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Media Guru

Guru Search Results: 129 matches were found

Wednesday, January 03, 2007 #7255
Happy New Year, Guru. I am trying to establish communication goals for television. We plan on using multiple dayparts- -prime, em, late night, cable- - how does this factor into the effective reach?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 05, 2007 ):
Different mixes lead to different effective reach results at the same budget. Set your goal and then the plan must meet it. You don't set goals by projecting a plan's results and making that the goal.


Thursday, September 07, 2006 #7192
Hi Media Guru. I have a question that I'm looking for a general answer (I know that there are many different situations that would allow for many different answers- but please try!) If I am building a media plan using TV as part of a media mix (including radio and print) can you give me a very general answer as to how many points per week over how many weeks would be a MINIMUM. Target is Men 35-64. The client is only interested in news dayparts. I'm having a hard time wrapping my hands around this. I'm saying for a maintenance type schedule, we could run a minimum of 75 points per week because the dayparts are so concentrated and news viwership is loyal. the client is insistent that they've been told by their old agency they need 120 GRPS per week. I'm thinking they would be correct if the dayparts were more open. We're getting additional reach through radio and print. Any thoughts? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, September 10, 2006 ):
You're saying 75 for "maintenance," but what's the rationale for the 120?

These issues always come down to what the communications goals are. Is it a reach level or a frequencey level or an effective frequency level? You can't argue against someone else's unsupported recommendation any more than you can support your own without goals and rationales. Your 75 seems reasonable to the Guru in a multimedia, "maintenance plan."


Thursday, July 06, 2006 #7159
Dear Guru, INTEGRATED PLAN ARE THE MANTRA OF PRESENT DAY MEDIA PLANNING, could you please tell me for a FMCG product how to allocate budget to different medium if I have to define it manually . As you know there is a model for effective frequency ,can that same apporoach be adopted for this,if yes what all parameters can be considered for this

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 07, 2006 ):
Please restate your question in simple, goal-oriented language. It is not clear what exactly you need.


Tuesday, May 17, 2005 #6927
What is your opinion about reach and frequency, and do you think its worth using this tool?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, May 20, 2005 ):
Reach tells the number of different people exposed to your campaign, frequency tell the average number of time they are exposed.

In the Guru's opinion, these are crucial campaign metrics. effective reach considers specifc levels of reach at minuma of frequency.


Thursday, March 03, 2005 #6835
A small change to yesterdays question. If we know the competitors 1 year GRP'S and average reach, can we calculate the effective frequency. This is a little urgent

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 06, 2005 ):
There are far too many variables of media mix to accomplish this from the data you offer.

The Guru presumes you mean "reach at a given effective frequency level."

The Guru's approach would be to use R&F software that can deal with effective frequency and enter one year plan variants that include wahtever you know of the plan's components, until you find one that matches your 1 year GRP's and reach, and then see what reach at the effective frequency you have.


Friday, October 22, 2004 #6647
Hi I need to know the definition for effective frequency, could you please help?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, October 23, 2004 ):
Click here to see over 70 past Guru responses with definitions and discussion of effective frequency .


Sunday, July 18, 2004 #6542
what are the theories on effective reach and effective frequency

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, July 19, 2004 ):
Click here to see over 120 past Guru responses about effective reach and effective frequency.


Thursday, May 20, 2004 #6500
Using the OTS formula (GRP/Net Reach), if we set an OTS target with a predetermined reach, can we arrive at the required GRP for differrent OTS targets. Why effective frequency is more popular over OTS when setting frequency objective. In my experience we need to achieve more GRP's to achieve a predetermined reach for an effective frequency over OTS target, any reason for that methamatical relationship.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, May 20, 2004 ):
As a matter of simple arithmetic, Reach and GRP are inextricably linked by a multiplying factor which can just as readily be effective frequency. This does not mean that you can set any reach goal at random and assume a given GRP number will relate back with a specifc OTS. Different mixes of dayparts and media elements have different capabilities in reach / effective frequency generation.

Why more GRP for an effective reach level? Again, simple arithmetic explains it. "Reach" in an ordinary "reach and frequency" calculation, means reach 1 or more times. In other words, a frequency of 1 is treated as "effective." Typically, when we talk about "effective reach" we are working on an assumption that 3 or more frequency is needed for effective communications so that only those reached at least 3 times count. Naturally, more GRP are needed to get a given reach 3 tiems than only once.


Wednesday, May 12, 2004 #6488
What are the models available for finding out the effective frequency

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, May 12, 2004 ):
Click here to see Guru discussion of effective frequency and models


Tuesday, April 20, 2004 #6464
What is the differrence between avg. OTS & effective frequency. Which is the most popolar measurement tool used for setting frequency objective & can you illustrate the differrence through a sum.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, April 20, 2004 ):
OTS is generally a raw exposures count (impressions). One could take total OTS and divide by reach to get average OTS, which would equate to average frequency; that is, the average number of times any person exposed to the message (reach) sees the message.

Effective freqeuncy is the number of exposures JUDGED to be required before a person reached is affected by the message, e.g. remembers or understands it. effective reach is the numer of people reached at this effective level. 3+ is probably the most commonly used effective frequency standard, but there are various models for setting the level. See the Guru's comments on the Ostrow model.


Thursday, March 25, 2004 #6434
How important are gross impressions to a media buy (specifically radio or traffic sponsorships)? Wouldn't eff. net reach be more important? How can I better explain the difference between gross impressions and frequency to a client that has these two efficiencies confused as the very same thing?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, March 26, 2004 ):
Firstly, a media buy must answer the specifications of the plan:

Do plan communication goals specify maximum weight or a focus on frequency over reach?

Frequency is linked to gross impressions but only through other factors and neither is an "efficiency." Budget divided by gross impressions is CPM, which is the classic measure of "efficiency" and no normal cost / frequency ratio with which the Guru is familiar is in use.

Gross impressions takes into account both frequency and reach. 1million gross impressions can be 1 million people each exposed to advertising once or 10,000 people each exposed 100 times. Radio is commonly considered a "frequency medium" but is capable of generating significant reach. Traffic radio is typically a frequency buy. effective reach, i.e. reach at a specified minimum level of frequency is not the most likley goal for a traffic radio campaign.


Friday, March 12, 2004 #6416
What determins an effective reach at a certain frequency? For example, I have worked on a piece of business where the net effective reach had to be 60% at a 5+ frequency. I have also worked on a piece of business that required the net effective reach to be 60%, but at a 3+ frequency.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 14, 2004 ):
The Guru is assuming you mean to ask "how does one determine the frequency level at which to consider reach "effective'?" One standard approach is known as the Ostrow Model. Click here for Guru discussion of this model.


Tuesday, March 09, 2004 #6411
could you help me please, i need whats is means this words. recency effective frequency reach frequency tanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 09, 2004 ):
Go to the Guru Archives Search Engine. Use each of these words as your search term.


Thursday, November 27, 2003 #6279
effective frequency

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 28, 2003 ):
Click here to see past Guru discussion of effective frequency.


Wednesday, November 26, 2003 #6278
Dear Guru(s), how does one establish an effective reach objective for a media mix? Do you report the effective reach for each medium separately and calculate the 1+ reach for the mix and leave it at that? R.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 28, 2003 ):
Media software can readily report total media 3+ reach.

Click here to see past Guru responses about levels.


Sunday, October 19, 2003 #6209
How is recency theory justified when the entire world is talking effective frequency?How do we know when the TG is going to purchase?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, October 19, 2003 ):
The entire world has been talking effictive frequency for 30 years, yet not all have followed it.

Recency theory does not oppose effective frequency, it is a different approach to it, comsidering that in a continuous plan, 3 exposures are reached early and all additoinal exposures are effective, rather than only considering exposure in an arbitrarily defined measurement period.

One particular specifically reason for receny is that the time when the TG will purchase is unknown so the best chance to be the most trecent exposure, which is the most effective exposure, is to advertise continuosly. There are minima, even for recency.

Further, the popularity of an older theory is never a valid arguement against the value of a newer one.


Wednesday, June 25, 2003 #6041
Can you explain to me the difference in frequency and recency? I have been out of the media buying field for a couple years and the term "recency" is new to me. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, June 30, 2003 ):
"Recency" and "effective frequency" two approaches to setting communications levels. Though often cited as opposing views, recency takes frequency into account.

Click here to see past Guru discussion of these terms.


Wednesday, June 11, 2003 #6009
Hi Guru, I have heard of one method of setting effective frequency. That is we evaluate the criteria such as : established compaign, complexity of message, well-known brand, high product clutter... by giving them marks depening on their level. This mark will be multiplied by coefficient of each criteria. The total mark will be used to set the effective frequency level for that product. Pls supply me with more info on that. Appreciate should you can give me detailed explaination on steps to do that or give me a source to refer. Another question is that how can we set effective GRP based on effective frequency level, reach curve,no. of phase ( what is no. of phase?).The reach curve we use hereabove is that of target group of the brand or of any else? Thanks a lot.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 15, 2003 ):
Click here to see Guru discussion of the "Ostrow model."


Tuesday, June 10, 2003 #6004
We have planned for our client (consumer product) for a TV campaign at prime time slot of Channel A where we are getting good GRP (360 per week) and low CPRP. The campaign is for one month. At the same time we are also proposing to advertise on channels B & C as well. Though the ratings of these channels are not as good as channel A and CPRP at higher side, but the reason to advertise on channels B & C is to cater the audience of those channels as well otherwise we are duplicating the same audiences if we go only for channel A at prime time slot. Now our client insisting that if we are getting the required GRP with low CPRP from channel A, why should I go for channel B & C? Please advise that should we go only for channel A or for channels B & C as well.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 15, 2003 ):
The issue is in how you define "the required GRP." If this level is based on a reach goal, effective frequency goal, or some similar communications standard, then the question is whether concentrating all the GRP in one channel will achieve this goal.

Your question implies you have some basis for thinking that a portion of your target is only reachable on channels B & C. Presumably, you have a way of documenting that theory. This becomes your rationale for broadening your buy.


Wednesday, June 04, 2003 #5995
We are planning to release a TV launch commercial, I want to know what do you think the effective frequency, effective reach & GRPs. The commercial duration is 30 secs.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 07, 2003 ):
There are many considerations Click here to see past Guru discussion of effective levels


Sunday, May 11, 2003 #5965
Dear Guru, Many thanks for your reply on OTS and effective frequency. It's been a great help finding you online, b'cos we don't have any institution to get proper training on issues regarding media planning. The thing is in our country (Bangladesh), while media planning, we always face a lot of problems due to the unavailabilty of data. However, we've got TV viwership ratings, Newspaper circulations and readership ratings etc. At this point, how can I effectively calculate OTS? Is it possible to do with the data I've mentioned. Thanks once again. M. A. Toolie

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 11, 2003 ):
In the Guru's prior response (#5938) he explained how to calculate print OTS, if one audience exposure is your standard. For TV, 1 rating point means a quantity of audience exposures equal to 1% of the specified population.


Monday, April 21, 2003 #5941
apart from reach, frequency and continuity is there any subject that can be used in determining media objectives?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, April 26, 2003 ):
Seasonality, purchase cycle, effective frequency, BDI/CDI, awareness, wearout, etc.


Wednesday, April 16, 2003 #5938
Dear Guru, What are the methods for calculating OTS of TV and Press ads with limited data? can you help me find articles on effective frequency?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, April 21, 2003 ):
OTS is a matter of measurement. If the limited data includes circulation of press, as it always should, then an assumption of readers per copy may be made -two is usually a safe starting point in paid media. With no data there is no way to estimate sensibly.

Click here to see extensive Guru discussion of effective frequency


Saturday, January 04, 2003 #5716
I have read somewhere that Krugman's 3-exposure theory did not necesserily imply the need for 3 (or 2 or 4) physical exposures, but only a series of mental steps, which may take place after a series of exposure, or after just one. This seems to have more sense as it places adequate importance on different product/media/circumstance-related, creative and other relevant factors. On the other hand this turns the effective frequency theory into nonsense. What do you think?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 04, 2003 ):
The idea of the 3+ concept then is to assure the other steps occur. Perhaps you are thinking of the explanation of the theory that goes smething like "the first time the information is merely presented, the second exposure causes recognition, and the third causes remembering / accepting / acting or whatever. Rather than leave the latter two steps to the vagaries of chance or psychophysiology, the e second and third ad exposures give some assurance. This is the difference between planning and hoping.


Saturday, January 04, 2003 #5715
Dear Guru: Are there any studies showing the relationship between advertising exposure frequency and sales? Does the effective frequency theory deal with the exposure-sale relationship, or rather exposure-awareness relationship? And in the latter case, is there any study showing the connection between awareness and sales? Thanks, R.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 04, 2003 ):
Try The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.


Friday, January 03, 2003 #5713
Looking for published reports, relative to effective frequency and effective messaging--need the third party validation--Help?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 03, 2003 ):
Go to the Guru Archives Search Engine. Use "effective frequency" and "effective messaging" as your search term.

The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter is always a good source. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656,


Friday, January 03, 2003 #5712
Dear Guru I am trying to find information on effective frequency and the 3+ frequency theory. Can you help? Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 03, 2003 ):
Go to the Guru Archives Search Engine. Use "effective frequency" as your search term.

The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter is always a good source. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656,


Tuesday, December 31, 2002 #5708
Looking for published research on effective messaging, effective frequency--general, and medium specific.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, December 31, 2002 ):
Try the various associations, such as The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), TV Bureau of Advertising, as well as The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.


Monday, December 16, 2002 #5685
Dear Mr. Guru: What are the most recent mediaplanning theories that have had any significant effect (e.g., effective frequency vs. recency)? Thanks, R.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, December 19, 2002 ):
Others are
  • treating on-line media in the same way (applying the same standards) as traditional media,
  • incorporating minority segments, and
  • optimization across media types.


Tuesday, October 22, 2002 #5574
Dear Guru, I am interested in the perfect values of the following media parameters for one TV campaign of beer product (May be there is some standards): 1. Number of flights per year 2. TRP’ s per week 3. TRP’ s per campaign 4. OTS per campaign 5. Reach 1+, 3+, 5+ per campaign I am interested which are the effective frequency and the effective reach. Thank you very much for your answers.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, October 27, 2002 ):
There are no perfect answers. Within whatever budget you have, you must consider what is possible. If you can afford 5,200 GRP per year, is it better to have 100 GRP per week every week or 146 GRP for 9 four week flights?

Part of the answer depends on how you set the effective frequency goal. Perhaps seasonality tells you you need the 150 in the summer but only the 100 the rest of the year. What level do the competitors run? What is your brand awareness? What are your awareness goals, sales goals, share goals?

In short, budget, and many circumstances need to be considered rather than any quest for abstractly 'perfect' answers


Thursday, August 22, 2002 #5479
1. How to determine the minimum GRPs that we should use per month 2. How do we know which level of frequency that we should set as effective frequency. Mostly we are using 3+ when do the planning but still wondering. Thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, August 22, 2002 ):
Click here to see a compilation of past Guru responses about setting effective levels.


Friday, August 09, 2002 #5459
Dear Media Guru, is there any clear relation (formula or something) between effective reach and GRP? For example: if I have to achieve 3+ Reach 60%, how much GRP do I need?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, August 10, 2002 ):
Different media and media element mixes yield different results. That is, 100 GRP of radio is different than 100 GRP of TV or newspaper. 100 GRP of daytime TV is different than 100 GRP of Prime and News.

Reach and frequency models can deal with these differences, but there is no one-size-fits-all GRP number for a given effective reach.


Thursday, August 08, 2002 #5454
Guru, Can you direct me towards any studies that show what an effective frequency should in both Newspapers and Magazine? I'm trying to arm myself with some ammunition to prove what we think is too low a frequency in several major market papers. You help is appreciated.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, August 10, 2002 ):
Try The Magazine Publishers' Association and The Newspaper Advertising Association


Tuesday, July 30, 2002 #5442
What kind of tools or models do you have to define effective reach and effective frequency in TV ? How can I access to that tools or models ?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, July 30, 2002 ):
The Guru uses the tools of Telmar and eTelmar. eTelmar systems are easy to access on a pay-as-you-go basis, online.


Tuesday, July 23, 2002 #5432
What is an adequate number of points per weeek on television for a campaign that goes over a ten week period. It targets A25-54 and is not a "sale" retail account. This is a regional hospital and the television is split between two networks: NBC and CBS. Also how do you determine the percetages per daypart in your planning.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 27, 2002 ):
Start with communication goals: what reach and frequency or effective reach do you need?

These points will guide you to weight and daypart mix.

It strikes the Guru as odd that you speak in terms of "two networks" before any of the other decisions are made. The Guru would expect you are buying local, not network tv for a regional hospital.


Monday, July 22, 2002 #5427
At my agency, we set media goals for many clients in terms of EF/ER & CPP. The correlation between EF/ER for a specific category/demo we get from past similar campaigns for which we are able to extract the necessary data. But eventually most of our clients judge our performance only on CPP. Yes, cost efficiency is important but so is EF/ER. The fundamental problem arises when our analyzed tv schedule and our actual own do not match in the execution pattern (e.g. portion of primetime vs fring.). My point is as a media planner, the EF/ER be taken into account as well (even if we were off mark on the CPP), right? The problem how to do this quantitatively. Please help.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 27, 2002 ):
The Guru observes:
  • effective frequency / effective reach are planning goals
  • Cost Per Point is planning input and buying goal
  • Your problems seem to fall into two areas:
    - Educating the client to understand what you are doing, and
    - Educating your buyers in undertsanding your goals / their assignment.

If EF/ER are the communication goals for the plan, then achieving them at the planned budget becomes the primary standard. If this achievement is based on the media mix bought (as it should be) then the buyers must be made to understand that delivering that is what they must do.

Overall, the mistake is allowing CPP to become a goal instead of a tool.


Tuesday, July 09, 2002 #5403
what is a typical effective frequency level for retail stores?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, July 09, 2002 ):
"Typical" is typically not right for any given category. Click here to see past Guru responses about setting effective frequency levels.


Tuesday, June 18, 2002 #5359
Is it relevant to calculate an overall reach / effective reach of a 3 flights campaign with 4 weeks OFF AIR period between?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, June 18, 2002 ):
What might "relevant" mean here?
Can the calculation be done? Yes.
Is it meaningful? That depends on your needs. Have you set a goal pertaining to the total numbers of persons exposed? Then it is relevant to that goal?
Is your only standard based on people being reached at a point in time? Then it is less relevant.


Monday, June 17, 2002 #5356
Have a recruitment client. They want to go on TV with full year support with limited funds. We suggested compression. Would you know anything about this? ie, advertising 3 days a week vs. 7, reducing dayparts, etc.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, June 18, 2002 ):
At its most simple, this sort of compression reduces reach and increase frequency. For those who follow the effective frequency style of thinking, this technique might add impact. For those oriented to recency, compression is counter-productive.

When funds are limited, the Guru would start with limited grography or timing and add funds if results warrant.


Monday, December 17, 2001 #4951
Guru - Where can I learn about maximization of radio and TV buys? What is overkill?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, December 21, 2001 ):
Begin by setting communication goals in reach and frequency terms. Click here to see past Guru responses about effective frequency.


Tuesday, October 23, 2001 #4813
Dear Guru, Are there any research companies willing to pretest effective frequency by acctually showing my specific TV commercial to a test audience?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, October 23, 2001 ):
If you mean at no charge, probably not. The Guru is not clear on what test scenario for multiple exposure you are envisioning. To be a realistic test, the multiple exposure would have to take place over time and sales or A&U studies conducted over this period of time. There are many firms which might do this for you, and it will probably be quite expensive. A "panel" type company such as A C Nielsen or IRI Behaviorscan might be good starting points.


Wednesday, July 25, 2001 #4607
Hi ! Two questions 1. how do you decide which cume (1wk or 13 wk or 52 wk etc) to choose. 2. where can I find the details of the ostrows grid actual one with the scales etc. Thanks and regards

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 25, 2001 ):
1. Four week R&F is standard. Otherwise, if you need to examine a specific time period related to your marketing, use the closest cume.

2. The Ostrow model aims at establishing the minimum level of frequency to be deemed effective so that the plan can maximize reach at that level of frequency. The model can be traced back to his speech, "effective frequency" at an Advertising Research Foundation Key Issues workshop, June 4, 1982.

Typically, the model involves evaluating a series of relevant factors on a scale of say, 2 to 6, and averaging the factors to determine the appropriate level of frequency to set as effective.

In the 1982 speech the factors discussed were of three kinds: marketing, message / creative and media.

Marketing

  • Established brand vs new entry
  • Brand share
  • Brand loyalty
  • Purchase cycle
  • Usage cycle
  • Share of voice
  • Target group learning capacity

Message / Creative

  • Complexity
  • Uniqueness
  • New vs continuing campaign
  • Image building vs specific sell
  • Message variation (copy pool)
  • Wear out
  • Copy unit size/length

Media

  • Clutter
  • Editorial / program environment
  • Attentiveness
  • Continuity vs flighting
  • Number of different media
  • Repeat exposure opportunities
.

For the full speech, the transcript proceedings of the workshop are available from the Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.


Tuesday, July 10, 2001 #4565
Thank you for an invaluable service. Help!! A client wants to know how many times they should advertise in a publication to get effective reach? He wanted to know if there is a good rule of thumb? Is there anything like that? I tend to think that this number is different depending on the size of the target audience. How would you detemine an effective reach level for a trade plan/publication? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 11, 2001 ):
An old planner's rule of thumb in consumer publications was 4 times per year in a monthly and once a month in a weekly.

The Guru doesn't see a reason why effective reach should depend on the target. Factors like competitive climate, clutter, product interest, complexity of message all seem more relevant. At any rate, "effective reach" is about how many times the target is exposed to a message. If you are working in a narrow trade arena, where the authoritativeness of the book is crucial to your effectiveness, you'll make a book-by-book decision, not work from a rule of thumb.


Friday, June 01, 2001 #4451
Hi Guru. I've read through your responses to questions relating to "reach and frequency" and "awareness", but haven't found exactly what I'm looking for. In setting up goals for a new product launch media plan, we've determined that the overall goal is to generate awareness. What we don't know is the correlation between r/f and awareness. In other words, if we know that we're gong to have an effective (3+) reach of 82.85% and a frequency of 8.63, what % of unaided awareness could we expect to achieve? Will Ostrow's effective frequency model help in this case? Is there a model / matrix used to determine awareness levels? Thanks so much.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 01, 2001 ):
Awareness does not correlate absolutely with reach. There are too many other factors, like the quality and memorability of the creative and the advertising environment. Obviously only those reached by the advertising will be aware of the advertising. But there can be wide variance in how many of those reach a given number of times can report awarness in research. Even if awareness corresponded well with reach, there could be varying results due to differences in awareness research technique. Advertisers who do a lot of awarness tracking can build reliable models for thier own use, by tracking results of comparable research studies against known R&F. Similarly, research houses which frequently field awareness studies could get reach and frequencies, for the campaigns tested, and build a model.


Tuesday, May 01, 2001 #4349
I would like to know, if there are any other (main) media strategies, apart from recency, effective frequency and dripping. If so, under what name can I find research and guidelines about them?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 01, 2001 ):
These are scheduling / communications strategies. Advertisng can be continuous activity, or non-continuous (flights / waves / pulses). Tactics within activity can be same level at each period of activity or different level at each priod of activity. Within periods of activity, levels can be stable, rising or falling.

Recency argues for continuity; effective frequency argues for minimum effective levels during any activity.

Other scheduling approaches may be merely spreading it around at a level that experience has shown to be effective for the advertiser.

The best repository of research on such topics is The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.


Thursday, April 12, 2001 #4326
What is the definition of effective reach?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 15, 2001 ):
Click here to see numerous Guru responses defining and discussing effective reach.


Thursday, March 15, 2001 #4257
Mi, If i am putting together a radio schedule what would the ideal reach be? For any buy, any market? is it 60%?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, March 16, 2001 ):
There is no such ideal.
  • What will the budget buy?
  • Are there other media in the plan?
  • Is reach the goal or effective reach or frequency?
  • What is the reach potential in the market?
  • For the target?
Why settle for 60 when for some targets 90 is readily attainable.


Friday, February 23, 2001 #4202
We are doing the planning for an acount in a market we have not previously bought. The demo is Adults 25-54. What formula is used for establishing the weight distribution per daypart. If we are asked to buy 150 points per week how do we determine what the percent of each daypart.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, February 25, 2001 ):
This depends on plan goals. If reach is the main goal, then you can examine a variety of mixes of weight to see the best reach available within the budget. The same technique works if the goal is effective reach or frequency.

In all likelihood, starting with about 20% - 25% in each of 4 or 5 dayparts and changing mixes in 5% increments, you will find very little difference except by adding or deleting prime time totally.

If impressions weight is the key, then just buy according to best efficiency, once your reach minimum, if any, has been met.


Tuesday, February 06, 2001 #4162
Hallo, Dear Media Guru! Can You please help me to solve the following problems:

1 - I know that my TVcmp should get effective reach of 50% with effective frequency 4+. How can I get(count) the number of GRP I need to buy and TRP I need to reach?

2 - what concrete methods do can You recommend to define the levels of reach&frequency for concrete product's/brand's TV cmp. Thak you a lot.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 07, 2001 ):
The Guru is not clear as to what distinction you are trying to make regarding GRP and TRP.

To determine the GRP/TRP needed to achieve a specific reach / effective frequency goal, you need a media software like that provided by Telmar or eTelmar.

Click here to see past Guru discussion about establishing levels.


Wednesday, January 17, 2001 #4106
Guru(s), is effective frequency planning really dead? I have been reviewing the literature and it would seem that the concept of effective frequency is now outmoded and has been misinterpreted, over-simplified etc. I have been a proponent of the effective freq. approach in combination with Ostrow Model. I am loath to abandon, but don't want to be a media anachronism. Your thoughts would be much appreciated. (I have a presentation on Friday, during which I am sure to be grilled on the topic. R.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 18, 2001 ):
effective frequency goals are apparently fading from favor in planning for products with continuous purchase patterns. There are sometimes good reasons, in time sensitive or highly seasonal categories, for example, to consider effective frequency. The distinction is a matter of professional judgement and assessment of marketing goals. This should outweigh planning trendiness, in the Guru's opinion.


Monday, December 04, 2000 #4013
Dear Media Guru, I've read all articles about recency planning written by E.Ephrone and i still have a question - can You say for what product categories or marketing goals(like product launch)it is better to use recency or effective frequency planning strategy?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 06, 2000 ):
Recency is based on the idea that the advertising exposure closest to the time of purchase is most effective. Therefore, when products are purchased continuously across time, continuous advertising gives the best chance of exposure to a consumer clost to the time of a purchase.

At times when other issues than maximizing sales over time are dominant, scuh as short term promotions or building awareness of a new product, other scheduling is more appropriate


Monday, November 27, 2000 #3991
I am looking a an article by Erwin Ephron - "Propinquity/Recency and Now Avoid Paying Premium for Top-Rated TV Programming, for Cost-effective reach". DO you know where I can get this? Thanks!!!

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 27, 2000 ):
That specific article is not in AMIC's Erwin Ephron on Media area, but several of Erwin's others on Recency are. There is also direct contact information for further inquiries.


Friday, November 17, 2000 #3973
What is cost per miller? What is rating point? What is efective frecuency?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 17, 2000 ):
  • The Guru has never encountered "cost per miller." Perhaps you mean "cost per mille" which is how some people interpret "CPM," which actually means cost per thousand, based on the Roman numeral "M."

    This in turn means cost per thousand impressions delivered by the medium. An impression is one exposure of advertising to one single member of the target audience.

  • Rating point is audience expressed as a ratio. Target impressions divided by target universe or "base". Thus, if the medium delivers 1,000 impressions and the population universe is 5,000, there are 20 rating points.
  • effective frequency is a number of exposures judhged sufficient to effectively communicate a message. Therefore a plan may be judged according to the reach at this level of frequency or above. 3 is a commonly set level. The concept is going out of favor.


Wednesday, November 15, 2000 #3972
I'm a newcomer to the site and I very much enjoy your bright responses. Re recency, you write >a core concept of recency is that once the third exposure is delivered, all additonal exposures are at 3+.< That concept belongs to Herb Krugman, ("Why Three Exposures May Be Enough.")whose work was misread as supporting effective frequency. The corresponding core concept of recency is a single exposure within a short planning interval is most cost-effective. These results in moderate TRP's and more weeks of advertising. When heavier weight is called for (i.e., new product introductions), instead of accepting random frequency, recency shortens the planning interval and maintains a solus reach goal. Planning for continuous reach produces a better distribution of frequency. My apology for this somewhat truncated explanation. I can provide greater detail if you'd like. Erwin

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, November 16, 2000 ):
Erwin;

As the leading industry writer on the topic, your comments are greatly appreciated, and you'll have to excuse the Guru for using your own writings in his reply.

Maybe "seminal" concept would be a better term than "core" concept when the Guru cites this Krugman principal, since it is more part of the evolution than structure of recency.

Perhaps connecting the concepts himself, but gathering them from your own articles, such as Learned Any Ads Lately?, the Guru sees the concept that all additional exposure are at 3+, as part of the underpinnings of Recency. Because this idea gets us past the effective frequency issue, the -- superior, in the Guru's opinion -- Recency theory surmounts objections from the effective frequency camp.


Thursday, August 24, 2000 #3746
Media Guru(s), Hopefully will not humiliate myself with this question: When planning a trade campaign (target is Neurologists,and GPs) how do I determine the time frame for reach/frequency? I have set effective freq. at 4. Is this over a 4 week period? Can it be over a quarter? I cannot achieve a 4 week freq. of 4 against the Neurologists, but I can against the GPs. Does this mean that using trade print to reach the neurologists is not effective/appropriate? How do I rationalize a 4 week r/f delivery time frame for the one target group and a quarterly time frame for the other? Or am I totally missing the mark in both cases??? R.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, August 28, 2000 ):
The "standard" period for evaluating reach and frequency is 4 weeks or a month, if all print.

When considering effective frequency, some thinkers believe that every exposure after the crtical number is achieved is delivered effectively. This is a cornerstone of the "Recency" theory. So, you can think abouit your effective levels on a rolling, cumulative basis, and merely state that effectivene reach is being delivered to GPs as of "X" point in time and against neurologists as of "Y" point in time.


Wednesday, August 02, 2000 #3666
Ref. question 3663 Thanx for answering my question. I buy slots with high eff. index when my objective is to accumulate GRP's and drill my message into my consumers mind. This is the secondary stage where after creating the initial reach i focus on accumulating greatest total number of impressions (Funnel Treatment). As for the decay factor it reflects the decrease in the recall leval when advertising is reduced or stoped. I normally use 10% decay level in IMphase(IM horizontal planning technologies) The question that i want to ask you is what is the better way of flighting. There is a 70's 3+ eff frequency model by Prof. MacDonald which says that brusting is a better flighting patteren.On the other hand there is more recent Recency concept championed by Prof. JP Jones of Syracuse university of NY which says that as far as FMCG goods are concerned people are in the market every week and infect only needs one OTS to stimulate purchase.Please comment MY second question is how do you calculate Eff Frequency. Normally i use Eff frequency model where i calculate the eff frequency by applying judgement and common sence in a disciplined manner using Marketing, Advertising and competitive factors Thanx Sarwar Khan Media Manager R-Lintas Lahore,Pakistan

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, August 06, 2000 ):
1. In regard to 3+ effective frequency versus recency, the Guru tends to favor recency for "Fast Moving Consumer Goods." Recency is not really a contrast to the 3+ frequency theory, but an extension. As championed by Erwin Ephron, a core concept of recency is that once the third exposure is delivered, all additional exposures are at 3+.

2. Once again, there seems to be a semantic issue when you say "calculate" effective frequency. If you mean setting the frequency level to be considered effective, then your "judgment and common sence in a disciplined manner using Marketing, Advertising and competitive factors are the right approach, and the Ostrow Model will be helpful.

If instead, you mean to calculate the effective frequency delivered by your schedule, this has absolutely nothing to do with the subjective factors you have listed. A reach model determines how many persons are exposed to each discrete number of ad units in the schedule. That is if your reach is 75%, that means, explicitly, that 75% of the target has experienced one or more ad exposures. Within this, perhaps 70% of the target has been exposed to 2 or more, 66% to 3 or more, etc, up to the full number of units in the schedule. Reach models allow for expressing all of these levels. "effective reach" mean those reached at least the minimum number of times established as effective, most typically 3.


Wednesday, July 19, 2000 #3632
Are there any traditionally accepted reach & frequency benchmarks for TV?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, July 23, 2000 ):
The Guru wonders what you really mean.
  • Do you mean "Are there minimum R&F benchmarks when TV is the sole medium of a plan?"
    - Those who follow the effective frequency approach might ask for 50 reach at 3+ frequency
    -Those who favor "recency" might say 'as much continuity as possible with a 30 reach per week minimum'.
  • If you mean "What should be the TV reach level used when TV is the primary medium in a multimedia plan?"
    - Some might point to the reach level where the curve of accumulation 'flattens'.


Thursday, June 22, 2000 #3571
What is the difference between: advertising objective vs. media objective vs. communication objective? What is the best way to do an online branding campaing for a car manufacturer? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 25, 2000 ):
Advertising objectives are a broad set of goals which include media opbectives. Media Objectives are a broad set of goals for a media plan, which include a communications objective.

For example, advertising objectives may include a brand image to establish or a specific level of brand awareness to achieve. Neither of these are media objectives.

Media objectives may include a media target, a media budget, a region of the country or sales index standard for geographic concentration. These are not communications objectives.

Communications objectives may be such goals as minimum average four week reach, frequency, effective frequency, etc.

There are many ways to do any sort of online branding campaign. There is no "one size fits all" best solution. A branding campaing for "the safest car" would certainly differ from one for the car whic is the "best value for a family." It is important to have firmly in mind what "branding" means:

According to marketing consultant Rob Frankel, "Branding is not about getting your prospects to choose you over your competition; it's about getting your prospects to see you as the only solution to their problem." (sm)

This means that most of what makes a campaign a "branding" campaign is outside of the domain of media. Study the marketing elements of the campaign and judge how you can make the media plan support it.


Tuesday, May 16, 2000 #3479
Are there parameters (highs and lows) for effective reach and frequency? In other words, is there a particular reach and a particular frequency that are considered "average" as they relate to broadcast media? How would one determine whether an advertiser is spending adequate funds to meet these "averages" when airing a broadcast schedule on a Mon-Sun basis?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, May 19, 2000 ):
The Guru finds the concept of average irrelevant in this context.Such measures are relevant in relation to competition and one's own communications goals. What does it benefit an auto brand if the "average" advertiser has a reach of 50% at 3+ frequency when all automotive competitors are delivering 75% at 3+?

As to turning spending into effective reach and frequency, that's typically part of a media plan. Budget gets expressed as schedules of TV, radio, print, etc. Reach and frequency are calculated by available software for these GRPs. effective reach / frequency is an inherent part of the calculation.


Thursday, May 04, 2000 #3444
Hi Guru - I'm doing a radio campaign for a small restaurant chain. I have about 3 different station options that will work well. My dilema is that the station that comes out the best is an Oldies format. Not my first choice for a "guy sportsbar". My first choice was a combo of stations - NTR, AC and oldies bringin up the rear. My boss wants to just use the oldies station based on the numbers. I say, since all of the numbers look good - let's go with the 3 station buy. This is not a numbers argument and I don't know what to use to convince him. Any suggestions, or does it matter? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 07, 2000 ):
You don't say on what basis oldies "comes out the best." The Guru would imagine it's based on target rating, target composition, target efficiency or some combination of these.

You also don't say what the communications goals are, reach, effective reach, pure target impressions weight or something else.

You don't say why you don't think an oldies station would be good for a guys' sportrs bar, but the Guru would expect it's probably misguided, as in you like sports bars and you don't like oldies. The Guru has encountered this kind of thinking before; for example in NY or LA buyers who think country music is strictly for lowbrow blue-collar workers and farmers, not considering the format's dominance across many strata in most of the rest of the country.

If all the numbers you can think of favor the oldies nad you don't have research such as Scarborough or MRI to tell you that oldies stations are not listened to by guys who like sports bars, maybe you should just go with the numbers. If reach is an issue buy all three stations.

Generally, when the Guru has encountered a buyer putting "instinct" ahead of numbers in making decisions, it has turned out to be very simple unscientific, personal preference at work.


Tuesday, May 02, 2000 #3439
Regarding effective reach and effective frequency, are there general accepted boundaries of these measurements as they relate to radio and television? How do you compute effective reach and frequency?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, May 04, 2000 ):
The Guru has seen effective frequencies from 2 to 9 used in plans. Most often, 3 is the "bogie" but 4 and 5 are not uncommon.

In the Guru's opinion, the effective levels make sense when applied to a majority of the target, that is, 50%+.

As far as computing effective R&F, the capability is typically built into reach and frequency calculators. As part of calculating reach, the frequency distribution is calculated. This is a calculation of the discreet number of persons reached by each ad in the schedule. Thus one can compile the number (or %) of target persons reached "at least" the set number of times.


Friday, April 28, 2000 #3428
I'm working with fast food client in Puerto Rico(PR). PR is very competitive in this category. I like to know what is the effective frequency and reach in sustainning level and promotional period. I know that exist many theorical procedures to found the reach and frequency goals. But i'm very confuse what is the more accurate to this reality(very competitive environment)Please help me.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, April 29, 2000 ):
Competitive environment, e.g Share of Voice, is one key variable.

Click here to see the Guru's discussion of the Ostrow model for setting effective frequency goals.


Wednesday, April 26, 2000 #3424
I'm doing a campaign for a small restaurant chain with a relatively small budget. The goal is to drive traffic for lunch. I'm going to run in the AM and afternoon drives. Is it really necessary to have a 3 frequency if I'm going to be on the top 3 stations on the same programs each day at the same time over a period of 8 weeks? The schedules that I'm getting back show in the low 2's.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 27, 2000 ):
The common reference to a goal of "3 frequency" which you may have heard stems from century-old learning theory which found that 3 repetitions of information were required for it to be "learned" and acted upon. Many media planners use this theory and so specifically consider how many members of their target they are reaching at least 3 times.

You, however, seem to be looking at the average frequency of a schedule, which is different. Any schedule with at least three annoucements will have some portion of its reach exposed to 3 repetions. You need to decide what portion of your audience should be reached three times. YOu need to judge this by looking at the combination of all stations: you may be looking at individual stations reach and frequencies.

Finally, you may consider the full 8 week schedule. A station may be reporting to you only the one week reach and frequency, if you haven't specified, all stations, full cume.

With a schedule of just two dayparts on three stations you are probably getting a fairly low reach at high frequency and this is a completely different sort of consideration than the "3 frequency" issue.

Many planners today are abandoning the effective reach (3+) approach in favor of "recency," the concept that the exposure closest to a purchase decision is the most effective one. You plan might agree more with this approach if it has enough weekly reach.


Wednesday, April 12, 2000 #3392
Guru, I've never used a planning program as most of my planning has been national print and outdoor, local broadcast, and things I've felt I can handle on my own.I've seen so many planning programs and websites for planning it's hard to tell the good from the bad. Have you ever evaluated planning programs and, if you have, can you recommened one or two? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, April 12, 2000 ):
To the Guru, the term "planning program" means programs like Telmar's AdPlus or Telmar's full set of individual media analysis programs or the eTelmar online suite of media programs.

Such programs calculate reach, frequency, effective reach, frequency distribution, and quintiles for individual media plus combinations of media as well as cross-tabulations and rankers from media audience databases. Flow charting is also a typical option.

These programs don't actually create media plans, that is determine how much budget to invest in each medium, ad units to use, and scheduling. There are such programs on the drawing board, but require that the planner quantify and factor those concepts which would be subjective judgements.


Wednesday, March 08, 2000 #3296
Guru, does the sum of individual monthly effective reach equal the total compaign effective reach? (e.g. 3 month campaign - month 1=10%, month 2=10%, month 3=10%. Total campaign = 30% effec. reach?? Should/could there be a discrepancy as large as 10% between the sum and the total? Thanking you in advance, R.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, March 08, 2000 ):
The Guru wonders how you could get such an idea. In your theory, reach would be 120 after a year! Reach, as you surely know, is a percentage of the universe, and cannot excedd 100%

As in any other combination of reaches, there is some duplication between the effective reach of one month's schedule and the next.

The difference between reality and your addition could easily surpass 100% over time.


Tuesday, March 07, 2000 #3293
In a budget meeting I´D been asked to reduce the number of stations planned for certain cities, in order to have money to cover other markets......My argument is that we need to buy at least 35% of total PUR (persons using radio) to have an effective impact with the promotional radio campaign...I´ll appreciate your comments...AZ (MEX CITY)

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 07, 2000 ):
The Guru has never encountered a share-of-PUR-standard, nor have a couple of his senior, radio researcher colleagues.

The big issue is what you determine makes an effective impact, in concrete terms so that you can make a case. Is it reach, effective reach, frequency or what? All these issues relate much more directly to consumer communication and impact than the abstraction of share of PUR. If you can buy GRPs and reach to your needs, but have to do it with fewer stations, it doesn't strike the Guru as a very significant issue.


Tuesday, March 07, 2000 #3291
Is there a formula which calculates effective reach and frequency? I know that reach x frequency=grp's, but how can I determine what the effective reach and frequency would be for 100 grp's or 150 grp's?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, March 10, 2000 ):
Of course there's a formula, but it can be immensely complicated. In fact, media planners rarely, if ever, considered effective frequency before computers became a part of everyday reach and frequency calculation in the 70's.

Your "reach x frequency=grp's" is not a formula, but merely the arithmetical relationship of these quantities as they are defined.

GRPs are the convenient weights and mesures we use in media buying. They are simple statistical measurements, whereas reach and frequency are more complex statistical models In some cases, there are relatively simple reach formulae derived from compiling the actual, measured reaches of actual schedules with known GRPs. The formula is non-linear.

To find the effective reach of a schedule, you first determine level of frequency to consider "effective" and then examine the frequency distribution of the schedule to see how many people have been reached that number of times The frequency distribution shows exactly how many people have been exposed to each integral number of announcements in a schedule.

The math is based on non-linear functions. For any given reach and GRP set, the frequency distribution can vary considerably depending on the media combined and the dayparts within the media.


Monday, March 06, 2000 #3288
I am doing planning for an image campaign on TV for this Spring (May-June). The are going to be 5 separate spots running under the same theme, but with different messages. Since there are so many spots, about how many GRPs per spot per market should I consider to be reasonable for delivery of each message? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 09, 2000 ):
This is one of those "how high is 'up'?" questions.

Do you need for each spot to be seen by some number of different people? Then buy GRPs adequate to build that reach for each spot.

Does each peice of copy need to be remembered rahter than just the overall theme? Then establish effective reach goals for each execution and buy to required GRP's for that goal.

There are no real magic numbers like "a minumum of 100 GRP's to do X."

It's a matter of setting communications goals either for a campaign or for specific pieces of copy, and buying the needed media to achieve the goals.

By the way, in an image campaign, the Guru would expect that the overall theme is more important than the individual messages.


Thursday, March 02, 2000 #3275
Guru, any thoughts on how to estimate % trial as a result of advertising (effective reach 50% at 3.6+ effective freq. print plan, only medium).The brand has done little advertising,has limited awareness(8% unaided) in a moderately competitive category(indigestion remedies). I have factored the target group pop.(W55+) by the incidence of the condition, then further adjusted by % likely to treat the condition, to arrive at a "Total Potential Prospects". At this point I would like to estimate the % that can be persuaded to trial, to determine estimated prospects and potential sales, but I have no historical advertising or client data on which to base the expected return. Would you base return on current awareness levels, or current SOM? No growth expected in the category,assume trial at the expense of the competition. I am attempting to devise a systematic method of determining ideal effective reach,linked to sales objectives, as I am not content to leave it at "maximum affordable at effective freq. level" Sorry for all the blather, but your thoughts and wisdom would be much appreciated. R.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 04, 2000 ):
What you seem to need is a persuasiveness measure: what is the percent who would try the product (purchase intent) with and without advertising exposre? Many marketers have done such research and, if available, it can be factored against your "total potential prospects."


Sunday, February 27, 2000 #3254
I would like to have information about typical rates of frequency that are considered necessary for advertising to be effective on different media. I would like information for television, radio, outdoor and print advertising. If there is such information, I would also like information for internet ads. In short, how many times does an ad need to be seen on different media before for an effective reach. Thank you...

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, February 27, 2000 ):
Most judgements about effective frequency are just that; judgements. The traditional number, 3, is based on century-old learning theory about repetitions of information needed for learning to occur. This theory is not medium-specific but has many other aspects.

Click here to see past Guru responses about this and the Ostrow model

Research by DoubleClick about "banner burnout" shows that internet ads lose effectiveness (in the sense of causing clicks) by the third repetition. Of course, if you want to apply this approach to internet advertisng then you would be considering the awareness-building and sales-driving aspects of banners, rather than click-thru.


Thursday, February 10, 2000 #3203
Dear Guru Could you tell me how to set reach objectives if I have sales objective in terms of no. of SKU and average purchase frequency.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, February 13, 2000 ):
If "average purchase frequency" means you know how many purchases are made by some percent of your target, then one approach might be to think that for every member of the target exposed (the effective frequency) number of times in a purchase cycle's length of time, you will make a sale to the same percentage of those exposed as the percent of the target group which is expected to to purchase in the time frame.

Of course this assumes that advertising is the only cause of sales or of incremental sales, but it should give you a framework upon which to build.


Thursday, January 27, 2000 #3167
Hi Guru, I posed a question to you earlier today that might require some clarification. I'm speaking specifically about Internet advertising and am really looking for some guidelines in what are generally considered to be optimal levels for reach and frequency in a campaign. That is to say, how many times does a user generally need to see a banner before its value starts to diminish. Secondly, how many banners should one consider purchasing -- again as a general rule -- in order to maximize the flight's impact. Another way of looking at might be to say, if one were to buy one million impressions, what is the likely number of people who will have been impacted? I realize there is a wide range, based on the narrowness or broad-based appeal of the sites, but is there a general range that can be modeled from?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 27, 2000 ):
This is a very interesting question.
  • The irony of the concept of effective frequency on the web is that effectiveness, measured as click-thru, has been shown to drop through the first three exposures to a banner and then flatten. (see DoubleClick: "Banner Burnout")
  • The Guru is also quite leery of "modeled" web R&F that does not take into account specific sites used. Often, one advertiser gets more reach from only one-sixth as many impressions as another advertiser. For example Nielsen//Netratings posts their measured "Top ten advertisers of the month" with each one's impressions and reach. At this writing, December 1999 is posted. Amazon.com (#3) ran 620 million impressions and got 54% reach while TRUSTe (#1) ran 2.1 Billion impressions for only 37% reach. Even Barnes & Noble (#7) with 276 million built 38% reach


Thursday, January 27, 2000 #3161
Dear Guru, Am very interested in the effective frequency and recency planning debate. I would be very grateful if you could forward some articles or suggest sites where I could read about John Phillip Jones and Erwin Ephron on STAS and Recency Planning or Mcdonald and Naples on effective frequency. Any other articles/sources would be of great interest to me Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 29, 2000 ):
AMIC's sister company, Telmar, recently celebrated its 30th anniversary with special "Anniversary Awards Papers" written by Jones (on STAS) and Ephron and posted here.

Click here to see numerous past Guru comments relating to recency and effective frequency.

The most complete collection of articles on these topics is the The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

Some would be found in the Newsweek Media Research Index.


Saturday, January 22, 2000 #3145
Another question : How is the recomendated efecttive frequency for a launching campaing, for maintennance, for a promotion. The efective frequency is relative, but the experience and the knowledge of the people there somilars in many countries. Please help me

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, January 23, 2000 ):
effective frequency always seems to start from the basic 3+ times which comes out of the original research. Then the next question is what reach level to set at this effective frequency benchmark.

Some planners set various other efeective frequency goals depending upon various marketing factors (see the Ostrow model).

Most simply, introductions and promotions would suggest higher effective frequencies while maintenance can use minimal levels.


Sunday, January 16, 2000 #3122
Dear Sir / Madam, The question that I have is related to media weight setting. q1) Often in the past we have used the market prioritisation technique in BDI / CDI. Having done this we simply super impose the market dynamics to arrive at a market task. Now the question is can we make the BDI / CDI numbers talk harder. Is there a relation between BDI and the frequency required.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, January 19, 2000 ):
BDI and CDI are typically used to establish the effort which will be made in each market in relation to the other markets. These indices reflect a market's contribution to national sales versus its portion of national population.

The application of the index typically addresses allocation of media dollars or impressions. It could just as easily be used to set average frequency or effective frequency goals, but since frequency grows in a non-linear fashion - the growth rate accelerates as GRPs accumulate, it is simply a more complicated basis for media application.


Tuesday, January 11, 2000 #3108
I am working on a preliminary recommendation--a branding awarness campaign for a bank that currently does product advertising but no image advertising. Thre are three levels of spending that will be discussed. The question that I have is what freqency levels should be achieved to have not only a increase in awareness, but also influence the target to switch banks. It is a competitive banking market. What do you think of these reach and freq levels based on 4 weeks of advertising?? The media mix for the first 2 includes TV and Outdoor/Transit and the last Outdoor/Transit. There would be 1 TV commercial, 2 messages for Outdoor and 2 messages for transit. So, I am not concerned that much about wearout as having adequate effective frequency levels. Schedule #1 91% reach/14.6x; Schedule #2 is 90%/11x ; #3 is 79%/9.9x please let me know what you think of these frequency levels. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, January 17, 2000 ):
When you evaluate media schedules which include out-of-home media, considerations of "effective" frequency go out the window. The nature of these media is to amass enormous levels of frequency behind simple, undetailed messages. Statistically, any of these schedules would have plenty of effective frequency, although you haven't mentioned the effective frequency in your details. The most effective schedule would be one of the first two, and the best of those is the one with the higher reach and frequency. Apparently the second costs less than the first.


Saturday, December 25, 1999 #3075
Dear Guru, there has many studies and discussions about the effective reach and frequency, GRPs level, etc for the TV media. Is there any for Newspapers? Any industry norm about what is the effective frequency for Newspapers

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, December 25, 1999 ):
The concept of effective frequency is based on psychological studies of learning which found three repetitions of information were required for the information to be "learned."

The original study, by Ebbinghaus, was conducted circa 1883. If the concept is valid at all, it is equally valid for print media as it is for TV.


Tuesday, December 07, 1999 #3033
Without the budget for post-flight call out surveys what formulas or 'rules' can I use to anticipate message saturation and burn. What reach or net reach level over what period of time would be probable to achieve a 80% awareness within the target. Also what is considered too much exposure for one message before you reach a point of diminishing returns. I know that the the better measurment here is research before and during the campaign, but there must be some bench marks that are industry accepted. Can you share these and share a public location for other general assumptions like this. Thank you in advance Guru... J

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 08, 1999 ):
  1. Ad awareness will never be greater than reach, so start from a plan that delivers at least 80% reach
  2. To establish measurable awareness, some repetiton will be needed, so think about getting an 80% reach at a set effective frequency level. The Guru has previously discussed use of the Ostrow Model to set this goal.
  3. A message is worn out when its ability to generate sales falls off. This being hard to predict, many advertisers have used past experience to set media-measurement based cut-offs. These have included a limit of 2000 GRPs and a frequency cap of 20 in the second highest quintile. In reality, the size of the copy pool, the qualities of the copy, the target, the overall media mix, and product category may all lead to wide variations in wear out. The two standards mentioned above were both commonly used in basic package goods TV advertising in a mix with print and a TV copy pool of 2-3 executions.


Wednesday, November 24, 1999 #2998
hi media guru please guide me : how can i know how much frequency, reach, and grp is needed for an old brand which first advertise on t.v? ( the target audience: main shoper with young children - 4-8 years old) thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, November 28, 1999 ):
This is a judgment call. The Ostrow model can help guide setting of effective frequency goals.

Reach then becomes what you can afford or what you need in terms of numbers of sales to become successful judged against anticipated consumer response as a percentage of target consumers reached effectively.

Further, one must keep in mind, since you are writing from outside the U.S., that cultural situations and media environments have a big impact on the matter.


Tuesday, November 16, 1999 #2977
Details of Ostrow's effective frequency model

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, November 21, 1999 ):
The Ostrow model aims at establishing the minimum level of frequency to be deemed effective so that the plan can maximize reach at that level of frequency. The model can be traced back to his speech, "effective frequency" at an Advertising Research Foundation Key Issues Workshop, June 4, 1982.

Typically, the model involves evaluating a series of relevant factors on a scale of say, 2 to 6, and averaging the factors to determine the appropriate level of frequency to set as effective.

In the 1982 speech the factors discussed were of three kinds: marketing, message / creative and media.

Marketing

  • Established brand vs new entry
  • Brand share
  • Brand loyalty
  • Purchase cycle
  • Usage cycle
  • Share of voice
  • Target group learning capacity

Message / Creative

  • Complexity
  • Uniqueness
  • New vs continuing campaign
  • Image building vs specific sell
  • Message variation (copy pool)
  • Wear out
  • Copy unit size/length

Media

  • Clutter
  • Editorial / program environment
  • Attentiveness
  • Continuity vs flighting
  • Number of different media
  • Repeat exposure opportunities
.

For the full speech, the transcript proceedings of the workshop are available from the Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.


Thursday, October 07, 1999 #2855
How does one set effective frequency and effective reach targets? Are there any models which can help set these targets? And is this approach(effective freq.) media neutral or does it apply differently to different media?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, October 07, 1999 ):
The Ostrow model is one such model.

The concept of effective reach/frequency is based on repetition of messages as the key to consumer action, and so should be media neutral. However, since the nature of various media makes one generate higher frequency than another at the same reach level, plans often take different approaches to "effefctive." For example, a plan based on major magazine which average a 20 coverage among the target, will rarely generate even a 3 verage frequency in four weeks, while a radio plan for the same target might equal the magazine plan's reach in its first week and double the average frequency.

Planners work with the rules and rationales which make the most sense in a given situation.


Monday, September 27, 1999 #2830
I have read all your responses regarding recency. If you wouldn’t mind answering a few more, this is a multiple question predominantly regarding recency as a planning theory. 1) What Telemar program deals with TV R&F on a weekly basis? 2) Do the same audience accumulation formulas work for a one-week cume vs. 4wk or 52 wk? 3) When now planning an a weekly basis rather than a flighted basis are frequency guidelines or goals a consideration in the recency planning theory? 4) Has there been a clear industry swing relative to EF or recency yet? 5) A 1997 JAR article by Erwin Ephron cited some minimum target reach guidelines like 35 weekly, 65 four-week and 80 quarterly. Has there been anything more definitively determined since then (I noticed reply 2631 7/14/99 lowering the weekly reach to 30)? 6) For those espousing recency, is the trend to a 52 presence or extended flighting like 8-10 continuous weeks of each quarter? 7) On the effective frequency side, where the defacto goal has centered around the 3+ level, has the time frame shifted to anything other than a 4-week period?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 29, 1999 ):
1) Media Maestro and TV Buyer handle TV R&F.

2) No, formulas differ for one week, 4 week, and long term. 400 GRP, spread ove differend programs might come close to exhausting the reach potential of one week's TV audience, but not if spread over 4 weeks or longer.

3) Recency planning is focused on weekly reach, and incorporates the concept that every exposure after the third one is at the 3+ level.

4) Some have adopted recency, some cling to effective reach. The Guru is not aware of any polls of agencies or advertisers, but suspects that recency is still growing in acceptance, but is a minority approach.

5) The reach minima are a bit loose, and 30 vs 35 is not a major point of contention.

6) The idea of recency is that being there whenever a purchase decision is made is ideal. Flighting, when continuity is affordable and there is no major seasonality is contrary to the principle.

7) Four weeks has always been somewhat arbitrary, likley stemming from the one-time dominance of monthly magazines. But it is a convenient benchmark. A logical approach can set a level other than 3+ or other than 4 weeks, etc.


Monday, September 20, 1999 #2808
Hi Guru!For maintainence level of advertising for an established brand, on TV why is an OTS of three considered to be a minimum ? Or does no such rule of thumb exsist?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, September 20, 1999 ):
The 3x rule-of-thumb is based on studies dating back over 100 years to a researcher named Ebbinghaus. He determined that it required 3 repetitions of a string of nonsense syllables for them to be retained by experimental subjects.

Advertising researchers extended the research to posit that only after three exposures to a message would a consumer understand, recall and be prepared to act on the information. Media planners then started using an average frequency (as in "Reach and Frequency") of 3 as a minimum.

More recently, the concept of effective reach has used the theory that only those exposed at least 3 times should be counted as "effectively reached." So, for example, a media plan with an average four week reach / frequency of 76 / 5.2 might reach 50% of the target 3 or more times.

Some planners will evaluate several issues surrounding the copy, competition and media options to decide what effective level is appropriate and set a level of 4 or 6, etc. Of course, this is meaningless without also setting a reach goal at the stated frequency level. A plan that delivers 50 reach at 3+ might also deliver 42 at 4+, 33 at 5+ etc, so there is an issue of the goal versus the level at which the plan is examined.


Tuesday, September 14, 1999 #2795
Dear Guru, I am writing to you from the Middle East. First of all I am very excited to discover the AMIC site. I have recently been exposed to various documentation on the recency theory. Alongwith the documentation I have seen something called reach curves. The reach curves I have seen are typically for 1+, 2+, and 3+ levels for all adults and all women audiences. I understand it is an easy way to translate effective reach goals into GRP goals e.g. X GRPs will get you Y% 3+ reach against the target. It also clearly depicts the point of diminishing return. I am eager to know how I can develop reach curves for my market. Can this be done by us in the media department or do we need to approach some company which specializes in this area. What sort of data is required? Just to give you a background, we are not a metered market. TV audience measurement is conducted thrice a year using face-to-face interviews with a representative sample. Viewership is typically available by 15 minute time segments for all channels across various demos. Thanks in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, September 14, 1999 ):
Reach curves have been in use since long before computers were used in media departments and long before metered measurement.

Curves are created by using the reach of actual schedules. For example, in the U.S., Nielsen would report the actual reach of specific brands' schedules, based on examining the net unduplicated viewers in their reasearch data who viewed the program schedules used by the brand's commercials.

Once you have several schedules ( 8 or so will do) with actual reaches and frequencies for various GRP levels, you can use the regression analysis data function in a spreadsheet, like MS Excel or Lotus 1-2-3, to calculate a formula which describes the curve. This formula can literally draw the curve on a graph, or let you build a table of GRP / Reach pairs. By the way, it is the frequency and GRPs which are used in building this regression, because while reach is a curve, frequency is a straight line.


Friday, September 03, 1999 #2766
Hi Guru, What exactly is the Ostrow Model ? How useful is it to the clients ? Is it the last word ? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, September 03, 1999 ):
The Ostrow Model with which the Guru is familiar is a grid used to set the correct level of effective frequency at which plans will be evaluated.

20+ factors relating to competitive climate, product involvement, clutter, commercial length, commercial pool, etc are each rated on a scale, say from 2 to 6, which is then averaged to set the frequency level.

Is it the last word? Is it useful to clients? There is always another theory about anything. The usefulness is in creating a reational, well thought-through basis for establishing communiations goals, so that planners can present a logical approach to clients. The approach makes good sense, for those who follow the effective reach style of planning.


Wednesday, September 01, 1999 #2759
Is the random probability formula used to combine reach for different media also valid when looking at effective reach (i.e. 4+ level)?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, September 02, 1999 ):
If you mean, can you combine the 4+ reach of one medium with the 4+ reach of another medium to get the 4+ reach of the two combined media, the answer is no.

Among those who were reached 2 or 3 times by each medium, some will now be reached 4 or more times and some will not, yet these people are not considered by combining only the two four+ groups. There are also those reached only once by the first medium and three times by the other, etc. A new, overall calculation of the frequency distribution must be done, to determine the 4+ of the combination.


Friday, August 06, 1999 #2693
I would like to know the following: 1) how to set the effective reach/frequency for various category of Products viz fmcg, durable, etc. 2) what would be the ideal effective r&f for various categories 3) should the selection of program be based on cprp or do you have any Other method. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, August 06, 1999 ):
1) & 2) effective reach does not depend on category, but on analysis of several factors:
  • Complexity of message
  • Ad unit
  • Competitive pressure
  • Clutter in the media used
  • Budget
  • Etc.

Some of these factors will be generalizable for categories, but they will be narrow categories, like "imported sports cars priced from $50,000 to $75,000," and not as broad as "durables."

Click here to see past Guru comments on effective reach

3) Program selection may be based on CPRP, but there are several other factors:

  • Suitability of program content
  • timing
  • program content synergy with ad message
  • package pricing of total buys with and without the program
  • contribution to reach, etc.


Monday, August 02, 1999 #2682
what is considered the effective number of insertions over a year in 1.) daily newspapers, 2.) monthly magazines, 3.) bi-monthly magazines, 4.) weekly magazines. My client's campaign is business to business. We buy print such as WSJ, Forbes, etc and trade print. I can answer this on a common sense basis, keeping in mind the 3+ effective frequency theory, but is there research on what levels are most effective/optimal?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, August 06, 1999 ):
First, review adjacent Query #2693 for comment on setting effective frequency.

Traditional planning has various theories about minimum levels in print media. It used to be common to set a minimum of one issue out of four in publications with frequencies ranging from weekly to monthly. Weekly frequency was more the norm in newspapers.

But this all has to be taken in a context of

  • whether print is the only medium
  • whether print is the primary or secondary medium
  • How deep is the print list

Effective 4 week frequencies above 3 are difficult to acheive in the print media you list; effective reach like this is more the province of broadcast, while print is more often aimed at depth of message.

For research on print reach / frequency and effectiveness try Newsweek Media Research Index and the Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.


Monday, July 19, 1999 #2643
Dear Guru! I've got the following question. Our client has a product to advertise. He has set advertising goals for the ad campaign. We defined the level of effective frequency needed to reach these goals. 1. What is the range of effective reach? For example, 30%

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 23, 1999 ):
Media plan communications goals should specify a level of effective reach along with specifying the effective level of frequency.

Basic, as well as more advanced media software, calculates reach and frequency, frequency distribution and reach at various (effective) frequency levels. Input is typically GRPs.

Setting an effective reach goal can be based on gut, such as reaching the majority of the target at effective frequency levels in 4 weeks, or based on sales predictions. For example, this might be an estimate that 10% of those reached efectively will buy and X number of sales are the goal. Then 10 times X are the number who must be effectively reached.


Wednesday, July 14, 1999 #2631
While there are different parameters ( creative, media, marketing ) to set the effective frequency for a media plan there seems to be no parameter for setting reach. What are the different ways to arrive at reach objectives for a plan

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 15, 1999 ):
There are many approaches.
  • awareness goals: Ad awarness won't get higher than reach, obviously
  • comfort levels: When working with an effective frequency level, the Guru wants to reach the majority of his target effectively over four weeks
  • Affordability
  • recency: Recency says that maintaining some level of weekly reach is more effective than flighting, for products with regular purchase (threshold is 30 reach per week)
There are numerous variations.


Monday, June 07, 1999 #2558
Dear Sir, regarding effective frequency there are some tools like Ostrow's grid. But I could not find any explanation about how to set effective reach level. Using a grid one can find a frequency level like 4+ but what the effective reach should be set at this freguency level? What are the considerations?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, June 09, 1999 ):
There is a lot of judgment here, plus the realities of budget. When setting an effective reach, saying only those reached at least "x" times count. So first, how high a reach can you afford? Of course with flighting this answer can vary, too. The Guru basic rule of thumb is to start by effectively reaching most of the target; 50 reach or better.


Thursday, May 27, 1999 #2538
how much efective frequency in TV I need in case that Launching for a month Promotions for a moth and others

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, May 29, 1999 ):
The Guru has probably discussed effective frequency questions more than any other topic. Setting the "right" level depends on assessing several factors.

Click here to see past Guru responses


Monday, May 17, 1999 #2509
Media Guru - I just read your responce to question #2507. Numerically, your answer may be correct that turning 200 pulsed TRP's into 100 continous TRP's may be more effective. (recency theory) It may not however be realistically the best course of action. Recency assumes that your advertising is ongoing reminder advertising and that your brand is well established. Also, purchase patterns and frequency are important. In terms of media, you have to consider what will 100 TRP's afford you? If you are in 2 or 3 dayparts in TV you will have a handful of spots, that the prospect will be lucky to see. I think that recency has to be balanced out with other marketing and media factors, including impact.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 18, 1999 ):
As the Guru said in that response, the concept applied "particularly if your product is something people are buying continuously or regularly."

Recency does not make assumptions about product establishment -- though some practicioners may. In fact the original statement of the thesis emphasized the point, for effective frequency adherents, that after the third exposure, every exposure was at "three plus" and looking at abstractions like three plus in a set time frame was not necessary. About 60 GRP per week has been identified as a workable threshold of effectiveness.

Regarding dayparts, any mix of daypart is likely to deliver an average rating in the 5 to 8 range. Unless you have frequency goals by daypart (why?), 100 vs 200 seems a moot issue.

The net effect on consumers, at the end of four weeks, whether you have run 100 GRP per week or 200 GRP in weeks #1 and #3 only, will be about the same, in accumulated reach and average frequency.

The biggest difference will be in average reach per week (or per day). Your point makes a big issue of a time frame called a week, which is just an abstraction and a common convenience in looking at schedules.

Thinking of the schedule you would select to run 200 GRP in 7 days, why must it differ if spread over 14 days?


Wednesday, May 12, 1999 #2505
what is effective reach?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 16, 1999 ):
The Guru has discused this often. Click here to see past Guru responses about effective reach


Monday, May 10, 1999 #2502
I've always looked at communication goals in terms of effective reach. Determining effective reach goals can be different agency to agency. That is fine. My issue has to do with combining broadcast media with print media. Can there be an effective reach goal when these media types are combined? In a discussion with my Media Director, they felt that there can only be a 1+ goal. That the concept of effective reach curves were developed on a broadcast model and that print cannot be combined. If not why? I would love your opinion and insight. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 11, 1999 ):
First, the 3+ concept goes back 115 years, to a researcher named Ebbinghaus, who found three repetitions of a series of nonsense syllables was needed for "learning" or memorization.

Combining media to achieve 3+ goals depends on a variety of philosophical judgements:

  • Is the message sufficiently similar, between broadcast and print, so that repeats of either count equally toward establishing the information in the consumer's mind? (unlikley)
  • Determining what level of reach should be achieved at 3+ and/or whether 3+, 4+ or another level should be set as "effective" usually depends on issues like the competitive pressure in the media used, clutter in the media selected, message complexity, category appeal, category novelty, etc. Many of these evaluations would have different results in different media.

It seems to the Guru that the issue is not whether to look at 1+ versus 3+ but whether to consider effectiveness medium-by-medium or in total.

The bottom line would depend on whether the communication focus is on the specific message, which leads to medium-by-medium evaluation, or more on brand or ad awareness, which leads to combined media evaluation.


Thursday, March 25, 1999 #2412
1) Are the terms OTS, impressions, hits and exposures interchangeable? 2) Are there media industry norms (or even studies) that indicate a correlation between a number of OTS or exposures and audience (reader) behavior. I understand there were a number of Politz studies conducted in the 60s which suggested that one exposure produced a dicernible response and two exposures produced about double that response. Also there are European reports stating that a magazine ad should provide at least 5 OTS in order for the reader to digest or understand the ad message -- is '5' the number? Are there industry norms, and if so, do they differ by media vehicle? Thanks in advance!

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, March 26, 1999 ):
1) Other than "hits," you may generally consider those terms interchangeable. "Hits" is a much abused term peculiar to the internet. Some people do use it when the mean impressions, but technically "hit" is defined as "an entry in a server log."

Whenever a visitor requests a page on a site, as by clicking on a link, the server log records a "hit" for the text of the page, and hits for each frame and hits for each little bullet or other icon and a hit for each ad. A single page on one of today's commercial sites may consist of several dozen items which would all create "hits" in a server log when only one page impression is happening. The internet is also unique in its ability to serve content with a different ad each time a new user arrives at a page. So page impressions and ad impressions will not agree as they do in magazines or broadcast.

"Hits" originated in the early days of the world wide web, when browsers read text only, like the venerable "Lynx," and a page was just one block of text, so "hit" then equalled "impression," more or less. Hits include server log error messages as well, which are of no value to anyone.

2) The study of effective numbers of exposures goes back at least as far as the scientist Ebbinghaus (1883) who tested how many repetitions of nonsense syllables were required to achieve learning. This was the origin of 3 as a magic media number there have been infinite numbers of other studies, more advertisng and sales focused since.

Note that European media and Europe's media environment are different than the U.S. It is a common trap to assume that media perform the same tasks with the same effectiveness when used in different cultures. The U.S. Hispanic market is a good exanple, with TV, radio and print all delivering very different reach / frequncy, reach potetial and overlap than do the parallel general market media.

The best source of studies on the topic are: Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter, Newsweek Media Research Index and ESOMAR, the European Survey, Opinion and Market Research Organization. The Guru has discussed this frequently.
Click here to see past Guru responses about "effective frequency"


Thursday, February 18, 1999 #2347
As a buyer I have always been given the necessary information needed to put together a buy. I am currently in a new position, and I am being asked to provide information that I've never concerned myself with before, or gotten involved with the how's or why's of the decision. I'm in dire need of help. Here goes: I have been asked to determine the number of GRP's that should be used in a proposal for a new client. I have not received any budget information. The schedule will run 6-8 months, my demo is A 25-35 and the GRP's should be spiked during the 1st & final week of each month. Also, I am to include TV, Cable, and Radio. My question is: Do I simply request avails from the various TV & radio and cable stations within the market, put together a proposed schedule based on the avail information I receive, and add up the number of GRP's accordingly? HELP!!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 18, 1999 ):
Congratulations, today you are a media planner. But apparently you are working with people lacking professional advertising experience or perhaps a retail client.

You either need some marketing goals input or you need to suggest some goals and get agreement before proceeding. You have been presented with a question equivalent to "how many pounds of nails are needed to build a building?"

You need to know how big a building, what materials it will be made of, how many nails in a pound, to what use will it be put and how big must it be?

To recommend schedule weights you need either a budget or a communications goal to deliver. In media / marketing terms you need to establish -- whether you are given direction or someone accepts your suggestions:

  • What has priority: Reach or frequency?
  • is there a minimum reach or effective reach to attain; per week, in four weeks, or in total?
  • To help answer those questions, if no simple answer is available, you might ask is it a new or established product or service?
  • What levels are used by the competition, if any?
  • Are there any specific product awareness, ad awareness or sales volume goals?
  • (In planning advertising, assume everything is a result of advertising: there is no awareness among people not reached; there are no sales to people who are not aware of the product.)

Knowing all this, you could examine reach frequency and continuity impact of various levels and combinations of your media choices. In other words, you somehow need to establish what must be accomplished by the GRPs, before you can decide how many to use.

It is puzzling, in this great information vacuum, that someone has decided to "spike" certain weeks. Apparently there is some information around which you haven't yet been given.


Monday, February 15, 1999 #2336
How are effective frequency and reach levels determined for new product categories?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, February 16, 1999 ):
The Guru has discussed this frequently. Click here to see past Guru responses on effective reach


Thursday, February 11, 1999 #2322
Ephron(1993)suggests that the more a planner goes for frequency on television, the less effective he will progressively be, because the extra GRPs will fall increasingly into the "black hole" of the heavy viewers' viewing times, when they already have more enough OTS. In the context of "Effectiv Frequency", do you think concentrated frequency with a low reach is usually "better" than a lower frequency with a higher reach?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, February 13, 1999 ):
In the context of effective frequency, yes, more frequency with less reach is better than less frequenct with more reach, but that isn't the point of effective frequency. effective frequency is the concept of focusing on the reach which is delivered at enough frequency.

effective frequency is one basis of Ephron's theories. The key point he adds in movimg to recency planning is that frequency is additive over time; once a message has passed the effective threshold, each additional exposure is with effective frequency, especially when advertising is continuous. There is no need to consider only four week


Thursday, February 11, 1999 #2321
I have been trying to understand Plan Optimisers for quite some time now.I still am unable to understand. Especially in a complex media scenario like India where languages differ from region to region and different cities have to be covered and a lot of non- quantitative factors like regional sensitivity have to be considered , how can we effectively use Optimisers that are predominantly manufactured in the west?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, February 13, 1999 ):
Quite possibly, you cannot. Optimisers are meant to deal with quantitative issues of media selection, getting the most reach or effective reach or quintiles-of-frequency balance for the money.

Many seemingly subjective elements of the media possibilities, like the effects of regional sensitivity, can be judgmentally quantified and processed by an optimizer.

When languages differ, it is comparable to geographic differences: they are different universes and call for separate plans.


Sunday, January 10, 1999 #2257
Dear Guru. I am a media planner in India. Need some information on latest effective frequency models. The Ostrow model as described in the Scissors and Bumba is the only one I have seen. Are there any other models developed? Also it would nice if you could pass on some info on recency planning theory.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, January 11, 1999 ):
The Advertising Research Foundation library would be the best source for alternative models.

The Guru has often discussed recency. Click here to see past guru responses on recency planning


Friday, December 04, 1998 #2198
Dear Guru. Thank you for your answers - they are very helpfull to me. My question is on "recency". 1.What groups of products best fit for "recency" planning. 2."Recency" planning needs continuity. But it is not evident what frequency level is needed at every moment of such continious ad campaign. It seems reasonable to set more frequency at the launch period and then decrease frequency for mantainance. Also we should take into consideration seasonality. Thus our campaign becomes pulsing but not continious. What are your comments? Thank you very much.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, December 04, 1998 ):
1- Recency seems to best fit common products that are bought regularly; in other words, a purchase is stimulated by running out of the current supply. This means food and HBA products, primarily. More "considered purchase" products, like automobiles, may not be a good fit.

2- Erwin Ephron, principal proponent of Recency, has commented to the Guru that about 30 reach on a weekly basis is a threshold level. This might mean 50-60 GRP depending on the media used amd target.

Part of recency theory, in relation to frequency levels and effective reach, is that after three exposures have been delivered, every subsequent exposure is supported by adequate frequency. Recency generally applies to brands with established awareness; when you raise the issue of product introductions, it is a different situation.

Seasonality is the principal exception to recency. There is no point in delivering the most recent ad exposure at a time when no purchase is likely. It is important to distinguish products with seasonal fluctuations, like deodorant, from products with very specific seasons, like barbecue charcoal.

Also consider that Recency does not mandate even levels in its continuity. The weight can be raised above the threshold when appropriate.


Wednesday, December 02, 1998 #2194
Dear Guru, can you name any media analysis tools and media predictive tools that media planners use on a regular basis without being too technical, of course. Many thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, December 03, 1998 ):
Here are several:

  • Reach: the number of different target households or persons exposed to a campaign (most often expressed as a percentage of the target universe, and most often calculated over a 4-week period).
  • Frequency: The average number of exposures of the campaign to those reached.
  • Gross Rating Points (GRP) / Target Rating Points(TRP): Essentially interchangeable terms for the sum of the audiences of all the ad units in the campaign, expressed as a percentage of the target universe.
  • Gross Impressions: Same audience count as GRP/TRP but expressed in whole numbers rather than percents.
  • CPP / Cost per GRP and CPM / Cost per thousand impressions: should be self evident from the previous. These are referred to as the "efficiency."
  • effective reach: Those in the "Reach" who experienced a specified minimum number of exposures (effective frequency)

All the above stem from the audience research tools and investment figures. So called "reach and frequency" systems typically generate all these figures.

Other tools, especially in print media are also occasionally used. These may include "time spent with" media vehicles, "page openings", attentiveness, etc.


Tuesday, October 06, 1998 #2073
In media jargon, what does recency planning mean?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, October 06, 1998 ):
Most simply, it's the idea that the message heard closest to the time of purchase decision is most effective. This leads to plans that optimize continuity instead of focusing on achieving a minimum level of GRP's or minimum effective reach for some affordable number of weeks.

The Guru has addressed recency often; try searching the term in the Guru Archives Search Engine.

Recency has also been a hot topic on our MediaPlanning and Award-papers e-mail discussions.


Tuesday, August 25, 1998 #2014
Hi, I would like to know anything regarding setting the minimun level of TRP's, or minimun reach goal. We know how to set the optimun level, but there is a minimun? One point where is better not to advertise at all. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, August 31, 1998 ):
Any GRPs generate some reach and frequency.

Any reach generates some consumer impact. Setting minima is a matter of judgment and logic.

If you are an adherent of the effective reach theory, you will determine what is your effective level (3+ or more) and what portion of your target you need to reach at that level, to make advertising worthwhile. This determination will tell you either how much time you can be active in advertising or across how much geography. The Guru favors 50% as the portion of target to set as minimum to reach effectively.

If you believe totally in the recency theory, any is a reasonable minimum, because each impression has its greatest chance to produce a sale this way, as it is more likely to produce unduplicated reach at any point in time. Yet, few planners can avoid feeling there should be a minimum, probably because they want to see measured sales movement for some period of time.

In either case, seasonality and purchase cycles will inform the decision.


Tuesday, August 04, 1998 #1991
Dear Guru! What could you say about STAS ( Short Term Ad Strength)model usage in media planning istead of effective frequency approach.How could you estimate STAS advantages, limitations and forecast its delevopment in the future for the different countries. Thanks. TE. 1)

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, August 04, 1998 ):
For the latest on STAS, see the Telmar Awards Paper by J.P. Jones, creator of STAS. Other articles explaining STAS have been published in the Journal of Advertising Research from the Advertising Research Foundation.


Monday, August 03, 1998 #1987
Dear Guru, I am new to media planning and have been asked to predict the major changes for media planners over the next five years. can you give me any starters? Thanks in advance

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, August 03, 1998 ):
Since this must be a training exercise for new planners, isn't asking the Guru cheating? But since this sort of exercise is silly anyway, the Guru will go along; after all nobody would have predicted the media planners' involvement in on-line, five years ago.

Come to think of it, on-line may have been the only major change of the past five years.

For example,the incremental importance of cable and the slow decline of broadcast ratings is not a major change for planners. They face the same questions, but the answers have changed somewhat.

The new millennium, whether one considers the "popular" start date of January 1, 2000, or the actual date of 1/1/2001 will, no doubt, be a time to look for new approaches and focus more on the future. Marketers will finally recognize that the various major ethnic markets: Hispanics -- newly the largest ethnic group -- plus African American, Asian American and smaller minorities will encompass most Americans in the first decade of the new century. This will mean planners must pay far more attention to assessing the importance of and covering these market segments.

Also in the next five years the Guru sees the debate between advocates of "Recency" plannning and those backing "effective reach" being settled. Categories of marketing or rules on which to base application of one or the other will be clearly defined and two distinct styles of planning will emerge.

Finally, coming back to online, the internet's amazing growth will max out. No more than 50% of the population is likely to be on-line. The internet universe and internet ratings, on a U.S. basis, will be readily available, so that on-line media will become just another element of media plans. Specialist agencies will fold into general agencies and internet media will have no more mystique than out-of-home.


Wednesday, July 29, 1998 #1978
If I'd like to compare cost-efficiency of certain radiostation and certain TV station, would it be correct to apply some coefficient for radio GRP's (like 0,3 radio grp's vs 1 TV's)? Is there any reliable research findings concerning the question of comparable value of, say, the same kind of units but for different media? Thankful for your answer, Elena, Moscow

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 29, 1998 ):
Cost efficiency is typically used to compare media while intentionally ignoring "qualitative" differences. Of course, planners like to assign values to represent the differing value of communication power or whatever.

What is your measurement standard in a media plan? Reach, effective reach, sales per grp?

It is quite unlikely that a TV grp has 3 times as much of anything - recall / sales motivation / etc. And one must keep in mind that GRPs have their effects as part of schedules, not one at a time. Even if one radio announcement was 30% as strong on some basis as one tv annoouncement, the accumulation of effect over the course of a schedule would become much less, especially if radio's lower cost per GRP allowed a bigger schedule for the same money, which is why efficiency is compared in the first place.

Short answer - develop comparisons of efficiency and effectiveness separately. Then use effectiveness as an index on efficiency if you must.

ESOMAR , the European Survey, Opinion and Market Research organization or the Advertising Research Foundation may have studies on the relative effectiveness question.


Monday, July 20, 1998 #1962
Thanks for your response to my question (#1955.) I was refering to average frequency NOT effective frequency. In addition, our buys are targeted to the same demo, Men 25-54. Do these clarifications add any new light to your thoughts? I maintain that an average frequency of three (3) per radio station per week requires reducing the number of stations purchased which in turn reduces my reach and overall delivery. Any new thoughts. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, July 20, 1998 ):
The problem seems to be lack of a specific communication goal.
  • Is the plan goal maximum reach?
  • Is the plan goal optimal reach at an average frequency of 3 or more?

Once there is agreement on this, it is a simple matter to construct paper buys to illustrate what is acheived buying with and without the requirement of an average reach of 3 on each station and how each contributes to agreed goals (a buyer should not decide independently that reach is the overall goal).

The Guru notes that he does not generally support buying to goals based on set frequency per station. Some stations with low turnover will build reach slowly while frequency mounts quickly. A 3 frequency will come too early in that station's reach curve, while another station builds reach quickly and frequency slowly.


Monday, June 22, 1998 #1915
Do you know of any awareness tracking studies or models that relate recall by medium to purchase intent? Would it be feasible to carry out this kind of effectiveness study to determine what kind of results a media placement agency is delivering to clients?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 25, 1998 ):
No doubt some users of recall tests have made an effort to relate recall to sales or purchase intent. This involves using their own, proprietary test scores and sales data. It is possible that the Advertising Research Foundation Library or the archives of their Journal of Advertising Research or conference presentations include the sort of analysis you need.

However, whether this is a basis for judging the performance of a media service is another question altogether. Has the media service been instructed to buy for optimal recall? Has the media service been instructed to buy to optimize purchase intent? In the Guru's experience, these are rarely part of the media goals conveyed to a buyer. More often, buying efficiently or to achieve a reach, frequency or effective reach goal is the instruction.

Further, if you wish to make recall or purchase intent your standard of evaluation, it only makes sense if you share the model you wish to use with your buying service


Friday, May 29, 1998 #1613
1.what is osto's model? 2.In case of an absence of duplication data for publications, how do l calculate the effective reach using 2 or more media vehicles? in such a scenario, is it safe to use the random theory even if multiple readership is negligible?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, June 02, 1998 ):
1) The Guru is not familiar with Osto's model. It may be specific to India, from where you are writing.

2) The Random method is a starting point. If you can find two other similar publications with measured duplication, you can use the duplication ratio from those publications. If you literally mean "effective reach," that is, reach at or above a minimum exposure level, then you need a more complex formula or a computer program like Telmar's ADplus.


Thursday, May 14, 1998 #1592
Dear Guru, There are two questions I wish to address to you: 1. Is there any rule of thumb regarding the weight of 10'' spots? How effective can a relatively 'small' campaign composed chiefly of such short spots can be? By a small campaign I mean one that has arounc 300-400 GRP. 2. When it comes to factors that either enhance or lessen the effectiveness of a campaign, are there any conventions regarding the use of relevant factors? The order in a break may be a more familiar example but there are other factors that one may incorporate to a media plan, e.g whether the commercial is new or not. Thank you so much for the attention Iris Kalka Pelled3 Communications

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, May 14, 1998 ):
1) The Guru's rule of thumb in general, is if the effectiveness - relative to a :30 - is better than the price ratio, a :10 can be a good investment. In the early days of :15s in the U.S., they were evaluated as about 75% as effective as :30s, and sold for 50%, so they were popular. The Guru believes he has seen research to say a :10 is worth 75% of a :15.

However, you are posting from Israel. Your local standards may be different, because of the different culture and different media environment, clutter, media mix, etc. If you can ascertain a local effectiveness ratio, you can make an informed decision.

In any case, the Guru believes these short executions are best used as a supplement to longer copy. The Guru does not believe most creative people would be comfortable with only :10 copy and just 300-400 GRP. 2) The number of factors, such as break position, age of commercial, complexity of message, product interest, etc, which can be influential is almost infinite. The relative influence is a judgement call. Evaluating through a logical process, by establishing your rules and executing them, is best.

The Guru has seen these factors used to develop an effective frequency basis for a media plan's communication goals. In this way all considerations come down to a single number.


Monday, March 23, 1998 #1541
I need latest info on the recency theory for tv media planning and the general opinion of the industry on this theory.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 30, 1998 ):
Trade publications like Ad Age, Mediaweek and Jou rnal of Advertising Research cover this topic regularly, with articles from Erwin Ephron, Walter Reichel and John Paul Jones.

Newsweek Media Research Index and theAdvertising Research Foundation Library also archive such information.

The Guru believes the industry is still divided on Recency vs effective reach.


Thursday, March 05, 1998 #1521
What is recency planning and is it different from the method of acquiring effective frequency as a media objective

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 05, 1998 ):
Recency planning is quite different than effective frequency planning.

Recency planning is based on the premise that the ad exposure closest to the time of purchase decision is far more effective than any other.

Hence flighting, to build up to a given effective frequency, for a shorter period of time will sell less product than having some activity at any time when purchase might be occurring.


Friday, August 08, 1997 #1386
I wanna know if exists any similar combination for media as exists with marketing-mix with the 4 P's (product, placement, price and promotion).

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, August 08, 1997 ):
Though not as alliterative, the comparable media factors might be:

  • Ad unit
    (length/size/coloration)
  • Frequency
  • Target
  • Geography
  • Media Mix

All this is, of course, a sub-set of marketing's "Promotion" element.

Other factors in media, which you would be used to encountering in plans' Objectives and Strategies sections, come before or after these decision points. For instance, Budget, which controls the degree of freedom possible in selecting options for the list and Reach / effective reach which is essentially a result of the decisions made about the listed factors.


Thursday, June 19, 1997 #1366
Dear Guru, I have a set of urgent questions to ask of you. I have a meeting tomorrow, and need your help! 1. How is effective reach calculated? 2. Reach v/s Frequency -- when should one be given priority / importance over the other? 3. Is there any way of taking creative into account while analysing competition? If yes, can a system of weights be worked out? 4. How do you reconcile to the vast difference between reach/frequency deliveries from a Peoplemeter system as opposed to the Diary system? My client refuses to accept a 4+ reach of 30% being accustomed to levels of 70% for the same plan! Would greatly appreciate your immediate reply.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 19, 1997 ):
1) In any schedule of several commercials, some of the target group will see only one, some will see two, some will see three, some will see four, some five, etc, etc.

The actual measurement is based on tracking the cume of several different advertisers schedules in a single measurement period such as one month of the PeopleMeter.

A mathematical model that will match the measured GRP/Frequency is calculated so that plan deliveries can be predicted. Going more deeply into the actual measurement, it can be determined how many people of each demographic group were exposed to each commercial in the schedule and a model calculated which will predict that performance for a plan.

For example, below is the typical output of a computer models' frequency distribution, showing what percent of the target saw exactly n commercials and what percent saw n+. (this example is from Telmar's ADplus):

                    Frequency (f) Distributions 
                           ------------------------------------- 
                                  % who saw
                                 ---------------
                          #seen exactly  at least     
                          ----- -------  -------
               Target:      f     rch    rch    
               P18-49      ---   -----  -----   
                            0     69.1  100.0   
                            1     11.5   30.9    
                            2      6.0   19.3    
                            3      3.7   13.4   
                            4      2.6    9.6   
                            5      1.8    7.1    
                            6      1.3    5.2   
                            7      1.0    3.9   
                            8      0.7    2.9   
                            9      0.6    2.2   
                           10+     1.6    1.6   
                           20+     0.0    0.0    

2) Reach vs Frequency: The determination of emphasis here can be a complicated analysis making up the greater part of a plan's documentation, under the heading of "communications strategy." A commercial so powerful that it's sell is overwhelming in one exposure might take the "Let's buy one spot in the Superbowl" route as did the Macintosh computer with the classic "1984" execution.

In more competitive situations, competitors' levels are taken into account, clutter in the media of choice, copy quality, etc. Obviously a balance must eventually be struck between reach and frequency based on judging all these factors.

3) There are several ways to take creative into account while setting up reach vs frequency goals;

The complexity or simplicity of the message

The number of commercial in the pool

how close your commercial is to the established "wear-out" level

The balance of :30 to :15

etc, etc. can all be assigned factors and totalled or averaged to give a reach vs frequency emphasis factor

a similar exercise can also set effective frequency thresholds

4) There should not be "vast" differences between effective reaches based on people meter and diary systems if schedule GRP and other aspects are the same. 5 or 10% would be the range the Guru would expect.

A plan with a 70 reach at the 4+ level would be delivering in the range of 98% total reach. It sounds as if your client may be confusing a plan with 70 reach and an average frequency of 4 with 70 at an effective frequency of 4. Or perhaps confusing 4-week reach with a long term cume?


Friday, June 13, 1997 #1365
Dear Guru, Could you please give your opinion on what can be viewed as a recommended level of GRP, frequency and effective frequency for a highly competitive advertising category on TV. As an example we can take a carbonated soft drinks' category. What should be the planning guidelines? When and why we should use flighting (pulsing) or what is the rationale for a continous campaign. Additionally to TV which other media should we use and why? Thank you in advance, Bob

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 13, 1997 ):
You are actually asking for the complete Objectives, Strategies and communications tactics of a full scale media plan, without offering enough background.

Nevertheless, here are some considerations:

One theory of competitive media planning calls for delivering a minimum of 10% more impressions than the key competitor, in head to head media. This assures beating the competition in GRP, reach and effective reach.

Budget is a consideration. If there is not enough money to compete as above nationally, then selecting geography where the delivery advantage can be maintained should allow you to beat the competition, bit by bit, until you can afford national support.

When there are time-sensitive promotional issues, then pulsing can be an effective way to deliver more impressions over the crucial period. Recent media theory has emphasized the benefits of continuity, because "the impression delivered closest to the purchase decision is the most effective impression." In the soft drink category, where purchase decisions are constant, continuity may be generally preferable to pulsing.

In other, highly competitive, seasonal categories pulsing may be needed.

As far as recommending other media, that calls for more information, but please look at the Guru's Media Advertising Strenghths


Monday, February 17, 1997 #1045
I am interested in obtaining research that explores effective consumer promotion television weight levels. A typical consumer promotion window may be 2 - 3 weeks. Most consumer promotions are planned in the neighbourhood of 300 GRPs / week. Is there any research that has measured effective levels. I am trying to identifity an optimal level, a level (or range) below which response/sales suffer and/or above which response/sales do not substanitially increase.Goal- avoid spending too little or too much against a given promotion.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 21, 1997 ):
There are so many variable beyond GRP weight that the Guru doubts you will find simple answers.

Just a few are copy length, daypart mix, competitive arena, product interest, and commercial quality and wear-out status. Further, the Guru thinks that effective reach / frequency is a more useful quantitaive standard than pure GRP.

Two places to look for relevant research would be Newsweek Media Research Index or Advertising Research Foundation


Tuesday, February 04, 1997 #1056
What is the best way to determine effective reach? Any availabale research?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, February 09, 1997 ):
effective reach refers to the concept that people exposed to advertising are only exposedd "effectively' beginning witha certian number of repetitions of the message.

originally, 3 tiems was the standard, based on the work of Ebinghaus in the 1880's, who tested learning of nonsense syllables.

Today logic and experience tells us that many factors determine the number of repetions necessary before recognition and understanding of a message will turn into motivation to buy.

The power of the creative, the clutter of the media used, the competitive environment, the interest of the consumer in the category, whether it is an impulse item otr considerd purchase are just a few of the 20+ factors commonly used to judge whether the effective level mustbe set at 3, 4, 6 or more.


Friday, December 20, 1996 #1087
How do the concepts of effective frequency relate todirect response advertising? Should the same rules of frequency be taken into account when planning forresponse as when planning for awareness? Is frequency even a factor in D.R. or should I just max out on impressions and occasions?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, December 21, 1996 ):
effective frequency applies, but differently. If it takes 3 repetitions for a message to be absorbed, then DR may need the 3 repitions as well before it begins to work. But perhaps that's why DR messages are often 90's or 120's, There is the chance to repeat information 3 or more times and capture attention. In half hour infomercials, it is not unusual for ther to be 3 10 minute cycles of repeated information.


Thursday, October 31, 1996 #1115
Dear Guru,I am carrying out a study on the effects of frequency on attitudes and behavior, distinguishing between low and high involvement productsAre there any previous learnings on this subject ?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, October 31, 1996 ):
Compilations of such research are best available from the Advertising Research Foundation or the Newsweek Media Research Index at VMR.

There ahve been several trade articles on the concept -- effective frequency vs propinquity -- most notably by Irwin Efron, and some by Abbott Wool and others, published in Inside Media and MediaWeek.


Saturday, August 31, 1996 #1153
How does one determine what is effective advertising on the Internet?What would be thought to be an effective frequency?How does it compare with more traditional media (direct advertising etc)?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, September 02, 1996 ):
One first has to define what qualifies as advertising in the internet context. Is it a full web page or is it a banner ad on someone else's page?

effective frequency was long cosidered to be just a simple 3 or more times, stemming from the origninal 1883 Ebbinhaus learning theory experiment.

More recent theorists look at differnet amounts of repetion needed to "learn" an advertising message, based on content (high interest/low interest, etc) or environment (relevant surroundings, clutter, competition, etc).

But in the case of banners, these are usually no more than logos, with nothing to learn, they're fishing lures to bring the browser to the more detailed inormation. In the case of full web pages, the idea is either to draw the browser through the whole content if the page is an ad or to bring the browser back often if the page itself is a medium for other people's banner ads.

Learning and repetiton may not be relevant or may nned to be redefined.

In a direct mail context, the banner may be like the outside of the envelope, and the web page like the content. Both are a one-shot deal: effective frequency doesn't enter the picture.


Sunday, July 07, 1996 #1185
I am convinced that with a limited budget it is necessary to reach "effective" reach levels at a given period of time rathe than spread thos dollars throughout the year to achieve low levels but high coninuity. I am working in the Automotive field. Please help me. I need specific documented research studies on effective reach!!!

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, July 08, 1996 ):
It isn't clear what your query is. Many people continue to feel as you do. In recent years, many others have espoused the "propinquity" theory which advocates continuous low levels, based on the idea that the single exposure closest to a purchase occasion is the most effective.

There has been considerable trade publication comment on the matter, most often by Erwin Ephron, probably the leading proponent of propinquity. A recent Advertising Research Foundation workshop devoted considerable attention to this issue, and the proceeding of that conference should be available from the ARF. There have been opposing positions, in agreement with yours, published as well, one of the earliest by Abbott Wool in Media Week shortly after Ephron's first publication of the theory.

The Guru has discussed this before, so using your browser's "find" function to scan this page and the Guru archives will provide additional material.

Surely the most archetypical exception to continuity is for the highly seasonal product, as automotive products may be.


Friday, May 17, 1996 #1213
Dear Guru,I have two questions which you might have heard before.
a)I do know that a :15s commercial on TV cost between 50% to 75% of a :30s depending on market etc. Is there any studies that show what the benefit of either length is (if any) in terms of reach, frequency, effectiveness, memorability, etc.
b)I have seen studies praising the advantage of multiple media usage above single media; in other words using TV and radio instead of just TV. Can you elaborate on that and update with new info about this topic. Reason being a client who would like to slash the budget down to just using TV for campaigns. I however feel that there is an added benefit in using multiple media.Please respond by Monday if you can.Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 19, 1996 ):
a) There is is no difference in reach and frequency between a :15 and a :30. In the same time period, they have the same audience, within the tolerances of research measurement.

On the other hand, a schedule using :15's in place of some or all the :30's will provide more reach and frequency, because it has more announcements, hence more GRP, etc, for the same budget.

When :15's started to become popular several years ago, there was considerable research regarding effectiveness versus :30's. The general findings were that :15's had about 70 - 75% of the recall of a :30. At the time, :15's were typically a network option priced at 50% of :30's so the trade off of price vs effectiveness seemed favorable.

b) Multi-media plans chief benefit is in reach development, though the effects of the added reach have ripples in many directions.

Adding a new medium adds more reach than adding weight in the same medium: There are more likely to be different people in the audience of a different medium, over a given period of time. This applies to effective reach as well.

There are a variety of philosophical approaches to taking advantage of this.

One approach says to build reach up to a minimum effective level in the primary medium first, before adding the next medium. Another says build the first medium to the point where the reach curve flattens, then add the next medium to resume reach growth.

A newer, different line of thought, the "recency" theory, de-emphasizes reach in favor of delivering messages to the consumer closest to the point of making a purchas decison. This argues for continuity, to reach more people at all times rather than highest levels in sporadic flights. Again, multi-media will produce more reach, but other theories of minimum weekly levels may effect scheduling, ie radio bought to a minimum of 12x weekly when active.

Judgements must also be made regarding whether TV and radio is perceived as the same message by the consumer. Of course, this same judgement must be applied to different executions in the commercial pool of each individual medium as well.


Tuesday, April 30, 1996 #1231
I'm working on a presentation on how media planning professionals go about determining a media mix, and how a percent of budget is allocated to each medium being used. It's a general presentation for a client who is not very familiar with media planning terminology or methods. So far my sources for info include a couple of similar documents that I and others that I work with have written in the past, and the media planning textbook (by Scissors). Do you know of any other RECENT sources of info, points-of-view, articles on this topic? Or have you answered a similar question recently? If so, please tell me the category under which your response would be filed (I have looked through several categories of your responses and did not see anything relevant to this topic). Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, April 30, 1996 ):
In the broadest terms, the process may be thought of as

Marketing Goals ---> Marketing Strategies ---> Media Goals ---> Media Strategies ---> Media Tactics, etc.

A very simple example:

A marketing goal of increasing the number of users of product X might lead to a strategy of converting users of competitive brand Y.

The media goal might then be to optimize reach at effective levels of frequency among a demographic group matched to current users of brand Y.

The media strategy to achieve this might then be built by examining various media mixes to determine which produce the best balance of effective reach for the budget, within the creative limitations.

Of course this is just one possible marketing goal, one possible strategy that might emerge.

There are many ways to set reach goals, to set minimum effective levels or decide to apply the recent "proximity" or "recency" theory of exposure.

In short, one doesn't decide on percents of media and see how it turns out, one decides which media will best answer the marketing and media strategies. Often, some creative decisons have precedence: if TV is designated as the "primary medium" because of communications ability, need to demonstrate, etc, then the strategy migh dictate putting all money into TV "until the effective reach curve is exhausted."

There are infinite ways to express and measure goals and their achievment. Some standard media planning software, such as Telmar's Media Maestro, and Hispanic Media Maestro, allow easy examination of various mixes, instantly showing how reach/frequency/effective reach change as budget or schedules are shifted between media by the planner.


Friday, March 15, 1996 #1263
Can you fill me in on "recency"? Sounds like a complicated way to say low media weight, long duration? Is this correct? If so, can it work with a small budget?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 18, 1996 ):
Recency does amount to lower weight and longer duration, but allows for more complex discussion. It is a theory which works in opposition to "effective reach." effective reach is based on the fact that 3, or some other minimum number of exposures to advertising, is necessary for the advertising to be digested, understood and begin to effect consumer behavior.

Recency posits that an exposure close to the moment of purchase decision is the most effective, therefore maintaining a constant presence of messages is most likely to catch the prospect at the crucial moment.

Obviously, even within the recency model, the more exposure provided at any given point in time the better the chance of catching a consumer at the critical time. Recency argues for continuity, not for low levels, though it is often used to justify low levels.

Recognizing that truly seasonal purchases call for different scheduling than regularly cyclical purchases, the concept says that if a given number of impressions are affordable, all else being equal, those impression will generate more sales when spread consistently rather that concentrated into flights at a presumed "effective" level.


Friday, February 16, 1996 #1760
Dear Mr. Guru, Thank you for your last reponse on how to calculate GRP's. You had mentioned that you had explained it fully except for Neilson's calculation methodology. I would be interested in hearing more about this method of calculation as well. Also, is there a "better" way to measure the actual "Impact" an ad campaign has had if you know the actual length of each ad, the frequency the ads ran and the channels(and shows) that they ran during. ie. frequency X length X Audience(rate for each time slot)?? This is obviously a simplified formula, but your feedback on this would be greatly appreciated. Lastly, for television advertising, what are some of the other accepted methods of measurement. Thanks (Again) darrylw@conceptus.on.ca

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 16, 1996 ):
It is Neilsen's survey methodology that wasn't covered. They would use the same calculation formulae. The full description of Neilsens methodologies for People Meter, household meter and diary would cover several pages. Contact Neilsen who will be happy to send you methodology booklets.

Regarding "impact" there are as many ways to evaluate this as there are advertisers.

Some advertisers use a factor for copy length based on norms from recall tests. For example, 75% of a :30 is a typical value for a :15.

Some use attentiveness by daypart.

Some use a combination of the two factors.

Some apply the factors to GRP as an indicator; some apply to GRPs and then estimate reach from those adjusted GRPs as an impact indicator.

The frequency of a schedule, as discussed so far, refers to the average frequency of exposure for all pesons reached.

There are those who use "effective reach," counting only persons reached at least 3 times (or any designated minimum) when evaluating the impact of a schedule.


Monday, November 06, 1995 #1824
Do you have any information about "Wear-out" of TVCs?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 06, 1995 ):
The first thing to know about wear-out is that there are no absolutes. Different people mean different things by "wear-out" There are numerous ways to set a standard for wear out and numerous ways to measure a commercial's approach to that standard. The simplest, as stated by one of the industry's great researchers is, "a commercial is worn out when the client asks about wear out." Realistically, a practical definition of wear out is when the commercial no longer stimulates additional sales. However, it's rare that any commercial is tracked closely enough to determine that point, and the trick is to *predict* that point. Commercials differ in their quality, impact, and memorability, as well as in the clutter and audience duplication of the schedules used to air them. A commercial that's one of a pool of three closely related commercials for a brand might wear out at a different point in time than one that's one of three dissimilar executions. A commercial airing repeatedly in a single daypart wears out before one in a broad rotation. The audience target and its media habits will also have an impact. Once the wear out level is determined base on the above, then it needs to be associated with a media measurement. Measurement might vary from "when the top quintile is exposed x number of times" to "when effective reach is x% over xx weeks" to "when the commercial has accumulated xxxx TRPs." Bottom line, the answer is a commercial is worn out when it stops selling. How to determine this is a question of judgement and specific research.


Monday, January 23, 1995 #1877
It seens that the effective reach concept is falling on disrrepute. What do you think. Is it a valuable concept for a package goods advertiser?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, January 23, 1995 ):
Despite some media pundits, effective reach/frequency is not dead yet. A good media plan should directly address the communication strategy of each particular product campaign. Frequency will depend upon such parameters as purchase cycle, complexity of the message, competitive advertising, the ability to deliver the message in a timely fashion at the height of consumer interest, as well as other tried and successful principles. The current heightened interest in frequency takes into account the length of the advertising commitment, a concept that was always vague in the original effective reach/frequency theory. Because this topic is of great importance, we have created a news group under Industry Forums so that all AMIC members may participate.



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