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7) PRODUCT’S PURCHASE CYCLE: The steps involved in purchasing play an important role in planning media. A weekly purchase at the supermarket might mandate advertising several heavy flights of advertising during the year. A big ticket purchase, such as an automobile might require strong, even advertising year ‘round, as the purchase is a lengthy decision for the customer. That advertising could be reinforced with intense direct mail and invitations to events for months following an inquiry for the purpose of establishing a closer relationship with the customer.

8) PROMOTION ACTIVITY (DATES & REQUIRED MEDIA SUPPORT): For one of our clients, a manufactured housing marketer, we know that winter is the time consumers look. Spring and summer is the time they "buy and build." So media and creative—magazines, sales promotions, direct mail and seminar selling—are orchestrated to capitalize on these patterns.

9) COMPETITIVE CONSIDERATIONS: With knowledge of competitive advertising activity, the planner can consider scheduling tactics that capitalize on your competitors’ plan. This is especially true if your budget enables you to overpower your competition. When this is not true, the recommendation may be for media that efficiently reaches the audience, but isn’t cluttered with competitive advertising. "Ambush marketing" is also a tool at the planner’s disposal.

10) EXISTING MEDIA COMMITMENTS (CONTRACTS IN EFFECT): Is a contract from last year still in effect? Has the chairman committed to a GTC (Good Till Canceled) contract with a network at which his son-in-law is employed? The media planner must be informed of these commitments to assure integrity of the budget.

Planning an effective media buy presents a labyrinth of complex issues. As media proliferates, as it has with the advent of new cable channels, satellite dishes, streaming media via the Internet and more, so will the complexity of analyzing and selecting media for advertisers. It also presents new opportunities.

Partners & Levit Inc. stays on top of these trends so that our clients receive the economies they deserve. Contact us for more information.

On the pages that follow, we´ll discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each of the major advertising media

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