What is the importance of media planning
Media planning refers to the targeted use of media such as radio, magazines, television or the Internet for advertising purposes. In the process of media planning, the focus is on the question of which types of media are suitable for reaching certain target groups and previously defined corporate goals. In addition, the frequency with which the advertising messages are sent is determined.
All of this happens within the framework of an advertising budget that is narrowed down beforehand. The ultimate goal of media planning is to use the existing budget as effectively as possible - with a view to reach and advertising impact. Terms that are often mentioned in connection with media planning are advertising media, distribution and campaign planning. If it is only about the Internet as a medium, it is also referred to as online media planning. More about this below.
Basics of online media planning 
As a rule, media planning begins with a briefing phase in which important questions are clarified.
- Advertising media: The advertising media transmits the advertising message in a sensually perceptible form through the advertising medium to the target group. The choice depends on many different factors. For example, from the characteristics of the target group, the advertising environment or the costs. The corporate design, the target group and the message as such are also important. Advertising materials are often created according to the KISS principle (Keep it short and simple) or the AIDA formula (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action).
- Advertising medium: The advertising medium (s) are the medium that is used to convey the advertising message. Basically, there are two selection procedures that follow one another. The intermediate selection results in a group of possible advertising media, such as print, TV or websites. The intramedia selection selects an advertising medium from a group, such as a print magazine, a TV program or a specific website. In both procedures, factors such as reach, costs, image of the medium or the desired effect are taken into account. Further, in some cases more complex, processes are evaluation, optimization and ranking processes.
- Contact frequency: In some media, a certain timing is central. When and for how long should advertising messages be "seen" by the recipients. In the print sector, it is assumed that recipients have to come into contact with an advertising medium three times before they are aware of it. Online attempts are more likely to be made to limit the contact density through frequency capping. In the case of social networks, on the other hand, there is the option of increasing the range through a timing that is tailored to the surfing behavior.
- Media control: important quantitative and qualitative key figures can be collected as early as the media planning stage, which can usually be found in the media data of the potential advertising medium. Central KPIs are gross and net reach, CPM, GRP or CPC. It is also possible to use AGOF data (only for the online area). The media control ensures efficient campaign management, but it can also be used to optimize or realign existing campaigns.
Media planning strategies
The briefing phase is followed by the media strategy and the final selection of the advertising medium based on the results of the briefing and the strategy chosen. The success of campaigns and their measurability depend to a large extent on a strategy and corresponding measures.
- Market analysis: Companies know their strengths and weaknesses, their industry and the market that is associated with them. Where is the greatest potential? While small to medium-sized companies can advertise regionally, larger companies often have an advertising budget to be globally active.
- Advertising goals: The market analysis results in the first data that are incorporated into the formulation of the advertising goals. Branding campaigns improve the brand image (or awareness) of the company. Sales-promoting campaigns generate leads and sales. Knowledge goals (brand positions) are also possible. Here brands or products are advertised in such a way that, for example, new company activities, changed portfolios or image goals can be communicated. Each goal has its own key performance indicators to measure success.
- Target group: Recipients are segmented based on socio-demographic or psychographic characteristics. Targeting can - especially in the online area - be optimized for aspects such as the advertising environment, user behavior or semantic factors such as search terms. Personas or qualitative customer interviews also allow conclusions to be drawn about target groups. The target groups are relevant for the content conception of the campaign and the technical delivery of individual advertising media in an advertising medium.
While the quantitative key figures are less of a focus in branding, in performance marketing these are decisive for the success of a campaign. The data from target group segmentation and media control allow campaigns to be controlled. However, aspects such as the advertising medium, the advertising material and the conception of the content should be emphasized if branding goals are pursued. There are also many other possible strategies such as dialog and direct marketing, contextual marketing or retargeting. Many media agencies and companies also rely on a media mix and pursue multi-channel approaches in order to position themselves as cross-media.
After the briefing, the strategic decisions and the selection of the advertising media, fine-tuning can take place.
Importance for online marketing
The systematic examination of the possibilities of advertising and especially of online advertising primarily has the advantage of cost control. Media agencies and companies can use their own budget or that of their customers as effectively as possible with the help of a media plan. There are many customization options within a media plan that can further improve effectiveness and results.
The multitude of criteria that must be observed, however, also requires well-founded know-how and security in the matter. It is precisely the diverse communication channels, advertising media and non-standardized advertising media that make decisions about suitable transport media and formats difficult. In addition, there are new strategies such as content marketing, native advertising or new formats such as video ads and rich media. The medium of the Internet is constantly changing and so marketers have to keep up with the times if they want to create a competitive advantage for their customers through media planning.
- ↑ Media selection modelswirtschaftslexikon.gabler.de. Retrieved on June 22, 2015
- ^ The studies agof.de. Retrieved on June 22, 2015
- ↑ Online advertising planning, campaign and media planning as a strategic success factor strategisches-online-marketing.de. Retrieved on June 22, 2015
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