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Media Buying Schedule: Planning Out the Year Ahead

Media Buying and PlanningPreparing for a successful future requires a strategic approach. While every company and industry may have different planning schedules, there's a universal requirement for organizations to routinely set the advertising and marketing budget for the year ahead. This planning also includes allocating resources, reviewing previous results and setting new goals.

“Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” – Warren Buffett

Whether you are placing traditional ads, such as print, television and radio, or digital ads, like search, display, native, and streaming, each must be planned and accounted for to ensure you reach your target audience and goals.

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When to Plan vs. When to Buy

When is the best time to start planning? That depends on your fiscal year calendar, but often enough, it lands in Q4. This is a great time to reflect on previous quarters and evaluate the results.

Here are some of the ways we help our clients plan out their advertising for the year to come:

  • Review the previous year's performance. First, we gather data from advertisements and marketing efforts to analyze performance, engagement, ratings and better understand the ROI by channel and platform. This will help us determine where to place our efforts next year.
  • Measure previous KPIs. Within our review phase, we will spend significant time looking at our client's KPIs to accurately measure the company's target goals and objectives. We look at various KPIs, beginning with attribution, customer acquisition cost and social/organic/paid traffic, leads and conversion rates.
  • Evaluate revenue performance and ROI. Whether working with a small business or large corporation, our goal is to promote relevant, effective marketing strategies that actively and meaningfully contribute to the sales funnel and customer experience. By evaluating YOY revenue performance and ROI, we gain actionable insights that allow us to better understand how effective the current year plan was and where we can most effectively allocate funds in the coming year.
  • Determine next year's budget. Every year is different. Understanding our partner's short-term and long-term goals, as well as their growth plan, allows us to customize the marketing strategy to align with the bigger picture. With a firm understanding of past performance and future goals, we can confidently set a budget and plan accordingly.
  • Set and expand on upcoming goals, objectives and KPIs. By setting the right KPIs for the forthcoming year, we can effectively measure success this time next year. Many future goals may carry over from the prior year. Still, within our evolving and constantly moving industry, KPIs are also growing and changing. By discussing these objectives in detail, we can ensure we have the right backend processes set up to capture any newly identified KPIs and understand how these will be tracked throughout the year, then determine dashboarding options, reporting or checkpoint cadence.
  • Evaluate new opportunities. Even if we aim to stick to a similar plan from the year before, we always like to explore new opportunities to enhance results. This may mean new platforms and software to invest in, new digital ad placements or other add-ons to advertising packages.
  • Review expectations. As we discuss goals and objectives, it can be easy for expectations to grow beyond what's realistic or perhaps not go far enough. Regardless, we hold ourselves accountable to the team, providing our partners with a unified understanding of what to expect from their investments and how we plan to deliver.
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Our Process

Once the media plan is complete and approved, it's time to put it into action. With our budget set, media buying begins and is finalized before the fiscal or calendar year starts. Buying media placements well ahead of time also means there's better inventory to choose from, as many companies have not yet selected and reserved placements. This strategy allows us to see the big picture rather than the many individual moving parts. A comprehensive and organized approach is always our end goal.

Media Buying

We find the right fit, combing through opportunities within different channels and platforms as identified in the media plan, considering critical data points such as geography, target audience and avails.

RFPs Review

We will then send out RFPs, assess bids and gather data to identify spot value (unit rates, cost per point (CPP), cost per thousand (CPM), etc.) along with dayparts and spots.

Budget-Conscious Decisions

Our team selects advertising opportunities that keep the budget in mind while also considering industry metrics, like gross rating points (GRPs), average ratings, average impressions, reach and frequency. These ensure the advertising quality and quantity are maximized within budget.

Negotiate & Buy

With the final sign-off from our clients, we will negotiate the media plan terms, create the orders, gain contract signatures and implement.


Throughout the year, we focus on measuring performance, A/B testing, and making incremental improvements appropriate to the fluctuating marketplace and toward the success of your business.

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Strategize & Plan Ahead with Us

We don't just help our clients plan for the year ahead—we take on the heavy lifting to ensure your media placements are purchased at the best prices, scheduled and delivered on time and published as intended. Our team works in tandem with one another to enable an efficient prioritization of platform allocation to maximize growth opportunities. Another benefit of working with an agency? Agencies like ours have great relationships with media companies, allowing us to work with them to secure the most efficient and best performing opportunities on their platforms.

Here at Web Tech, we are a growth-based organization that focuses on maximizing our clients' budgets for the highest performance returns. Having us engaged in marketing growth enables our partners the freedom to focus on operational capacity and handle increased volumes set in place by the strategic marketing plan. Let's plan and grow together.

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