Planning Your Media Budget

Now that you’ve figured out what your advertising budget will be for the year, who you want to target and when you will run your ads, it’s time to do the real work-what most media planners spend a lot of their time doing. You can hire someone, work with an ad agency or you can do it yourself. A large part of the effort is doing research and evaluations. You look at what options are available and then you send out requests for information. Once all the information is received, then you evaluate each one based on what your goals are.

The media landscape has gotten a lot more complex with so many options. You can determine what will work for your business based on the ad budget you planned. For example, if you are a small business, you probably wouldn’t have the budget nor would it make sense to run Olympic advertising. You need to consider what capacity your business has, if for example, you receive a large response from the ads but can’t fulfill the orders.

According to, the largest advertising spending in the United States is Internet spending and then Television. One thing to note, however, is how Internet spending is broken out. For example, you might decide to run streaming ads on a local television station’s online platform so you will have to decide if that category is internet or television. Most would list it under streaming Internet spending but a lot of times you can buy a package at a local television station that includes both streaming and broadcast ads so determine how you will break out those dollars toward each category. Something else to think about is internet ad spending measurement, which I wrote about here. There has been a lot of talk about making sure it is regulated, like how Nielsen has been rating TV and radio, and now they’ve come up with a reliable solution from Nielsen–a longtime leader in measurement.

So, one of the biggest benefits of internet ad spending is that it can work for any budget, and can also be very targeted to the people your business wants to reach. Here is an example of internet streaming rankings that I wrote about previously. 

Go ahead and start planning how you will achieve your goals with the ad budget you set. Once you launch your campaign, check to see how it is progressing and if you will need to adjust dollars based on results. But, don’t act too quickly in switching as sometimes it takes time to establish awareness, and for people to react.


A Worksheet To Help Define Your Ad Budget

As promised in the previous post, the next step after you have figured out your ad expenditure projection for the year is to map it out in a worksheet. This is a form that I share with prospective clients. I thought I’d give it to you too. It might help train your thoughts toward how best to use the funds you are allocating for advertising.


Even though it’s about time to start planning for summer vacations, before you do, consider forecasting your business advertising budget for 2024. 

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, companies should be spending seven to eight percent of their gross revenue for marketing and advertising. There are different rules that have been thrown around throughout the years, but generally it’s believed spending less than five percent won’t get the results that successful companies earn.

In my years in the industry, I found a lot of the companies that I have worked with spend less than that. Whether that’s a good choice or not, depends on the results they receive. I witnessed a lot of meetings when I was at advertising agencies where my bosses were trying to convince clients to spend more on advertising than they were. The clients would usually find a reason not to increase their budgets, so we’d spend a lot of time as media buyers working on how to get the most out of the budgets we were given.

Let’s take a look at a successful fast food chain, McDonald’s. According to a NY Times article, McDonald’s had revenue of $23 billion in 2021. Online research shows they spent anywhere from $409 million to $459 ( million on advertising in that same year. So, that’s about two percent of their gross revenue, based on these numbers. Note, however, that sometimes numbers can be inflated on reports. They can still give you a snapshot into what is happening though. Also, according to some, the percentage of advertising expenditure is different across various industries.

The best advice would be to take a look at your business numbers.

•What was your 2022 Gross Revenue?____________

•What was your 2022 Advertising Expenditure?__________

•What was your 2022 Percent of Advertising Expenses against Gross Revenue?____________

Look at a few of the years previous to last years. How did your advertising spending influence sales? Try to find out what your competitors are spending on advertising and what their gross revenue is. What is the average Advertising Expenditure percentage in your industry and market?

Based on these findings, what should your projected advertising expenditure be for 2024 based on your estimated earnings? __________

We can look at the best way to allocate those dollars in a future post.


Happy Memorial Day And Who Joins the Military?

Each year on the last Monday of May, Memorial Day is celebrated in America. It is meant as a time to recognize U.S. Military personnel who died serving the country. The day’s beginnings started after the Civil War and became a federal holiday in 1971. Most people consider it the first day of the summer season.  Source:, April 20, 2023

In years past when fashion trends were held to a higher standard than the relaxed atmosphere of today, it also meant storing winter clothes and refreshing closets with summer items, like summer whites. But, don’t mistake Memorial Day with Labor Day when that day marked the official end of wearing white.

What Motivates A Person To Join The Military?

A National Interest article dated March 19, 2021, reported on the top five reasons people join the military based on a RAND Corporation survey from 2018. Surveying 81 Army soldiers, they found 46 percent joined for occupational choices, meaning most were concerned about work. It appeared that medics were the ones who found the job to be a calling. Their research showed the top five motivating factors were:

  • Adventure and Travel
  • Benefits
  • Job Stability and Pay
  • Getting Away From Bad Environments
  • Job Training

Summer Fashion

So, is the don’t wear white after Labor Day still a rule in fashion? Pretty much no in the anything goes fashion season we’ve been in. According to an article in community, dated September 1, 2022, celebrities started challenging the rule by wearing white any time of year. Of course, depending on where you live, it might not make sense to walk around the remnants of muddy snow in white sneakers.

Finally, to help you get ready for summer, here is an article from that gives you planning ideas on how to get your closet ready for the Summer season. The examples are for a woman’s wardrobe but men can apply the same principles.

Happy Memorial Day!


What is Amazon AWS?

Well, to be honest, I’m still not exactly sure what Amazon AWS is. I understand it is a cloud based product but how does that help marketers? I think it might have ad tracking capabilities, but it seems it may be for more tech savvy people, like IT professionals. I don’t know. That’s why I’ve considered taking their six-hour free training course to find out. If you’re wondering too, here’s a link to their course. 

Link to free course

It seems that the FreeWheel media buyer product for TV and Video planning uses Amazon SageMaker “to predict advertising inventory for digital video and linear TV months in advance for billions of ad-serving records per day.” If you’re a standard marketer or media planner, then, you may not need to know all of this. However, if you like to stay educated, it probably doesn’t hurt to learn.


Who’s Watching What

So with all the online streaming options now available, are you watching what everyone else is viewing online? Are your customers watching these shows too?

Here are the top programs based on the total number of minutes viewed, according to Nielsen streaming content ratings, streamed for the week of April 3, 2023.

Rank Provider Program

1 Netflix The Night Agent

2 Netflix Love is Blind

3 Disney+ The Mandalorian

4 Netflix Beef

5 Netflix Murder Mystery 2

6 Disney+ Bluey

7 HBO Max South Park

8 Netflix Cocomelon

9 Netflix/Paramount NCIS

10 Apple TV+ Ted Lasso


A Better Way To Track Media Viewers

Hopefully, measuring video ad exposure and impressions will be a little more reliable now because Nielsen, the long-time leader in TV and radio ad measurement, is now offering ratings across the way consumers currently view media. They are now able, after some waiting time and red-tape, to show how your ads perform on linear TV (standard live Television commercial breaks), connected TV or CTV (ads played while streaming on connected TV), computer and mobile.

Their most recent offering is called Nielsen One Ads. The system measures media consumption by real people-and is validated. So, hopefully for you and your brands, a lot less guessing on what ads are getting the most attention and are working for you.

Let’s look at this year’s Super Bowl and how it was watched. Standard linear TV, which has been measured by Nielsen for years and that advertisers hold ratings accountability for, had a 61% viewership. Out-of-home (meaning they watched it at a party or bar) was 22%, Smart TV (or CTV connected TV) was used by 8% and Internet-connected devices (or CTV) had a viewership of 7%. Standard TV viewing decreased by 13% from the year before, and Smart TV and Internet-connected devices increased by more than 50%. Out-of-home was flat from the year prior.

So, it seems this measurement system by Nielsen will help advertisers get a better picture of how things look. So how much does all this cost? Well, subscriptions reach into the thousands. For now, you can always ask your media sales rep if they have access to the Nielsen One Ads rating system.


Happy Easter Week

If you ever thought it would be fun to travel to a significant place for Easter, here are some ideas.

If you happen to be in Jerusalem or decide to travel there, they have two “World’s Most Impressive Easter Services” according to an April 15, 2017 article. One of them is at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre which is where Jesus was crucified. The other is at the Garden Tomb, considered to be the tomb of Jesus.

Then there’s Lourdes France, known for its healing presence after a young girl named Bernadette reported she saw a vision of the Virgin Mary, according to a March 16, 2014 article in Every day at 8:45 p.m. people march through the grounds with torches. For Easter, they have Mass at Basilica of St Pius X. They offer dips in baths free of charge which are filled with water from the area. 

The same article lists Patmos, Greece as the place most believe St. John had visions of Christ and wrote the book of Revelations. They have Easter events at the Monastery of St. John.

Still more, the express article states that Rome is popular for Easter for their displays of color and events with the Pope leading the procession.

Most likely, however, you are here in the states. The mental floss article lists the Lincoln Memorial Sunrise service in Washington, D.C. as one of the “12 Most Impressive Easter Services.”

The more realistic option is to make a virtual visit to some of the more grand displays. According to a article from April 11, 2020, when the pandemic was raging, this was most people’s only option. Depending on your persuasion, you can virtually attend Easter Mass with Pope Francis or tune into Joel Osteen’s megachurch service.

Then again, there’s always your local church where you probably know a few of your neighbors, or if not check out one that interests you. Happy Easter.


Last Day For Easter Effort

Just in case you missed the earlier posts. Today is the deadline for our See’s Candy Campaign effort for Easter. 
It’s a win-win. We’ve set up an online See’s Candy campaign to earn money to purchase candy and baskets for needy kids at Easter. The win for you is by purchasing See’s candy for all your friends and clients–you get the picture–you help us earn dollars for the outreach.

So here goes. Here’s the link. Click here. When you order online the delivery goes directly to you or your friend. Please help by forwarding this blog post to anyone you think might be interested. We have a deadline of today, March 24. A Big Thank You for your support. We hope you will have a wonderful Easter season.


Easter is April 9

So, Easter will be here before you know it and so that you don’t wait until the last minute, here’s an encouragement to order gifts for Easter for your clients and friends and family. We’re working with See’s Candy again this Easter to give kids Easter boxes filled with treats.

It’s a win-win. We’ve set up an online See’s Candy campaign to earn money to purchase candy and boxes for the kids. The win for you is by purchasing See’s candy for all your friends and family, co-workers, bosses, church friends, neighbors–you get the picture–you help us earn dollars for the outreach.

So here goes. Here’s the link. Click here. When you order online the delivery goes directly to you. Please help by forwarding this post to anyone you think might be interested. We have a deadline of March 24. A Big Thank You for your support. We hope you will have a wonderful Easter season.

So why do we like See’s Candy? See’s started in California in 1921 and is still going strong today. Their motto is Quality Without Compromise so they gotta be doing something right.