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Habefast | Blog
15 April 2021 - Reading time: 3 minutes

What is a media plan and how to make the most of it?

Habefast Blog Plan Media

What is a media plan?

The media plan, also known as media planning, is an integral part of the development of an advertising campaign.

It corresponds to the step of selecting the media, the communication supports, the publication formats, the delimitation of the campaign in time and space, and the setting up of the publication calendar, in order to optimize the communication plan and thus allow a better coverage of the targets.

It is the media planner who is in charge of the elaboration of the media plan, often presented in the form of an Excel document for more practicality and intelligibility. The media plan must also be flexible and modifiable to adapt to the adjustments that the campaign may undergo throughout its deployment.

The media plan must allow to optimize the visibility of the brand or the product, and to mark the minds effectively and in the duration, by choosing the frequency and the adequate supports, while keeping in mind the aimed target.

The stages in the life of a media plan

  • Carry out a diagnosis of the advertiser's situation

    To prepare your media plan, study the market to which your product or service belongs. Find out about its structure, recent developments, latest trends, and growth and development potential.

    Also gather information about the advertiser: its history, its organization, or its corporate culture. Then, present the product or service to be promoted, make a diagnosis of the competition as well as a profile of the consumers, by identifying their motivations and brakes to the purchase.

  • Determine the objectives and target of communication

    Determine the objective, the message to be conveyed, and the communication target for the media plan. The objective can be cognitive (to make the product known), affective (to make the customer like the product), or conative (to make the customer act). In order to be relevant, the objective determined must necessarily respect all the conditions of the SMART acronym: it must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and temporal. For the target, establish a buyer persona profile that is as close as possible to the typical characteristics of your core target, in order to best meet their needs and expectations.

  • Set a budget for the campaign

  • Choose the media and supports

    Choose media based on your target audience, the message you want to convey, and budget constraints.

    Determine which media are most popular with your target audience and consider how they use each one. Then, cross-reference this list with the media most appropriate for the type of message you want to convey.

  • Establish a publication schedule including all the media chosen in the media plan

    It should be as detailed as possible and mention all the events of the year to be as relevant as possible. It should also specify the most appropriate days and time slots for each medium, in order to optimize distribution. The calendar presents each action to be carried out, its duration, its frequency, as well as the media used.

  • Reserve and purchase the desired advertising space

  • Produce advertising messages

  • Deploy the media plan

  • Control and adapt the advertising campaign

    Once your media plan is executed, it is essential to measure the return rate and the impact of your different ads on your sales level, in order to make the most of them for your next communication campaigns. For example, you can measure the effectiveness of online advertising with the Google Analytics tool, or conduct surveys to measure the penetration rate of a TV ad on your target.

The different channels for your media plan

What are the different media and non-media channels?

In order to report on the different communication channels, a distinction must be made between media and non-media.

The media correspond to billboards, print media, radio, television, cinema, blogs, podcasts and the Internet.

Non-media, on the other hand, includes direct marketing, street marketing, public relations, sponsoring, merchandising, fairs, conferences and exhibitions, sales promotion, mobile applications, social networks…

How to choose the right media for an effective media plan?

First, identify the existing media and make a list of all the social networks. Then analyze the perception of each of these media by the population and keep only those that reflect the image your company wants to convey through this communication campaign.

Then, think about your persona beforehand, and ask yourself which media your core target has the most affinity with. You should also take into account the budget and the objectives set beforehand, in order to select a media that brings the adequate visibility.

It is not necessary to choose a large number of media to relay your message, the important thing is that they are chosen in a relevant way.

The difference between a communication plan and a media plan

So what is the difference between a media plan and a communication plan? The media plan is part of the communication plan.

The communication plan is a document in which the company’s entire communication strategy is outlined. It includes the communication objectives of the campaign, the different communication targets, the message to be conveyed, the budget and the publication schedule…

As for the media plan, it brings together the different media and supports that the brand wishes to use in its communication campaign, and draws up a media publication schedule to optimize the communication plan.

Sample publication schedule

Do not hesitate to contact our experts if you wish to have advice for the implementation of your future media plan. We can accompany you from the initial reflections to the implementation of performance indicators to measure the return on investment of your campaign.