There are many definitions out there for what media planning is and what it entails. We say:
Media planning is a comprehensive marketing and advertising strategy whereby advertising agencies and individuals identify orchestra bought, own and deserved channels and the right time for reaching and impacting their target audience.
When it comes to media planning, there’s no shortage of information to consider if you strive to make your marketing and advertising efforts most effective. After all, think of the time, money, energy, and opportunity at stake when you devise your media plan. Whether you’re trying to gain exposure for a small local business, advertise for a mid-sized company, or promote a large, multi-national conglomerate, there are a multitude of things to take into account and no one thing is more important than the other. What is important, is knowing where to source your information and advice. Whether you’re brand new to the media planning game or looking to sharpen your skills, these 5 resources are your best bet for gaining valuable media planning knowledge.
First up? The 7th edition of the 30+-year-old classic, Advertising Media Planning by Jack Z. Scissors and Roger B. Baron.
Digiday quotes David L. Smith, CEO of Mediasmith, who has called it “The bible” and said, “This is the book you read if you want to know about media planning.” What we love about this book is its honest, comprehensive approach to the very large, very involved task of media planning. It covers everything from recommendations for traditional media advertising – in print, TV, radio, etc – to new technologies – like mobile media, interactive TV, organic vs. sponsored Google Search, online banner ads, DVR and commercial viewing, etc. In this rapidly evolving media landscape, it’s near impossible to find a book that offers the most up-to-date information but this book, with its semi-regular updates, does a phenomenal job of not only staying relevant but invaluable.
Next in the lot? The 6th edition of The Media Handbook by Helen Katz which offers a practical approach to media planning and buying. In its 6th iteration, this book builds on its initial principles for identifying relevant media channels by including instruction for how to improve your media plan in the midst of our ever-evolving technological age. She acknowledges that the way that media is planned, bought, and sold is different than it was years ago and she addresses that by providing an array of rich examples and an analysis of emerging media categories like viral marketing and branded entertainment. This book is the epitome of nuts to bolts. From in-depth explanations of technical terminology and real life examples to instructions for your own application and a collection of resources that will help get you started, this book has most everything you’ll need.
Calling all current and aspiring small business owners! If you haven’t already, pick up a copy of John Jantsch’s Duct Tape Marketing and get to reading. It may be almost 10 years old but his content holds true. Jantsch has an undeniably keen sense of what a small business needs to succeed and he encourages you from the first page to create a marketing plan that sticks – one that will endure. This book encourages you to create a thoughtful plan that will afford your business the longevity it deserves. It also offers you practical, hands-on tools for marketing your business to the most necessary of audiences. Jantsch’s vision for sharing marketing knowledge expanded into a three-part series and has now evolved into a comprehensive course. The Duct Tape Marketing System course includes multiple modules that have all been developed to help you build a most well-oiled marketing machine. From identifying your target market and leveraging media channels to ensuring repeat business and measuring your goals to track efficiency, this system is a godsend for any small business. Learn more about it and sign up here.
This article, from Entrepreneur.com, explores the basics of media planning and is a great read for anyone growing their own business or needing an introduction to the always relevant topic of media planning and buying. Short as it may be, this article packs a lot of proverbial punch as it covers everything from a high level account of why media planning matters to an explanation for how to calculate the reach, frequency, GRPs (Gross Rating Points), etc of a media plan. While the media planning and buying industry is a big one with tens of thousands of players responsible for millions and even billions of dollars of spend, sometimes it’s helpful to remember that some people just need a snippet, not the whole encyclopedia. That’s why this article is a perfect starting point.
Small Business Marketing Kit for Dummies by Barbara Findlay Schenck is on its 3rd edition since its initial publication in 2001. Don’t be fooled (or threatened) by the Dummies series, this book in particular has garnered respectable feedback from the small business and marketing communities. Credited for its breadth of content, from developing a marketing strategy and setting goals, objectives, and budgets to establishing a reputable web presence, this book is a great resource for anyone getting into business. With detailed analysis and instruction for how to select and manage your company’s desired media mix, let Small Business Marketing Kit for Dummies demystify the daunting arena that is marketing and media planning.
Whether you’re an individual or an agency, starting from scratch or already well-versed in the world of marketing and media planning, don’t underestimate the value of keeping informed and organized. Once you’ve set your media plan into motion, it’s a living, breathing thing that needs monitoring. Don’t neglect it. Our software can help ensure that you’re managing, measuring, and revising your media plan in real time so that it’s working most effectively for you.
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