objectives, Actions and Results to be achieved in terms of the relationship between the profile of the Advertiser, Characteristics of the Product or Service, the Advertising Strategy, shortlisted Media and their performance based on the geographical area, timing, distribution, impacts, audience, etc., the Targeted audience and its various segments and behaviors recorded and measured in response to shortlisted Media and Media Format (advertisements) designed, Release Date and Timetable, Expected Number of exposures, Costs: of every single ad and of the full campaign, Available Budget, etc, from which the central axes and basic lines of action for implementing the Media Plan will emerge.
3. Media Plan: once the Media Strategy designed has been submitted to the customer, it is necessary to exchange points of view and check adjustments needed to ensure, from the planning point of view, the feasibility and viability of the proposed objectives and the expected results, considering cost-effectiveness and fulfilling the creative concept proposed. Finally, the Media Plan is put into practice.
The resulting Media Plan will include: the choice of the means to be used; budget allocation for each selected media; allocation advertising by geography; distribution of action: media concentration or media dispersion / advertising schedule according to the time established for the duration of the current campaign.
Different budget allocation techniques can be implemented:
Continuity: spreads media spending evenly throughout the months of the advertising campaign;
Flighting: alternates advertising across months, with heavy advertising in certain months and no advertising at all in others;
Pulsing: consists of a combination of the two preceding scheduling techniques; low level of advertising across all months but spends more in selected ones.
4. Advertising Guidelines: once the Media Plan has been submitted for customer approval, the Guidelines which show the contents of the Plan in terms of advertising media management is generated.
This task is carried out by the Media purchasing manager who is in charge of finding and buying the best space in a media vehicle at the best price available in the market for placing ads of different campaigns.
Generally, the Guidelines are submitted on a spreadsheet, table, form, etc.., which contains in its header the name / logo of the advertising vehicle, the name / logo of Advertising Agency, the name of the Head of Programming for whom the Guidelines are intended , the Client, the name of the Campaign / Product.
According to the advertising vehicle the following information should be included and clearly distributed in rows and columns:
Print Publications: dates, size of the advertisement and section should be provided.
Radio: radio station, starting and ending date of the campaign, days, hours, frequency and the advertisements (if there is more than one version of the ad in the campaign, it should be clearly shown in the timetable) must be clear.
Television: the same details as for radio as well as, the scheduled media placements, the different types of spots and their duration. All these factors are related to the budgetary allocation made.
Internet: it is advisable to outline the starting and ending date, and the type of web advertising determined by the Plan: CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions), CPV (Cost Per View), CPV (Cost Per Viewer); CPC (Cost Per Click), CPA (Cost Per Acquisition), to facilitate the monitoring and ongoing assessment of the current campaign, depending on if it includes banners, pop-ups (pop) and ads animation, etc.., search or contextual.ads.
5 - Final Report: At this stage, the Media Plan Effectiveness is evaluated. Effectiveness of media planning is measured with multiple indicators regarding the correlation between the proposed objectives and the results performed.
Before the final evaluation is performed, previous partial ongoing assessments, which allow correcting deviations or taking advantage of contingencies providing positive feedback throughout the entire campaign, should be carried out.
This ongoing management control will allow to achieve the expected results and to create a bank of consolidated cases available to be looked up by the Organizations’ teams to improve the quality of future media plans.
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