Best Media Buying and Planning Tools For 2024 

  • March 23, 2024
  • Brandon Shaks

Media buying is important for businesses and new-age marketers to reach the right audience.  Effective media planning tools play a crucial role in the success of a smart media buying and planning strategy. By subscribing to the right media buying and planning software, you can boost the ROI of your marketing campaigns tremendously. Also, don’t forget […]

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Brandon Shaks

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Media buying is important for businesses and new-age marketers to reach the right audience. 

Effective media planning tools play a crucial role in the success of a smart media buying and planning strategy.

By subscribing to the right media buying and planning software, you can boost the ROI of your marketing campaigns tremendously. Also, don’t forget to collaborate with a Google Ads company to get the best ROI on your ad campaigns.

Media planning tools help in:

  • Audience Targeting
  • Optimal Budget Allocation
  • Strategic Media Selection
  • Effective Campaign Scheduling
  • Real-Time Performance Tracking
  • Competitive Analysis

In this article, I have curated a list of the best media planning software in 2024 that are a must-have for media owners, publishers, and agencies. 

What Are Media Planning Tools?

Media planning tools help companies figure out how to advertise their products or services. They help decide things like where to put ads, who to show them to, and how much money to spend. 

Media buying, selling, and management tools also keep track of how well the ads are doing and if they’re reaching the right people. They use information about different types of media, like TV, radio, or the internet, to help companies make smart choices about where to advertise. 

New-age media platforms can also tell a company what their competitors are doing with their ads, which is pretty handy. 

Overall, media planning tools are like helpful guides that companies use to make sure their advertising is effective and reaches the right audience.

Top Benefits of Using Media Planning Software

  • Optimizes ad placement for maximum audience reach. 
  • Helps allocate advertising budgets more efficiently across various channels. 
  • Provides insights into target audience demographics and behaviors. 
  • Streamline the process of scheduling and managing ad campaigns. 
  • Facilitate competitive analysis, aiding in staying ahead of rivals. 
  • Improves ROI by tracking campaign performance metrics. 
  • Enables precise targeting of specific demographics or geographic areas. 
  • Offer comprehensive data on media outlets, aiding informed decisions. Media planning software assists in forecasting campaign outcomes and trends. 
  • Enhances collaboration among marketing teams and agencies. 
  • Integrates with ad-buying platforms, simplifying the booking process. 
  • Helps adapt strategies in real-time based on analytics. 
  • Offer customizable reporting options for better insights. 
  • Enhances brand consistency across multiple channels. 
  • Supports experimentation with different ad formats and messaging. 
  • Automate repetitive tasks, saving time and resources. 
  • Improves communication with media vendors. 
  • Facilitates testing and optimizing ad creatives for better performance. 
  • Aid in evaluating the effectiveness of cross-channel campaigns.

Also See: 124 New Inbound Marketing Stats

List of the Best Media Planning Tools in 2024

ClickUp

ClickUp is a leading media planning tool for managing all aspects of media campaigns.

From visualizing campaign pipelines with customizable views to designing and executing content calendars with task management features, ClickUp ensures seamless collaboration and organization. 

With integrations, templates, and automation options, it empowers teams to optimize their media operations efficiently, ultimately enhancing productivity and achieving campaign goals effectively.

Pros: 

  • Comprehensive features for media planning
  • Visual representation of campaigns
  • Flexibility with customizable workflows and templates
  • Integration with other tools for streamlined workflow

Cons:

  • Complexity due to abundance of features
  • Paid subscription required for advanced functionalities
  • Potential performance issues with large projects
  • Limited availability of live customer support

Bionic Advertising Systems

Bionic Advertising Systems offers a comprehensive all-in-one software solution that automates media planning and buying processes across various media channels and markets. 

For ad agencies, it optimizes workflows, saves time, and enhances results, while providing advertisers with transparency, accountability, and control over their media investments. 

Additionally, Bionic aids ad sales teams in managing media kits, RFPs, and orders, facilitating inclusion in more media plans. With features like automation tools, dashboards, and comparative analysis capabilities, Bionic empowers users to optimize their media strategies effectively.

Pros: 

  • Automated calculations for metrics such as reach, frequency, CPP, etc. streamline the planning process and ensure accurate data analysis.
  • Offers a unique set of functionalities customized to the needs of media teams, facilitating effective campaign management.
  • The software is highly adaptable, allowing users to customize it to their specific requirements.
  • Access to publisher/vendor data within the platform provides valuable insights for decision-making.
  • Users praise Bionic for its sleek interface, excellent support, and onboarding experience, making it a great value proposition.

Cons:

  • Some users find the auto-fill feature based on a program or product to be tricky to navigate between rows, campaigns, and clients, potentially leading to errors.
  • Bionic may be the only viable option for small agencies, limiting choice in the market.
  • Occasionally, users experience slowness in the software, although efforts have been made to improve speed.

Comscore

Comscore is another relevant media planning tool for agencies and advertisers to craft optimal media plans by evaluating display, video, and app content across various digital platforms. 

Through deduplicated, person-level data insights and real-world simulation capabilities, users can assess campaign efficiency, adjust key parameters for impactful optimizations, and understand audience overlaps to maximize reach and frequency within budget constraints. 

Led by industry experts like Joe Lahr and Erik Grendahl, Comscore provides valuable tools to navigate the complexities of digital media measurement and enhance campaign effectiveness in today’s evolving media landscape.

Pros: 

  • Robust reporting dashboards for analyzing site reach
  • Ease of implementing Comscore Analytics
  • Effective video analytics tracking capabilities
  • Benchmark tracking tool for competition analysis
  • Widely used and reliable in the industry
  • Ease of testing and fixing defects for developers and QA teams

Cons:

  • Cost may be prohibitive for some users
  • Limitations in customization options
  • Potential data privacy concerns
  • Dependency on third-party data sources

SQAD

MediaTools by SQAD offers a comprehensive planning visualization and flowcharting solution for agencies and advertisers, streamlining the process of managing, maintaining, and updating advertising plans. 

Its rich set of productivity tools enables easy collaboration, coordination across departments, visualization of complex media strategies, and management of approval workflows. 

Pros: 

  • Streamlines advertising planning process with visualization and flowcharting capabilities
  • Facilitates easy collaboration and coordination across teams and departments
  • Offers integration capabilities for seamless data pulling and exchange
  • Enforces strict security protocols to protect sensitive data
  • Fully scalable to accommodate organizations of all sizes and adapt to growth

Cons:

  • Dependency on stable internet connection as a cloud-based platform
  • Data entry errors despite integration capabilities
  • Limited customization options for tailoring the platform to specific needs

Mediatool

Mediatool is a comprehensive cloud-based platform designed to streamline and optimize media planning and buying processes for brands and agencies. You should use this tool and follow the ad creatives best practices to achieve an exceptional ROI on your advertising campaigns.

With robust tools for market research, audience segmentation, channel selection, and budget management, Mediatool empowers users to create data-driven media strategies tailored to their specific goals and target audiences. 

Its collaborative features facilitate seamless communication and workflow management, while real-time tracking and reporting capabilities enable continuous optimization for maximum campaign effectiveness. However, users may face challenges in adapting to its interface and require some time to familiarize themselves with its functionalities.

Pros: 

  • Time-saving features optimizes planning process
  • Centralized database enhances collaboration and organization
  • Omnichannel data accessibility improves decision-making
  • Responsive customer support aids user experience
  • Export functionality facilitates reporting and analysis

Cons: 

  • Complexity in customization
  • Integration challenges with existing systems
  • Limited offline functionality

Also See: What is Digital PR? Strategies, Examples, and Tools

Quantcast

Quantcast offers a comprehensive media buying and planning tool that empowers businesses to maximize the impact of their marketing spend. 

With real-time insights and predictive analytics, users can quickly set up brand campaigns, optimize audience targeting across channels, and measure performance metrics to drive efficient reach and engagement. 

Leveraging Quantcast’s unique data and premium inventory, advertisers can activate expressive creative across multiple formats and channels, including Connected TV, native, video, and display, ensuring stronger, more measurable outcomes in today’s competitive digital landscape.

Pros: 

  • Detailed reports exportable in various formats
  • Real-time advertising for targeted audience profiles
  • Creation of content performance diagrams
  • Simplified marketing plan management
  • Support for professional retargeting strategies
  • Easily accessible reports for data-driven decisions

Cons:

  • Limited information sharing within the team
  • Absence of project and task management features
  • Potential for lower performance compared to other vendors
  • Mixed satisfaction levels with platform capabilities

Simpli.fi

Simpli.fi offers a comprehensive media planning tool that integrates social media advertising seamlessly with programmatic strategies, providing a centralized platform for streamlined campaign management. 

By combining the strengths of both channels, advertisers can gain a competitive advantage, optimize budgets in real time, and achieve holistic oversight of campaign performance. 

With features designed to ease day-to-day workflow and expert support available, Simpli.fi empowers advertisers to maximize their media buying efforts and drive powerful results across various advertising channels.

Pros: 

  • Excellent geo-fencing capabilities with pinpoint accuracy.
  • Access to a wide range of exchanges for comprehensive reach.
  • Robust reporting capabilities for geo-fencing campaigns.

Cons:

  • Poor customer service experience, lacking responsiveness and support.
  • Over-promising and under-delivering on capabilities.
  • Issues with keyword relevance in search retargeting campaigns.
  • Questionable quality of inventory sites where ads are displayed.

Monday.com

Monday.com offers a comprehensive work platform that allows teams to manage projects, tasks, campaigns, and more, all in one place. With customizable solutions tailored to various business needs, monday.com streamlines workflow, enhances collaboration, and facilitates efficient project management across teams. 

Trusted by over 225,000 customers worldwide, from startups to enterprises, monday.com provides a user-friendly interface, powerful automation features, and seamless integration with existing tools, making it a go-to platform for all work-related activities.

Pros: 

  • ‘Custom Fields’ feature available on all plans
  • Rule-based automation for simple tasks
  • More than 200 project templates
  • Modern, minimalistic user interface
  • Free plan available for solo users and duos
  • Highly responsive live chat feature
  • Easy to add budgeting information to tasks

Cons:

  • Time tracking available only on Pro projects plan
  • The mobile app isn’t as functional
  • The dashboard feature needs more guidance

MediaPlanHQ

MediaPlanHQ is a comprehensive online media planning and buying tool designed to optimize the workflow of advertiser and agency marketing teams. 

It provides a central dashboard for organizing and tracking media plans, operations, and requests, eliminating the chaos of scattered spreadsheets and lengthy email threads. 

With features like easy media plan preparation, collaborative approval processes, efficient project management, seamless invoice validation, and effortless marketing request submissions, MediaPlanHQ empowers marketing teams to achieve their goals effectively and professionally.

Pros: 

  • Centralized platform for media planning and tracking
  • Streamlined workflow for advertiser and agency teams
  • Easy preparation of media plans aligned with marketing goals
  • Collaborative approval processes for transparency
  • Efficient project management with task assignment and monitoring

Cons:

  • Potential limitations in integrations with other tools
  • Complexity in customizing features and workflows
  • Initial setup time and effort required
  • Limited advanced analytics compared to specialized platforms

Buffer

Buffer is another popular software for media planning, collaborating, and publishing content. 

With features like centralized scheduling, AI assistance, and multi-channel publishing, Buffer streamlines social media management, helping businesses craft engaging posts and track performance effectively. 

Additionally, its collaboration tools enable teams to work together seamlessly, ensuring consistent and high-quality content delivery.

Pros: 

  • Improved scheduling functionality for better time management.
  • Seamless setup for Quick and effortless integration with social media accounts.
  • Continuous improvement for Regular updates and enhancements to features.

Cons: 

  • Does not allow dynamic hashtag posting. 
  • Certain specialized post formats may not be supported.
  • Some hashtags may not work as expected or require troubleshooting.

TapClicks

TapClicks provides media companies with an integrated solution for buying and planning, offering a streamlined approach to managing campaigns. 

It has features, such as automated processes, prevention of duplicate orders, and transparent workflows, to enable organizations to optimize their media operations. 

Additionally, its robust data blending capabilities and comprehensive reporting tools empower users to track campaign performance, demonstrate value to clients, and drive business growth.

Pros: 

  • Streamlined campaign management through automated processes.
  • Prevention of duplicate orders reduces unnecessary expenses.
  • Transparent workflows ensure organizational synchronization.
  • Robust data blending capabilities for unified campaign insights.
  • Comprehensive reporting tools facilitate value demonstration to clients.

Cons:

  • Customization options might require advanced technical knowledge.
  • Occasional system updates or maintenance may disrupt workflow.
  • Pricing structure may not be flexible enough for smaller organizations.

Nielsen

Nielsen offers a comprehensive media planning and buying tool that provides advertisers with valuable insights to optimize their campaigns. 

With cross-platform measurement data, advertisers can understand audience behavior and preferences, enabling strategic investment decisions. 

Nielsen’s platform empowers advertisers to target their audience effectively, maximize ROI, and navigate the evolving media landscape with confidence.

Pros: 

  • User-friendly interface
  • Comprehensive audience insights
  • Flexible reporting options
  • Scalable for businesses of all sizes
  • Regular updates and improvements
  • Dedicated customer support

Cons:

  • Steep learning curve for beginners
  • High subscription costs
  • Potential data inaccuracies
  • Limited customization options
  • Occasional system glitches
  • Integration complexities with certain platforms

Loomly

Loomly offers a comprehensive suite of tools for media buying and planning, empowering marketers, agencies, and businesses to streamline their advertising efforts across social media platforms. 

With features such as post planning, scheduling, collaboration, content calendar management, and analytics, Loomly provides a seamless workflow for optimizing ad campaigns, ensuring maximum visibility and engagement. 

Trusted by over 50,000 customers, Loomly simplifies the media buying process, enabling users to make data-driven decisions, enhance audience targeting, and achieve their advertising objectives efficiently.

Pros: 

  • Multiple calendars with multiple accounts for client management
  • Calendar view and list view options for planning content
  • Ideas section for post inspiration and special day reminders
  • Hashtag suggestion feature with hashtag reach metrics
  • Direct publishing to Instagram without Zapier integration

Cons:

  • Limited ability to republish the same post multiple times
  • Best suited for small bloggers, may not meet all needs of larger businesses

CodeFuel

CodeFuel provides a robust platform for monetizing digital assets such as websites, extensions, and apps by capitalizing on search, ads, shopping, and news channels. 

With a focus on delivering premium results, CodeFuel enables publishers to maximize revenue through targeted advertising, search mediation, and curated content integration. 

Leveraging over 20 years of search technology expertise and global coverage spanning 150 countries, CodeFuel empowers publishers to turn user intent into revenue with ease and efficiency.

Pros: 

  • Easy-to-use controls with a simplistic interface
  • Offers variations in monetization products for websites, apps, and extensions
  • Provides various analytical tools for tracking ad performance and seeking suggestions
  • Wide network of publishers
  • Highly customizable and optimizable ad options

Cons: 

  • Limited flexibility in pricing options
  • Lack of detailed targeting options for advertisers
  • Limited support for smaller publishers or websites with lower traffic
  • Potential for lower ad revenue compared to other platforms with higher traffic requirements
  • Limited integration options with third-party analytics tools

Also See: 20-Point Digital Marketing Checklist For New Businesses

SRDS

SRDS (Standard Rate and Data Service) offers a comprehensive media planning database that simplifies and expedites the media buying process. 

With access to current, standardized data across various media channels, SRDS enables agencies and clients to swiftly identify, evaluate, and connect with media owners. 

Whether it’s digital media, consumer magazines, newspapers, TV, radio, or out-of-home media, SRDS provides the necessary tools to target specific markets, evaluate advertising options, make informed decisions, and directly contact media representatives. 

With SRDS, media planners and buyers can streamline their workflow, saving valuable time and resources while ensuring efficient and effective media campaigns.

Pros: 

  • Robust data coverage
  • Enhanced market targeting
  • Interactive evaluation
  • Direct communication with media reps
  • Real-time updates

Cons:

  • Complexity for beginners
  • Cost considerations
  • Data accuracy challenges
  • Limited customization options
  • Integration hurdles

Also See: The Ultimate Guide to Data-Driven Marketing

Frequently Asked Questions

Which are the essential digital media planning tools?

Essential digital media planning tools for smart buying teams consists of media flowcharts for visualizing ad placements, agency RFP scorecards facilitating partner evaluations, and advertising campaign calendars orchestrating marketing efforts. 

Which are the key features to look for in a media buying and planning software?

You should look for audience targeting capabilities, media inventory management, campaign optimization tools, budget tracking and forecasting, integration with ad exchanges and demand-side platforms (DSPs), reporting and analytics, and support for emerging channels like connected TV (CTV) and programmatic advertising. 

How much do omni-channel media buying tools cost?

The cost of audience-first media planning and buying solutions come in different subscription models. Basic functionalities are available from a few hundred dollars a month, while advanced media management options come with custom pricing. 

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Brandon Shaks

Growth-focused marketing strategist working at Brenton Way helping scale DTC brands past $7-figure ARR
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