The Functions of Advertising Departments: Media Buying is usually handled by the media department. Once the target audience has been identified, an agency’s media department determines the most effective way of delivering the message to that target. The media planner is the person who decides which media will be used. The media planner must consider three factors: (1) the number of people to be exposed to the message, known as the reach, (2) the number of times each person needs to be exposed to the message in order to remember it, known as the frequency, and (3) the costs.
The media planner wants to reach the largest possible percentage of the target audience. To accomplish that goal, the media planner must employ the media that have audiences closely resembling the target audience. If the target is very broad, such as the national market for medium-priced automobiles, the media planner will probably select network television, which has a broad reach. If the target is more narrow and specialized, then the media that reach a more specialized audience, such as magazines, would be selected. Moreover, since not all members of the narrow target audience read the same magazines, the media planner might employ a range of magazines to reach a larger percentage of the intended consumer.
The media planner must also determine how frequently the advertising should run in each medium. Frequency is important because repetition helps the consumer remember both the product and the advertising message.
Finally, because no advertiser has an unlimited amount of money to spend, cost is also a factor. The media planner must choose those media that will enable the advertiser to reach the largest percentage of the target with enough frequency for the message to be remembered without exceeding the advertiser’s budget. Once this media plan has been put together, the agency’s media buyer contacts the media on behalf of the client in order to purchase advertising space or time at the best possible rate.
Often an advertising campaign will employ many types of media. For example, to help advertise a medium-priced automobile, the ad campaign may consist initially of national television advertising to raise brand awareness, followed by local newspaper and radio advertising to reinforce the message and to direct consumers to a special sale at a local dealer. The Functions of Advertising Departments: Media Buying Is usually the final stage after all processes for an advert has been concluded.