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Advertising is both an art and a science. After deciding on a marketing concept, you need to figure out which channels you’re going to broadcast your message across. And once you get there, you must decide when and how often that message will be communicated. Because we all have a limited budget, it’s important to do some research and understand what kind of media schedule will be most effective. There are a few different media patterning strategies that are most widely used, each of which is suited to specific goals and budgets.

  • Continuous. A continuous media schedule runs steadily with little variation.  Advertising during this time can be heavy or light (maybe a commercial runs on TV once a week, or on the radio 3 times a day), but the point is that the schedule remains constant throughout the period of a campaign or all year long. This type of schedule works best for non-seasonal products and services such as toilet paper and hair salons. Consumers must be continuously reminded and reinforced in order for the product to occupy top-of-mind awareness at the point of purchase. Continuous scheduling can be cost efficient in the form of large media buy discounts, but costs can also add up if you’re running heavy advertising all year long.
  • Flighting. Flighting involves alternating periods of advertising with periods of no advertising at all. This approach is best suited for seasonal products like Halloween costumes and camping equipment because ads are concentrated in periods of peak demand. Generally, flighting schedules utilize television and radio in order to get the most exposure. This kind of scheduling saves funds during the off months, but also burns through them quickly during periods of heavy ads.
  • Pulsing. Pulsing combines continuous and flighting scheduling by using light advertising year-round and heavy advertising during high selling periods. Pulsing is best used for products that sell throughout the year but experience higher sales during certain periods (lemonade sells all year but more during the summer months, for example). This approach is very tailored to specific products and accommodates all market situations. However, many companies don’t have the budget to support this kind of media schedule.

It’s important to consider factors like competition, sales trends, product availability, marketing objectives, and of course, budget when creating a media schedule. Sounds complicated, right? It sure is. Luckily, Transformation knows how to schedule your campaign across the right media in order to get you the most bang for your buck. Don’t try this at home, kids. Let the Bean Team superheroes handle all your media needs!

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