The challenges of media planning in 2024 (with solutions)

Navreen Aulakh
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Media planning going into 2024 is more complex than ever. As automation becomes more prevalent, the industry is rethinking how to be effective and efficient. However, concerns remain about brand safety and suitability, different types of media currencies, removing duplicate content across different media and platforms, and laws related to identity and privacy. At the same time, people are changing how they consume media. Subscribing to video and music platforms affects their TV-watching habits. 

Crafting next year’s media plan by duplicating last year’s plan is going to run into headwinds. There is much to test, trim and re-cost as advertisers are under greater scrutiny to connect marketing efforts to revenue and profit.

Media planners face a paradox of choice. They need to balance broad reach with niche targets, brand and performance, gathering data on attention. Knowing that the media spend will be analyzed more thoroughly, they must do all this.

In this article, we explore 5 challenges that media buyers face and a clear set of solutions.

Problem #1: Confidence in Media Strategies

Given the number of ways to measure media, from clicks to reach to attention to outcome, it’s difficult to confidently attribute the true impact of all media options in their marketing efforts.

Solution: “Always On” Self-Directed Marketing Mix Models

Media planners who can access the most recent ROAS data can quickly link their strategy to the results. In the past, MMM was rarely used, and if it was, it was once every two years or so. It was too expensive, too slow, and always handled by some other team who didn’t think to share the details with the media planning team. 

Today’s MMMs are fast and at the fingertips of the planner. The planners use subscription-based models instead of project-based ones. This allows them to test different approaches using multiple models. Discover what strategies are effective for you and your clients. Then, move forward with confidence, armed with a clear understanding of what is working across different media platforms.

ROI on Arima's MMM platform

Problem #2: Uncertainty About Audience

As we try to be more efficient, it's challenging to know who the target audience is and what media they use.

Solution: Persona Builder Powered by Arima's Synthetic Society

The Persona Builder, powered by Arima's Synthetic Society, lets media buyers create advertiser-defined audiences and forecast Reach and Frequency against that audience. The Persona Builder provides insights into audience behaviors and detailed profiles of different audience segments.

Arima's persona builder

Problem #3: Maximizing Yield Across All Media Channels

Today’s media plan has more media channels to measure and manage. Understanding how those channels work together is critical. Top funnel activity drives volume of interest and intent leading towards sales and conversions. Identity-based customer journeys miss huge gaps in analogue media which are often the best choices for driving awareness and interest.

Solution: Arima’s Synergy Tool

We want to be more efficient, but it's hard to know our target audience and their media usage. Arima solves this with Synergy, a feature on our MMM platform. In advertising, combining the power of two channels can often have a greater impact than each channel on its own. It's like 1+1 is greater than 2. By running two channels at the same time, you can get better results than running them separately. For instance, you can combine brand-building channels like outdoor advertising and online search. Or, you can use cultural tactics like radio and newspaper to reach certain cultural holidays. This helps to illustrate the concept effectively. The insights this tool provides show you when to use channels together and when it's more effective to use them separately. Thus, optimizing your advertising strategies for maximum impact.

Arima Synergy

Problem #4: Uncertainty with External Factors

Sometimes a product can sell itself, but other times, no matter how much we advertise, it won't sell. How can we determine when something outside our efforts is affecting our results? What things should we be responsible for when measuring the positives and negatives?

Solution: Marketing Mix Models (MMM)

Marketing mix models, like the Arima model, consider external influences such as COVID-19 and seasonal variations. These models understand how consumer behavior changes over time. They provide media buyers with real-time insights to adjust their strategies.

Arima's MMM Sales Forecast

Problem #5: Consolidating Information and Integration

Media buyers often struggle with consolidating information from different sources and integrating various tools into a cohesive workflow.

Solution: Arima's Cross-Media Planner

Arima's Cross-Media Planner combines Persona Builder and Marketing Mix Models into one platform. This solution makes campaign planning easier. It is a central hub for detailed insights and informed decision-making.

Cross-media planners are essential because they create flexible media plans that match different campaign goals. These goals could be to increase reach, raise awareness, engage the audience, or tailor strategies based on MMM results. With this platform, you can adjust advertising budget allocation schedules and personalize CPP/CPM values, allowing for complete customization to suit your specific needs.

Arima's Cross-Media Planner


In conclusion, innovative tools are one way for media buyers and planners to stay ahead of the curve. These tools enhance confidence, help understand the audience better, optimize yield, and adapt to external factors. Arima's suite of tools includes Self-Directed Marketing Mix Models, Persona Builder, and Cross Media Planner. These tools empower media professionals to navigate the complexities of media buying.

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