Monday, October 19, 2009


Outline your activities to begin to calculate your advertising budget.

Your advertising budget consists of the costs of media planning as well as the creation and placement of airtime, ad space, billboards, and online advertising vehicles. This can be the largest part of your communications plan. There are a few ways to figure out exactly how much you should spend but the easiest formula is a percentage of gross sales.

Whatever formula you use, your advertising should increase the exposure of your business. It requires knowledge of your target markets, their behavior and an understanding of the various media options. Start by outlining the different advertising vehicles while looking at reaching as many people as possible. Your goal is to get the lowest cost-per-thousand (CPM) for your target market. Ultimately you will begin to see your advertising budget and a course of action to act on.

Once you have established a budget, you have a media plan based on activities because they are researched and are planned for. You can begin to say no other activities because your budget is exhausted. If you approach it as a yearly plan, you have bargaining power with media outlets to negotiate the best price based on frequency.

Here is an approach to putting an advertising plan together.

  • While keeping the objectives in mind, a media plan should begin to review and recommend the best possible use of the various media outlets. An analysis of reach, frequency as well as cost per thousand (CPM) will help compare the effectives of the each advertising activity. Once the outlets are chosen, you can begin to negotiate the rates, outline the placement and material deadlines. A media plan put together by a professional may be worth the line item in your budget. Media placement can be a time consuming and complex activity. It may make sense to hire a Media Buying Agency to help you make the most cost effective decisions and get you the most “bang for the buck.”
  • One advertising vehicle to consider is broadcast. Does television or radio make sense to deliver your information to your audience? How many spots are needed and are there specific times or programs that make sense. Is it a 30 or 60 second spot? The cost of creating the spot, the frequency over how many channels make up your broadcast budget. Audience measurement from third party research companies, like ACNielsen for television viewership and Arbitron for radio station listenership, will help evaluate each medium.
  • The many types of print vehicles to consider may include newspaper, magazine, trade journal, directory and yellow page advertising. Each category should be evaluated for audience strength. Begin to outline each publication and their ad size. Budget for the creation of the various print advertisements as well as the cost of placement. Use Audit Board of Circulation (ABC) data to verify circulation figures.
  • The vast world of out-of-home can include geographic-targeted mediums like billboard, signage, posters, point-of-sale, bus, transit, arena and cinema advertising. If the media plan includes this vehicle, the creative production and number of “showings” are added up to make your out-of-home advertising line item. SRDS has an out-of-home service with complete information for this advertising category.
  • Companies are shifting their budgets around to include online advertising vehicles like pay-per-click, affiliate, banner, video, podcasts, webcast, e-mail newsletter, mobile and digital editions. The online places can include search engines, publications, industry sites, communities, blogs, white papers and social media sites to name of few. Well-targeted copy and visuals created for this unique medium, as well as the cost of placement, make up your online budget. The cost of measurement and online analytics is generally accounted for elsewhere in the communications plan.
As an advertising agency, Brigham & Rago is ready to help put together an integrated communications plan to keep or capture new market share. This plan may include advertising. We are ready to assist in the media plan as well as the creation and placement of broadcast, print, out-of-home and online advertising vehicles. Call 973-656-9006 to set up a meeting to discuss your next communications project. Visit our online portfolio to see examples of work we’ve created for our clients.

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