The basic definition of the media mix is a pretty easy concept to understand: It is a mix of various media that is used to effectively reach a target audience. Organisations and their media planners carefully check results, adjusting and optimizing as they go. Sounds simple enough.

 

However, beyond this simple definition is one of the most important, and complicated, facets of media planning and buying. Knowing all about the audience and each media format is one thing, knowing how they interact, cross over and will affect each other is something else. The sheer number of variables at work when multiple channels are used makes efficient use of the media mix hard, but successful multi-channel media plans are better able to achieve the reach, frequency and continuity objectives than could be achieved by single media plans. What is more, smart brands know that the cost of additional reach after a certain reach level has been attained (with any one medium) is expensive and that a combination of media is the best way to achieve maximum reach at the minimum cost.

 

Did we say we would make the media mix simple? Sorry, that was a little white lie based on the premise that no one would want to read a post entitled: the media mix made complicated. It isn’t simple and to prove that here are a few of the elements that we consider when we determine the media mix for any one organisation.

 

  • The ideal media mix for different industries/countries will vary substantially.

 

  • Considering the constituent parts, one channel at a time, is easier. A common approach is to retro fit various channels rather than starting with a whole at the beginning. Building an integrated media plan is more difficult. Cross platform media requires an understanding of the interplay between different media, and how they will best reach the target audience.

 

  • Some media channels work better than others at certain jobs in relation to other channels. For example out of the home media is considered to be very effective as back up media during product launches.

 

  • The media environment of today is characterised by hybrid usage of a huge range of media and it is changing every day. Obviously we use far more digital media now than we did a decade ago, but this in itself creates opportunities for greater specialization on both digital and traditional media.
  •  

People in the 21st century are “consuming media through time and place shifting and use a portfolio of media in an integrated format.”* We think it is self evident that brands who want to reach them should follow suit.

 

Simple it isn’t, but this is what we do. We know the formats and we know how they work with each other, for different industries and demographics. If you would like to know more about the media mix or just want us to make media work better for you, get in touch.

 

*Fill, C. (2010) Marketing Communications: Interactivity, Communities and Content. London: Prentice Hall