Just as important as the decision of what to buy is the question of when to buy.
Strategically flighting local media schedules can extend the life of an advertising campaign, reinforce consistent messaging and essentially save money when done properly.
A “flight” is simply defined as the length of your media schedule. A flight could be a week, a month, 3 months, etc.
Common methods of strategically scheduling your media campaigns include pulsing and bursting.
Taking the concepts below and applying them to your local media plan can stretch your dollar and the life of your media simply and effectively.
A burst campaign condenses media activity into short time frames and generates a high impact of the message. This strategy will generate long hiatus periods and is often associated with a launch campaign.
The bulk of your earnings or business may revolve around certain months, holidays or seasons. Use this knowledge to your advantage.
Focus your efforts in the weeks or months you need it most. This will make the time you are on air the most impactful.
Sales may hit a high in the 3rd week of each month, so work with 2 weeks on air, 2 weeks off air. Your ad sales may “break” on a certain day. Consider narrowing your Monday – Sunday schedule to Wednesday – Saturday to increase frequency on the days it will have the most bearing on the bottom line.
Take Seasonality into consideration. Can you capitalize on open inventory in January, when advertising is generally at its most affordable? Is it possible for you to avoid investing dollars in the summer months when new Broadcast TV programming is limited and so are the eyeballs watching it?
A pulse strategy falls between a burst and continuous media campaign, including a consistent media presence at low levels, with periodic increases to boost impact during key time periods.
Having a steady, constant message run continuously, at low levels, allows for accommodating weeks or months that may require higher levels or unique creative.
Pulsing also allows for competitive strategizing. Not only is your message always present on some level, it can be increased when your competition enters the market or conversely chooses to go dark for any amount of time.
Utilize the pulsing strategy when you have a need to advertise year-round and your message is a consistent one.
To maximize your local media dollars, it is important to have an understanding of not only how much money you can spend, but how to spend it in the most influential and efficient way possible.
Creative flighting, established through the knowledge and understanding of your business cycle, can deliver an equitable, if not greater, result than a standard media plan.