The days of the mixtape or burnt CD may be long gone for most, but thanks to services like Spotify, creating a playlist still allows us to pull together a collection of songs to convey our feelings or boost our mood.
A similar activity we partake in to convey a message or encourage an action is building a media plan. (I’m like a yoga instructor; I stretch to make these analogies fit.) Yes, your media plan is more than a list of media outlets and the cost of placing ads to them. Your media plan plays a major role in delivering your message and motivating your customers to take action.
And just like building a playlist that will make an impact, there are similar steps involved in creating your media plan.
When you start a new playlist you need to ask yourself, “Why am I making this playlist?” Oftentimes the answer to that questions is, “I’m procrastinating” or “I’m really bored and my only other option is cleaning.” There are also times when you want yourself or someone else to feel a certain way when listening to it.
Maybe you want to convey your love to someone with a list of songs that are sure to spark that next step in your relationship (If so, may I suggest anything from the Time Life Ultimate Love Song Collection?) or maybe you're using it as a way to reminisce about the the mid-2000s pop punk scene.
Similarly, your media plan should be based on the message you are trying to convey to your audience. Why are you building this media plan to begin with? Keep your end goal in mind when selecting your vehicles and make sure they are able to carry that message and push toward that goal.
Without understanding why you’re doing something, you won’t know when it’s complete and you won’t know if it was effective.
Deliver Your Message to the Right Person
Since we’ve covered why you’re making a playlist, it’s time to determine who you’re making it for. Most of the time you’re making the playlist for yourself, which makes things easy when determining what songs you’ll enjoy. Other times though, you’re making a playlist for a specific person or group of people.
Understanding the person who will ultimately be listening to your playlist will help you understand what they enjoy and what make get their attention. Likewise, when creating a media plan, you want to understand your audience and the vehicles they most often use. If you don’t understand them, you’re sending your message out into spaces that might fall on deaf ears.
Knowing what your listener enjoys also allows you to mix songs they know with new songs that might add excitement to their day. Mixing classic media placements along with new placements allows you to experiment with what could work for future campaigns.
Remember the Importance of Structure
When putting together a playlist, it’s important that each song is able to hold its own but also works well with the others. The playlist should work as a cohesive unit while hitting the listener with a variety of songs that all work toward your original goal.
Your media plan works the same way. Each vehicle needs to be able to hold its own, while working cohesively with the rest of the plan. A media plan and playlist that doesn’t flow, won’t be effective.
At the end of the day, you should be having fun whether you are building a playlist or creating a media plan. If you’re not having fun, what was the point in all this?
If you need help putting together your media plan, contact us. We’d be happy to help you get your message into the hands of the right people. We’d also be willing to help you create a new playlist. I cannot stress enough how fun that would be for us.