When it comes to media planning for your brand - Are you smarter than a 5th Grader?

When planning your media schedule for this holiday season, and for the year ahead, seven smart steps should be taken before you spend a single dollar.

Step 1:  Define your campaign objectives.

Step 2: Define your core target audience(s).

Step 3: Define the markets that align with your distribution.

Step 4: Define your campaign success metrics.

Step 5: Define your media budget.

Step 6: Now you are ready to plan your buy…and buy your plan.

Step 7: One more step should be on your list --- one that will make you smarter than a 5th grader…and a smarter media planner today than you were yesterday.  Look under the hood of your competition.  You don’t have to mimic their course, or shadow their media spend, but it might be wise to take a peek at where they’ve been advertising…how much they spent…and how they channeled their money to drive their brand.

There are several competitive media tools available to you and to your agency, including Kantar StrADegy and Nielsen Monitor Plus – Ad*Views.  These proprietary research tools provide media planning agencies with an inside look at competitive media spending by industry, by company and/or by brand.  You can view dollars spent in total, by month and/or by medium.  You can learn how much your competition spent, what media/medium they relied on, and how they flighted schedule(s) throughout the year.  There is a wealth of information you can glean from a competitive media spending report.  

The first thing you should know is that competitive reports are available to you or to your agency for an annual subscription fee.  If you are a member of Toy Industry Association (TIA), however, and through a strategic partnership with Blue Plate Media Services, competitive spending reports are available for a nominal fee.  In addition to pulling and providing timely reports, Blue Plate Media Services will provide a play-by-play analysis of the report and walk TIA members through the report details.  Additional research reports are also available.  For more information on competitive media spending reports, contact Blue Plate Media Services at 908-918-0202 or email info@blueplatemedia.net.

So, go ahead, be smarter than a 5th grader…and take the first step toward understanding your competition and leveraging the power of industry research.   Take a look under the hood of your competition …and be a smarter media planner in the process.  A competitive report can also help you back into a media budget and dissect what your competition is doing to build their brand.

David Becker, President, Blue Plate Media Services

Published 10.25.10