November 13, 2023

Media Planning and Placement: Part Art, Part Science, All Amazing!

The right formula for your marketing goals

Navigating the ever-evolving landscape of the marketing world is a tricky journey. Success requires blending one part science and one part art.

Think Geek Squad meets Van Gogh. Neil Degrass Tyson meets Ansel Adams

That rings especially true for your company’s media placement.

Skilled marketers combine data-driven analytics with “experienced intuition” when choosing when and where ads go. This unique juxtaposition has worked for decades with traditional media placement (TV, Radio, Billboards, Print). And now, it works for digital media placement (Websites, Social Media, Search, and Apps).

The end goal:

  • Matching the right product or service
  • Combining it with the right message
  • Showing it to the right audience at the right time
  • Ultimately creating a transaction

Simple, right? In practice, that goal is always more complicated than it sounds. There are several vital steps to start your media planning journey:

  1. Define your goals. What’s a win in this situation? More revenue? More members? More donations? Whatever it is, start there so you have a target to aim for. And be specific but realistic. How much more revenue? How many more members?
  2. Define your audience. Decide who your perfect customer would be. Identifying traits, habits, commonalities, and more will help you determine how to best communicate with them. Is your best audience men, age 45 and over, who are affluent and educated? Or, are they younger millennial women without much disposable income but likely to spend what they do have on your product or service?
  3. Define your market. Conduct initial research on your competition, external factors, consumer preferences, geography, etc. Seek to identify your company’s current and potential role in the market, AKA your competitive and consumer positioning. Does your main competition do something better than you? Do they spend more money on marketing? Are there market conditions like lots of new residences that offer specific opportunities? These factors are critical to strategic decision-making. 
  4. Define your budget. There are various ways to construct a budget – from industry standards to the percentage of sales to desired outcomes. But, as with your goals, be realistic here. There are no magic bullets, just consistent effort towards a quantifiable goal. But, when calculating ROI, budget is essential to overall success.
  5. Define your channels. You’ve defined your goals and your audience. You understand your market. And you’ve put together a proper budget. It’s time to identify the media channels most likely to resonate with your audience. In other words, where they spend their time. Do they spend a couple of hours a day swiping up on TikTok? Do they take a daily commute past outdoor ad placements? Do they listen to the radio? Serving the best message at the best time using the best channel will yield the best results.
  6. Define your schedule. Last but not least is understanding when to serve your messages to your potential audience so they will most likely see it. Often, this goes back to the audience you defined in step 2. If they are typical 8 to 5 white-collar workers, you may have more success serving them messages outside those hours. If your market is retired people who get up early, perhaps the morning news is a good spot.

Great! You have a plan. You might feel pretty good about yourself.

But not so fast, my friend. 

There are many other factors involved in the process as well. Don’t forget about creative execution and messaging, asset development, tracking, tools, where you’ll be directing all these new eyeballs to, and last, but certainly not least, fulfillment.

“Build it, and they will come” may have worked in the movies, but not so much in business. There are no replacements for detailed research, thoughtful strategy, inspired execution, and accurate tracking. Your media plan is an integral part of that equation.

Let the experts at tdg help you take the next step towards success with your media planning and placement. We’re also ready to help with all those other factors, such as branding and creative executions. Call or email us, and we’ll be well on our way to reaching your goals.

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