Media Planning And Buying 101 | What You Need To Know

March 29, 2021

Every marketer wants to optimize their message and ensure it’s received by the widest relevant audience, at the lowest cost, possible. However, executing a flawless marketing strategy isn’t as simple as creating great content and hoping people find it. Instead, the most effective marketing is done when the right message approaches the right consumer at the right time. That’s where media planning and media buying come into play.

What is Media Planning?

The goal of media planning is to determine the types of media that would work best for a particular business. Identifying the objectives and budget of the organization, then conducting market research, are the first steps to media planning. Once the media planner knows who you are and what is it that you want to achieve, you’ll know what types of media to buy, what mediums resonate most strongly with your audience and how much you can expect to spend.

Media planning is an extension of your own internal marketing analysis. Your buyer personas, your unique selling proposition and target markets will all be important considerations for your media planner. The more work you’ve done on understanding your customers and finding your voice as a marketer, the easier it’ll be for your media planner to find the perfect mix of media platforms for your advertising.

What is Media Buying?

After the media planner figures out the best possible promotional outlets for your business, it’s time to actually procure that ad space. A media buyer is the individual that purchases your desired advertising on your behalf. This can be traditional outlets such as TV or radio; it can also be digital platforms like Google AdWords.

The reason why media buying is so important is that not all media is created equal. You want to make sure your product is seen by your target audience, and you can’t do that if your TV commercial runs at the wrong hours or if your AdWords ads point to the wrong keyword. A good media planner will make a media buyer’s job as easy as possible by showing exactly why a particular ad slot is much more valuable to the organization than any other.

What are the Benefits?

The combination of media planning and buying will set up a business to get the most out of its next marketing campaign. But what else do they get out of the process?


Media buying and media planning lend themselves nicely to your overall marketing strategy. By working with a media planner, you eliminate a lot of the guesswork that typically comes with venturing into new areas of marketing. Now, you can enter these media pathways knowing that you’re on the right track and that your ads will be seen by your desired audience.

This strategy component doesn’t just benefit ad campaigns you’ve already launched. This organized approach will also help you well into the future. A structured campaign today means you’ll be better equipped to spot opportunities for growth tomorrow. With your main pieces in place, you can work with your media planning and buying team to take advantage of flash sales, pop culture phenomena and potential pivots in your strategy.


When you work with media planners and buyers, you know what you’re paying, and you have a good idea of what you’re getting. But you may find yourself receiving a lot more than that.

Media planners provide you with a lot of information, both about your products and your target audience. The implications of that information don’t end with your ad buys. Instead, you can use the knowledge attained from media planning to inform other aspects of your marketing. Your email marketing, your content marketing and your social media posts will all benefit from the insights that your media planning team has unearthed.

You’ll also be able to learn a great deal about your industry as a whole. Media planning is primarily based around market research. Through media planning, you can learn about what other companies are doing and how much they’re paying to execute those strategies. You can then use this information to fine-tune your own approach. This level of analysis would be very difficult to compile on your own, but comes standard with media planning.


No matter where you advertise through media planning and media buying, it’s an extension of your brand. Therefore, it’s important that you ensure consistency in your branding and in your marketing message. Brand consistency across all platforms has been proven to increase revenues by 33 percent. Needless to say, you want a universal front everywhere you advertise, whether it be on your site or on a third-party platform.

Good media buyers and planners will be attuned to your strategy. They’ll work with your social and digital teams to make sure their message is cohesive with the rest of your branding. Consumers will certainly take notice of this cohesion, and it will help them to become more enamored with your brand.


Marketers already receive valuable consumer insights and optimized media exposures from media buying and media planning. But one additional perk of media planning and media buying is close-knit relationships.

As the saying goes, it’s not what you know but who you know. That’s abundantly clear in media buying and planning. The right media partners will truly invest in your organization, becoming an ally on the outside. Not only will media planners find the right mediums for you, but they’ll keep you apprised of the latest goings-on in the industry. They’ll let you know where marketing is going, and they’ll give you every opportunity to get ahead of the competition. And speaking of competition, you may just find yourself with a little bit of off-the-record inside information about what competitors are doing and how much they’re spending to do it.

The value of relationships holds true in both media planning and media buying. Both roles have the potential to give you tremendous insight into what’s really happening beyond your office, making the return on your investment into media buying and planning far greater than you might expect.

Media buying and media planning can do a great deal to move your business to the next level. Careful consideration should be made to ensure you’re working with the right media partners.

To learn more about what to look for in media buying and planning, contact us at Commit Agency today.