In most cases, when investing on advertising the largest category of your advertising budget will be your media expenses. This budget is for all the advertising on magazines, newspapers and radio or other and will need a solid plan to manage this investment.
You will need to organize specific tasks to carry out your advertising strategies and set goals for achieving them and the best tool to help you implement these will be an effective media plan. A good media plan generally will start with an overview and lead to more detailed planning and will be of great help in all your advertising phases.
One way to manage media expenses is by allowing the person who is in charge of the budget to agree with all the conditions the salespeople that call are likely to offer. As a consequence ads will appear under various media forms. Once the money for the advertising budget is finished so is the advertising campaign. Although, this is a method it cannot be really classified as a strategic media plan and by implementing this kind of strategy, you can be sure you are losing on a lot of opportunities.
You should carefully plan your media strategy and choose an appropriate course of action. You should start by developing a yearly plan, which lists all the media possibilities both in print and over the air. Once you have planned which media outlet to invest in you can go ahead with the negotiations.
Divide your media planning in sections and take note of all the possibilities and keep it recorded on a book or computer, but think in terms of folders and files to keep the different sections well separated.
Give each section a title and list all the media in which you will be advertising.
· In the first section you can describe your goals for advertising and in which media support they will be inserted. Here you can explain how the goals will be met with a particular plan.
· The next section will describe your particular audience. Here you will collect all important information concerning your target audience. You can register statistics using a demographic or lifestyle code, these are available in trade journals or from professional organizations. Search for information on your potential buyers through articles and other similar tools, paying special attention to a buyer that may be your typical target.
· Another section will be one for strategy. Here you should record all the strategy actions you have taken and how they turned out. This will give you a concise picture of what a particular strategy leads to and will be a guide for your years activity.
· The last section will be dedicated to the budget and calendar. Your media plan should outline how your money should be spend and in what areas as well as when.
This media plan guide will help you execute your various advertising strategies and make the most of your budget throughout the year.