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Role and structure of a media plan

One of the major challenges faced by marketers and brand managers across the world today is that of positioning the various product brands they manage, differentiating it from competing product offerings, and communicating these differential attributes and the benefits that the customer can derive from these attributes. Marketing communications consists of the messages and related media used to communicate with a market (Fill, 2006). One of the important constituents of marketing communication is advertising, a critical activity of which involves media planning.

Media planning is defined as the series of decisions that is undertaken by a marketer in order to identify the best means of delivering marketing communication in the form of advertisements to prospective purchasers of a particular brand of products or services (Sissors & Baron, 2002). Media planning essentially involves two basic processes, firstly planning a media strategy, which includes, but is not restricted to deciding the target audience for the advertising message to be communicated, and secondly the actual short listing and buying of media vehicles. As can be concluded from the above, media planning is an integral component of the advertising business.

A further £1 million is proposed to be employed in print advertising, with the local newspaper advertisements including inserts with photographs or simply the messages. Here again, the proposal is to split this to £600,000 in national newspapers such as the Times, the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian, and tabloids including the Sun, and the Daily Star. The remaining £400,000 can be used in regional dailies and weeklies again with localized meal preferences being accounted for in the way in which the message is projected in the advertisement. A final £ 0.3 million can be split between Internet advertising, focusing on the utilitarian and pleasure websites that exponents of the proposed target segment are most likely to visit, including high net worth and investment banking websites.

The proposed seasonality / cyclicality of the message is to carry regular advertisements to serve as reminder messages throughout the year, with a burst in the winter months when (a) the higher hunger levels experienced compared to summer and (b) the notion of a quiet and healthy meal indoors with one's near and dear ones can be exploited by the ad campaign. Finally, while the proposal is to not take away from the premium image of the Hovis brand by giving out too many freebies as part of sales promotions, the media plan suggests that a discretionary budget amount be allocated to promos that can be planned to align with the advertisement campaign.

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