This week we are going to continue our deep dive into the Timeless Marketing Rules I shared last week and today we’ll look at Timeless Marketing Rule #4: Reach & Frequency.

Most media salespeople worth the time listening to will use Reach and Frequency as a guideline for success.  I’m not talking about salespersons success, I’m referring to the success of your advertising campaign.

First let’s define the two terms:

Reach.  This is the total number of different people your campaign could reach.

Frequency. This is the number of times each individual person will see or hear your message.

Here’s an example of how this can work using WOWO Radio:

Reach & Frequency on WOWO example

Reach & Frequency on WOWO example

For this example I told my software program to use certain limits, such as adults age 25 and older who listen between 6 and 9 in the morning to Fort Wayne’s Morning News which airs Monday thru Friday on WOWO.  The total number of people who listen who fit that criteria is 68,963.  Using the schedule of 10 commercials in one week, 44,694 will hear your commercial. That is the reach for one week.  Over the course of a year, that reach increases to 66,261.  The Reach of your advertising campaign cannot exceed the total number of people who listen, which is that 68,963 number for this example.

Frequency is also mentioned in this illustration.  If this campaign were to run for one week, the average person (all 44,694 of them) would hear your ad an average of 3 times.  Over a year, that number also increases.  The average person (all 66,261 of them) would hear your ad an average of 106.7 times.

Please don’t confuse Reach and Frequency.  Both are important but a balance is needed.

Too often I see businesses try and reach too many people without enough frequency.  Last week I was talking with a business owner who told me about this great advertising package that was supposed to reach well over 100,000 people that he bought.  When we looked at it together, we were able to see that his ad may have been seen and heard by over 100,000 people, but there was not enough frequency of exposure to have an impact on any of them.

Besides, he couldn’t handle all of that new business.  Ten new customers a week would be tops.  We’re going to talk next week about balancing the reach and frequency numbers in his favor. And I’ll have more or this tomorrow.