Ad placement, media buying, strategic planning – sounds easy, right? Well, it’s not. There is a significant amount of strategy that goes into crafting a media plan for a client. The basics of any campaign are the same. Following these simple steps can help you build a strong foundation for your media plan, and a very loyal client.
Set Your Objectives
What is the goal of this campaign – leads, conversions, sales, website visits? Always make sure you and your client are on the same page, and that you understand their expectations and desired outcome of their investment. Campaigns designed to increase brand awareness are executed very differently from those designed to move product off the shelves. Once your client’s goal is established, you’ve started building the foundation of your media strategy.
Set a Budget
As a media buyer, you have a vision of placing multi-million dollar campaigns, but lets be real…those accounts are few and far between. It’s important that your client have budget expectations, but also that their budget is realistic in terms of reaching their goal. You want them to be comfortable with the hard cost of their campaign, and at the same time you want to ensure the budget they’ve given you is enough to actually provide a successful outcome. If their budget isn’t enough to meet their expectations, then it’s up to you to be honest with them and explain the reasons why. After all, that’s why they hired you in the first place, right?
Choose the Right Media Outlets
Think of this step as putting the pieces of a puzzle together. What pieces, or media outlets, fit together to create the picture you’ve imagined? Make sure you consider all options and that all the pieces work cohesively towards the same goal.
Get the Best Bang for Your Buck
We’ve all heard the saying ‘champagne taste on a beer budget’. The fun thing about media buying is that this can be achievable. When a rep tells you a rate, never accept that without pushing to get it lower. As a media buyer you learn to stretch a dollar to get the most for your client. There is always room for negotiation and its up to you to do it.
Sit Back and Watch the Show…Carefully
Always monitor the results of your campaigns. It’s one thing to place the media, but it’s a whole other beast ensuring it’s providing the results your client expects. With the increasing utilization of digital media, its easy to track and monitor a campaign. If it’s not working, then adjust it until it gives you the results you want; and if it is working, increase the spend to increase the results. For those non-digital mediums (print, billboards, direct mailers, commercials, etc.) use a specific url or call tracking number. Your client wants to see the results of every piece of their investment, so the more you can show successful results, the happier they’ll be.