Prior to kickstarting any digital marketing campaign, it's important to have a clear media plan in mind. Media planning helps your team strategize and identify promising digital media execution strategies that will achieve your marketing goals.
In the planning process, you would need to answer some of these questions:
- Who is your target audience?
- What are you trying to achieve?
- Under which channels should the ads be placed?
- How should we allocate our budget, initially?
Before we jump into developing a media plan, it's important to understand some important concepts:
What is a Campaign?
A campaign is an advertising term commonly used to describe a collection of messages describing a singular overarching idea and theme. These messages can be displayed in multiple formats including pictures, videos and texts. Campaigns can be run on different media and ecosystems, and are produced to reach a targeted audience on different devices, over a fixed time period.
Campaigns are always accompanied by a specifically designed strategy in order to meet a set of objectives decided prior to running them.
In order to run effective campaigns, it is important to understand the marketing funnel and determine which aspect of it is most relevant to your business needs.
A marketing funnel is a visual representation of a customer's journey, from when they become aware of your product right down to when they buy your product. The pool of potential customers decreases through each stage of the journey, giving it a funnel-like shape and hence the name.
The top level of the funnel is known as Awareness. At this level, the aim is to gain as many prospects as possible and increase the reach of the company. Prospects that are strangers to your brand will get the opportunity to learn about your company and products. This is where you can get the maximum number of people in your audience pool before they start to be filtered out based on their interests and the need for your product.
As your prospects become more aware of your company's presence in the market and engage in ways such as subscribing to your newsletters, they enter the mid-level of the funnel, known as Consideration. The prospect is willing to learn more about your company and can be shown more targeted ads based on their interests.
The final stage in the marketing funnel is Conversion. Potential customers who reach this stage are mostly high-intent audiences who are the most likely prospects to subscribe to your product and brand. The extent of focus placed on personalised messages to these prospects can be the difference between a POTENTIAL customer and YOUR customer.
Now you understand the customer behaviour across the journey, below is the general step-by-step media planning process.
Step 1. Identify Campaign Objective
The very first step is to clearly list down the goals. Do you want to increase overall brand awareness, or are you looking to drive leads and/or conversions? Check out our Type of Campaign article to learn more about types of campaigns with different objectives that are available on XPO.
Step 2. Identify Targeted Audience
Next, you must understand who are your ideal targeted audiences and how you can best reach them.
Some few points to consider:
- Demographics - age, gender
Below example show different targeted audience groups across the funnel:
Step 3. Identify KPIs
Next, it's essential that you identify a realistic KPI for the objective that you have set in Step 1. For example, it would not make sense if you are evaluating an Awareness campaign by looking at ROAS. It's also recommended to have a primary KPI along with other supporting metrics.
For instance, the number of leads can be the primary KPI for a lead generation campaign, followed by supporting metrics such as cost per lead (CPL), lead quality score, etc.
Below example show different KPIs across the funnel:
Step 4. Build Up Media Plan
Lastly, it's time to build up your media plan. Combine the above details with other campaign details such as media channels, budget allocation, geography coverage, campaign duration, targeting strategies, creative development specifications, etc.
Below example show media channels, budget allocation, and creative messages across the funnel: