How Media Fits in the Planning and Execution Mix

March 29, 2017

Babe Ruth once said, “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success.” It truly takes a team approach to stay on top of all of the trends and technology that impact advertising campaign success. Where, when and how we can best share messages with consumers continues to evolve with new technology and changing media consumption habits. That’s why it is more critical than ever to consider the role of media early in the strategic planning and execution process. Here are some of the questions a media team needs the answers to to help ensure a successful campaign execution:

  1. Who are we trying to reach? And who are they? Gone are the days of simply targeting “Women 25-54.” It takes an in-depth understanding of who the target is, what’s important to them and, most critically, how they prefer to consume information. For example, if we’re trying to reach an active, health-conscious and affluent Millennial mom who cares about using natural ingredients in her cooking and baking, a strong mobile presence within paid search and native content is key. After all, that’s where she does most of her research for meal planning. Newspapers…not so much.
  2. What do we want the target to do? And how can we measure it? Establishing the desired action should be the primary focus of any communications plan. Media can help by identifying the clearest and shortest path to achieving a given action and by determining how that action will be measured. We recently did this with a hot beverage campaign we executed for the United Dairy Industry of Michigan. Success was measured by the number of clicks to view, print and email recipes on a campaign website. As such, we collaborated early and often with our account service and creative teams to implement the correct tracking mechanisms, ensuring success could be measured accurately. Only a fully integrated, team-based approach can deliver this type of strategic execution.
  3. Can the creative execution work within the media plan framework? A seasoned media team can help identify which executions are possible within the budget, or how to modify the plan to effectively execute a new creative idea. They can also leverage relationships with vendors to get exceptions made to standard specs, and can even create a media placement that’s never been done before.
  4. What has and hasn’t worked in the past? A thorough review of previous plans can have a big impact on new plan development. Successes can be built from—and failures can be learned from. It’s often a combination of multiple factors that impacts any given tactic’s performance.


A team-based, integrated approach is critical to creating and executing an effective plan—and that includes making sure media has a seat at the table. Is media integrated effectively into your approach? If you’re not sure, give us a call. We’ll be happy to dig in.



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