Three Reasons to Take a Multi-Layered Media Planning Approach

A view of multiple mountain ranges.

Once a business decides to invest in a paid media advertising campaign, the next question is usually, “Now what do we do?” Especially if a company has never advertised before, the sheer number of media outlets can be overwhelming. Because we’re all media consumers in our daily lives it’s natural to fall back on the types of media delivery that resonate with us personally.

But that is not always the best way to develop a comprehensive media strategy.

Nine times out of 10, before I even walk into the room, my client or agency partner has already prepared a list of media outlets they’d like me to explain to them. One has heard that PPC is really effective and another wants me to discuss the ins and outs of Facebook advertising; a third person wants to run some terrestrial radio so he can hear his ads while he drives to work.

These types of early conversations are natural. After all, in our information-heavy world, you can’t take a breath without being exposed to opinions as to which advertising tactics promise the least waste, highest conversion rates and lowest cost. Today’s advertising options tantalize marketers, and it’s not uncommon to feel like a fish out of water if you haven’t dipped into the advertising pool before.

Seasoned media planners have first-hand, practical knowledge of all the ways different advertising vehicles perform, how audiences interact with the ads they place, and what to expect from a campaign that combines more than one type of media vehicle. Media professionals bring a unique understanding of audience behavior to the planning process based on their observations of how multiple media campaigns have performed over time. The best media planners prioritize their own professional development, voraciously consuming information on media advertising trends and relying heavily on data to back up their recommendations.

Here are three reasons good planners suggest combining traditional and digital media tactics to achieve higher audience engagement and stronger campaign outcomes:

  1. Consumers are not one-stop information shoppers. Throughout a typical day, your target audience will view multiple screens, communicate across several devices and spend time enjoying a mix of online and offline programming. For example, in the Boston DMA, 45% of households use a mix of both traditional and streaming TV. With all of these media consumption choices, it’s crucial to choose more than one media platform on which to serve your message.
  2. All media plans revolve around reach and frequency. A well-planned media strategy provides an adequate range of media delivery and exposure for the messaging. There’s an old saying that a person needs to experience a message 5 – 7 times before they’ll perform a particular action step. Placing ads across multiple media platforms helps to build frequency while spreading the messaging based on the demographic and geographic parameters of the campaign.
  3. Ad creative should be varied and fun. There is such a thing as creative fatigue, a condition where an ad is over-delivered and the target audience tunes it out. With all the options available in today’s media marketplace, it makes sense to promote brands on a variety of platforms via a series of visually interesting and diverse ad units. ​

>Advertising campaigns always perform more effectively if they’re comprised of a combination of strategically-chosen media platforms. and increases the likelihood that your ads will reach the right target audiences more often leading them to take a desired action. Partnering with a seasoned media planner who is familiar with the inner workings of both traditional and digital media advertising guarantees the development of a more successful media plan.

Anne Richardson

Anne Richardson is the owner and media director of Richardson Media Group, an agency specializing in media planning and buying, advertising campaign management, and SEO.


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Anne outside the door of the Richardson Media Group office.

In addition to her role as owner and media director here at RMG, Anne authors the majority of our blog posts and hosts our BSuite podcast. Favorite topics for both platforms include the entrepreneurial journey, sustainability + social responsibility, media planning, media buying, and forming productive agency partnerships.