Want to advertise? Start with a plan. Developing a strategy around your end goal – what you’re trying to accomplish and who you’re trying to reach – will help you determine how to execute it. Planning your media before purchasing it is always recommended. This helps to ensure you have the right message, delivered at the right time and targeted to the right people. 

One advantage of having a plan up-front is a way to keep you on task and on budget. This also helps ensure you are airing media during your high peak times. For example, restaurants typically do not advertise in January because that’s such a slow period for them, right after the holidays, and their clientele doesn’t necessarily have additional funds for dining out. Lay out your plan visually so you can see the plan as a whole.

Make sure you understand your target audience. Start by researching what medium(s) best reach your target audience. For example, if your audience consumes the most amount of media while on the go, purchasing a mobile campaign would be a good bet for reaching them; print ads may not be. Buying media is a waste of time if your target audience doesn’t see it. You want to understand how your target audience consumes media and what mediums they consume the most (TV, radio, digital, outdoor, etc.). 

If you are buying placements across multiple platforms, you’ll want to have a complimentary plan so the mediums are working together. Integrated marketing communications emphasize the benefits of harnessing synergy across multiple media to build your brand equity.  Start your planning with research. 

If you spend time up front researching and mapping out your media plan, the end result will be more productive.