Media Planning

Working with Ad Agency Media Planners

It's possible to muddle through the process of choosing where to advertise on your own. But the big question is, why would you? Media planners streamline the process, help you make smart advertising decisions, and can negotiate for better rates.

Although many business owners handle their own media planning needs, it's more convenient and efficient to use the services of a media planner.

A decent media planner has a lot to offer. Insider advice, industry relationships, years of expertise - it's all part of the package.

Media planners specialize in choosing media and ad placements on behalf of their clients. It's their job to give you objective advice about media buys that achieve your business goals without breaking your budget. To be more specific, here are some of the advertising issues you can expect to discuss with your media planner:

  • Media Strategy. A good media planner knows that successful ad placements are a part of a larger media strategy. When you work with your media planner to develop a media strategy, be prepared to discuss your goals for the advertising campaign, your target audience, and how the campaign will support your other marketing efforts.
  • Research. Media professionals have reams of media research at their fingertips. It's what they live for. When you hire a media planer, it's not unreasonable to request market research that shows how effective (or ineffective) a particular media buy will be in helping you achieve your campaign goals.
  • Schedule. You probably don't want to design a media plan that has your ads appearing on random days (print) or at random hours (broadcast). Instead, your media planner will want to strategically schedule your ads for peak times, keeping in mind that peak times will vary from one advertising medium to the next. For example, the best time to advertise on radio is usually morning drive time while the best time for online advertising is early evening.
  • Spots & Rates. Spots and rates boil down to two questions: How many and how much. As the frequency of your ads increases, the cost per spot goes down. However, media owners sometimes try to bury bonus spots in undesirable locations or air times, so you will need to pay attention to spot placement in addition to spot quantity.
  • Campaign Effectiveness. First-class media planners treat every media buy as a learning experience. After you have made the buy, your media planner should monitor its effectiveness to give you a better idea how to approach your next advertising campaign. In some cases, it might even be possible to tweak the campaign before it has expired.

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