Written By Shar’Day Porter

We’ve said goodbye to Summer vacations, hello to back to school and we’re looking forward to cooler temperatures as Fall approaches. While most brands are gearing up to see how fourth quarter shakes out, media departments are instead beginning to prepare for one of the busiest times of the year, strategic media planning for their client’s next fiscal year. Here are four quick tips to gear up for the quickly approaching media planning season:

Re-read the current year’s media strategy.

It’s always beneficial to take a step back and look at what was originally planned for the year. Make notes of any strategy shifts and optimizations that occurred due to variables such as target audience media usage changes, increase in competition, underestimated political windows and etc.

Review the year to date media metrics across all campaigns.

Depending on what the overall objective was, be it increasing brand awareness or generating leads, it’s important to see how those campaigns have performed so that you can evaluate whether or not it moved the needle. By reviewing it all side by side, this not only gives you the opportunity to find common performance denominators, but it sets you up to see if there were any outlying performers or underachievers against the plan.

Research updated media usage/habit statistics.

We live in a world where media usage is continually evolving. Although any good agency would evaluate and recommend shifts of the plan based on opportunities throughout the year, it’s the perfect time to see how the media landscape evolved within the year. Digital media is not stagnant, nor does it wait for anyone. Reviewing how it’s changed the consumer habits prior to talking with clients will only benefit both parties. There are tons of webinars and articles to help with this effort as well.

Remind the account team or clients.

Most clients have already begun to have the budget discussions with their internal teams, so it’s only beneficial to start dropping friendly reminders that it’s already that time of the year and that you are ready to take on their planning as soon as they have their budgets ready in an effort to not be rushed or on tight timelines towards the end of the year.

Just remember that the key to fiscal year planning is to be strategically prepared so that you have all the needed resources at your fingertips for when the client is ready to talk budgets for next year. These simple tips can set up media planners for a successful media planning season.