Whether you want to build brand awareness or promote your products or service, you’ll need to engage in some good ol’ fashioned media planning. It may seem simple to some – after all, how hard can it be to gather some data and use it to align your campaign goals with the right messaging and marketing channels, right?
But media planning is both an art and a science, and the complexities make mistakes far too common. Are you sure you’re getting the best bank for your buck? Are you reaching the largest number of prospects? Will your ROI make you a hero or villain in your bosses’ eyes?
To help you with your next campaign, here are 5 of the biggest media planning mistakes that will kill your campaigns every time.
Having no clear measurable goals.
Before any media is purchased, it’s important you have gathered that data I mentioned earlier to identify exactly who it is you want to reach with your ads. What is their lifestyle pattern and which channels will get your message in front of them? But perhaps even more important is to have measurable goals in place. How many campaigns have you launched without having any clear plans in place as to how you’ll measure their success? Do you want this campaign to increase web traffic by 12%? Increase actual sales by 5%? Or something entirely different? Without measurable goals, how will you know if your campaign benefitted your business?
Not spending money on testing.
Most small businesses are cash-strapped and budget-conscious, and, in general, there is nothing wrong with that. However, it’s important to figure testing into your media budget. You may think this an unnecessary expense, but spending a little money in the beginning can potentially save you a lot in the end.
Not diversifying your media spending.
When it comes to planning your campaign, it’s incredibly important that you diversify your media spending. This will help you cast a broader net to catch more prospective fish. To be safe and smart, avoid spending too much in one area (80% digital – 20% newspapers and OOH), then be sure to monitor the results so you can adjust your approach and better target the most productive channels and regions.
Not looking at the big picture.
As your campaign progresses and those results start to come in, you’ll naturally want to take a look at your spending to identify areas to make cuts. Having said this, it’s important to look at the big picture, and not just the most recent activity. Keep in mind media responses aren’t predictable – that would make your life far too easy, wouldn’t it? Remember that advertising is a volatile business, which means you’ll definitely want to look at in-depth analytics before making any budgeting decisions.
Stopping before really getting started.
Evaluating your campaign’s effectiveness should entail measuring frequency. Otherwise you may cut a campaign’s life short right as it’s beginning to gain momentum and make some real progress. By analyzing frequency you’ll be sure to pick up on the signals that give you a head’s up that things are progressing nicely.
Don’t fall victim to these common media planning mistakes. By clearly defining your goals, testing for effectiveness, diversifying your media spend, looking at the bigger picture and analyzing thoroughly before making any cuts, you can improve your campaign’s odds of success.