The most important stage of advertising is not the Message creation as many think; rather it is the art of message distribution. The basic tenet of advertising is you cant sell a bad product with good advertising. Having said that, it is also true that even if the advertising message is good and the product is all quite competitive, yet poor media planning can cause severe damage to the product or brand being advertised. So crucial are effective Media planning services for a business.
A Media planning agency is an agency that creates a media plan for a particular advertisement campaign based upon the observation of the universe group and the target group of consumers of a particular product or service in a region, their media usage habits as well as the number of media platforms available to disseminate the advertising message. Careful and well researched observations are made with the help of various Media planning tools which give detailed description of target group and how media platforms can be used to influence their buying decisions. The main aim of a Media planning agency is to provide such media planning services to the client that maximum media impact is created for the product with minimum advertising budget.
Media planning needs objectives
Effective Media planning can only be achieved if the media objectives are well defined. The business or brand which is initiating advertising, should communicate unambiguously, their advertising objectives to the Advertising Media planning agencies. These objectives may be communicated to the Media planning agencies in the form of advertising market reach achieved, brand or product acceptability increased or quantum of sales increased. These objectives need to be in figures so that they can be matched against the outcome of the Media planning services provided by the Media planning agencies.
Common Media platforms
Newspapers and magazines
Television & Radio
Search engine marketing
Identifying the Target universe group
Once a Media planning agency is made aware of its media objectives, it sets out to identify the target group for whom the Media planning services have to be focused. For identifying the target consumer group, the media planning agency has put to use many Media planning tools which basically tell them the exact demography of the target group as well as their media usage habits. The number of households or individuals which use one or the other kind of media in a particular location is considered the reach of the media. The target consumer group may be scattered around different media platforms. So a Media planning agency must furnish exact data with the help of available Media planning tools regarding the reach and penetration of various media platforms in a target consumer region.
Factors that define choice of media
Percentage of total population exposed to media.
Which media platform has maximum reach?
Media mix or media concentration?
What should be the frequency of advertisement?
Creating a Media mix
A media mix is combination of various available media platforms in a given region and how they are used for achieving maximum product or brand advertising impact with minimum spending. If money or budget was no constraint, Media planning agencies would have simply bombarded an advertising campaign on all media platforms. But naturally, funds are always a handicap and so the main task of Media planning services is to create a Media-mix that achieves a desired impact by scattering the advertising message across a number of media platforms. For example, Two 10 seconds Ads on three local TV channels daily, five 20 seconds Ads on local FM radio, Daily insertion of advertisement in four local newspapers and multiple billboards across the region.
Another crucial function of Advertising media planning is to determine as to what should be the frequency of advertising in each media platform. The figure is reached at by carefully analyzing the data made available by various media planning tools which disclose the general media usage habits and trends of a given consumer group and then these results are matched against the media objectives set in advance. The frequency of an advertisement campaign is the number of repetitions of an Ad that are required to be visible at least once to the target group in a given period.
Once the major tasks of Media planning services are achieved by an Advertising media planning company, the thus prepared Media plan is communicated to the company which needs advertising. On the basis of this media plan and media strategies, a Media buying agency is hired to operationalize the Media plan. Media buying agencies and Media buying Companies are agencies which specialize in buying various media platforms. They have good connections with various Media houses and are wiz at negotiations.
The main task of a Media buying agencies is to buy maximum visibility with minimum spending. In electronic media, Media buying companies try to get best time slots for their clients at the minimum tariffs. In newspapers and other publications bigger space or more prominent space is bought at best discounted rates. Apart from this, a Media buying agency tries to extract as many add-on deals with the media houses which include additional airtime at same cost, Big-events time-slots at no extra cost or free proxy advertising etc.