Mixing Up Media Buying

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It takes several elements to put together a well-balanced media mix, just like a seven-layer dip. While each layer is great on its own, putting refried beans, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, cheese, onions, and tomatoes all together create the perfect game day snack. The same is true for creating the right media mix, while each media channel is (usually) a decent outlet individually, putting together the right mix can increase the performance of all platforms.

Walking down a red carpet to a formal gala with a seven-layer dip in hand probably wouldn’t go over well. But showing up to watch the Superbowl with one would make you the MVP of the party. It’s important to evaluate your entire situation before determining the mix. The client’s budget, target audience, industry, and market are just a few of the factors that have to be considered when putting together a media mix. You’ll need to understand which mediums you can afford, which ones will reach your target audience, how much media is needed, what the effective spend amount is for each platform, and how they will perform.


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But wait! Before you can create a seven-layer dip, you need to decide what layers will be going into it. This dish is particularly flexible as you can simply add or replace one layer with something else. For instance, if you don’t like the taste of onions, you can replace it with black olives. If you’re not a fan of either, you can have a six-layer dip. With the wide variety of both digital and traditional channels, it’s important to know the value of each medium and how they work with the other media in the mix. (Remember in FRIENDS when Rachel made a Thanksgiving trifle dessert and added a layer of beef between the custard and banana layers?) Be sure not to have an outlier channel that throws off the flow or results of the campaign.


colorful media mixLike any recipe, there are key ingredients and those that are used only to enhance the flavors. Too much, or too little, of one thing can ruin the entire dish. Similarly, putting together a media mix can be a delicate task. There is no one-size-fits-all media mix that can be used for every client. Knowing what the right amount is for each medium is something that takes strategy, time, and possibly even trial and error. It’s vital to know how much money it takes to be effective on each platform. For instance, you’d never be able to run an effective radio branding campaign with a mere $100. Some mediums have budget minimums for this reason. Know the point of diminishing return on digital media channels so you don’t overspend. Remember, like a seven-layer dip, to make the mix colorful. Utilize the different media platforms to reach your audience in multiple ways.

Developing a strong media mix takes a combination of strategy and creativity. Each client is going to have a different mix depending on their specific needs. In my experience, the budget is among the most important key factors to the plan. Depending on what the budget is, opportunities will either be open or closed for the media mix. There are many strategies of how to spend the budget and it takes some creativity to get everything to work together. If you are looking to advertise your product or service, reach out to me so I can try to help put together a powerful media mix for you.

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