This time of year our all of our hair is on fire as we are feverishly putting together media plans for our clients. We're checking rates with publications, requesting Media Kits for new
opportunities, scanning websites and exploring new media ideas based on our client's annual marketing objectives. (That's also why we've been a bit silent on the blog this month). But if you are searching for a new media agency, or perhaps unaware of what to do when it comes to forming a quality annual media plan, here's a few of the things we think through at McCulloch+Company when designing media plans for our clients.
Where do you start? Define your annual marketing objectives. How do you discover those? It's all in the questions you ask. Do you have a new product launch coming up in the new year? Do you want to promote a new website? Or drive sales during a key time frame? Perhaps you need to target a new geography? Or grow market share by 20%? Or combat a competitor's new product line? How you answer questions like these will form your marketing goals for the next year AND will help guide your media planners in deciding what media to run and when to best achieve these goals.
Once these goals are defined, we begin fleshing out the actual media plan with strategies and tactics. Strategies will be broad ideas on how you will reach your objectives, and the tactics will be the actual, specific mediums you use to fulfill the strategy and reach your goals. That's why the objectives are so important - they are the guideposts for everything else. Here's an example of all of this working together. Let's say your objective is to introduce your company to the Toronto market. The strategy would then be to schedule advertising in relevant Toronto media with the largest reach to relevant audiences. Then the tactics would be the specific media schedules, ie. run 720x90 banner ads on www.theglobeandmail.ca geotargeted to Toronto for 3 months, advertise on Toronto radio stations during key sales periods, run Full Page 4C ads in Toronto Star 6 times a year, etc. Your goals guide everything else.
There are many more steps in this process including defining available budget, customer research, time line for deliverables, and more - but this is a starting point for constructing a quality media plan that will help your company succeed. We'll post more about media planning
in the coming weeks.