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Media Planning & Buying Campaign Checklist

The success of your paid media campaign is decided before your first advertisement goes live.

Here we offer a comprehensive check list which direct marketers and small to medium business can use to guide you through all steps of the advertising and media planning and buying process...

 Identify Your Campaign Objective – why are you advertising and what would youMediaScope - Advertising & Media Planning & Buying Checklist like your advertising to achieve?  This can include reasons such as launching a new product or service, combat a competitor or generate sales with objectives generally broken down into 2 key areas -

  • Response a measureable action such as buy, subscribe, enter
  • Brand Awarenesscreate an emotional reaction to your brand

Identify Your Target Market – recognise and build a profile of your primary market or key customer base.  This could involve identifying their common demographic profile, income group and media habits.  You may consider a survey of your current customer base to identify some of these common profile markers.

Gather Market Intelligence - what marketing activities are your competitors undertaking?  This can help you determine where and how you should be advertising.

Define Your Budget – there are several ways to determine an advertising budget from % of net or forecasted sales to how much you can afford.  Your budget should take into account the actual media spend and cost to produce your advertising material.

Other Marketing Channels – you may have heard of the terms – paid, owned and earned media or 'POEM'. This is fairly new terminology but is a very established concept as it describes a broader marketing mix.

  • Paidthe paid advertising component of your marketing campaign
  • Ownedyour website, sales collateral, internal processes, brand
  • Earnedpress mentions/public relations, social media, joint ventures, branded content

Your paid media campaign should be run as a compliment and in conjunction with owned and earned media strategies.

Creative Message – this should fit with your pre-determined campaign objective.  If your objective is to generate response then a strong call to action or incentive to respond should be incorporated into your creative message.

Identify Media Channels – different media offers different features and benefits.  Having determined your target market, campaign objectives, budget and done your competitive homework you can now choose the media channels and market genres which match this criteria.

  •  Buying Guides - comprehensive how-to-guides with practical tips and information on buying advertising within a growing range of media and marketing channels

Request Media Kit Information From Relevant Media – particularly if this is your first campaign you may consider casting a wide net to make yourself familiar with all relevant media options.

  • MediaScope can help you find media options according to your identified media channels and easily contact and request media kits by connecting you directly with over 3,500 media options within multiple channels and market genres.  Search the MediaScope directory or use our FREE planning service

Develop and Send Media Brief – once you’ve assessed media kits and developed a short list of media, you can develop and send a brief or request for proposal (RFP).

Schedule and Book Media – book or place advertising within media which best fits your brief.

Brief and Produce Creative – creative should meet material specifications supplied for each media

Traffic Material – send material with clear material insertion instructions including date of appearance.

Ensure Your Business is Ready – is your business, and everyone in it, fully prepared for the increased sales and enquiries you should attract through your well thought out paid advertising - owned and earned media - campaign?

Measure, Optimise & Report – ensure you’ve developed processes which allow you to identify which media type and media platform is generating your advertising’s response.  Depending on the medium used (ie digital media) you may be able to measure response and optimise your campaign in real time.

Review – analyse final results from your campaign against the objectives you created at the start of the campaign planning process.  This will also allow you to develop insights and strategies for your future media and advertising plans.

This checklist is not definitive and may change depending on your business, market objectives and the media channel your campaign is scheduled to appear in - but this can be considered a broad template.  

Agencies with expertise in planning and buying media can also manage this entire process, usually for a fee and percentage of your media spend. Get in touch with MediaScope where we'll connect you directly to these agencies or see our Guide to Media Planning and Buying Agencies here

Further Resources 

  • Marketing & Advertising Tips for Solo & SME's - an overview of foundation marketing and advertising tactics for solo and sme businesses combining paid, owned and earned media

  •  - Case Study - see how KHD Landscape Engineering Solutions (KHD) - a Melbourne based commercial landscape designer - successfully combine elements from paid, owned and earned media into their marketing mix
  • Media Campaign Templates - MediaScope offers a range of templates to help you through the media planning and buying process


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