A few months ago, when I was driving to the airport, I saw a billboard for Kim Kardashian’s company, SKIMS. A week later, I saw the ad on Instagram, followed by a SKIMS clip for “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”

i have a moment i think “SKIMS is everywhere!” That’s because the company has a comprehensive media planning strategy.

When I was shopping for shapewear for my wedding a few months after these events, guess what brand I had in mind? (Spoiler alert: it’s SKIMS.) That’s why, as a marketer, having a comprehensive media plan is important to your marketing strategy—below, we’ll dive into what it is and how to incorporate it into your marketing strategy .

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Using integrated media essentially ensures that all of a business’s different audiences see its ads and are likely to see them across a variety of channels. Deciding which specific channels to use is the task of an integrated media planner.

Integrated Media Planner

An integrated media planner makes all media planning decisions based on the following factors: Buyer personas, competitor analysis, reviews and social listening. From this, planners learn the best course of action that will help their marketing achieve business goals.

They choose the most effective channel, media type (paid, owned, earned, etc.), and consider when and how often content will be shown based on the platform.

For example, you might post an Instagram story around 5-7pm, when your listeners get home from get off work, and you plan a radio show around 6-9am to appeal to commuting listeners.

Either way, deciding when and how often a piece of content appears is an important aspect of an integrated media planner’s job, and this happens during integrated media planning.

Comprehensive Media Planning

Comprehensive media planning is the process you go through when considering the various media platforms you want to use in your marketing campaigns.

A comprehensive media plan can answer the following questions “Who is the target audience?” and “What kind of media can reach these audiences?” For example, if your target is millennials, you might consider Instagram and Twitter as your media plan. But if your target is Gen X, maybe you think a combination of radio and Facebook might work best.

An integrated marketing plan also ensures that the ads you create across different channels are consistent and cohesive with what you’re delivering. For example, when you advertise on one channel, you advertise the same way on another channel, so viewers see a cohesive campaign no matter how they see your ad.

Ultimately, an integrated media plan will use a multi-channel approach, combining traditional and digital methods such as radio, television, billboards, social media, streaming advertising, search engine marketing, email marketing, events or partnerships.

Below, we outline five steps for creating a comprehensive media plan:

1. Be clear about your goals.

Before you start planning your integrated media approach, you must understand your goals.

Like any marketing campaign, you should have Write down SMART goals so you can develop strategies.

For example, maybe you want to reach a certain number of people in a certain amount of time. Or maybe you just want to increase brand awareness in a new market.

Whatever it is, write down your goals and objectives so you can track your performance.

2. Identify your target market.

If your company has buyer personas, maybe even several, then this might be easy for you. Or, you might be deciding who to target for a campaign. Either way, your role should guide your media plan.

However, if you don’t have a target buyer persona, now is the time to create one. Your buyer personas will include demographic information such as income, education, and gender. But it should also include pain points and goals.

Knowing your target market means knowing what’s important to your audience, what their life is like, and what problems they have.

Ultimately, you should know who you want to buy your product so you can provide personalized content.

Additionally, your buyer personas might tell you what type of media your audience likes to consume and what type of content they like.

To simplify this process, consider your customer journey. What are the touchpoints? Figuring out this information should help you develop a comprehensive media plan.

3. Choose from various media platforms to spread your event.

This is the foundation of integrated media planning, as it’s when you decide where to distribute your marketing campaigns.

Do you want to incorporate social media, TV, radio, organic search and blogging into your strategy?

Ultimately, you should make this decision based on research on your target market.You should have answered something like “Where does my audience want to consume content?” and “What type of content do they want to consume?”

For example, your audience may prefer short videos to long ones. Maybe they prefer to read blogs rather than look at pictures on Instagram. Either way, you should strike a balance between traditional and digital methods.

Ultimately, your comprehensive media plan should be audience-centric.

4. Create ideas.

Once you understand your goals, target market, and most importantly, what type of content you’ll be creating, it’s time to create ideas for your campaign.

Write copy, design graphics, take photos. Your creative elements should follow your brand guidelines and tell your story as a company.

To make your job easier, you might consider creating adaptive marketing assets that can be used across multiple channels.

5. Execution and Analysis.

Now that everything is done, it’s time to analyze your approach. Answers such as, “Which channels work best?” and “Am I getting the right balance between the various media platforms?”

Once you have this information, you can integrate it into your future campaigns.

However, don’t forget to make your strategy work. Don’t switch it so quickly that you don’t know how it will perform over time. Some activities include short- and long-term strategies and goals, so it’s important to look at the impact before making changes.

Examples of Comprehensive Media Plans

1. Baboons to the Moon

Baboon to the Moon sells bags for people to use on their adventures, from small weekend getaways to intense backpacking. It used integrated marketing to advertise one of its limited production lines that paid tribute to CDMX (Mexico City).

Example of a Comprehensive Media Plan: Baboon to the Moon

It creates marketing assets for three different marketing channels (email, Instagram, and website) that are cohesive in terms of imagery, copywriting, and editorial style. No matter what channel you reach your audience through, each ad tells a story about the same thing – the CDMX series.

2. NPR Music Desk

NPR runs a segment on NPR Music called Tiny Desk, where artists perform live acoustic sets. It recently launched the Tiny Desk competition for the public, where undiscovered artists can submit original songs for a chance to win a Tiny Desk concert. To promote the contest, it created a combined media campaign on Instagram Story and Twitter (pictured below),

Example of a comprehensive media plan: npr tiny desk

There’s also a humorous YouTube video ad.

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3. GrubHub and Seamless

Food delivery service GrubHub will absorb food delivery service Seamless in 2021 and launch an integrated marketing campaign to let users know about the acquisition. Seamless created an Instagram post, shown below, letting customers know “Seamless is GrubHub” with a unique and catchy slogan.

Comprehensive media plan example: seamless and grubhub

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The companies also touted the new acquisition in the New York City subway, creating an integrated marketing campaign using traditional forms of advertising (physical ads) and digital advertising (Instagram).

subway

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here you are

The best marketing campaigns almost always include a comprehensive media plan. You should strike a balance between digital and traditional marketing strategies. After all, omnichannel experiences are what customers expect and want. Marketing is all about delivering the right message to the right people at the right time, and that’s what integrated media planning is all about.

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