How to pick the best media mix for your brand?



A lot of times we get the question, how do you know what would be best to buy for our brand? With so many choices available it can be challenging to pick the right media mix for your next campaign. We have found that taking it back to the basics helps outline the choices to help you reach your goals.


Step one

Who are you targeting? Once you define your target audience you need to think about where they are consuming media. If you want to reach mom who is on the go with little ones in tow, choices could range from TV, radio, billboard, digital, social media, blogs etc. For young adults, digital, social media, streaming radio, mall/movie theater adverting are all great choices. If you want to pinpoint your target further by looking for key point people within an organization, you could look at trade journals, cable, digital, direct mail, or even grass roots tactics. Warning: do not pick things just because you watch them, read them or listen to them. So many people feel better when they can see their ads. If you are in the demo that’s great! Most of the time this is not the case, so try to stay strong and don’t buy it so you can see it.


Step two

How complex is your brand? Are you well known, or do you need to educate the public on your products and services? Honestly; even if you are a well-known brand there is always an opportunity for a storytelling experience. Some of the brands that have been around a very long time still advertise with expanded messages in order to remind their audience of other products and services they have that people may not know about. Or…if you are seeing sales in one area but are lacking in another you may use your advertising as an opportunity to help boost that a little more. Once you decide on how complex your message is you can narrow in on the options you listed for step one. TV, radio, trade publications and blogs are a few samples of long form story telling mediums. Digital banners, billboards, :05’s, :10’s and :15’s are all samples of short form mediums that re-enforce your frequency but allow for less story telling. There is a way to use all these options and they can all be very important to the media mix. Knowing how to flight these is also important. Some brands start with long form before moving into short form later in the flight of their campaign. If you aren’t sure how to do this, you can always ask your media partner or advertising agency and they can guide you on best practices.

Step three

How powerful is your creative? Coming from a media buyer, I can’t express this enough. Your creative message can be a make or break of a campaign. There is a science behind messaging and imagery that needs to be considered no matter what you chose for media options. If you go with short form, you don’t want it to be cluttered. It’s easy to want to put a lot of information on a billboard but put yourself in the shoes of your customers. When they are driving by the board you want to be precise with what they see. Thinking about your creative will help you narrow in even further on your choices from step one.


Step four

Figure out how many potential customers you need in order to be successful. Did you notice I didn’t say to decide what you want to spend? A lot of people will start by selecting their budget. Although it is good to have a range in mind, you could miss out on some amazing opportunities if you don’t keep your eye on the goal. You know how many prospective customers you need in a desired time frame for you to keep the numbers going in the right direction. Once you know that you can decide how much media needs to be out there to help you get the word out. Look at your impressions, reach and frequency in the buy to get a good idea as to how many people the campaign is reaching. When we are planning media buys at Eleven Twenty-Three, we look at how many people we can reach across our desired mediums to hit our goals for our clients. Once all things have been considered and we have a clear direction of who makes the best sense to partner with, then we begin to reach out to our media partners to negotiate rates.


Step five

Negotiate your rates. By now you should have narrowed in on a minimum of 3-4 media partners that you think would be the perfect fit for your campaign. You will want to obtain rates and look at time periods that make the best sense for you to activate your campaign and gain the desired eyes you need to make this successful. You may only be able to purchase a few of them depending on budgets, but that’s a great start.


Step six

Be patient and don’t forget to track. Advertising takes time to work. You must be careful that you don’t give up too quickly. You’ve done all this hard work to find the right mix, you really need to give it 6-8 weeks for branding to begin. There is something to be said about the fact that McDonalds, Nike, and other top brands continue to keep their name out there. You need to be consistent once you pick your mix.


Media buying can be as complex as you have the time for. Picking the media mix is an important part of this so you really do want to take the time to go through these steps in order to be successful. If you find yourself working in your business and needing help with this, we’re here to help. There are a lot of local agencies that are great and really can save you time and money with their media relationships. Interview a few to find the best fit. (hopefully we are one of them. Wink wink)


Eleven Twenty-Three is a full-service advertising agency in Omaha, NE that specializes in media planning and creative development. We help our client’s find smart solutions for their advertising needs. With capabilities in both traditional and digital media planning, we marry the two and create successful campaigns that see results. Need help growing your customer base? Let’s get the conversation started! Contact us at 402-593-1123 or visit us at http://www.11twentythree.com/


Author: Shana Boyd

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