First, advertising media take up most of the advertising budget. Media time and space are expensive: in a typical advertising campaign, the media costs account for 80 to 85 percent of the advertising budget; the remaining 15 or 20 percent covers research, message, production, evaluation, and profits for the advertising agency.
Advertising media control the bulk of adverting budget, therefore they spend sufficient time and efforts making sure that the media plans are sensible and that the media selection and purchases are relevant and efficient. Typical Allocations for a Consumer Adverting Campaign
A typical advertising campaign budget is divided up for a variety of needs and purposes. Here is a sample advertising budget from a campaign to promote a consumer packaged good. BUDGET ITEM| BUDGET ALLOCATION (%)|
Research, pre-campaign, and post-campaign evaluation | 3-6| Message development| 5-8|
Advertising media | 80-85|
Overhead, administration, agency profits| 1-3|
Source: Advertising Research Foundation. 2002
Media Are Critical to Success of the Brand
Obviously, then, advertising media are critical to advertising success. Advertising success brings with it the achievement of the marketing goals: more sales, positive opinions, increased awareness, word-of-mouth recommendations, competitive advantages, or whatever your goals may happen to be. Accomplishing those goals makes your brand successful, and hanging on that brand success is your success as a brand manager, or as an account executive or supervisor or administrator.
It is the job of the media planner to answer the questions like what competition is doing, who are being targeted, what media are going to be used and why, where it will run, and when it will run, How many of the target audience will see the campaign and how often they will see it and to develop a plan that delivers the creative message to the target as effectively and efficiently as possible. It is a fascinating job that combines marketing, psychology, show business, law, research, technology, and the planner’s sensitive, creative insights into the human condition. It has the planner playing the dual roles of both salesperson and client—sometimes alternating between the two from one minute to the next. In the sales role, planners must convince the advertiser and his or her own agency team that they have developed the most effective media plan. Then with a ring of the telephone, a planner becomes the client of the media sales representatives who want their website, cable television network, magazine, or other medium included on the plan. These are the outward manifestations of the core job of the media planner: to make the most effective use of the advertiser’s media budget.
Media planning consists of the series of decisions made to answer the question, “What are the best means of delivering advertisements to prospective purchasers of my brand or service?” This definition is rather general, but it provides a broad picture of what media planning is all about.
A media planner attempts to answer the following specific questions: * How many prospects (for purchasing a given brand of product) do I need or can I afford to reach? * In which media should I place ads?
* How many times a month should prospects see each ad?
* During which months should ads appear?
* Where should the ads appear? In which markets and regions? * How much money should be spent in each medium?
When all the questions have been asked and the decisions made, the recommendations and rationales are organized into a presentation (usually PowerPoint) and a written document called a media plan. The plan, when approved by the advertiser, becomes a blueprint for the selection and use of media. Once the advertiser has approved the plan, it also serves as a guide for actually purchasing the media.
It would be a mistake,...