Fool-proof tips to make media planning more approachable than ever


Media planning strategies need to be revisited by businesses that are looking to make it in the post-pandemic world, because the tactics that worked in the past are no longer relevant.

30-second summary:

  • Mobile-first approach more important than ever, as global mobile subscribers is expected to become 5.7 billion by 2023
  • Media planning objectives require cross-departmental collaboration for increased efficiency
  • Silos disrupt and complicates workplace communications. 83 percent of executives claim their organizations have silos, and that 97 percent of them are aware that it has a negative effect.
  • Implementation of media plan must be a collaborative effort
  • The best way to measure success of each campaign would be directly tied to each specific goal, the teams that worked on it, and the value to be derived from the media.

Initiatives surrounding media planning are one of the hottest topics for marketers and advertisers worldwide, as they explore ways to make it out of the post-pandemic world in one piece.

The tactics that worked in the past may no longer yield the same results, especially considering consumer behavior has totally shifted in the past year. As such, it’s back to the drawing board for those taking part in media planning. But as with most other types of business-related strategies, it is far easier said than done.

Media plans help determine the best way(s) to convey messages to target audiences. In many ways, they unify general marketing, online marketing, sales, and advertising strategies.

Considering the fact that the first few steps tend to be the hardest, here are some no-fail approachable tips to get started on the media planning process.

First and foremost: Think like a customer

Before starting, it’s important to put the lens of consumer reality on every insight, channel, and anticipated behavior. This is the best way to set the stage for a realistic strategy and approach.

When thinking like a customer, you may realize that the “mobile first” approach would be best, especially when you consider the fact that more than half of all web traffic is mobile, and over four-fifths of time spent online is spent on mobile devices.

The total number of global mobile subscribers is expected to become 5.7 billion by 2023, which is 71 percent of the population.

Create a list of media planning objectives

While many might say that it’s best to narrow down on one objective, the truth of the matter is that there will be many. In some cases, several objectives might branch out of one. In other cases, several seemingly unrelated objectives might eventually meet at one.

One of the primary objectives should be to strengthen cross-team collaboration. Research has shown that of 95 teams in 25 leading corporations, 75 percent of cross-functional teams are dysfunctional because of the lack of clearly defined goals, which ultimately limits the level of success across numerous fronts.

All media strategies will have more depth when properly contextualized with all other relevant components of the marketing strategy. Another objective would be to improve the media distribution timeline in such a way to ensure content is shared in an efficient and timely manner for relevancy.

These join forces in the implementation of media campaigns for social networks that require a streamlined content creation process and pre-scheduled posts.

There are many points to factor (and also research) while listing out objectives and goals, including the following:

  • Communication and media channels to utilize
  • The target market for different channels and/or campaigns
  • Level of exposure for each marketing channel (reach and frequency)
  • Demographics and geographic coverage
  • Budget considerations, allocation, and management
  • Style and creative element, as different mediums require different approaches

Make use of media planning templates

There are many types of media planning templates for different types and parts of the media planning process, from editorial calendars, to social media calendars, to advertising templates, to media design templates, and so much more. These can be created from scratch, or even downloaded from the Internet for immediate usage or inspiration.

The point is that the content of each template ultimately needs to be unique to the organization. The filled templates must help the users of it, whether internal or external, be as efficient and effective as possible through each coordinated effort across all channels.

Collaboratively implement the media plan

Before implementing the media plan, it is important to ensure all parties have all the necessary materials, credentials, access, and information as needed to properly execute the plan. It would also be useful to provide a list of people to contact for specific needs, as well as the details for one central person who can answer general questions on the media plan.

Data silos would prove to be obstructive when it comes to any kind of marketing/sales initiative, especially media planning.

However, it is still far too common in large organizations- 83 percent of executives claim their organizations have silos, and that 97 percent of them are aware that it has a negative effect. Silos disrupts and complicates workplace communications, thereby planting a seed of inefficiency.

Determine how to evaluate success

Countless variables go into media plans, each of which have their own measures of success. In some cases, the goals may solely be an increase in reach, while in others it may be conversions, engagement, or revenue. Sometimes success could be a little more tricky to measure, such as when the goal is to increase brand sentiment.

The best way to measure success of each campaign would be directly tied to each specific goal, the teams that worked on it, and the value to be derived from the media.

As you go through the process of media planning, remember that some campaigns will be more/less successful than others, and there is no such thing as failure so long as lessons are learned from it.



This article was first published on Click Z on December 22nd, 2020:

Fool-proof tips to make media planning more approachable than ever

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Killer Account Management “Stories From The Trenches” | My years as a digital marketing account manager


Organization is the foundation. Some of us, like me, do not have a great memory.
Organization is the key to begin any campaign off on the right foot. Often, we as account managers can get into a robotic function and can then by nature begin to skip some basic steps, such as starting a campaign without testing. Without confirming the post-install events are working. Without confirming to the client, you are going live. Without checking you have all necessary banners and videos.

A simple checklist can help avoid many of the pitfalls that befall campaigns and doom them before they begin, or even just make you appear unprofessional.

Communication is the key to a successful campaign and a happy client. As a wise man once told me, a phone call is better than an email and a face-to-face is better than a phone call. In today’s global economy we often do not have the opportunity to meet with our clients face-to-face, but if you have the chance, seize it. Pursuant to this, we can all make time for a phone call. It is shocking to me how many campaigns run without a proper phone call ever taking place. And the first conversation is a fact-finding mission to discover one thing…

What will it take to make your client happy?

This is beyond hitting the campaign KPI’s, perhaps the client is sensitive to a particular type of traffic. Perhaps they are goal-oriented in beating last years’ numbers. It can be any number of things that are unforeseen. Keep the communication flowing, constant communication will let you see ahead.

Problems, issues, mistakes do happen from time-to-time. If you have open and good communication, these can be dealt with head-on and you can arrive at a solution much faster. In certain cases, it can even be turned into a win if you identify, flag and communicate a problem, more importantly, a solution FAST.

Speed is part of the game. A good AM needs to answer quickly. You don’t always need to know the answer, but a quick reply of “I’m checking, will get back to you ASAP” will always put the client at ease and make them feel they are being taken care of…which they are!

This can also create a situation where the client sees a problem before you, but according to your relationship they will either call/email you to discuss the issue, or you might receive a quick short email to terminate the activity.

If you work with someone for an extended period, the work can sometimes become bland and this threatens you with having a bland relationship with a client. Clients don’t need to be your friends, but the daily grind of life can be tough for anyone. A little sunshine, a little humor, a little music (i.e. send YouTube songs) can break up the monotony of the daily grind.

Another question you should always ask yourself…

“How can you make your client look good in front of his/her boss?”

Sometimes opportunities arise just by being a good listener and sometimes they come from you. Shoot your shot. You can’t score if you don’t shoot. The mobile landscape is full of such interesting media channels and technologies. Learn about them, study them, know them. They will make you look good and professional even if you do not manage them. Passion will take an AM a long way, the clients can see it and feel it and it is contagious.

You might miss 9 out of 10 times but scoring once is better than not scoring at all and is certainly better than not even trying. You can always learn by missing and failing

An account manager can be a taskmaster or a Trusted Advisor. We are not yes/no people. Sometimes a client will respect you more for saying no and explaining why you think they are making an error.

Priorities can change weekly, daily, and hourly. This constantly needs to be evaluated. What is the most important thing for me to begin doing right now?

Be Pro-active

• Ask for regular feedback (without being annoying)

• Look at the schedule

• eCommerce: Black Friday? Cyber Monday? Etc.

• Sports Betting: Champions League? Super Bowl? Etc.

• Who are the competitors? Look at what they are doing and mention them by name. Sharing a competitive report once in while will allow you both to understand the volume and strategy others are doing and act wisely based on that.

• Selling to an existing account is much more profitable and predictable than trying to win new business. According to Bain & Company, it is six to seven times more costly to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.

Ultimately being able to take ownership of problems, and the actions required to put them right will build respect and trust which will deliver great campaigns for both teams.

All of these things combined, plus a bit of humor, and a whole lot of honesty, will allow you to sustain a successful partnership relation with any client

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