7 Questions to Ask Before Starting A Media Campaign

Chalkboard with questions: who, what, when, where, why, how?Whether you’re using digital channels or “traditional” media such as TV, radio, billboards or publications, you can harness the power of diverse media outlets to help promote your brand and services to new audiences.

The potential danger of media, however, is that it seems like anyone can do it. Anyone can rent a billboard, for example. Anyone can start advertising on social media. Artificial Intelligence tools and eager media salespeople make it seem like if you buy enough impressions, you will see results.

In reality, just like all marketing efforts, a successful media campaign involves strategic planning and thoughtful execution. Before creating ad materials and spending your budget dollars on a new media campaign, we recommend asking yourself some key questions. Each is necessary to consider before launching a successful media campaign.

Key Questions for Your Media Campaign

  1. What product or service are you selling? From the very start, you need to have a strong working knowledge of the product or service you want to promote in your media campaigns. More than how it works, you need to know all of the benefits it offers, and how it differs from other products and services in the market today. Really challenge yourself to understand the importance of your product or service to your audience, and what you can say about it that no other company can claim.
  2. Who do you want to reach? It’s time to pin down who will get the most benefit from your product and service. Who are they? What are their pain points? What are their jobs, interests, and locations? If you’ve talked to us at Scheffey about building buyer personas (specifically) or target audiences (more generally), we’ve likely asked you questions like do you want to target the business-to-business (B2B) market or the business-to-consumer (B2C) market? If you are targeting B2B markets, what industry are you trying to reach with your media campaign? Who is the decision-maker, and what is his or her job title? If you are targeting B2C markets, what demographics do you want to reach? What are their interests? And so on.
  3. What geographic area are you trying to cover? Think about where your potential customers are located.  Do you need to reach a nationwide audience or a very targeted, local neighborhood?  Is there an area where you are trying to build your customer base?  Some types of media are more suited for targeting very specific geographic locations, such as a particular city or radius from your location, while others are better for national campaigns.
  4. Is there a seasonality to your business? Sometimes the seasonality of a business is obvious, and sometimes you need to take a look at your data to see if buyers’ research and purchasing trends match particular calendar months. Remember to consider not just the season when people are buying, but the season when people are thinking about buying and doing research about products and services like yours. Knowing this will help determine when your media needs to be heavier or if there are months that could be skipped altogether. (It’s also good information to know in order to plan for special promotions or sales.)
  5. What have you done in the past? Unless you are a brand new company, chances are you’ve run a campaign or two. How did it go? Whether campaigns of the past have been successful or they didn’t perform as well as you’d hoped, there’s an opportunity to learn from them either way. Evaluate what you did, what happened as a result, what you wish you’d done, and make the appropriate changes.
  6. What are your goals for the campaign? Don’t skip this question! While it might seem obvious, having specific and measurable goals will influence everything from your targeting to your messaging, and it will help you determine next time if your media campaigns are effective or need to be tweaked. Make sure your goals are measurable and realistic for your company or industry. You should be able to fill in the blanks of this sentence: “I will know my campaign is successful if it results in _____ [measurement] by ________ [time period/date].” For example, the first blank could be increased website traffic, increased inquiries, increase requests for quotes, a dollar amount, or a percentage of growth.
  7. What is your budget? While this question seems straightforward, your budget will determine what type of campaign can be created. It will shape how broad or targeted you will need to be, how many different platforms or media you can utilize, and ultimately how many people will have the opportunity to view your ads. Your Media Buyer will work best if you have a budget in mind, or at least a range, though he or she could also make recommendations based on previous experience.

In today’s world, there are a lot of media outlets on which you can advertise, and these channels try to make it easy for anyone to purchase air time or ad space. But if you want to get the most value for the money you spend, having a strategic plan that considers these 7 key questions will help you get started. If you would rather work with an experienced Media Buyer who knows the right questions to ask and the right media outlets to target for your goals, give Scheffey a call. We have more than 25 years of experience delivering strategic campaigns. Contact us or give us a call to get started!