Media Schedule for All Promotional Campaigns

Once you have identified your target publications, and have a rough idea of cost (you can estimate by using the rate card (I usually calculate 60% of the rate card)), you can establish a media schedule. This is a chart that shows which publications you will use, along with the projected run dates.  I typically set up the schedules within a spreadsheet.

When determining the media schedule, you have decided if you will have an ongoing campaign throughout the year, or if you only have the budget to advertise during the launch (and perhaps periodically thereafter). The ultimate decision is the ongoing return–I let the ROI determine the continued investment).

I typically get the greatest returns during the launch and diminishing returns thereafter (and these will require an ongoing promotion to bring a positive direct response return). If the later returns still meet your minimum ROI requirements, and you have the budget, then you should continue the investment.

Media Schedule

# of Impressions

With all of my combined campaigns, I typically try to achieve the minimum number of “impressions” (exposure to your ads, direct mail, SEO, Ad Words, PR, etc.) to get a prospect to buy. It has been my experience that it typically takes 5-7 impressions before a prospect buys. The first time they are aware of your product. The second they take note. The third they may decide to find out more. The fourth they may decide to get it. The 5th time they may actually write down the phone number or URL and the 6th time on they might actually call or visit the web site to place the order. If not available on-line, it may take a few more impressions for them to get out of their chair and go to the store to buy it, or to remember to get it when in the store.

Different products have different conversion cycles, as do different campaigns. Sometimes you may have a hot promotion that pulls on the 2nd impression, other times nothing works. It is important to measure the response from each promotion (pr, direct response, ads, etc.) so you know which is creating the greatest impact and positive return.

Sample Media Schedules

The following are several charts that show what a media schedule looks like (taken from the Sample Marketing Plan Section). Notice I’ve also included the other campaigns so we can see the cumulative effect on the desired number of impressions.

media schedule magazines

Following is a Card Deck Direct Response schedule:


Following is a Direct Mail schedule:

media schedule direct mail

Following is a graph showing the total impressions created from all “paid” promotional activities (excluding PR). It demonstrates the mountain effect you want to have to get attention during the product launch stage and the ongoing maintenance effect.


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