The media industry is growing and changing faster than any time in history. New advertising opportunities are revealed almost every day and the knock-on result is that media planning needs to keep up to speed with what’s new and what’s worth checking out.
As these new types of new media become available, companies need to find the latest and innovative ways to make their brand, product or service not only stand out from their competitors but also engage and drive actions.
Through effective media planning and buying, sales can increase exponentially, so the risk of investing in advertising can be worth it. But a great way to de-risk ad spend is by using media specialists.
In this blog post we breakdown exactly what media planning is, its forms and how it can affect your brand’s visibility.
What is media?
Before we get into media buying, it’s important to clarify what we mean when we talk about ‘media’. We all know what media is, and most of us use the term on a daily basis.
For a media planner, media is regularly categorised into three main types—traditional, ambient and digital.
Traditional media is the term used to describe the media advertising which has been around even before the Romans put up advertising signs in Pompeii.
Traditional media platforms include:
- Cinema advertising.
- Radio, which is now broadening to include audio through podcasting and virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa
- Billboards and transport advertising on buses, the underground in London and in trains
- Direct mail
- Door to Door leafleting
- Ambient media like billboards on the side of trailers, washroom panels and clean advertising
Digital media is the term used to describe media which exploded across the market within the last decade. Digital media, still sometimes referred to as “new” media, develops every day as more and more media platforms are released and popularised.
Digital media includes:
- Pay-per-click on, for example, Google and Bing
- Digital advertising on TV, like Video-On-Demand and Sky Adsmart
- Spotify, Dax and Instream
- What’s App
Ambient media is great to create impact and content like flashmobs or to build awareness using beer mats, messaging on petrol pumps or even in washrooms.
Every media platform has its uses, but before spending any money make sure they are capable of delivering against KPI’s and the objectives of the advertising investment.
Media Planning and Buying for Businesses
For media buying to be successful through both traditional and non-traditional methods, it needs to reach your target audience profile in the right environment.
Essentially, your business targets people who already buy, or those who may be in the market to buy, the products or services you offer.
You may know your business’ consumer profile inside out, but reaching them through media campaigns isn’t as easy as you might at first think. A great media planner will be able to help you confirm whom you need to talk to or identify your target audience if you can’t be precise.
Just like you, there are hundreds of thousands of other businesses buying media. Think about it—how often do you actively pay attention to ads you hear on the radio or see on a poster site? Therein lies the challenge to make sure that the messaging is placed on highly targeted media platforms which deliver impact and cut-through.
There is media advertising that you do take notice of. These are the examples of media planning and buying done right—the instances where the message reaches its target audience at the right time, that are relevant to you and the message cuts through the clutter. For example, podcast advertising is a perfect platform for native advertising, in which the advertisement is so relevant to the listener that it blends seamlessly into the content of the podcast.
There is a way to increase the chances of your campaign achieving results with successful media planning and buying. But it goes without saying that you need the specific skills, experience and strategic know-how to make this happen—and that’s where expert media buyers come in.
Successful Media Planning and Buying for Businesses
Media planning is an essential skill to ensure advertising budgets work hard. Some advertisers plan buy media in-house, which can be very risky unless they have specialists in-house to do it combined with size and know-how to cut deals.
A media planner/buyer will be in the market every day and it’s their business to know strengths and weaknesses as well as the prices and value of each media platform. More than that, the media planners will know what options there are amongst all the media available to choose the best channel to achieve the advertising objectives. The best media specialists will be media neutral and not favour a friendly media sales executive or buy because the media looks cheap. It will be cheap for a reason.
Unlike an in-house team member who volunteers to step up for the role, an experienced media planner/buyer is equipped with an extensive knowledge of the local, regional, national and international media market and will have access to databases to measure the value of each of the media channels. They will also be seasoned negotiators and be able to extract the very best prices for the advertising.
In summary, an experienced media planner/buyer will be your best friend when planning advertising campaigns. Market knowledge, a finger on the pulse of market prices and experience of which media choose and those that work best together combine to make a media specialist your go-to advertising expert.