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Media Guru

AMIC.COM - Media Guru

Courtesy of Professor Kent Lancaster
and the Media Research Institute.


Key information on marketing, advertising, media situation
Key advertising recommendations--target audience, budget, creative, media

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Marketing Goals

Current sales and market share
Sales and market share goals

Consumer Target Markets (Market Segments)

Why consumers buy (needs, goals, problems, motivation, constraints, perceived alternatives, individual factors, social and cultural factors)

Primary consumers

Demographic characteristics
Geographic concentration
Product usage patterns (individual and total)
Purchase habits

Business Users

Principal industry categories (type of business)
Size--sales, shipments, assets, number of employees
Purchase decision-making process (who, how)


Number and type of distributors
Amount of product distributed through each type

Potential Markets

--consumer, business, distributor groups not currently in market system

Market Opinion Leaders

--individuals who influence target market, but are not themselves target market members

Non-market Publics

(Public Relations audiences)

Internal publics

--employees, stockholders

External publics

--voters, pressure groups

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Physical product/service

--unique factors, competitive differences, problem-solving attributes, physical makeup, varieties, operation, manufacturing process, packaging, capacity, output cost, installation, service, flexibility, warranty, delivery, credit terms

Proposed product/service changes

--advantages and limitations

Perceived product attributes


Selling price, costs, profit margin
Competitive prices and norms
Price incentives
Discount structure

Distribution channels

Structure, volume
Problems and conflicts
Special agreements
Product availability


Promotion expenditures
Nature, relative importance, effectiveness of promotion elements--personal selling, advertising, sales promotion, publicity, public relations

Marketing Resources and Constraints

Capital resources (dollars, physical plant)
Executive and/or sales force experience, abilities, attitudes
Special consumer/user loyalties
Distributor loyalty and support
Patents or technology denied competitors

Market Potential

Market definition

--products and areas included

Industry/segment, competitive and own sales

--size/share (units or dollars), past and expected growth, segment size, distribution and growth, seasonal patterns (percent or index), geographic distribution (percent or index)

Environmental Factors

--likely to affect consumer choice, total market and segment growth, geographic market location, ability to supply market

Economic factors

--level of economic activity, discretionary income, population, technological advances, work force composition, time utilization and leisure

Regulatory factors

--government constraints, subsidies, agencies, applicable laws and policies

Social and cultural factors

--status, work, impulsiveness, expression, rationality, intuition, sex, attire

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Target Audience(s)

--consumers, users, distributors, non-market publics Advertising goals for each target
Attitudes toward product and advertiser
Result of previous promotions
Advertising expenditures invested in each target


Total advertising expenditure(s) for previous year(s)

Advertising expenditure(s) as a percent of sales (units and dollars) for previous year(s)

Competitive comparisons

Budget breakdown

Budget level tests

Messages--to each target audience

Basic selling proposition(s)
Promotional theme(s) and actual ads
Evaluation of message effectiveness
Competitive comparisons


Media mix employed for each target audience
Total dollars spent in each medium
Evaluation of effectiveness of each media mix
Competitive comparisons
Scheduling patterns
Geographic concentration

Organization of the Advertising Function

Advertising Department

Reporting pattern--to whom does the advertising manager report (marketing director,president, sales manager)

Organizational level--centralized, decentralized

Internal department structure

Work mix--specialization, cooperation, vital functions, personnel needs

Organizational pattern--functional, product geographic, customer

Qualifications of advertising manager and subordinates

Outside specialists--availability, economic factors, control of staff specialists

Characteristics of relationships with other departments--legal, product development, production, accounting, marketing, marketing research

Advertising Agency

Agency size, philosophy, tenure, product conflicts, special skills, location, record, growth, client turnover, facilities

Functions performed--creative, media, research, merchandising, planning

Personnel--cooperation, compatibility, coordination, available time

Relationship between advertiser and agency

Compensation system--commission, fee, percentage

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Promotional Problems and Opportunities

Opportunities and/or problems which advertising can be used to resolve

Promotional strategy match unique product/service attributes with consumer (market segment) goals, problems, needs

Target Audience(s)

Identify and select potential consumer, user, distributor, and/or non-market prospects

Summarize key characteristics of target which should be considered in developing message and media strategy--demographics, attitudes toward product, consumption and shopping behavior, media habits

Segment potential--total number of individuals/households/companies in the target audience and expected consumption rate

Sales Concept (for each target audience)

Prospect problems, needs, goals

Overt behavior(s), subjective response(s), and situation(s) in which target prospect experiences "problem"

Specific behavior(s) advertiser would like prospect to take to solve "problem"

Benefits--solution(s) product offers to help prospect solve "problem"

Selling points--evidence to convince target prospect to believe and accept product benefit(s).

Competitive position

How proposition differs from those of competitors

Likely competitive reaction

Promotional Strategy

Prospect behavior sequence--actions prospect typically takes in learning of, believing in, taking action on proposition (describe actual prospect behaviors not category labels)

Information--learn-feel-do (awareness, knowledge, liking, preference, conviction, purchase, regular use)




Estimate percent of target market at various communication levels, identify opportunities for improvement

Promotional mix--designed to move prospect through decision sequence.

Packaging, point of purchase
Sales promotion--exhibits, contests, deals, novelties, free samples
Publicity, public relations
Word-of-mouth, observing others

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Marketing Goals--unit and dollar sales, market share

Advertising Goals--measurable effects of advertising exposure

Problem, opportunity
Target audience description
Measurable communication effect

General effect--awareness, knowledge, belief change, behavior
Specific effect--message content in strategic terms

Percent of target audience to be affected
Time necessary to accomplish desired effect
Evidence and reasoning supporting each objective

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Copy Platform

Proposition--concise statement of selling concept

Target audience

Consumer problem, need, goal

Benefits that solve problem, satisfy need, achieve goal

Selling points--product attributes offered as physical evidence product can perform aspromised

Competitive positioning

Approach--how selling concept will be visualized in message(s)

Dramatize prospect problem
Emphasize selling point(s)
Point out unique competitive advantage
Dramatize benefits

Appeal--basic human appeal to which advertisements will be directed (rational, emotional,fear, sex)

Why would this appeal to the target audience?

How would target audience members relate this to their own problem(s), need(s) or goal(s)?

Theme--principal slogan, headline, or other identifying characteristics across all messages and media

Why would this theme appeal to the target audience?

How would target audience members relate this to their own problem(s), need(s), or goal(s)?

What is the mood (feelings) the message(s) should evoke from the prospect?

Product portrayal--how product is physically symbolized, justify

Characters--who or what will be the dominant characters, justify

Shopping information--how to purchase product (where it can be found, price, size, colors, styles), justify

Facilitators--information useful in overcoming constraints to purchase or action (special purchase incentives, payment terms, return privileges, purchase assistance, toll free numbers, coupons), justify

Reassurance--information provided to those who have already purchased the product, justify

Message executions--rough layouts, storyboards, scripts, tapes, mock-ups

Message evaluations--diagnostic information on the ability of messages to communicate (recognition scores, day-after-recall scores, tracking study results)

Activity of key competitors--strategy, sample advertisements, effects

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Target audience--profile primary and secondary audience groups, use variables appropriate to media selection, match with media categories and vehicles which selectively reach prime prospects

Geographic emphasis

Selected markets

Levels of market support--BDIs, CDIs, market weight

Media objectives

How media must contribute to marketing, advertising, creative goals

How messages should be distributed among prospects through time (reach, effective reach, frequency, continuity, number of markets), justify

Creative requirements--media attributes most likely to improve message effectiveness, how do creative decisions influence media choices

Activity of key competitors--budgets, strategies, media and market effects

Media categories which accomplish goals most effectively; within media categories, media classes, sections, dayparts, formats, that should be used--highlight creative, exciting, innovative uses of media

Schedule timing--introductory, roll-out, sustaining, heavy-up, seasonal (lead, parallel), pulsing, flighting, continuity, competitive (neutralize, offset, combat, avoid)

Duration (start/stop dates)

Macro schedule--timing over entire planning period

Micro schedule--timing within segments of planning period

Budget constraints, allocation

Minimum cost of entry for each media category compared with available funds

Allocation to targets, markets, media, months, quarters, campaigns, contingency Efficiency goals--CPM, CPP

Media vehicle options--selection criteria for matching media categories and vehicles with strategy requirements

Probability of message exposure given vehicle exposure

Efficient single/multiple target audience delivery--demographic, product use, life style, ratings, CPM, CPP

Compatible editorial/programming environment, special editions

Quality, color reproduction

Audience and circulation trends, primary versus secondary readers

Geographic flexibility

Production capability, requirements--page size, commercial length, color

Immediacy, news value

Position, location, competitive separation, clutter

Response measures

Marketing promotion support

Quantity discounts

Media imperatives

Page openings, reading/viewing/listening time/days

Qualitative, subjective criteria--reputation, credibility, copy checking, tone, atmosphere, excitement, prestige, leadership, believability, impact

Media schedules in tabular form for each target audience, media category and combination (monthly plan summaries, flowcharts)

Media vehicles purchased within media categories

Time lengths or page sizes

Insertion dates and times

Anticipated costs

Monthly plan effects--reach, effective reach, frequency, exposure distributions, GRPs, gross impressions, CPM, CPP

Yearly flowchart--media categories, vehicles, insertions, total/monthly cost, total/monthly reach, effective reach, frequency, GRPs, CPM, CPP

Merchandising value--ability to promote selected media categories, vehicles

Alternative strategies, obvious strategies not used, justify

Advertising Budget

Total advertising appropriation

Total amount to be spent on all advertising

Justification--reasoning and evidence that support the size of the total advertising appropriation

Ability to support advertising objectives

Method used to determine total appropriation (given, task approach, advertising-sales ratio, competitive parity)

Likely effects of expenditures (awareness, recall, coupon redemption, sales)

Is the budget affordable?

Relation to past and anticipated competitive activity

How and why does the budget differ from previous appropriations in size and relative to sales units and dollars

Is there a need for multiple budgets?

What is likely to happen with appropriation increases, decreases

Budget Allocation

Detail cost estimates
Geographic allocation
Selected advertising media
Message(s)--size, length, content
Target market (audience) segments
Seasonal allocation
Message production

Justification--rationale and evidence that support each allocation decision

Administration--how advertising budget will be controlled.

Measuring Advertising Effectiveness

Define elements and decisions to be evaluated--budget, message, media

Effectiveness evaluation procedure(s)

Specific measurable standard for evaluation

Technically sound and valid means by which actual performance will be measured

Corrective procedures, timing, responsibility

Evaluating Consumer Benefits and Legal Effects of Advertising

Legal standards to be met
Consumer standards to be achieved

Relevant and useful information content

Efficient use of advertising

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detailed numerical and other data (support concise summary tables and graphs in media plan text, presentation)

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