A Planner’s Guide to Building an Effective Media Plan Mid-COVID
A Planner’s Guide to Building an Effective Media Plan Mid-COVID

By on in Strategy

A Planner’s Guide to Building an Effective Media Plan Mid-COVID

To say 2020 has been overwhelming is an understatement. From mandated quarantines to record-breaking unemployment, COVID’s wrath has rocked the global community, both personally and professionally, emerging new consumer habits and behaviors everywhere.

And with the annual season of media planning approaching, media buyers are scrambling to get their insights, metrics, and strategies set. Not only do they need to make the most of shrinking budgets, these plans need to surface the data that can help maximize their reach, ROI, and meet their goals.

So, before pouring that next cup of coffee, consider these suggestions for your next media plan.


Where to Start

There’s a possibility your annual budget may be less than years prior. So, it’s more important now than ever to establish realistic and measurable goals (and ROI metrics) before spending a single dollar on media with a limited budget that needs maximum reach.

It’s also wise to spend some time reflecting. Conduct a post-mortem on your last media plan to help identify which buys or strategies were successful and which ones missed the mark, so that you go into your next media plan with calculated risks and expectations ready to go. Building off this framework also allows you to optimize your media plan and creative to meet, or exceed, your goals.


Testing Creative

It’s also worth noting that before negotiating any contracts, especially new ones with new network partners, make sure you learn what their process is to swap out creative in a timely manner. A/B testing is a must in this day in age so that you can move forward with running the best performing ad for optimal performance.

Understanding your network’s partner creative swap process also allows you to pivot along with a rapidly changing media environment. With the recent influx of brands, networks, and other organizations taking a stand on social issues, it’s vital you understand what steps can be taken to avoid having your brand caught in a PR wildfire.

Of course, it’s essential to have an internal process in place to measure, analyze and optimize your creative before it goes live. If you have the opportunity to nurture your creative campaign, exploit it by making data-driven decisions.


New Habits

New consumer habits and behaviors must also be considered as your media plan framework comes together. Sure, commuter habits are changing and your audience may not be seeing many billboards these days, but what about advertising mediums that you’ve never explored before?

For instance, according to a recent study, there are 20 million more Americans listening to podcasts vs. 2018—a whopping 144 million in total. In fact, 54% of podcast consumers say they think about buying an advertised product.

Where your audience spends their time today may differ from where they were this time last year. In this case, assumptions can be costly, so it’s vital you collect the most recent data before making expensive calculated moves.

It’s also beneficial to have a healthy mix of new advertising mediums, as well as your classics, throughout your plan. It just depends on your target and environment – who your audience is and where they spend their time. Experiment, but save some resources for the media channels and vehicles with a historically strong ROI.

Because habits continue to evolve in our volatile environment, it’s important to keep an ongoing relationship with your vendor point-of-contacts as your campaign runs. Reiterating your goals with your contact will keep both of you focused on finding new insights and opportunities to improve your campaign.

For more information or advice regarding your next media plan, send us a message today.