Media Planning and Buying

By Hatch, Cary | ABA Bank Marketing, July-August 2005 | Go to article overview

Media Planning and Buying


Hatch, Cary, ABA Bank Marketing


Q: We've always handled our own media buying, but our ad budget has grown, and we're considering hiring an expert. Is this is a good move for a regional bank?

A: Media planning--determining how much to spend and where to spend it--though pivotal to the success of any advertising campaign, often takes a back seat to the creative. Perhaps it's because people remember the ads, not when and where they appeared. But this is where the rubber meets the road because even a perfect ad falls short if it ends up in front of the wrong audience or isn't delivered as cost effectively as possible.

Media planners combine research, experience and wisdom to determine the number of people likely to pick up a magazine, watch a TV program or listen to a radio station. To develop an effective media plan, they create a profile of the target audience, matching it with the media they read, watch and listen to. Data points in a profile usually include demographics (age, gender, race and income), psychographics/lifestyle (job title, product usage, home ownership and hobbies), and media usage (TV, radio, Internet, magazines, newspapers, etc.)

Advertisers often want to see their campaign everywhere, but that's usually a poor strategy--and a very expensive one. It's better to have lower reach (the raw number of people who see the ad) targeted to the right audience than high reach targeting no particular audience. In practical terms, your bank's size, regional presence and target audience shape your planner's recommendations on advertising channels.

Media planners are faced with many constraints such as money, money, and lastly, MONEY! A solid advertising strategy reaches the maximum number of members of your intended audience, the maximum number of times for the least amount of money. …

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