Media Planning for New Year’s Resolutions Mindsets

Happy New Year’s fair readers! Are you here because you’ve resolved to do a better job reading up on industry information more regularly? If so, you’re helping to make my case for today’s column. Perhaps there’s no better time of year to generate action for products tied into life change. Because of New Year’s resolutions, consumers in a take-charge kind of mindset have a mentality that doesn’t ordinarily mirror their behavior or might not be reached by any kind of other typical targeting. These consumers are very responsive, but don’t expect this window to last long — through mid to late February at best. How to reach them? Think of common resolutions, develop resolution ad messaging and creative, and take it from there.

Health-Related Resolutions: Diet, Fitness, Nutrition, and Vices

Probably one of the most popular resolutions has to do with improving health — be that through weight loss, fitness, better eating, or quitting unhealthy habits (or combinations thereof). Some well-known weight loss programs like Weight Watchers have content-driven Web sites that also offer advertising, as do Web-based diet programs like SparkPeople. Or try a comprehensive health site like WebMD, which addresses multiple health topics in their Living Better section.

Time Management/Getting Organized

Another popular resolution is to spend more time with family. In order to do this, people usually have to tackle a greater challenge: better time management. While there are many sites selling time management tools, a good place for advertisers to buy is how-to portal, which offers many articles on the topic. Good Housekeeping is another good source for organization of the home and personal life.

Career/Educational Advancement

New Year’s often causes people to reflect on their status, be that career or personal development. It’s not uncommon for people to explore career changes (or career assessments) or seek to advance themselves or their careers by going back to school. Check out career assessment/development sites like HotJobs or a career-minded site like BlueSuitMom. For continuing education try BusinessWeek’s Business School Comparator or an adult education-focused lead generation company.

Hobbies/Personal Activities

If you want to develop yourself, but not through career or education, you may be resolved to pick up a new hobby or activity. This category is huge: collecting, crafts, gaming, travel, reading, sports, and more, which means that it’s better to match your advertiser with a specific and relevant hobby or activity rather than try to advertise on broad sites. There is a small site trying to be a catch-all that you may want to check out and scoop up on the cheap: NotSoBoringLife.

Activism/Philanthropy/Volunteering/Civic Participation

Many people feel that bettering oneself means bettering others, and, oftentimes, New Year’s resolutions revolve around this theme. Many sites fitting this category do not offer straight-up ad buys, so you might want to contact them to see if your advertiser can work with the site in exchange for visibility or promotion.

Going Green

Between tax incentives, President Obama’s drive to make the U.S. the world leader in green energy, and because green is now in vogue, 2010 might just be the year for green resolutions. Green sites have cropped up all over (see my “Greenvertising” article), but some sites good for green newbies include Lime and The Daily Green.

Financial: Investing, Budgeting, or Cost-Cutting

Speaking of tax incentives, the new year also gets people reflecting upon their financial situation. Some folks may need to get out of debt while others just seek to do a better job managing their money and planning for retirement. Advertising options are best on broad sites like The Motley Fool, SmartMoney, or even Personal Finance for Dummies.

Home Improvement

Sometimes the New Year’s resolution isn’t about self but instead is about home — specifically, improving the home. Lots of sites offer home improvement tips and ideas: HGTV, DoItYourself, Better Homes and Gardens, and Architectural Digest, among others.

Online media planning for New Year’s resolutions is actually a fun idea. It gets the media planner in a different mindset than typical media planning and can lead to some great return on investment for advertisers!

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