Evaluating the Efficiency of Your Insert Media Plan
By Barbara Henry
This article was the 2005 Insert Media Web Community Spotlight feature.
Many people use the end of the year as a time to take stock and reflect on the past — to make amends and plan changes for the coming year. The timing seems natural. We vow to exercise more, eat less and more healthily, organize the shoeboxes filled with photos from the last four years, and spend more quality time with our children. We start out the new year filled with good intentions, but one month in, are we meeting our goals? Are we doing the best we can? Or are we just getting by, resting on our laurels?
Much in the same way people "take stock" of their lives, marketing, circulation and acquisition managers evaluate their media plans. They look at all different aspects — from the creative to the list selection — and determine how well their benchmarks measure up to years past. One important area may be getting overlooked in all this, however, and that is the efficiency of the various plans. It's not only important to analyze whether your plan is working, but also to ensure it's working in the best way possible.
When evaluating your insert media plan, it's important to look at the areas of consequence to success. These include:
- target audience,
- average cost per thousand (CPM),
- response rates,
- printing costs,
- shipping and so on.
Don't just look at whether your plan is working, but if it's working to its maximum potential. You want to ask, is it efficient?
What do I mean by efficiency? The American Heritage Dictionary defines efficiency as:
- The quality or property of being efficient [acting or producing effectively with a minimum of waste, expense or unnecessary effort].