Are you stuck in the three-month or one-off media syndrome? Here are six reasons to develop a long-term media plan:

  1. Build Rapport: Consistent advertising establishes mindshare with readers. It creates the image that your organization is stable and has been in business for a long time. Put simply, consistent advertising builds reader trust and rapport.
  2. Frequency, Frequency, Frequency: Advertising with the RIGHT market is a key strategy. Find the right market for your product and advertise as often as possible.
  3. Time Saver: Negotiating and contracting media buys can be a time-consuming task. Building a year-long media plan one time per year will not only save you money and yield better results, but you’ll have the time to focus on other keys areas of your job.
  4. Frequency Discount: Increase your ROI by getting more results at a discounted price.
  5. The Rule of Three: It typically takes three exposures to an ad before a user reads the copy and takes action. If you are testing the ROI of a new publication or marketing campaign, you will need at least three consecutive insertions before you begin to see accurate results.
  6. Momentum: Typically a magazine closes six to eight weeks before it drops. Then it takes another four to six weeks to evaluate the results. This means that if you only contract one ad at a time, you will end up with a three-month gap between your ads. This type of time gap will kill your momentum.

If you are worried about creating materials for all these consecutive insertions, keep in mind that you don’t need to create new material for every insertion. You can and should continue to run a marketing campaign as long as it yields results. New, edgier ads are not always the best way to build rapport with readers. Just make sure you don’t make the mistake of continuing to run an ad that has worn out its effectiveness.

Adapted from an article by Carl Landau. (2001)