Media Plan Components
Media planners and buyers are known for the immense amount of research they do before planning and placing a media buy for a client. There are meetings with the account executive and the media reps, email exchanges, phone calls, Google searches, Arbitron data, Scarborough research, good ole’ fashioned hardcopy DMA maps and more. In fact, for most advertising agency account executives and coordinators, the media plan comes nicely packaged and ready for presentation. Sure, there are some questions to answer and sometimes some changes to be made, but the bulk of the work and research is complete.
So, today we wanted to take you behind the scenes to see how the media research translates to each component of a media plan. Below and are some terms and definitions that you can expect to see on your media plan, but first – what is a media plan? A media plan includes the recommendations and a detailed rationale for all media activities and spending for a given client. Information that should be included in a media plan is the objective, strategy, rationale, execution and summary.
MEDIA OBJECTIVE – This is a statement of a goal or goals and should be able to be measured and correspond to the overall strategic objectives of the marketing objectives provided by the account executive, but should not restate them. The objective does not include recommendations for specific mediums. Mediums should not be selected before the objectives and targets have been detailed.
MEDIA STRATEGY – Media strategy includes information such as budget, target audience, seasonality, region, city or market size and other considerations. This strategy will also include demographic information such as age, race and household income.
MEDIA RATIONALE – The media rationale is an explanation of why each medium makes sense for the client based on the stated media objectives. The rationale supports the media objective with marketing facts and states why the mediums are recommended, including characteristics of each and how it will be implemented into the strategy. The media rationale should also state why the media planner chose the specific time periods, sizes, commercial lengths for the client.
FLOWCHART – A media plan should always include a flowchart. This is a document that shows the execution of the plan, at a glance, and includes all of the mediums and timing that placements should run on these mediums.
SUMMARY – This is a simple summary of each of the mediums including period, budget, audience/circulation, length or size, reach or coverage, reach and frequency and total ratings points. Also included should be a chart with the budget by medium.