There are several pieces of important information that an AE should gather about a client’s business in order to put together a successful TV campaign.

First, it’s important to understand their budget expectations. How long do they want the campaign to run? How much money do they have to spend? The answers to these questions can help you tailor the campaign to fit into both their time and monetary expectations. A creative schedule which takes advantage of lower rates may allow the campaign to run longer and more effectively. For example, many stations have increased inventory during the first two weeks of each month and are more willing to lower rates during that time.

Second, determine which days of the week would best promote the client’s business. Do they have heavier weekend or week day traffic? Clients with heavier weekend traffic may be best suited by a TV presence during the first part of the week in order to increase weekday business.

Third, decide on the demographic the company is most trying to reach. Are they targeting homemakers or CEOs? Bankers or shift workers? Males or females? What is the age range of their desired audience? The answers to these questions will help you determine both the time of day and the type of program during which you should schedule the TV spot.

Fourth, what is the goal of the campaign? Is the client pushing a particular product or trying to increase store traffic? Is there a particular program which might be better suited to selling a particular product? For example, a hardware store or product commercial would work well during a Home Makeover type program.

Additional information that can be helpful to have includes: Does the client have a website and will the commercial be placed on the website? Does the client see themselves or their family members in the commercial? The more information the AE gathers and utilizes in making the spot schedule, the more credible and more successful he will be.

Here are a couple of examples of how to develop a spot schedule:

1.) Your client is a retailer that is trying to increase business and traffic on Monday-Thursday. Their target demographic is homemakers in their 30s with children. They have a limited budget and would like to use their dog in the spot. The AE crafts a schedule that takes advantage of programming that skews towards women. They decide to run ads during Saturday and Sunday afternoon movies, including floating billboards saying “This movie is brought to you by xxxx”. Ads will also run during the early news Sunday-Tuesday and during the morning news Monday-Wednesday.

2.) Your client is a bank looking to reach male executives. The AE crafts a schedule on a station featuring sports and news programming. Ads run during Saturday and Sunday sports and during Sunday-Thursday late night news. In addition, billboards run in late news sports coverage and Sunday morning news shows. Finally, utilize 4 sec of promo time in prime time to promote an upcoming sporting event with sponsorship from your client.