In this blog series, we’re debunking some of the biggest marketing myths that hospitality marketers encounter today.
While we’d love to say that we’ve found the perfect combination of investment and tactics for every media plan, that’s simply not the case. There’s no one way to determine budgeting for your media plan. But through a data-driven approach and an understanding of demand trends, you can be confident with your strategy.
When you define your strategy, you’re defining your need areas and areas that must change (increase/decrease) over time with seasons, market demands (or lack thereof), and company demands. It’s easy to confuse a media plan with the strategy; the media spend needs to be based on something other than “that’s what we did last year.” To better prepare for the future, you’ll need to revise your few key success metrics.
Step By Step Through Building A Media Plan
- Establish a ceiling number. A common rule of thumb is to take an average of last three years + “reasonable” percent increase, or last year + “reasonable” percent increase. It’s a losing battle to put together a “perfect” plan, so this will help guide you when things go differently than expected.
- Assess your need areas and acknowledge your non-need areas. Identify which groups or areas need more help than others.
- Pull historic and seasonal traffic data. While your seasonality might not fall along the four traditional seasons, you almost certainly see changes based on the time of year.
- Run through marketing verticals. For SEO, you’re playing a long game. Front-load content in the beginning of the year to be sure you have good summer results. PPC has a much shorter window, but it’s important nonetheless. Awareness still has value and marketing can’t stop even during higher-demand times.
- Allocate your dollars. Use all of the data you’ve pulled to start putting together real numbers. Keep in mind the Three Bucket Approach; you should be spending on branding, testing, and ROI-driven campaigns.
Trying to make the perfect media plan that will last from year to year is impossible. But by building in seasonality and considering several areas of data, you can build a solid foundation that will work for you.