How to set an effective media budget

Hamish Pringle and Jim Marshall

The foundation of any successful advertising and marketing communications campaign has to be the budget on which it is based. This is because the brand's strength of presence within the media flow as perceived by customers is in competition with all its direct (and indirect) market competitors. This begs the crucial question of how that budget should be set. Over the past few decades there have been many books, publications and articles which have put forward various ways in which a media budget can be established. One of the notable things about this period in marketing history is the sheer diversity of methodologies proposed, and the lack of rigour of many of them. This can't have done marketers any favours when making their case to their finance directors, chief executives or other senior colleagues. Nor has it been helpful to agencies who have struggled to rationalize their spending recommendations.