The main purpose of a media plan is to determine the best way to advertise and convey a message to your target audience. A media plan is broken down into four stages;
1. Market analysis
2. Establishment of media objectives
3. Media strategy development and implementation
4. Evaluation and follow-up.
The first phase of a media plan is market analysis. It consists of competitor analysis, market research and a strategy plan. This forms the basic information which is of utmost importance for a successful media plan.
Competitor consists of undertaking an internal and external review and competitive strategy evaluation.
Market research will give the media plan a clearer picture of the target audience.
The marketing strategy plan establishes specific objectives and goals that will solve the marketing problems that have been identified during analysis and research. This entire process helps the marketers to understand what the prime advertising space would be to gain sufficient exposure, what factors affect the identified demographic, and how to promote to the audience effectively.
The second phase of the media plan is the establishment of media objectives. Just as marketing analysis lead to specific marketing objectives, this phase will result in specific media objectives; like creating a positive brand image by stimulating creativity. These objectives are limited to those that can only be obtained through media strategies.
Media strategy development and implementation is the point in this process that is directly influenced by the actions from previously determined objectives. Actions that meet these objectives are taken into consideration with the following criteria;
• Media Mix – A combination of communication and media channels use that is utilized to meet marketing objectives, such as social media platforms and magazines.
• Target Market – A specific group of consumers that have been identified to aim the marketing and advertising campaigns towards, as they are the most likely to purchase the particular product.
• Geographic Coverage – Increased emphasis of exposure to a certain area where interest may thrive, whilst reducing exposure to areas they have less relevance.
• Reach & Frequency – The decision to have a certain message seen/heard by a large number (reach) or expose the same message to a smaller group more often (frequency).
• Creative Aspects & Mood – Different mediums for communication should be considered when developing a campaign. Social media might be more effective to generate emotion than a billboard poster on a main road.
• Flexibility – In order to adapt to the rapidly changing marketing environment, it is important for strategies to be flexible. Such as unique opportunities in the market, media availability or brand threats.
• Budget Considerations – Effectiveness of a media campaign and the cost involved needs to be carefully managed. There should be an optimal level of response from the consumer for the price for the exposure.
The final phase in the media plan is to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan and determine any follow-up if required. It is important to assess if each objective is met, and if they have been successful it will be beneficial to use such similar media models in the future.
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