A Simple Media Planning Template

Sometimes making the best business decisions can be the result of good organizational skills.

For most SMBs, the advertising plan can be drawn out quite Drawingsimply, based on three key concepts in media buying—audience, delivery, and cost. The information contained in the advertising RFPs, at minimum, should outline the campaign criteria and media scheduling preferences.

This allows the media sales representative to respond with all the information the buyer needs to evaluate the proposal (read more about automating the RFP process). The media outlet can provide data on audience size during the RFP process (requesting a station’s ratings, for example, or subscriber numbers).

Before that RFP process can even begin, though, the media buyer needs to put together a media plan that outlines the target audience, campaign objectives, budget, media allocation and rationale, and schedule.

That Media Planning Template might look something like this:

Target Audience


  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Income
  • Education


Campaign Budget

Campaign Run Dates

It's also helpful to create a table showing where the advertising budget is allocated and why, as in the chart below.

Media Channel Allocation Description Rationale Target CPM
Broadcast TV        
Local Cable TV        
Local Online        

Planning Data by Media Channel              

Television Daypart Rate/Ad Rating Imp (000s) CPP CPM
Radio Daypart Rate/Ad Rating Cume Persons CPP CPM
Online - Display Location Cost/Placement Ad Size Monthly Impressions Total Cost CPM
Online - Search Total Impressions # of Clicks Click Rate (%) Avg. Cost per Click (CPC) Total Cost CPM
Print Location Per Column Inch Rate Ad Size # of Issues  Circulation  CPM

A variety of mathematical calculations and formulas are used in the planning and buying process for different advertising media. These calculations and figures are signals that point to the best media buy based on budget, audience, and goals.  

The common measurement for audience and cost, across media channels, is CPM (Cost per Thousand people reached). Its formula is simple:

cost/audience x 1,000=CPM

A consistent measurement across online and offline media channels helps businesses and their agencies determine the best vehicles to use in an advertising plan, and report ROI of the campaign post-sales.

These categories and their estimations provide a high-level representation of audience, cost, and delivery in the media planning process.

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