Steps in Formulating Media Strategies: Defining the Target Group, Market Prioritization, Media Weights, Media Mix, Media Scheduling

18/11/2021 0 By indiafreenotes

Defining the Target Group

Identifying your target audience is essential in developing an effective media strategy. In addition to understanding identifying your target audience is essential in developing an effective media strategy. In addition to understanding your audience’s key demographic traits, really dive deep to try to get to know and understand your target audience. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Where and how do they spend most of their time?
  • What does a typical day look like for them?
  • What are their fears?
  • What are their interests?
  • What media channels do they use?

Have clear objectives for making media

Objectives are even more specific than your goals. Objectives need to be SMART:

S: Specific

M: Measurable

A: Achievable

R: Realistic

T: Time-bound

Market Prioritization

Project prioritization is the process that helps you take on the work that will influence your marketing goals most effectively.

Here are some examples:

  • Your regular content marketing brainstorming process
  • Notes from customer support and sales teams
  • Trending or up-and-coming topics and audience challenges
  • Competitor’s content (or gaps in their content)

Chances are, you have a new idea in your head, inbox, or whiteboard more often than you can handle. This is where a project prioritization matrix comes in.

A project prioritization matrix is a decision-making tool that can be used in any type of project management.

Audience Profiling

After you have identified your target audience and participant communities, create a profile for each that includes details such as:

  • Demographics: Race, gender, ethnicity, age, education, religion.
  • Geography: Local, national, international, remote, urban, rural.
  • Attitudes: How do they perceive the issue; how proactive they are? What would it take to get them to take action?
  • Media habits: What media do they have access to, use and like?
  • Culture: What is their cultural background, what languages do they speak or read?

Media Weights

Media weight is a term used in advertising to refer to the size of the audience reached by an advertising campaign. Media weight is determined by the number and placement of advertisements in media such as television commercials, online ads, or billboards.

Media weight is usually expressed in the form of GRP’s (Gross rating Points), AOTS (Average opportunity to see) and reach of target audience. The main use of media weights is to monitor how well the goals of a communication plan are being reached. There are different ways to measure media weight.


The most important method in measuring media weight is analysis of past records. The analysis is done on basis of television, print and magazines reporting. Television spending’s are reported as TAM rates and print as card rates. TV spending’s can be analysed on the basis of program genre, channel type, time duration and total airtime. The print rate analysis is done on the basis of colour/monochrome, magazine, issue, placement of ad, month, and other variables.

Types of brands

Research carried out by John Philip Jones on the advertising of different brands in 23 countries found that the brands could be classified into two types: profitable brands and investor brands.

Profitable brands

These are brands that are advertised less in proportion to market share are categorized as profitable brands. These are brands which may have advertised many times previously but at present are enjoying higher market share with less advertising.

Investor brands

These are brands that are advertised more in proportion to market share. These brands tend to be newly introduced brands, which have less impact on the audience and are in the growth phase of their product lifecycle (PLC) curve.

Media Mix

A media mix is the combination of communication channels your business can use to meet its marketing objectives. Typically, these include newspapers, radio, television, billboards, websites, email, direct mail, the Internet and social media, such as Facebook or Twitter. Combining these channels in a media mix enables you to communicate in the most effective way with different types of customers and prospects at different stages of the purchase decision, according to Entrepreneur.

Aligning Media Mix with Buying Stages

Entrepreneur notes that the emphasis in the media mix changes at different stages in the buying cycle. When prospects are looking for information, they may read publications covering their interests, search websites, visit trade shows or check product review sites. So, it’s important that you have information in the places they are likely to visit. The emphasis in your media mix would be on raising awareness through advertisements, press releases, product pages on your website, participation in trade shows or comments on social media.

When prospects have expressed an interest in your products, you can use a different media mix to nurture them and move them toward a buying decision. The mix at this stage might include email offering detailed product information, a seminar or a customized sales proposal.

Right Message to the Right Audience

An effective media mix delivers the right marketing message to your customers and prospects at the lowest cost and with minimal waste. If you want to reach a consumer audience across the country, you might use a media mix that includes national newspapers, radio or television. If you wanted to reach a specific group of business decision-makers, such as technical directors, your mix might include specialist business magazines or exhibitions aimed at those directors. To reach a small number of key executives who influence a major purchasing decision, you might include personalized direct mail or an executive briefing session in your mix.

Integrated Media Work Harder

The components of a media mix are more effective when they are integrated. The benefit of an integrated campaign is that the media mix is more effective when the components work together and communicate consistent messages each time, according to MMC Learning. In practical terms, that means using the same creative themes and marketing messages across all elements of your media mix. Prospects viewing an advertisement, website page, direct mail piece or product guide from an integrated campaign would receive consistent messages, with each element of the mix reinforcing the others.

Media Scheduling

Media Scheduling refers to the pattern of timing of an advertising which is represented as plots on a flowchart on a yearly basis. The plots in the flowchart indicate the pattern of periods that matches with favorable selling periods. The classical scheduling models are commonly known as continuity, fighting, and pulsing.

Media scheduling depends upon a number of factors such as:

  • The nature of product: Whether it is consumer usable, durables or industrial.
  • The nature of sales: Whether the sales is seasonal or regular.
  • The product lifecycle: Whether the product introduction is in growth, maturity or decline.
  • The pattern of competitor’s programs.
  • The entry of new competitors in the market.
  • The availability of funds for advertising and marketing campaigns.

Types of Scheduling:

The advertiser has to consider two types of media scheduling problems:


The macro-scheduling involves allocating advertising expenditure and frequency (repetition/reproduction of message) in relation to season or broad picture of business cycle. The macro-scheduling problem concerns with how to schedule advertising in relation to seasonal and business cycle trends.

The broad picture of seasonal and/or cyclical trend is considered. This is due to the fact that the demand is fluctuated as per seasons and/or business cycle. Therefore, it is desirable to vary advertising expenditures to follow seasonal patterns. Company, as per its calculation, can spend more or less during the season or particular phase of business cycle.

According to experts, advertising does not have immediate impact on consumer awareness, sales, or profits.

So, one should study relationship between:

(1) Timing of advertising and consumer awareness,

(2) Consumer awareness and impact on sales, and

(3) Sales and advertising expenditure.

Advertising timing should be adjusted as per time gap exists between advertising time and its impact. Computer-based mathematical model can be formulated to study these time relations. Advertiser has to decide on advertising time for different types of products, such as frequently purchased, seasonal products, and low-cost daily consumed products. Along with seasonal or cyclical aspect, an advertiser should also consider impact of the past advertising. Many consumers continue buying even without the present advertisement.


The micro-scheduling problem concerns with allocating advertising expenditure and frequency within a short period to obtain the maximum response or impact. In other words, the problem deals with how to distribute advertising expenditure within the given time.

For example, a company has decided to advertise specific message 60 times (that requires approximately Rs. 500000) through daily regional newspapers in a year. Now the question is to decide on which days/weeks/months/seasons the 60 times advertisement is to be allocated. Similarly, the same issue is related to radio or television spots.

Alternative Scheduling Strategies:

A company has following alternative scheduling strategies to decide on micro-scheduling:

  1. Continuous Advertising:

This scheduling involves advertising the message evenly throughout a given period. For example, if company wants 48 television/radio spots, it will advertise 4 times in a month or once in a week, or on every Monday.

  1. Concentrated Advertising:

This scheduling involves giving all the advertisement in a single period. Thus, the concentrated advertising means to spend the entire advertising budget within one flight. It is applicable when product is sold in one season, event, festival or holiday. For example, the company advertises 48 spots within four days during Diwali festivals, 12 times a day.

  1. Fighting Advertising:

This scheduling involves giving advertisement at specific intervals. Company advertises for some period, followed by break of no advertisement, followed by the second flight of advertisement and likewise. Company with seasonal, cyclical, or infrequently purchase products follows such scheduling. Company with a limited fund prefers to advertise during a specific season or festival only.

  1. Pulsing Advertising:

This scheduling is the combination of both continuous and fighting advertisements. It includes continuous advertising at low-weight level, reinforced periodically by waves of heavier activity. In other words, the company spends certain portion of advertising fund for continuous advertising, and the remaining fund for fighting advertisement.

For example, the company may advertise once in a day with a brief advertisement message. And, its detail advertisement appears for a week regularly after every three months. This timing is preferred by the financially sound companies.

Factors Affecting Advertising Scheduling:

The allocation of advertising expenditure/frequency over time depends on advertising objectives, nature of product, type of target customers, distribution channel, and other relevant marketing factors. But, mostly, following five factors are considered to decide on the timing pattern.


It shows the rate at which new buyers enter the market. The rule is, the higher the rate of buyer turnover, the more continuous the advertisement should be.

Purchase Frequency:

It shows the number of times during the specific period that the average buyer buys the product. The common rule is, the higher the purchase frequency, the more continuous the advertisement should be.

Forgetting Rate:

It shows the rate at which the buyer forgets the brand. The rule is, the higher the forgetting rate, the more continuous the advertisement should be.

Financial Condition of Company:

It shows an ability of a company to spend for advertisement. The rule is, the more is the ability to spend, the more continuous the advertisement will be.

Level of Competition:

Company facing a severe market competition will opt for more continuous advertisement through multiple media. The rule is, the more is the intensity of competition, the higher the frequency of advertisement will be.