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Media Plan

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

What is it?

A media plan defines where exactly our ads are going to go. Media plans can be created by our internal team, by yourself, or indeed by our media agency that we’re working with.

It’s a very useful document because it’s a financial document that shows what we’re paying and what we’re getting. It shows where we’re going to be doing the activity, the names of the websites, or the type of targeting, and it will also show the run dates. So you know when these campaigns or when these line items are expected to run.

When we have all of this in one place, we’re able to see in a snapshot what our campaign is going to do, and what we’re going to deliver in terms of that reach, impressions, and clicks. And we can, if we have enough historical data, start predicting things around conversions.

But it’s not always wise. Because of the type of channel that display is, we don’t always want to include the conversions on a display media plan because its pure focus is to drive awareness, not drive action. Search drives action.

This will show us our reach and our impressions and all of that stuff in one centralized document. It’s very useful for keeping things on track, making sure things go live, and making sure that you’ll not overspend or underspend on certain channels.


The benefits of a media plan include the following:

  • You can track your overall costs.
  • You can project manage your campaign.
  • You can forecast results based on the number of impressions you get versus your KPIs.
  • It verifies your media choices because you can go back to your media plan and see what worked and what didn’t.
  • That will inform how you’re going to deliver your creative, because you might find that certain types of placements (social placements, for example) might have more informal creative style versus traditional display placement. So it may inform how and what type of creative you do want to deliver for the different line items.
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Cathal Melinn

Cathal Melinn is a well-known digital marketing director, commercial analyst, and ecommerce specialist with over 15 years’ experience.

Cathal is a respected international conference speaker, course lecturer, and digital trainer. He specialises in driving complete understanding from students across a number of digital marketing disciplines including: paid and organic search (PPC and SEO), analytics, strategy and planning, social media, reporting, and optimisition.  Cathal works with digital professionals in over 80 countries and teaches at all levels of experience from beginner to advanced.

Alongside his training and course work, Cathal runs his own digital marketing agency and is considered an analytics and revenue generating guru - at enterprise level. He has extensive local and international experience working with top B2B and B2C brands across multiple industries.

Over his career, Cathal has worked client-Side, in digital marketing agencies and media owners with brands including HSBC, Amazon, Apple, Red Bull, Dell, Vodafone, Compare the Market, Aer Lingus, and Expedia.

He can be reached on LinkedIn here.

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

DMI Short Course: GDPR

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    Display Advertising
    Cathal Melinn
    Skills Expert

    This module introduces the key concepts involved in display advertising. It covers the advantages of different types of display platforms and demonstrates how to set up a display advertising campaign. It also explores the key considerations for targeting and bidding in a display advertising campaign, and how to report on and optimize campaign performance.