When you have a startup business, marketing is the lifeblood that keeps your business going. As a startup, it is important to remember that your brand does not mean anything to your end customers--yet. You need to communicate with them to bring them in to your business. Tell them relevant and helpful information at the right time and in the right place and you will convert new customers. This is the crux of media planning.

Identify your Target Consumer

Before you can plan your media, you must identify the consumer you wish to target. As a startup company, you will likely not have a large base of current consumers to analyze. You will instead have to hypothesize what consumers you want to talk to. Be specific as to what their purchasing behavior will be. Do you want to target people who have purchased a particular type of item in the last month? People who have expressed interest in a certain topic? This information will be coupled with their demographic information to create a consumer target.

Identify the Style of your Brand

Is your brand fun, traditional, sassy, stern? You need to determine what tone your brand will set. This will help determine the media you will plan.

Develop your Creative

Create your marketing materials with your target consumer in mind. Make sure that your marketing communications speak to your target consumer, overcome key barriers, and communicate core product/service attributes. This should all be done in a way that stands out to consumers and remains memorable.

Plan the Media

Set a budget for purchasing your media. Then look at your target consumer. What types of media do they consume? Are they major Internet users? Are they Facebook users? Are they tv watchers or radio listeners? Once you have determined the most effective medium, contact several providers of those media to compare prices. You should look at the cost per ratings point, view, or listen. Each medium has different measures, but they all can tell you the cost per mention of your brand. As a startup, you want to focus on maximizing mentions within your limited budget.

Test and Track

Test different media campaigns. Track the data to find out which campaigns and initiatives are the most successful. Learn from your own mistakes and continually improve your media plan.