New Year, New Media Planning
January 16, 2023
For agencies, planning and placing media can feel a lot like juggling: tracking all the individual plans for different clients like balls in the air. As we begin the new year, what are some tips and guidelines to smooth the media planning and buying process? Last month, we explored some media trends we expect to see this year. Now, let’s go over some ways to update and streamline the way we plan and place our clients’ media.
Market Research Never Stops
The evolution and expansion of the media landscape is not slowing down. This can provoke anxiety as media opportunities grow more complex, but this also presents more resources for analyzing customer behavior and preferences. When beginning or updating research for a client, start by developing (or refreshing) your understanding of who their target audience and current customers are, as well as re-creating and studying buyer personas, those demographic amalgamations of your client’s ideal customer.
With this information, along with your client’s business objectives, you can determine what forms of media will best reach, resonate with, and convert each audience. In addition, it will help inform your decisions about the platforms and channels you will use to publish and share your content.
Conduct a Media Audit
The beginning of a new year is a great time to analyze the past media strategies that have been implemented on behalf of each client and identify the areas that may need improvement. This should include examining the client’s current media mix, as well as analyzing the data on the effectiveness of their past campaigns and the results they have achieved.
Create or Update Your Media Plan Template
Every client will be unique in terms of their goals, budgets, and target audiences. So a ‘cookie-cutter’ approach to giving every client the same media plan will be unsuccessful. But that’s not to say that most clients’ plans can’t share a rough general framework. Utilizing a comprehensive but flexible media plan template can save you a lot of time at the plan design stage, while still allowing you to meet each client’s individual needs. The proliferation of platforms and media opportunities we saw in 2022 means your template is due for at least a little updating.
Create Flexible Schedules
The COVID pandemic reminded us all that dramatic events can arrive unexpectedly and upend all our plans overnight. But the results have also shown us that the smart response to such changing circumstances is to adapt your plans, not abandon them. Luckily most platforms and vendors recognize this need, and will accommodate a greater level of flexibility in your scheduled media plans. Insist on plan schedules that can nimbly adapt to unforeseen events without sacrificing reach, frequency, conversions, or other client-valued KPIs.
Report, Evaluate, and Improve
Advancing media technology allows for ever-increasing depth of campaign performance reporting, even in real-time. While you can check in on the instant reporting from time to time to optimize your media plans while they are still active, definitely devote serious effort after each campaign has ended to really understand how it performed. Go beyond just charting the KPIs and comparing the numbers to past results. Ask more holistic questions around whether each plan met the client’s overall goals, and how your templates and processes worked to help the plan succeed.
Keeping your media plans effective in an ever-changing media landscape requires focus and dedication. If we can assist with your efforts at the planning or buying stages, please reach out and let us know how we can help. Here’s to a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2023!