Maximizing Media Planning with Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Combining qualitative and quantitative research can provide a deeper understanding of the consumer's behavior and preferences, resulting in a media plan that maximizes ROI.

Shireen Noushad
May 3, 2023
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In today's world, where consumers are exposed to multiple media channels, creating an effective media plan has become crucial for marketers. An effective media plan not only determines how to reach the target audience but also helps marketers in delivering the desired results. In this regard, combining qualitative and quantitative research can provide a deeper understanding of the consumer's behavior and preferences, resulting in a media plan that maximizes ROI.

What is Media Planning?

Media planning is the process of determining how to deliver a message to the target audience, which includes identifying the target audience, the message, and the media channels that will be used to reach them. It involves understanding the target audience's behavior, preferences, and consumption patterns to identify the most effective media channels.

Why is it necessary?  

Media planning is necessary for any marketing campaign as it ensures that the marketing message reaches the target audience. A well-planned media strategy can result in higher engagement rates, increased brand awareness, and, ultimately, more sales. Marketing efforts can go unnoticed, without media planning, resulting in wasted resources and ineffective campaigns.

Industries like CPG, automobile, and healthcare, for example need media planning to ensure effective and efficient communication of their products or services to their target audience. Media planning helps these industries to identify the most relevant media channels to optimize their marketing spend. With increasing competition in the industry, media planning helps marketing teams to stand out in the market, increase brand awareness, and drive sales. It is a critical component of a successful marketing strategy for any CPG company.

Survey conducted by eMarketer in 2020

Benefits of Media Planning

Efficient Resource Allocation

Media planning helps businesses optimize their budget by strategically allocating resources across different media channels. It ensures that advertising efforts are focused on the most relevant platforms to reach the target audience effectively.

Targeted Audience Reach

Media planning enables businesses to identify the most appropriate media channels and placements to reach their target audience. By understanding consumer demographics, behaviors, and preferences, media planners can select the right platforms and time slots to maximize the impact of their advertising messages.

Cost Optimization

Effective media planning allows businesses to negotiate favorable rates and obtain cost efficiencies. By analyzing pricing trends, market demand, and media availability, media planners can secure better deals and optimize the return on investment (ROI) for advertising campaigns.

Message Consistency and Brand Building

Media planning helps ensure consistent messaging across different media channels. By carefully planning the timing and frequency of advertisements, businesses can reinforce their brand identity and key messages, enhancing brand recognition and recall among the target audience. This consistency builds brand equity and strengthens the overall brand image.


Media Planning via Consumer Research  

Media planning involves several steps, and consumer research solutions play a crucial role in each stage of the process. Here's a brief overview:

Defining Objectives

Consumer research solutions provide valuable insights into target audience preferences, behaviors, and media consumption habits. This data helps in setting clear objectives and identifying the most effective media channels to reach the target audience.

Audience Analysis

Consumer research helps in segmenting and profiling the target audience, enabling media planners to understand their demographics, interests, and media preferences. This information guides the selection of appropriate media channels and placements for maximum audience engagement.

Media Selection

Consumer research solutions assist in identifying the media platforms that align with the target audience's preferences and behaviors. By analyzing data on media consumption habits, media planners can choose the right mix of channels, such as TV, radio, print, digital, or social media, to effectively reach the desired audience.

Budget Allocation

Consumer research data aids in optimizing budget allocation by providing insights into media consumption patterns and the effectiveness of different media channels. It helps media planners determine the appropriate budget distribution across various platforms for optimal reach and impact.

Message Development

Consumer research solutions help in crafting relevant and compelling messages by understanding the target audience's needs, motivations, and pain points. This knowledge enables media planners to create tailored messages that resonate with the audience, improving the overall effectiveness of the advertising campaign.

Measurement and Evaluation

Consumer research provides metrics to measure the success of media campaigns. By tracking audience responses, media planners can assess the campaign's performance, make data-driven adjustments, and optimize future media planning strategies.

Generic Insights Pose a Problem  

Using generic and inaccurate insights for media planning can lead to several issues.  

1. It can result in targeting the wrong audience, which can negatively impact the campaign's performance and waste resources.

2. It can lead to ineffective messaging that fails to resonate with the target audience, leading to low engagement and conversion rates.  

3. It can result in inefficient media spending, where the budget is allocated to channels or platforms that do not align with the target audience's preferences or behavior.  

4. Using generic insights can lead to missed opportunities for growth and innovation in media planning.  It does not allow for a deep understanding of the target audience and their needs.

The Next Big Thing in Media Planning

To facilitate media planning that gets good ROI, marketers need to focus on two main aspects: identifying the target audience and choosing the right media channels. Thanks to artificial intelligence, marketers are privy to accurate consumer insights. This enables them to understand their consumer cohorts in detail and craft their messaging accordingly.  


Automate Your Consumer Research  

Automation simplifies and streamlines research workflows and operations. Qualitative research methods such as focus group discussions and in-depth interviews can now be held online via consumer research platforms. Quantitative research can also be automated by easy-to-use surveys templates and AI-powered data analysis. Since AI is able to process larger quantities of data, researchers can get their hands on accurate insights into consumer demographics, media consumption patterns, and brand awareness.  

These platforms also have centralised searchable repositories that can further empower research in reducing their research time.  

Report by the World Federation of Advertisers

Qualitative Insights  

AI technologies are transforming the market with every passing second, and consumer research is not a stone left unturned. AI has blessed researchers with actionability through multiple technologies such as facial coding, eye tracking, and voice AI.  

When it comes to qualitative interviews, voice AI is imperative.  

  • Voice AI supports transcriptions and translations, helping researchers conduct interviews with their consumer cohorts across the world.  
  • Voice AI also captures the sentiment and tonality of the responses, which is then moulded into confidence scores – tell the researcher about the intent and conviction of the consumer.  

Sometimes, facial coding is also helpful in qualitative research. Since respondents react differently to questions and exhibit micro expressions, facial coding can decode them into insights that can be later used to craft data-driven media plans.  

Also read: Mixed Methods Research: Why Qual and Quant should be combined

Quantitative Insights

Marketing Insights  

Pre-testing an ad prior to its launch using facial coding and eye tracking is highly recommended. Facial coding can break down micro-expressions and consumer emotions as they are watching the ad. Facial coding gives the researcher and marketers metrices such as attention and engagement scores. With these scores in place, a marketer can make the following decisions:

  • This can tell researchers if the ad is hitting the mark regarding the emotions it should evoke. Using insights from facial coding, marketers can make decisions on whether a media – be it an ad or a creative is ready to be launched.  
  • The consumer emotion insight gathered from facial coding also helps with deriving the purchase intent of the consumer.  
  • The facial coding insights also tell the marketer which creative or ad resonates the best with different segments of the target audience, helping marketers make data-driven decisions on media distribution.

Also read: Get end-to-end visibility on consumer intelligence

Creative Insights  

AI-powered eye-tracking uses infrared light to track eye movements and pupil dilation. The software analyses these movements and provides insights into a person's emotional response to stimuli. With eye-tracking in the picture, researchers can get access to an eye-gaze map. An eye-gaze map tells the researcher the journey of the consumer’s gaze, where it lands and lingers. This is helpful when  

  • Identify which creative elements in the media is not working. Marketers can optimize the media using the insights from eye-tracking.  
  • Identifying if certain creatives (like the logo and brand name) on the media are working or not and if they are placed for maximum noticeability.
  • Understanding how much attention is garnered by the product in the media and how much by the celebrity, in certain segments of the media.

Advanced AI can analyse how different segments of the target audience react. The aim is to identify which media type, format, or distribution channel garners the most profitable reactions in each segment.  Consumer insights are now reliable, real, meaningful, and above all, actionable. Marketers can now drive their campaigns and media plans with accurate and actionable insights. It’s time to say goodbye to traditional methods of consumer research and adopt a new way of working: AI-powered Consumer Research Platforms.

Study by McKinsey


The Future is Automated Consumer Research Platform

The use of an AI-led automated consumer research platform in media planning will prove to be a game-changer in the industry.  With its ability to analyze consumer behavior and preferences with precision, the platform ensures that ads are targeted to the right audience, on the right platform, at the right time.

Entropik’s consumer research platform comes with powerful AI-powered technologies, such as facial coding, eye-tracking, and voice AI. These technologies are highly accurate and enable researchers and marketers to automate both quantitative and qualitative research. Marketers can identify patterns in the data that might have been missed by traditional research methods. This not only improves the accuracy of insights but also saves time and money.

The AI-led consumer research platform also ensures that media planning is no longer a one-size-fits-all approach. It allows for personalised and targeted marketing, ensuring that ads are only shown to consumers most likely to convert. Improve ROI, drive revenue for your brand at the pace of the market with AI-powered automated consumer research platform.


Supercharge your research with actionable insights faster on Decode's integrated consumer research platform with Insights AI.
Find out how we tested promos to optimise budget allocation across channels
Want to conduct lean and unbiased research? Try out Entropik's tech behavioral research platform today!
Keep up with 2023: Making Consumer Research Emotion Driven, DIY and 4X Faster
Want to conduct lean and unbiased research? Try out Entropik's tech behavioral research platform today!
Want to conduct lean and unbiased research? Try out Entropik's tech behavioral research platform today!
Build the Right Products, the Right Way: Elevate your UX with Qatalyst's integrated user research platform with Insights AI.


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Author Bio

Shireen Noushad
Shireen adores writing and currently, she’s all about making B2B content fun, engaging, and 100% non-boring. She's intrigued by the scope of AI(not scared, yet), and how it helps advance operations on all fronts across industries. On a typical day, she scours the internet for anything and everything AI-related, and goes on a loop of writing and re-writing cause it’s just not perfect.

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