3 Tips For New Media Planners : Plan Your Media Like a Pro

By Jen Wang,

As media planners, you must represent your clients and get them the best deal, but you also have to consider the best way to maximize their campaign results. As a former media planner, I know how hard it is to manage the expectations of your clients while trying to make the best decisions on their behalf. I’ve put together these tips to help you develop the skills to be an effective planner. 

Know your audience

One of the key pitfalls new planners make is failing to research an audience before starting a campaign. Often times there is pressure from vendors to follow their advice as opposed to using success metrics and audience research. Vendors tend to promote their own platforms, but that doesn’t mean their recommendations will always be the best option for all of your campaigns. Keep in mind that as the liaison between agencies, marketers and vendors, it is up to you to focus on buys that support client goals. 

Key Questions:

  • Is your audience really where you think it is? 
  • Do I have blind spots or groups I am under reaching?
  • Have I harnessed the potential of my clients’ data and research?
  • Are there opportunities to work with my client on an overall strategy and marketing plan?

Know your goals for engagement

Effective media planning calls for two sets of goals; primary and secondary. In short, the primary metrics confirm that you’re getting what you paid for, and the secondary goals consider additional measures like engagement. While most planners have a media plan that tells their clients where their ads are going to be; an Engagement Plan would tell the client what action you are trying to get people to take, and what you are going to “measure” from that action.

Key Questions:

  • Have you added engagement guidelines to your media plan?  
  • Do you know what actions you are going to measure?
  • Do you know how you are going to assign value to their actions?
  • Are there opportunities to work with your client more strategically to align with their business objectives?

Have a measurement plan

Before you launch any new initiative, you should have a plan that maps campaign success. Consider creating a measurement plan that tracks your success in driving the sales initiatives forward, and also considers variables like targeting, competitive landscape and creative design. Campaign results will not always be black and white and do not always tell the whole story. If you account for multiple variables before your campaigns start, you can effectively plan for your pain points in advance.

Key Questions:

  • Are you driving top-of-funnel, mid-funnel or lower-funnel
  • Do you know how you’re going to measure success beyond a standard level of performance?
  • Does your plan consider success from a holistic standpoint?
  • Do you know what big picture success looks like to your client?


The most important thing to understand is the goal of any media plan is to provide a brand visibility to consumers. These tips will make you more effective as a planner, and will provide you with a foundation to steer advertising efforts for your clients.