Channel/media planning | Glossary

Image source: Unsplash+ In collaboration with Allison Saeng

What Is Channel/Media Planning?

Channel/media planning is a crucial process in which marketers decide on the best channels, timing, and techniques to deliver their advertisements to their target audience. Media planners analyze various channels, advertisements, and audiences to determine the most effective way to convey a message to the right people. This process ensures that marketers maximize their resources and achieve their desired results.

Channel/media planning is essential in today’s busy and competitive marketing space. Marketers are responsible for providing consumers with correct information using the proper channels to achieve the expected engagement. Lastly, they must be able to tell what time is the best for the advertisements.

Most advertising agencies have media planners who must work with the client organization and the media buyers to create strategies. These strategies must work perfectly and maximize ROI. For that reason, a media planner must have a deep understanding of the organization. They must also know the target audience, media trends, and how to run different media platforms. Formulating strategies, assessing their effectiveness, and making adjustments are part of media planning.

What to Consider When Developing a Channel/Media Plan?

Developing a channel/media plan involves creating a framework for delivering tailored messages to precise audiences using targeted channels at specific times. A well-planned media strategy can help organizations target their intended audience and stay within their marketing budget.

Here are some factors to consider when developing an effective media plan:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What’s the organization’s marketing budget?
  • What’s the conversion aim of the media plan?
  • How frequently do you want people to see the message?
  • What’s the exact number of people you intend to reach?
  • What does success look like in terms of executing the media plan?

What Are the Forms of Media Planning?

Developing media strategies that work best for your brand requires a media planner. This professional decides on what form of media works best for your brand. It has to be within your budget and lead to conversion. Three forms of media are common.

Paid Media

Paid media includes display ads, brand content, and pay-per-click ads. They are the product of the brand’s paid placements. This form of media is the most popular, and it is effective for brands to acquire exposure and increase sales.

Owned Media

Owned media refers to marketing channels that a brand owns entirely. They include social media accounts and blog posts, which are crucial for increasing brand awareness and reaching potential customers.

Earned Media

This is the publicity of a brand through unaffiliated or third-party outlets. Earned media is an effective way to market your brand while staying within your budget. Some examples earned media include word-of-mouth, media coverage, and customer reviews. This type of media is valuable, because it comes directly from consumers. You can use the feedback received to improve the brand"s products based on positive and negative criticism.

Media Planning Objectives

Media planners must ensure the objectives they set out do not conflict with the organization"s goals. Therefore, it is essential to identify the best ad combinations that can achieve specific results. Every brand aims to enhance its ROI and sustain long-term growth, so this is the main objective of creating a media plan.

Image source: Unsplash+ In collaboration with UK Black Tech

Benefits of Channel/Media Planning?

Today"s marketing landscape has shifted, and marketers must leverage different types of media to stay ahead. A skilled media planner knows how to centralize information across various media platforms to optimize messaging and campaigns. As a result, the review process of the campaign is streamlined, making media planning a crucial aspect of successful marketing.

The main benefits of media planning include the following:

Getting Established Processes

Media buying is similar to a trial-and-error game. Having well-defined processes and plans can greatly improve both efficiency and resource management.

Tracking Your Budget

A well-planned budget helps curb overspending and offers better tracking of the finances for strategies. It also helps in making estimates of the ROI.

Understanding and Analysis of the Audience

Most media planning is all about understanding the target audience and figuring out what they want to hear. That helps you in crafting messages that they can relate to.

Testing and Optimization

Excellent media planners use the data they get to establish what worked and what needs to be changed based on the outcome.

Improving ROI

Maximizing ROI is the ultimate goal of any media campaign. That is why media planning is vital in achieving outstanding results.

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Write a Media Plan

Developing an effective media plan requires media planners to keep in mind the needs of their target audience. At the same time, they need to merge the needs of the audience with the organization’s goals.

The following four steps are excellent considerations when developing a media plan.

Establish the Main Objectives and Goals of the Media

Every organization has different goals to achieve through marketing strategies. While engagement and conversions are essential, they are not the only objectives. The goals may vary from one organization to another or even within departments of the same organization. Additionally, an organization may have multiple objectives they want to achieve through a single campaign. Therefore, proper planning is crucial to ensure all the objectives are reached.

When you establish clear goals and objectives, media planning becomes less complicated. At this point, the planner"s task is to conduct thorough research on market trends. Also, identify what the competitors are doing well that you might be getting wrong. Setting up a budget before defining the objectives and planning is essential, as this helps optimize the campaigns.

Establish a Target Audience

Positive consumer experience is one of the best ways of marketing today. With the rise of social media, many brands have grown out of word-of-mouth from satisfied clients. That’s why targeted campaigns work best — knowing your audience is crucial. With the growth of social media, it’s easy to market using specific audience data gathered through search engines and social media activity.

Reach and Frequency

This refers to the number of people reached through the campaign and the number of times a consumer interacts with the ad throughout the campaign.

Marketers often use three approaches to achieve this goal.

  • Continuity: Running a campaign continually for a predefined period of time.
  • Flight: Running ads in alternating periods, which works best for low-budget campaigns and helps in gauging how the ads are doing.
  • Pausing: A mash-up of continuity and flight campaigns. Running campaigns with periodic breaks in between, also known as flights, is ideal for maintaining consistency.

Analysis and Optimization of Campaigns

Developing a working planning strategy requires continuous monitoring and analysis. This drives maximum ROI, because you can track your campaign’s performance and have a general view of how the campaign is doing. It helps you know what is working and what needs change.


With comprehensive and effective media planning strategies, brands can work with facts through data analysis. That way, decision-making is made easy, which improves ROI and conversions. Schedule a demo. Sign up for a free account with us today.

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