Media Planning & Buying

If you are searching for the best way to engage and interact with your customers, look no further than media planning and buying. This process ensures that you reach your target market, and aren’t just shooting in the dark in hopes of a valid lead.

How do they work together?

Media planners are responsible for considering the products that are being advertised, the ideal target audience, and the goals of the campaign when making that purchase. Media buyers are responsible for managing the initial purchases and make efforts to improve the performance of the ad(s) throughout the entire campaign execution.

First, what is media planning?

The primary purpose of media planning is to know the best combinations of media available for your business in order to achieve your desired objectives. Our goal is to reach the right audience at the right time with the right message to generate optimal responses and do all this while staying within your budget. Whoo. Easy peasy am I right?

What are some effective points to include in your media planning process?

  • Media Objectives
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Time of Delivery
  • Target Audience Analysis
  • Media Habits
  • Flow Charts

What are the 3 stages of media planning?

1. Conducting market research 

  • Internal Research 

In a nutshell, internal marketing is the promotion of a company’s vision, goals, culture, and mission statement within the organization. The idea behind internal marketing is to earn employees’ enthusiasm by creating an emotional connection to the brand.

  • External Research 

This is a chance to see how your business and brand engage with your audiences and general consumers. Conducting market research outside of your company will give you honest feedback on how your brand communicates with your customers, and how you can better improve your brand to serve them.

2. Establishing your media objectives 

What are you looking to accomplish with your business? What problem can you solve? How can you make an emotional connection with your audience? Define what your goals are, and through proper media planning, and smart media buying, your business is on a straight line to success!

3. Budgeting appropriately 

Making sure that you are sticking to your budget ensures that your brand’s media placements align with your brand’s marketing objectives.

What is media buying?

The media buying process is important because this is how we ensure that your intended audience sees your advertisements. The media buying process involves the purchase of the most desired time slots, on a multitude of media outlets for maximum reach. These outlets can include newspapers, television slots, magazines, radio, and online banner ads. Wherever your customers go, so can we.  

Why is media buying important?

Media buying is essential in digital marketing. The bread and butter of the industry, providing premium advertising at the right place, and price. When strategized correctly through the media planning blueprint, media buying optimizes your campaigns, taking them to the next level of consumer visibility. 

What are the 4 stages of media buying?


This is the planning stage of the media buying process. Creating your strategies, and getting ready to implement them. 


Time to get creative! 


Look at all that data! Scaling is your opportunity to assess how consumers are interacting geographically. Scaling gives you a chance to find multiple ways to optimize your brand. 


As mentioned above, from taking the data you have gathered, it’s time to select and engage with your target audience. 

Media Targeting and how it affects the buying process.

What kind of consumer is your target audience? Do they shop daily, or on occasion? Do they impulse purchase, or research their interests? The more that you understand your consumers, the better you can understand what drives them to make a purchase, and how you can establish an emotional connection between them, and your brand. Media targeting selects your ideal audience and markets your products to them.

The 4 Factors That Play a Role in Consumer Behavior:


  • Cultural
  • Personal 
  • Psychological 
  • Social


Next, we are going to go over how these 4 factors directly influence consumer buying behaviors and the buying process.

Cultural roles in the buying process

Culture matters. Where you came from, and who you have directly influenced the type of purchases you are likely to make, whether you realize this or not. Culture is an important factor to consider when thinking about your products or services. It explains why a product sells great in one geographic area, and not another. Family traditions and the intensity that comes along with that. 


For example, in American culture, turkey is a traditional food for Thanksgiving Holiday. This culturally specific behavior allows companies that produce poultry, along with the retailers who sell it, to prepare for increases in demand near the Thanksgiving holiday. This is found to be most effective in the United States based on analytics and cultural roles. 

Personal roles in the buying process

Personal factors play big roles in consumerism. These factors are primary indicators of what a consumer is more likely to spend their money on. Here are the 5 primary personal roles that play a factor in the buying process. 
  • Occupation  
The nature of the individual’s profession has a direct influence on their buying behavior. An industrial worker isn’t likely to purchase a suit, and an office employee isn’t likely to purchase work boots. Food for thought!
  • Age
Where somebody is at in life really matters. For example, if your consumer is a middle-aged male with a family, he is more likely to be interested in items like houses, family vehicles, property, insurance policies, etc. Verses a male consumer in his early 20’s without a family who would be more interested in items like motorcycles, beer, social activities, etc.
  • Economic Condition 
The economic conditions of buyers help define what they are more likely to spend money on as well. Low to middle-income households primarily focus their purchases on the necessities vs lavish extras. And the upper bracket of households are more likely to spend money frivolously on lavish items, or “unnecessary” purchases add to the basics.
  • Lifestyle
An individual’s lifestyle is something to do with his style, attitude, perception, social relations, and immediate surroundings. While it is important for some to wear high end, or branded clothing, for others it’s not an appealing market, therefore less likely to be profitable if you are a designer clothing brand.
  • Personality
We are all different, and that is the beauty of buying! An individual’s personality plays a key role in their purchasing decisions. We all have our own goals, responsibilities, rights, and interests, how will your brand speak to theirs?

Psychological roles in the buying process

Psychology plays an important part in the buying process. And how exactly is that? We have broken the 4 factors that contribute to a psychological purchase.
  • Motivation 
Motivation is what speaks to the internal needs of your customers. Why are they motivated to purchase YOUR product or use YOUR business?
  • Perception
Vital, this is how your consumer perceives your product or service. How does your product or brand read to your customer?
  • Education
What solution or answer can your product or service provide?      
  • Beliefs
An individual’s belief system has the ability to alter all of the above. What do they believe in, and how does your brand or product speak to them?

Social roles in the buying process

Social and cultural roles go almost hand in hand. Social indicators can impact what your buyers are interested in at the time. What is trending, what is hot, and what is in demand? Staying current with social trends will keep your business ahead of the game. The goal is to maintain your buyer’s attention with relevant information as well as products.

Some tips on media planning and buying from Starfish Ad Age LLC! 

  • Always be willing to learn 

Learning is a great way to enhance your skills and what you already know. Be willing to learn your consumers, your market, your brand, and most importantly yourself. Be forever changing, and always current.

  • Follow the advice from professionals 

We may not know everything, but we sure do know a lot. Media buying and planning can be a lot of work and requires dedication and knowledge on how the digital ecosystem works.

  • Take your time, mistakes are easy to make and crucial 

When you are in the process of planning and purchasing, take your time. And know that while mistakes are quick and easy to make, they can sometimes be irreparable.

  • Be patient with yourself, your business, and your results. 

Hold tight, and know that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Growth is the best part of any business, and all of that comes in due time.