Media Planning and Strategy: Media Types and their Characteristics

Media Planning

Media planning is the process of identifying and selecting media outlets – mainly newspapers, magazines, websites, TV and radio stations, and outdoor placement – in which to place paid advertisements. The person responsible for evaluating the many media options and strategizing campaigns to support a particular product, service, or brand is called a media planner. Media planners typically are employed by advertising agencies.

Creating a Media Plan

The goal when creating a media plan is to reach target customers – those who are most likely to buy from you, at the exact moment that they have decided to buy. Using advertising, you can educate and inform those likely customers, to make them aware of your business and to persuade them to buy a particular product from you rather than another business.

To make that happen as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, it is important to weigh the following when developing your media plan:

  • Reach: One of the two most important factors to consider, reach is the number of people you want to get in front of during a particular timeframe, such as a week or a month.
  • Frequency: The second most important factor is frequency, which is the number of times your target customers will see your ad. Obviously, the higher the number, the better, but cost is also a factor. For example, you may want to run an ad daily in your local newspaper, but the cost for such a purchase may exceed your annual budget.
  • Cost-per-thousand: One way to measure the cost of advertising is to divide the total cost of advertising in a particular outlet by the media’s thousands of customers, to get the cost-per-thousand value. For newspapers and magazines, you’d divide the cost by total subscribers. For blogs, you’d divide by subscribers.
  • Selectivity: Depending on how targeted your product is, you may want a measure of how well the media outlet reaches your particular prospect. For example, advertising Rolls Royces through the local newspaper will attract attention, but what percent of the newspaper’s subscribers fall into the target market of prospects likely to buy? It might be too low a number to make sense.
  • Impact: How many senses can the media outlet being considered reach? Magazines can appeal to sight, and perhaps smell (with those perfume inserts), while websites can appeal to sight and sound. The same is true with TV. You should consider what senses will make the biggest impact on a customer’s purchase decision.

Media planning is a science designed to generate maximum sales from all the advertising your company invests in.

Media Strategy

Media strategy can be defined as the usage of an appropriate media mix in order to achieve desired and optimum outcomes from the advertising campaign. It plays a key role in advertising campaigns. The objective of Media Strategy is not just about procuring customers for their product or services but also focusses on placing a right message towards the right people at the right time and ensuring that the message is relevant and persuasive. Media Strategy is designed to achieve the above mentioned target but the budget is always kept in mind.

Types of Media

Modern media comes in many different formats, including print media (books, magazines, and newspapers), television, movies, video games, music, cell phones, various kinds of software, and the Internet. Each type of media involves both content, and also a device or object through which that content is delivered.

(i) Print Media

Print media also include telephone directories, books, notebooks, reports, community and professional directories, bus or railway tickets and timetables, and special publications on the special events by schools, colleges, universities, local bodies, cooperative societies, companies, or governments.

Local manufacturers, professionals, dealers, retailers, etc., mostly prefer these media to advertise their products. This set of media is relatively cheaper. Most of these print media are used by many people and have long life compared to magazines and newspapers. Further, more selective advertisement is possible. Such print media are more or less similar to newspapers and magazines. (ii) Newspapers

Newspapers are a popular medium to contact or inform a large number of customers. Newspapers may be morning or evening; may be in English, Hindi or in other regional languages; may be daily or weekly; may be local, regional or national; or may be routine or special edition.

The company should consider circulation, language, geographical coverage, price, credibility, costs of buying space, and quality of printing while selecting a suitable newspaper. Pictures, slogans, figures, charts, etc., can be used. Company can used multi-coloured advertisement, too.

(iii) Magazines

Magazine is another popular and wisely used advertising medium. It is similar to newspapers with regard to many aspects. To consumers, magazines are treated as source of information and entertainment. A large variety of magazines or periodicals are published weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annually.

Magazines are also published by religious and social organisations, schools, colleges, university or educational associations, professional and commercial associations, governments, companies, etc. Similarly, magazines are classified in forms of sex, age, profession, industry, entertainment, and so forth. Based on customer characteristics, a proper magazine should be selected for publishing advertising message.

(iv) Outdoor or Mural Media

Nowadays, outdoor advertising media are widely used for almost all types of goods and services. Outdoor media are excessively used by manufacturers and dealers, hotels, restaurants, academic institutions, airways, banks, insurance, etc.

Cold drinks, cements, cigarettes, petroleum products, and cosmetics products widely use these media for advertisement. They are also known as mural media. Those companies, which are not in position to spend huge amount on television, radio, newspapers or magazines, may opt for these media.

(v) Television – TV

It is the newest, fastest growing, and most popular advertising medium. It is a powerful medium for entertainment and advertisement. Now, television set is available at affordable price. Most of TV channels and local cable operators carry commercial advertisements. It appeals the people through the eye and the ear, i.e., it creates audio-visual effect. Products can be demonstrated as well as explained.

Written words, description, and slogans can also be depicted with pictures, package, and brand names and/or products. Now, film starts, cricketers, artists, and modeling personalities are excessively used to advertise different types of products.

Media Characteristics

There are two types of media for communication – mass media and interpersonal media. Interpersonal media is an expensive medium but highly useful for focused reach. On the other hand mass media like television, or radio, or newspaper are cost efficient and characterized by wide reach. Now, let’s examine the characteristics of each of the mass medium.

1. Television

Following are the specific characteristics of television:

  • It is more impact-full as it is the combination of sound, sight, and motion,
  • It has broad reach and mass coverage,
  • It is highly intrusive medium,
  • It has high absolute cost but cost per thousand is moderate.

2. Radio

Following are the specific characteristics of radio:

  • It can reach out to remote audiences,
  • It is most cost efficient among all mass media,
  • Radio can reach mobile population,
  • Radio has local market identification.

3. Newspaper

Following are the specific characteristics of newspaper:

  • Newspaper is a better option to provide detailed information,
  • A publication have different editions for different areas, so there is a geographic flexibility in newspaper,
  • Newspaper have different sections, so there is opportunity of targeting special interest groups,
  • Newspaper are vehicle for coupon delivery.

4. Magazine

Following are the specific characteristics of magazine:

  • There are magazines for sports, corporate, business, women. children, etc., so we can say magazines have specific audience selectivity, as they are specialized,
  • Magazines have longer life,
  • Magazines provide them opportunity for message scrutiny, and geographic and demographic flexibility.

5. Outdoor

Following are specific characteristics of outdoor media:

  • Outdoor media is easily noticeable, and it provides 24 hours coverage,
  • Outdoor is location specific media, it has local market presence,
  • Outdoor media is Cost efficient medium,
  • It can be good reminder media.

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