The Ultimate Guide to Media Buying and Planning - PRINTIPY |

A lot has changed in advertising and branding since the advent of digital marketing and social media. There were only the traditional platforms such as radio, print, and TV. Today, placing ads haphazardly doesn’t in any way help a brand grow. 

Brand growth is influenced by strategic media planning and reaching a large spectrum of audiences with a unified message across several platforms. Moreover, there are now more nuanced audiences than ever before, with a large percentage online than offline. 

Digital marketing worldwide amounted to 378.16 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, increasing and not contracting versus the 2019 figure. Brands worldwide make calculated decisions when it comes to sharing their message with their target audience. To achieve this, brands employ both media buying and media planning to arrive at their advertising goals effectively. 

In this piece, we take you on a simple trip to understanding media building and planning, what they are, how they work, and more. 

What is Media Buying and Planning?

First off, let’s understand exactly what media buying and media planning are. Media buying means pretty much like its name, but more strategy and alignment with advertising goals. 

Media buying is the process of purchasing advertising space and time on digital and offline platforms, such as websites, YouTube, radio, and TV, in line with set media plans. Whether the target audience is watching a TV program or browsing through a website, media buyers ensure that they get brands seen by the target audience. 

On the other hand, media planning is how media planners determine where, when, and how often they will advertise to maximize engagements and ROI. This means a media planner identifies and selects media outlets such as newspapers, websites, TV, radio stations, and outdoor placement – which would be best to place paid advertisements and get across to the target audience of brands. 

How does Media Buying and Planning Work in Marketing? 

The media buying and planning process works to achieve advertising goals. In marketing, media planning must come first before media buying. Once planning is finished, media buying steps in to execute that plan. 

The media planning process in marketing operates thus: Conduct market research, state media planning objectives, determine your media planning templates. Implement a media plan and lastly evaluate success.

Once media planning, buying goes into play with three phases in the media buying process:

1. Pre-Launch: In this phase, the media buyer analyzes relevant media decisions. To make decisions, the media buyer identifies the target audience, researches the target market, sets marketing objectives, negotiates media prices, and launches the campaign. 

2. Launch: In this phase, the buyer ensures effective media delivery. He makes sure the campaign is executed as per the media plan.

3. Post-Launch: In this phase, the buyer analyzes the campaign’s result and makes adjustments as needed.

Types of Media Buying (and Their Role in Digital Marketing)

There are different types of media buying where ads can be placed across all channels. Traditional channels include:

1. TV ads

2. Print ads in newspapers and magazines

3. Radio ads

4. Classic Out Of Home (OOH) ads and anything digital.  

However, with the advent of social media, digital advertising channels cover a much broader and more versatile range of ad opportunities, including:

1. Display ads

2. Social media ads

3. Paid search

4. Mobile ads

5. Video ads

6. Digital OOH ads (DOOH)

Based on the advertising goals, marketers combine both media buying platforms to reach their audience. In digital marketing, marketers can picture precisely what revenue they are creating through their media spending. ‍Digital ad placements allow for more targeted campaigns, while traditional ads work better for awareness plays. The right one for any campaign will depend on the goals, budget, and audience. 


Media buying and planning are highly nuanced, with a lot of pressure on acquiring the optimal ad placement for customer experience and conversion. With digital marketing in the mix, marketers can now easily tailor their messages to any set demographic and monitor feedback. 

Marketing Agencies like Printipy are well poised to craft strategies around the brand’s marketing objectives to reach, engage and convert their target audience. Printipy offers marketing services based on industry analysis and research, which comes very handy in media planning. They have a deep understanding of branding and aim to help clients establish a sustainable brand while ensuring their end users attain brand resonance.

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