Home Page The Advertising Media Internet Center

Telmar Home Page


Media Guru

Guru Search Results: 77 matches were found

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 #7929
re: #7926 Sorry about the lack of information: •Each of the four TV stations is within the same DMA; The cable schedule is based on a number of networks. •Using the report the client gave me, I plugged in the corresponding numbers for another month’s buy where I actually have the combined TV totals. TV’s reach/Freq/GRPs was 99.4 / 7.1 / 702. Cable’s was 61.2 / 2.1 / 129. •Using the client’s ‘formula’ the average reach would be 69.4 , average freq would be 2.4 and total grps would be 831. •It sounds to me in the above example, I should be weighting it per your suggestion. How do I do that?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, May 26, 2011 ):
Do you want the r&f of the market where the TV schedule ran or the national r&f combining cable and the one TV market?

  • If you want the schedule of the one TV market, and if the cable schedule is expressed in US R/F/GRP, assume the cable R/F/GRP is the same in your market as in the whole country.
  • With 99+ reach locally, this almost doesn't matter in this case (the Guru never reports reaches above 98%, as a matter of principle)
  • So the local market reach stays at 99, since there is no room for cable to increase it. The GRPs are additive, or 831 in total, and the frequency is 831 99 or 8.4.
  • If you want the US reach, and again if the cable is expressed as US reach, then use the weight of the market size agains the local reach.
  • Suppose your market is 4% of the US. Then, nationally, you would be adding 4% of 702, or 28 GRP to the cable 129, for a total of 157.
  • Now is the trickier part: your local TV reach adds a maximum of 4% of the local 99 reach points to cable's 61, or a max of 65 reach.
  • To properly combine the local and the cable you could run the combined cable and spot though an r&f program with the 4% of GRP figure. Realistically, of the 4 added reach points potential, you would probably gain 2 or 3. Of course this 2 or 3 or 4 depends on the market size. But assuming a very generous 4%, your R/F/GRP is somewhere between 63 / 2.5 / 157 and 64 / 2.5 / 157, so why fuss?
69% Reach is out of the question, even if your market is New York, with 6% of the US.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 #7886
Multi Week Reach & Frequency I'm having trouble totaling r & f across a 4 week period when ratigns are different across the weeks. We tie back to individual program for a single week but not the total 4 weeks. Everything totals fine when ratings are the same across all weeks. I have a 4 week schedule with 1 program Fri 10-11p Daypart Prime Telmar DPT # 6 Demo M1849 July 2010 Book cume data Avg rating Sign on to sign off Cume rtg avg: 391 Primetime Cume Rtg avg: 204 week 1 2 spots 0.9 rtg Reach 1.8 Freq 1.0 week 2 1 spot 1.6 rtg Reach 1.6 Freq 1.0 week 3 1 spot 1.6 rating Reach 1.6 Freq 1.0 week 4 3 spot 0.5 rating Reach 1.5 Freq 1.0 Trying to tie numbers to another company using the same Telmar model they have a 4 week total 4.5 Reach and a 1.4 Frequency. We get a 3.8 Reach and 2.1 Frequency using both an avg rating and a weighted average ratings. What else could we try to tie back to them we have an array for spots by weeks but only one rating for all the weeks???? Thanks in advance

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 17, 2011 ):
In the data you present, each week shows some inherently incorrect data, which makes the Guru suspect your input. But before the Guru points out these problems, it should be mentioned that trying to fine tune reach at such extremly low levels seems pointless. A reach difference of 0.7% is unlikely to be real within statistical tolerances, anyway.
  • In week 1, two spots having no duplication and exactly 1.0 frequency is unlikely
  • Regarding weeks 2 & 3, a single spot cannot have any duplication, so reach will exactly equal rating for any single spot, anywhere. Further, reach can never be greater than GRP. And, Frequency can never be less than 1.0; (i.e. anyone reached is reached at least once) your 1.8 reach and 1.6 GRP would yield and impossible 0.888 frequency
  • In week 4,similarly, you have an impossible 1.5 GRP and 1.8 reach.
The Guru does not understand how "Cume rating" has any place in this discussion, nor "weighted average ratings"

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 #7866
How do I calculate TV & Radio reach/frequency, if I only have the GRPs and total target population?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, April 29, 2011 ):
The input for typical r&f models is much more than just GRPs. Rating size, dispersion across stations, dayparts, programs, demographics, etc, all come into it. This is why computer models have become the standard approach.

In the old days, planners would have assembled tables that compared reach results to typical reaches, taken one or two of these variables into consideration. see our own eTelmar for possible help.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 #7865
If you know the estimated GRPs for a TV or Radio campaign in a particular market is there a way to calculate the reach and frequency?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, April 29, 2011 ):
The input for typical r&f models is much more than just GRPs. Rating size, dispersion across stations, dayparts, programs, demographics, etc, all come into it. This is why computer models have become the standard approach.

In the old days, planners would have assembled tables that compared reach results to typical reaches, taken one or two of these variables into consideration. see our own eTelmar for possible help.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 #7855
I'm trying to explain to my boss why purchasing the lowest CPP programming-regardless of daypart-is a bad idea. He is trying to save money for the client but I think it's not stewarding their ad dollars. I've tried to explain that the psychographics can be different within a demo. i.e. Buying Judge Judy, Cops and Family Guy against W25-54 is a totally different audience than buying Private Practice and American Idol against W25-54. And I think that the buy becomes more fragmented because you're not reaching a large audience at one time. Is there information I can find to prove this? Audience composition for programming maybe? And also, why we need daypart allocations.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, April 20, 2011 ):
What you and your boss are both overlooking is that discussions like this need to be framed within a communications strategy.

Somewhere in your media plan it should be established that your primary goal is either

  • Message weight, in which case lowest CPP is most important, or
  • Reach, in which case ratings size is more important, because, as you say, smaller, more fragmented audiences do not build reach as well, or
  • Message environment is key which suppports the sell, which talks to your psychographic point. or
  • Frequency, ie. message repetition is key, which would support more, lower rated spots. . .

But, unless you have agreed on where the emphasis should be, you can't resolve this disagreement. Some planners or buyers always assume they should go for the most reach. This is not correct unless it is the stated goal. Nor can you assume, when reach is the primary goal, that bigger ratings are always better; if you can buy twice as many impressions in lower rated programs, they may well generate more reach than half as many impressions from higher rated programs. Not that 50% is the set ratio. Perhaps only a 20% margin will outperform the reach deliver of higher ratings.

So set your goals and examine them carefully. Run r&fs on schedules of high rated vs low rated programming, and keep effiicency in mind. Examine the other scenarios.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011 #7835
Dear Guru, I am planning a schedule with print and internet in California only. My target is California residents age 18 and older. I am using MRI data for a print reach to a target of A18+ who live in California. I am using comScore Plan Metrix r&f data for a target of adults 18+ (national online audience). My questions are: #1 Can I combine these reaches using random duplication and caveat that we are making the reasonable assumption that the state only reach of teh properties we are buying match the national reach. #2 Can I combine these using Telmar's Quick Mix program? If so, would I use the MRI population since it matches our target audience of A18+ in CA? #3 When combining an internet number based on total population online with a print number based on ALL adults, do I need to weight the online number at all? Thank you for your help!

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, March 09, 2011 ):
You first must decide whether you need to report reach on a total population or internet user basis. Total is more sensible.

You will convert your internet reach to a total population basis before you combine with print. Random combination is appropriate.

But you should consider whether reach in California is actually comparable to U.S. you should be able to find differences in internet and specific site penetration for California.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 #7826
Hi Guru. I am wondering how (or if) you can calculate average frequency without using GRPs. I am evaluating a range of marketing strategies some of which i don't think the client would have GRPs for (eg Posters, billboards). So if i can calculate the total number of gross impressions including duplications (which for posters and billboards im still struggling with but i guess thats another question) and the total audience how do i then sort out which impressions are new audience and which are duplications? Is it even possible to get Reach and average frequency from this amount of data?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 13, 2011 ):
If you have gross impressions, you have GRPs.

Gross impressions ÷ population = GRP.

Reach is gross less duplication. And of course, GRP ÷ reach = average freqquency.

There are various formulae, rules of thumb and software for calculating reach from GRP.

Ask your vendor for their formulae or rules of thumb.

Our own eTelmar has an out-of-home r&f model.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011 #7824
I have been stuck at home for 3 days due to an snow and ice storm. I need to get my client the total reach and frequency for a cable network buy. I have the r&f for my cable network buy (one specific network) and I need to combine it with another cable network buy with mutible networks. I have the r&f for each buy. Is there a way to give them at least a close guestimate?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, January 12, 2011 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses regarding combining reaches

Review those that discuss "random combination." The method will overstate the combination of two cable schedules by perhaps 2 - 5%.

Monday, December 06, 2010 #7820
What are the pitfalls of using an ROI model to plan reach and frequency - Will I end up counting exposures in all media outlets?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 08, 2010 ):
This query seems to skip large logical assumptions between "ROI model" and "exposures in all meida outlets."

It all depends on the structure of your model. If the model is keyed to an ROI based on given r&f results, were the ROI results that were used to build the model based on r&f results from all media? Were there various media combinations?, etc.

Monday, November 15, 2010 #7815
I have a client that wants me to run a TV r&f analysis on different GRP levels...65, 100, 125, 150 and 200. The reason they want me to do this is, we have just completed a 5 week TV campaign that ended the 1st wk in Oct..1st time client has advertised in 3 years. Client hired a research company and their findings reflected that there was a low recall the last couple of weeks of the campaign. We started with 200 points 1st wk, 250 pts 2nd wk (based on historical info, spike in sales that wk) 150 third, hiatus for 2 wks and then back on air for 2 final wks @ 200/wk.The research company has recommended for 1st quarter that we use low GRP levels, 50-65 pts/wk over a long period of time. I recommeded that we run heavy GRP's in 1st quarter for all the obvious reasons plus the most important...impact into the markets. We will have been black for 11 wks prior to our 1st quarter placement. We are selling sausage not trying to brand their name. Please give me your thoughts.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 15, 2010 ):
AMIC has lots of material on this topic of Recency vs Continuity vs peaks. Click here to see past Guru responses Briefly, in a situation where consumer goods has little to no seasonality and regular purchase, Recency theory holds that the impression closest to the purchase decision is the most effective one. And that since there are purchase decisions constantly being made, continuity at low but sufficent levels (say, a threshhold of 30 reach per week) is best.

The other side of the coin, for which you seem to be groping, is that you need a certain level of awareness, before constant reminder messages are effective.

A further, important factor arguing against hiatuses, is that whatever level of awareness you establish decays by about 10% of the previous week's level for every week of hiatus.

So the Guru would quickly build to an effective reach level at least equal to your awareness goal and then sustain at whatever level of continuity is affordable. 50 - 65 GRP/week should work at that point.

The Guru cringes at metrics like "impact" in such discussions. Goals need to be defined in all the other terms of this discussion:

  1. reach
  2. effective reach
  3. awareness
  4. recall
  5. Etc.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 #7732
I'm trying to make sure I'm on the right track. How do I determine the estimated percentage of youth (15-24)to be reached by a program shown on one channel (5 times a week) versus an ad on multiple channels (GRP 130-140 wkly).

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 14, 2009 ):
The latter case is a simple r&f. The cume within one program s mre specific and must be pulled directly from Nielsen reports. Nielsen N-Power is one suitable tool.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009 #7662
I'm not sure I understand your answer to this question below. Perhaps you can explain better with an example? I agree with the person asking the question that it is not right to double the GRPs. Tuesday, November 28, 2006 #7236 Hello Guru my question is about spot TV units called "bookend 15s". I'm not too familiar with them, and not sure I'm asking the question right. I am told that in the process of buying bookends each :15 has to be counted, doubling one's points. Is it wise to halve the points to gauge a more realistic delivery of r&f? It just doesn't feel right to assume the delivery is really doubled, even thought it technically is two exposures. Your opinion is much appreciated, and thanks. The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 03, 2006 ): For reach calculation purposes, count the bookend :15s as one unit and use the double GRPs. Frequency then is correcltly more-or-less doubled.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 05, 2009 ):
Bookend :15's are the first and last elements of a commerical break. For all practical, purposes, there is virtually no audience growth from the first to the last, usually just :90 apart. So for reach purposes, they are equivalent to a single commerical unit. This is an informed judgement.

But by the definition of GRP, they are two separate exposures of ads. Just like two separate ads in the same issue of a magazine. This is fact.

Therefore, the GRP contribution counts both units and reach calculation treats them as one.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008 #7606
Dear Guru, I am planning on buying 3 broadcast networks and a handful of cable networks and need to determine the reach of my total buy. Is it appropriate to take the total GRP's across all networks and divide it by my frequency to get my total estimated reach? (Using the reach X freq = GRP equation.) If not, what is the better alternative? I do not currently subscribe to a r&f program for TV and need to do a hand calculation. Thank you!

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, September 23, 2008 ):
If you knew your average frequency, this would work. But how would you know it without an r&f program?

This sounds like a fairly expensive buy; why wouldn't you have r&f software if you're spending this kind of money?

Try AMIC's eTelmar on a pay-per-use basis.

Thursday, August 14, 2008 #7578
I am trying to combine the 1+ reach for 3 TV campaigns with the same demo that ran at the same time. I know that I cannot simply add them up. Can you recommend a formula to acheive this number?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, August 14, 2008 ):
The three schedules should be processed as one through r&f software like our own eTelmar

Friday, March 14, 2008 #7513
Do you know what O.E.S Analsys is? Someone mention that it had to do with the amount of spots you had to have a week, in order to reach your reach and requence goal. I'm not sure, I would like to find out more infomation about it. Where can i look?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, March 14, 2008 ):
The Guru believes you are referring to "Optimal Effective Schedule" analysis, an old-fashioned radio scheduling technique from before the advent of PCs on everyone's desk and the availability of station-specific radio r&f software or r&f modeling programs like that of our sister company, eTelmar.

The concept was that rather than buying each radio station in your plan to some arbitrary number of spots per week like 12 or 18, it was more efficient (in building reach) to buy each station to a number of spots that generated a certain percentage of the station's cume potential. As the Guru recalls, the standard was commonly 80% of the cume potential. In this way, stations with higher "turnover" (cume potential average rating) got more spots, and the best reach of the plan was most efficiently attained. Today it is so easy to analyze reach and frequency of various schedule options that these old techniques have fallen out of use. Still, in developing schedules to test in your r&f software, the cume potential and turnover may be useful, directionally.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 #7488
Hello Guru, I am in the middle of an argument with a friend, and we are hoping that you can settle our dispute. My friend insists that the reach and frequency of a print schedule with 3 insertions in Better Homes and Gardens in the same month will be a different reach than 3 insertions spread out over 3 months. I disagree. We both have access to r&f tools and I even showed her that the end resulting reach will be the same. She now insists that the tools we use are wrong. Please help.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, January 30, 2008 ):
Your friend is right. 3 insertions in 3 different issues will generate more reach than 3 insertions in the same issue. This should be intuitively obvious: the reach of the 3 ads in the same issue can only be the audience of a single issue, with virtually no unduplicated exposures from each additional ad.

3 different issues each have a significant number readers that the other two do not. In media research and research tools, we treat an ad in any print issue as if it were read by everyone who reads the average issue, although there is obviously some overstatement in this standard. But audience measurement actually demonstrates that different issues have somewhat different audiences, even if the majority of the audience is duplicated by the next issue.

Your r&f tools are probably not "wrong." Your interpretation of the results probably is. The Guru would be very surprised to learn that your r&f software offers a way to distinguish the inputting of a schedule of 3 ads in one issue from 3 ads in different issues. If it seems to, but gives the same reach in both cases, then it is wrong.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 #7236
Hello Guru my question is about spot TV units called "bookend 15s". I'm not too familiar with them, and not sure I'm asking the question right. I am told that in the process of buying bookends each :15 has to be counted, doubling one's points. Is it wise to halve the points to gauge a more realistic delivery of r&f? It just doesn't feel right to assume the delivery is really doubled, even thought it technically is two exposures. Your opinion is much appreciated, and thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 03, 2006 ):
For reach calculation purposes, count the bookend :15s as one unit and use the double GRPs. Frequency then is correcltly more-or-less doubled.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 #7142
How do I do TV post buy analysis when actual spends data is missing (we just took over the account from other agency)? What I have only pre campaign GRPs, 1+ Reach and Frequency and Post GRPs and r&f

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, May 25, 2006 ):
Obviously, the client won't be expecting you to analyze data you don't have, assuming you have requested the budget and been told it can't be provided. Still you can provide a comparison of all the pre / post data you do have and even compare achieved CPP to SQAD or other standard used by your agency.

Thursday, September 01, 2005 #7002
Hi Guru, Can you explain how you would go about correctly getting a r&f on a direct response newsletter, that would be mailed out to 300,000 people in a local market. The market size is 800,000. Would it be correct to give this newletter a coverage # of 37.5? Also if the newsletter has 4 pages, would that count as 4 insertions? My client seems to think so, but I do not. I think it would be 1 insertion. He claims that his ads are on all pages of this newsletter. Would you weight it instead? Please help. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, September 04, 2005 ):
Assuming you are trying to estimate communications impact, the Guru's opinion is:
  1. Coverage: When a newspaper has circulation of 300,000 in a population of 800,000, it has 37.5% coverage, but there is a presumption that it is read by all 300,000.

    A presumably unsolicited direct mail piece will not be opened by the vast majority, perhaps only by 2%, and thus 2% x 300,000 ÷ 800,000, or 0.75% is a more appropriate coverage estimate.

  2. Ads on 4 consecutive pages of a four page piece would count as 1 insertion in the Guru's book, just as would a four page insert in a magazine.

Monday, May 30, 2005 #6942
What the standard sustaining, maintenance and saturation GRP levels for a media buy? For what time period are these levels: one week, four weeks etc. And finally, what is your source for this information.... is it an "industry standard" or found in a textbook? Assume the client is an automobile dealer.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 30, 2005 ):
There is no generally accepted standard. For maintenance, some like 100 GRP, probably because it's a large, round number.

It makes more sense to think in Reach and Frequency terms, i.e how much of the target gets how many messages; then the logic comes through. It makes some sort of sense to say that in maintenance, you want to reach at lease half of your target in an average four weeks (four weeks is the standard period in which to measure r&f). Ephron has said that cency theory calls for 30 reach every week for products continuously purchased. COmpetitvew pressure migh raise these figures or call for a specified minimum level of frequency. Attaining these levels can call for very different GRP levels depending on medium and daypart selection. All this too depends on what the budget will afford.

So, clearly, GRP levels are a great oversimplification.

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.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005 #6787
What is the formula for combining two r&fs?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 09, 2005 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses about "random probability"

Tuesday, August 31, 2004 #6583
Dear Guru, Can you once and for all please give the mathmatics involved to calculate a local r&f into a national r&f, and vice versa. If I am mixing a national schedule into a local market, will the GRP's remain the same? If not, how is it cacluated? Thanks in advance

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, August 31, 2004 ):
Local to national is simple arithmetic:

Local reach X % US coverage translates Rreach and GRP to national.

E.g. if you have a Reach / Frequency / GRP of
70 / 4.0 / 280 in a market which is 10% of the US, then national reach is
7 / 4.0 / 28. Note that frequency is NOT recalculated, it is simply the same. In most cases, this doesn't make a difference, but when it does, keep the original frequency. This is because it is a count rather than a percentage. So the same people that were reached, even when expressed as a percentage of a different universe, simply experience the number of exposures originally calculated.

National to local however, invloves estimation or measurement as much as arithmetic: If you have a schedule delivering a national R/F/GRP of
70 / 4.0 / 280, then you may estimate that its local delivery is
70 / 4.0 / 280, because, by defintion, that is the average reach across markets. However, various vehicles have differences in market-by-market audience, and if you have a specific market in mind, you can get the actual value of the schedule's delivery in the designated market. Then reach and frequency can be calculated for the market using whatever r&f model you have at hand, or perhaps using GRP delivery indices established in past experience. A delivery index would apply only to the GRPs; reach grows along a "curve" and would not vary in a linear fashion proportionately to the variations in individual vehicle audiences.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004 #6492
Is there a way to apply a conversion factor to Reach? We are being asked to run r&fs to the African American audience and we subscribe to the General Market software.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, May 12, 2004 ):
It is not possible to convert reach without, at a minimum, knowing the audience compostion of each program in the calculation as well as the duplication among the specified target. In limited circumstances, for example if you knew the audiences to all programs was 100% African American, but had to use a general r&f system, you might get close by just using population % as a conversion, but this still ignores potentially unique duplication patterns typical of culturallt defined markets.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004 #6465
For a new entrant with a small budget in a high spending category, 1)What should be prioritised in terms of Reach, Frequency or , Continuity at the expense of reach & frequency. 2)Is there a rule of thumb to set higher weight than competitors atleast in the launch month for better vicibility & cut thru at the expense of number of maintenance bursts.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, April 24, 2004 ):
The Guru always recommends 'outshouting' competition. For a new entrant with awareness issues this is all the more important.

Continuity can be a uniquely powerful technique if competion is flighted; a careful study of competitors' flighting patterns might show when to be the big noise in a loud field.

Another technique is geographic selection. If your budget does not allow making enough noise nationally or in a big region, it is wisest to begin in a smaller geographic area where your campaign can have significant share of voice.

Going directly to your question, the Guru would priorize continuity over reach and frequency, if you can achieve at least a minimum r&f; perhaps 30% reach.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004 #6339
What is considered effective for online advertising in terms of reach & frequency?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, January 18, 2004 ):
If you consider online advertsing by itself, why would it have a different effective r&f standard?

Realistically of course, it must. If only two-thirds of people are online, that sets an upper limit. With the millions of web sites fragmenting this audience, what portion of this universe0 can realistically be reached?

Even granting that giants like Yahoo may reach most internet users, what portion of Yahoo's reach can you afford to buy?

In the Guru's opinion, online is a tactical medium. It can reach key prospects in environmentally focused contexts with selectively delivered messsages. It can reach people or add frequency among people not otherwise accessible.

Friday, November 14, 2003 #6247
reach and frequency standards

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, November 15, 2003 ):
r&f standards for what?

Monday, August 25, 2003 #6139
Hi Boss, 1. how many weeks needed as a based assumption to get certain point GRP needed to achieved certain level of Reach/Freq 2. any explanation about answer no 1 3. how to calculate that (the tools) Big thanks boss

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, August 26, 2003 ):
The standard measurement period for r&f is 4 weeks or one month. This allows fitting in monthly magazines. For tools, see Telmar

Thursday, July 17, 2003 #6085
I have an $11,000 cable schedule that achieves 182 demo rating points. In Tapscan the Reach and frequency is 12.4 and 14.7 frequency. In Strata the reach and frequency is 73% reach and 2.5 frequency. I think the truth somewhere in between. Tapscan will not share the algorithims (sp)in the formula and I haven't asked STrata. What do you think?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 19, 2003 ):
The Guru imagines that the discrepancy has two bases:

One: possibly the Tapscan r&f is assuming that the input is cable GRP and the desirted output is total market r&f, while the Strata is calculating only against cable universe. For example if a market's cable penetration is 60%, then 182 cable GRP = 109 total market GRP. 73 cable universe reach = total 44 market reach.

Two: even under these circumstances, the difference should be less. The Guru suspects that dispersion and programming selection inputs differ between the two so that reach isn't calculated the same.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003 #5888
I'd like to know how you determine what your GRP goals should be for TV. I know that Total GRP's are equal to reach x frequency. However, if I want to reach 95% of adults 35+ each flight month while achieving a 4.0 weekly frequency, how do I determine those goals? Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 22, 2003 ):
The fact that reach x frequency = GRP is merely an arithmetic relationship, it is not predictive. Not all combinations of dayparts and programs with the same total GRP deliver the same r&f.

You need to examine various schedules with Reach & Frequency software, such as that from our sister company, Telmar.

Saturday, March 08, 2003 #5871
Dear Guru, I encounter some more questions which I am unsure. I learnt that we can calculate combined reach of different media vehicles in one medium and combined reach of different media (e.g. TV, Magazine etc.) and same for frequency. However, how can I applied tohse in an advertising flowchart? where I need to indicate monthly reach, monthly frequency and GRPs for different media vehicles+media (?) To do it manually, do we really calculate first combined reach and frequency of all media vehicles within 1 medium first than use the final combined reach % to calculate with other media to get the Montly reach & frequency & grps in the adv will be quite tedious....I am confused...please help!

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 09, 2003 ):
The Guru does not understand your confusion. You say you understand how to calculate the reach of several vehicles in one medium and how to combine the reaches of several media.

One thing you must understand is that reach is always calculated over a specified period of time. The standard period is four weeks. Often, when print is the only medium involved, one month is used because this is virtually the same as four weeks and monthly magazines fit readily. However, it should be recognized that variations in issue dates muddy the time cycle, and that monthly magazines' audiences cume over a longer period than one month.

In any case, whether the flow chart is divided into 12 months or 13 four-week periods, the process is simply a matter of looking at the schedule that will run in each of these periods and calculating the R/F/GRP for each. The is not any kind of standard that establishes that a flow chart should show r&f for every month. When schedules are fairly consistent, it is probably more common to show the average 4-week r&f within each quarter, or whatever is needed to give a clear understanding of the plan's communications levels.

And yes, if you are doing the work manually, it is tedious.

Thursday, January 16, 2003 #5739
I am looking information about the relationship between SWOT analisis and Reach & Frecuency goals. Can you hel me?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 18, 2003 ):
SWOT is Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats; in other words situation analysis. Reach and frequency describe communications levels. After a SWOT analysis, one might be led to formulate goals and strategies which include r&f goals. There is no direct connection.

Friday, January 10, 2003 #5727
Dear Guru, I need to support a network TV buy with spot radio. The network buy is at 700 TRP over 6 week flights (frontloaded for each flight). HOw do I determine the appropriate levels of weekly radio weight? Thanks for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, January 12, 2003 ):
Determine what you want to accomplish. If it's a certain communication level, for example, Reach and Frequency, it easy to use an r&f system to "back into" required radio levels. Your radio sales rep is one source of this kind of analysis.

Monday, January 06, 2003 #5720
We are a small agency who deals primarily in spot buys. I am putting together a network cable TV buy for a client. Network selection is largely based on MRI data against the target. I have R/F goals that were established based on a cursory "borrowed" run on an optimizer program. I know I can ask the networks to run R/F on the schedules I put together, but how can I get a combined R/F on the entire multi-network buy? We don't have a program that does that for network. Is there a formula? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, January 12, 2003 ):
Networks than can provide r&f runs can provide combined schedules. Systems vary, inout assumptions are important and some networks know how to slant results. Ask more than one network to do the same combinations as a check.

Our own eTelmar system can do r&f on a pay-per-use basis at a nominal cost.

Sunday, December 15, 2002 #5683
dear guru, i'm planning on print a first flight in january and after a hyatus of 6 months another flight in august: is it correct to sum the grp of the 2 flight or i should evaluate them separately? thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 15, 2002 ):
Why you would sum the GRP? A cume r&f would be misleading.

Thursday, November 21, 2002 #5634
I understand that % reach diminishes as the number of GRP increases, but over what time period is this based on? In other words, would there be a difference if a flight ran for a week with 500 GRP opposed to a month with 500 GRP.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, November 21, 2002 ):
This is better stated as "% reach increment decreases as GRPs increase."

The standard r&f calculation period is 4 weeks. In general, the same GRPs produce more reach in a shorter time, because of people's media use habits.

Monday, September 23, 2002 #5526
I have been given a client's previous cable buy to critique. Given that cable is a frequency medium, I feel the client has spread himself over too many networks with too few spots. I want to prove this to him beyond saying 'because I said so'. We are going to pull a r&f report but I also wondered, is there any research to indicate a minimum frequency for cable networks? I was wondering about the turnover rate for radio. Does something similar exist for cable?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, September 29, 2002 ):
Turnover is simply the ratio of weekly cume to average quarter hour audience. This could be computed for cable, but it's simply a short cut indicator for buying towards reach.

Why is cable a frequency medium? Because you said so? Granted cable, because of its smaller ratings, develops more frequency than reach in relation to prime time network. But another, perhaps more important use of cable is to reach niche audiences that are drawn to the specific programming of certain channles.

First be sure you understand the planning goals. Is cable there to add frequncy or to reach the target is a specific environment? If you think purely as a buyer, you may miss the point of a plan. Perhaps the previous buyer was given goals other than frequency; you need to critique in terms of goals. The r&f report you get may be too high or too low. What are the goals?

Friday, August 30, 2002 #5497
Dear Medai Guru: Thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge and experience! Question: Are there any estimated (or guestimated) GRP equivalents between different media. Example: Say, I am planning 400 GRPs on TV to reach about 50% at 4+. If I decide to use only outdoor, what r&f should I be planning for?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, September 02, 2002 ):
Different media have different strengths and uses; see the Guru's media strengths page

It is not appropriate to say that instead of "X" TV r&f one may substitute "Y" outdoor r&f.

400 GRP of TV would be a solid 4 week schedule. A light showing of outdoor develops 125-150 GRP per week, and 600-700 isn't uncommon. Such a schedule would deliver 90-95 reach with 30+ average frequency; perhaps 90 at 4+. Other issues of communication, such as message complexity and impact would outweigh the r&f comparison.

Tuesday, July 30, 2002 #5441
Dear Guru, please solve our argument. We (media agency) are always arguing with creative agencies what size of the creative material should be. We prefer smaller ads or shorter spots, because they are cheaper and we can achieve better media results (Reach and Frequency), and the creative people like a bigger ones. How could we estimate the optimal size?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, July 30, 2002 ):
By the theory you express, all ads would be the smallest possible, just to get big reach and frequency numbers. Of course, this is ludicrous.

Creatives like bigger ads because they have more impact, and this thinking simplistically disregards the impact of a total schedule.

You need to begin by establishing what will be the standard ad, one that communicates effectively and with adequate impact, however that is defined. Typically :30 TV of page, 4c magazines are such standards. From there, you can make sensible arguments about whether r&f gains with smaller ads are worthwhile or whether the losses through larger ads are.

Thursday, February 21, 2002 #5105
I am the media director in an agency that is 90% print. The presedent of the agency, (who knows little about media) has mentioned in meetings in front of me, my staff and the rest of the agency that media is like dinasour and is becoming exstinct. I am very offended by this. This morning she asked me to present in a dinasour costume. I have a broadcast background where bying TV and radio is a true skill, I realize that print is less technical and "anyone can do it". How do I respond to this? What trends should I be aware of to keep my department on top of their game and useful. I have a hard time addressing this with her because when she says it, I cannot remain composed.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 21, 2002 ):
1. Get into the spirit of things and tell your boss you'll present in a dinasaur costume if she'll wear her jackass costume.

2. In the Guru's opinion, print is more "technical" than broadcast. Extensive analysis of each environment (title) is typical and appropriate in ways that individual broadcast programs or stations are never analyzed in media plans. Reading and interpreting ABC or BPA statements should be more of a contribution than presenting r&fs.

You should probably look more deeply into what the boss means about your department, is she just trying to get your goat? What kind of boss even keeps a department she truly finds useless?

Monday, February 04, 2002 #5050
Is Telmar's multi-basing system the same thing as Fusion? And, if I'm currently doing the random probability formula to get total reach percent, what is the difference between that and Telmars calculations? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 06, 2002 ):
According to Telmar:
Multibasing preserves the integrity of a survey. It does not ascribe answers, and as such, avoids what we call "regression to the mean", washing away everything to averages. It preserves the leverage of a media element against any target group, not just those that leverage on demographics.

Telmar's r&f formulas use the actual turnover and duplication between media that are inherent in the survey. When there is real data, we use it.

Thursday, January 03, 2002 #4971
Dear Guru - Was there ever a "chart" that enabled media buyers to calculate reach/freq, gross impressions etc for broadcast television planning. I have been explaining to someone that we use programs for this kind of thing, but this person seems to remember using a chart and thinks i should be able to do this manually if he could. I've never heard of it, have you? He would have been planning around 1975. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 03, 2002 ):
Yes, before computers became common in the 80's, when there were just 3 networks, with 90%+ share, no cable, and few independent stations, r&f tables were the way it was done. Every few years, using Nielsen cume studies of actual scehdules, average reaches for various GRP levels were calculated. There might be variables for the number of programs or episodes used. In this way all possibilities for a daypart could be displayed on a single, typed page.

Today, with computers on every desk, 6 broadcast networks amassing only 50% share, dozens of cable options and hundreds of independent stations, accuracy requires computer systems. Such crude tables could be still constructed, but why bother when computers and software are so readily available?

The Guru who was using the charts in the 60's, is happy with his computer today.

Tuesday, November 20, 2001 #4900
I am trying to estimate past Reach & Frequency for a transportation trade industry print campaign -- and based on that set r&f goals for 2002. I have gathered the following information: Target universe in US, Asia and Europe; each publication's circulation to that target (where available); duplication (very limited availability of this from these pubs). Given this information, what formula could I use to (gu)estimate Reach & Frequency for this Trade plan? Alternatively, what other measures could I offer to my client to measure a recommended media plans effectiveness (i.e. Competitive SOV)?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 21, 2001 ):
The simple formula begins by calculating audience-divided-by-universe to estimate ratings (probability of exposure). Multiplying together all the negative probabilities gives you the reach, disregarding specific duplication. In other words, if you get a rating of 14% of target, the negative probability is 86%. Then, two issues of that publication have a combined negative probability of 0.86 X 0.86 or 0.7396. Thus the probable "reach" is 1 - 0.7386 or 26%. This reflects a rando likelihood of dulication of roughly 14%. In reality, there is more than just this random duplication between two issues of the same trade title, probably 50%+, so a better estimate of the reach would be 14% + 50% of 14%, or 21% reach.

For a good guestimate, combine all your insertions this way, using 60% duplication between repeats in the same title and 30% between different titles. Use judgement about titles from different countries which may have virtually no mutual duplication.

SOV is another comparitive tool. Going beyond relative communication and relative spending gets quite speculative.

Sunday, November 11, 2001 #4876
Dear Guru, I am developing a local cable buy for adults 18+, and working with two cable systems for coverage in one county. Can you provide me with some insight to accurately project cable tv reach and frequency, when the cable systems may not be able to provide ratings data for the county targeted. If I do receive estimated ratings from these systems, can I figure this the same as network buys are estimated, R X F = grps? I was also wondering if cable systems will typically "post" buys, as network stations do? Any insight you can provide in relation to estimating cable effectiveness would be appreciated. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 12, 2001 ):
  • The arithmetic defintions of Reach, Frequency and GRP assures that R x F = GRP always "works." But this doesn't help you figure anything out until you have two of the three terms.
  • Your best assumption, lacking all other data is that r&f develops the same as CableNetwork
  • If there are no actual ratings available, there is no basis for a "post."

If you are limited to only those cable channels with local availability, reach will be limited. If your target is narrow and matches the profile of some of these channels, which you will buy, enough frequency can produce an effective schedule. Remeber, it may take 500 spots to accumulate 50 GRP, and reach will only be equal to some small portion of GRP.

Thursday, August 09, 2001 #4648
Guru, I'm trying to figure out a Reach & Frequency of magazines which aren't measured. For discussion purposes, lets say my target base was 100,000. I am recommending 5 magazines with a total circ. of 80,000. However, I will be running in each about 5X over the course of 1 year. To make matters worse, I have no idea of the duplication between these mags. Without measured media, how do I figure an approx. r&f?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, August 11, 2001 ):
The first step to a crude estimate is to determine the target readers-per-copy (RPC of your largest circ book. With an average of 16,000 ( your 80,000 total across all 5), perhaps one is double the average or 32,000. If it has 2 target rpc, or 64,000 then your reach minimum is 64%. If all the books average 2 rpc, your schedule of 5 insertions in each of the 5 books has 320,000 impressions or 320 GRP in a base of 100,000.

Assume each additional title adds at least one reach point. Now your reach will be somwhere between 68% and 95% (arbitrary upper limit). With 320 GRP, your Reach / Freq is now somewhere between 68 / 4.7 and 95 / 4.3. Refining your rpc may narrow the range.

Or, if you have circ and rpc estimates, Telmar has software which can produce better projections.

Tuesday, July 31, 2001 #4621
Hello Media Guru Is there software available that will have reach and frequency information for Trade publications. If not what is the best way to calculate this information?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, July 31, 2001 ):
Programs like Telmar's print planning systems can process Intelliquest (computer and tech trades), as well as some others which exist in the medical and other fields. The software can also estimate r&f for other, unmeasured trade titles if you have circulation and reader-per-copy estimates.

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.


  • 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


  • 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.

Sunday, July 08, 2001 #4560
Dearest Guru, i'm trying to build a media plan (include its strategy for a market leader product). what do you think about put 'product purchasing cycle' is one consideration on making tv strategy? (the product has weekly-biweekly purchasing cycle). currently, the brand is using the SOV strategy (for about the last three years), but there are no significant effect on the competitor's market share. so i start to think about - i called - reach strategy. the basic idea of reach strategy is reaching as much audience in a single week. and then i arrive to r&f weekly : 3+(70%) for maintenance activity, and 4+(80%) for launching or relaunching activity. but i have a little confidence on my strategy. what do you think ?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, July 08, 2001 ):
Purchase cycle should be a consideration. Obvously a brand with weekly purchase calls for different support than one with quarterly purchase, or strong seasonality.

Thursday, July 05, 2001 #4546
Dear Guru: I have recently been told that in order to determine reach and frequency accurately, it is required that the competitive set in a market be also known. For example, it costs more to get reach in a market with lots of competition than it does in a market with none. I thought that the answer would be the same regardless, i.e. that I could get a 75%/3 r&f for X$$, but that the effectiveness of the ad would be less in the market with more clutter? Can you confirm or refute?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 05, 2001 ):
The Guru endorses your position. Reach calculation is only about audience accumulation and does not factor competition at all. If a station sells a news announcement with a 10 rating for $1000, it gets a 10 reach, no matter what any competitive advertiser might do. Competition could be a factoer in the cost of reach only if the competitors are so demanding of the same media inventory that the cost of the spot rises in response to demand. But this relates to demand for the commercial, whether by your competitors or buyers in an unrelated category.

So, competition has no effect on reach of a given schedule. It may indirectly and incalculably affect the cost of that schedule. As you surmise, it probably affects the impact.

Thursday, July 05, 2001 #4545
Dear Guru: I have an advertising plan for a new product launch that has a substantial reach and frequency for the first quarter of the launch. I have been asked to look at taking the second quarter down to 50% of the spending at launch, and 3rd and 4th quarters to 25% of that spending. Is there any rule of thumb that I could use to translate the relative reach and frequency at the reduced levels? For example, if I have a 90% r&f at 100%, could I assume 90% and 5 at a 50% spending level?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 05, 2001 ):
If you have the reach curves of the media you are using, you could find the coordinates for 50% or 25% of the dollars or weight vs a new reach easily.

However, different media elements, mixes and schedules develop differently. In one plan, say radio, where a heavy budget is generating added frequency for the last 50% of weight, a 50% reduction might reduce reach only 5%. In a lighter plan, or in a higher turnover medium, 50% reduction might mean 40% loss of reach.

Sunday, June 17, 2001 #4492
Hi Guru - I have a few cable TV questions. 1. Can reach/frequency estimates be done for cable schedules. My rep keeps giving me everything but. 2. Does Nielen measure all cable stations. 3. Why can't I get FX numbers on Telmar, just ESPN. 4. If I can get R/F for cable what are some of the major differences from Network numbers. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 17, 2001 ):
  1. Yes they can. Some smaller networks may not have the facilities to calculate r&f, but that doesn't seem likely.
  2. Yes, but not all cable networks have enough measured audience to be considered reportable by Nielsen
  3. Telmar systems which use your own Nielsen tape data will allow you to examine any reportable network. Systems like Market Maestro, which use established generalized data can only incorporate networks old enough and large enough at the time of the system update to have establish patterns, but not all the 100+ imaginable networks
  4. Because cable ratings are a fraction of broadcast ratings, and turnover is less, cable reaches cume lower in relation to GRPs. SInce cable universes are smaller than broadcast, reach potential is lower as well

Wednesday, June 06, 2001 #4458
I'm working on a plan that includes cable and network television. I have been asked to present a rational for different schedules on three levels of spending. If i know the programs rating point, the average CPP and the cost per spot, how can I use this information to put together the total reach/frequency of sample schedules. I'm trying to get general information at this point without contacting reps to run several schedules. I need to know how to do the math by hand without a program if it's possible. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, June 06, 2001 ):
It's no longer really reasonable to do the math by hand. The Guru has described calculating reach by "Random probability" in the past. But the unique duplication patterns within tv schedules need to be accounted for either with tables reflecting many schedules' reaches or computer models.

Our own eTelmar offers low cost, single use, online reach calcuation.

You might try the r&f generator at U. Texas .

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.

Friday, May 04, 2001 #4368
Media Guru, please help. How do I calculate reach and frequency for a two-week, two-newspaper buy? We are placing 4 ads per week (total of 8 ads for the schedule) on Newspaper #1, which has a maximum reach of 9% of our target. Newspaper #2 will carry 2 ads per week (4 ads for the schedule) with a maximum reach of 23% of our target. Please advise. Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 06, 2001 ):
Find some example newspaper r&fs at The Newspaper Advertsing Associations Marketscope site.

In very general terms, you can estimate some parameters. If newspaper A has a 9% maximum reach, it probably has a single copy reach of around 7%.

If B has a maximum of 23%, then it likely has single copy reach around 20%. So the outside bounds of reach for your schedule are a minimum of 20, but more likely closer to 25, the random combination of the two papers' single copies. The outside maximum is 32 ( the 9% plus the 23% maxima), but more likely closer to 30 (random again).

A solid estimate of 25-30 reach for your schedule should be good enough, but you could use the eTelmar pay-per-use system for a specific calculation.

Frequency, of course, will be the sum of the single copy audeinces of all insertions (GRP) ÷ the reach estimate.

Tuesday, March 20, 2001 #4275
How can I find research regarding historical analysis of R/F trend on television. Specifically, I am looking to find out for example: if you looked at a generic demo maybe W18-49, and wanted to find out the difference between the number of spots in Primetime TV it took to reach 80% of W18-49 in 1970-1980-1990-2000. So basically, the idea is that today it takes more commercials to reach the same % of the population. I just need help finding actual numbers to support that concept. Would know where to find that information?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 20, 2001 ):
Since today's average primetime ratings are perhaps half of what they were in 1970, it certainly will take at least twice as many spots for the same reach.

r&f systems have changed over that time, too, so you should really compare the schedule a planner thought necessary in 1970 to the one considered necessary today. Planners will have been more likely to work with GRP than number of commercials, though.

Perhaps there is such a retrospective available from The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

Tuesday, March 13, 2001 #4251
Hello Media Guru -- Hopefully you can help me. We are currently in planning and we are analyzing our competitiors When - In Avg Weekly and Avg 4 wk deliveries by Quarter and Full Year. We have pulled their GRPs by week for Network by daypart, Syndicated and Cable so we have the National TV deliveries. We have pulled their Print schedules off of Stradegy and now want to come up w/the same deliveries (When-in Avg weekly and Avg 4 wk by Quarter and Full Year)for Print in order to combine the TV and Print deliveries. Is there a method that you suggest? Thank you in advance-- Bridget

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 13, 2001 ):
It isn't clear which steps cause your problems.

If you're being strict, for average 4-week a simple arithmetic adjustment from average month to average 28 days will suffice. For average print week, you could take the year's schedule and divide it into 52 roughly equal groups, then average the r&f of all 52. If print is flighted, then you should calculate for active periods and average with zero weight for as much time as there is hiatus.

Wednesday, December 06, 2000 #4020
I gave a client a r&f for two years of advertising plus the cume. They asked me if the cume is an average of both years. I know its not but I really couldn't explain it so they would understand. Can you simply an answer.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 06, 2000 ):
The term "cume" refers to audience accumulation over a specified period of time. A two year cume should be the net audeince reached over the entire two years of campaign. The Guru doesn't see why anyone should confuse that with an average of two years' cumes.

Perhaps the confusion occurs when you say "r&f for two years of advertising plus the cume." Presumably the "r&f for two years of advertising" is the average 4-week r&f over the two year period and the cume is the total over the two years?

Tuesday, December 05, 2000 #4018
What are the pros/cons of 30 minute infomercial-type spots compared to :15, :30, or :60 spots with respect to production, unit cost, response, reach/frequency, target audience, etc.? Would the type of product be a factor in deciding whether to run :30 minute spots? Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 06, 2000 ):
The questions are essentially direct marketing issues, but as to the media points included:
  • Unit cost: In the same time periods, :30s cost about half of :60s. :15s cost 50-75% as much as :30s. Half hours cost much more but not proportionatly more. This become tricky, because half hours are usually only sold at less popular, lowere price tiems so comparisons to standard, ROS commercials are decieving. Similarly short commercials bought at direct response rates are supposedly priced at half of normal rates but run in less desirable times and are highly pre-emptible.
  • Reach/frequency: A :15 spot has the same reeach as a 30 minute program at the same time. Since there will be many more different announcements with short commercials than half hours, for a given budget, the short commercials have better r&f, the shorter the better on this score. But direct response isn't usually evaluated on an r&f basis.
  • Target audience depends on time slot and not advertising length.
  • Response varies, based more on offer and execution than on format.

Friday, December 01, 2000 #4010
Guru, how do I develop r&f levels for: Outdoor against the mass market and specific demograhic such as individual with $3Million in assets. spot market print such as business journals, lifestyle mags etc, where there is no syndicated research such as MRI. Local Cable against a high affluent audience

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 03, 2000 ):
It is not clear whether your issue is determining the portion of the audience of each medium which falls within your target or whether the audience accumulation pattern among your target is the problem.

Syndicated print and product usage research, particularly The Mendelsohn Media Research Affluent Study, analyze audiences od many media specifically aimed at affluent subsegments, although "assets over $3million" may be too narrow for syndicated research to have evaluated.

Outdoor companies are usually prepared to run r&f analyses against a wide range of demographics. Commercial media software, such as ADplus from our susiter company Telmar can produce r&f analyses from minimal target data input.

Wednesday, August 30, 2000 #3767
Dear Guru, we are getting into awareness based media planning which means objective will be set on awareness scores, rather than GRP, r&f. Please tell me the factors which are required and procedure for setting awareness objectives.Thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, September 01, 2000 ):
Very theoretical. There is no specific rule of thumb equating awareness to GRP. There will be a big difference in saying the objective is to achieve 30% brand awareness versus increasing an existing awarness of 30% by 30 points.

You should think about:

  • What percent of "aware" persons will be purchasers?
  • What number of purchases is the pay-out level of your advertising?
  • How often does the aware person make a purchase decision?
  • Assuming awareness never exceeds reach, what reach must you acheive and what decay rate can your afford to maintain the awareness that will drive sales?

Frankly the Guru believes that saying "awareness based media planning" is just putting a marketing spin on the media plan. Ultimately a media plan sophisticated enought to have objectives almost invariably has some awareness objective mentioned. And ultimately, media must be bought in terms of GRP or impressions or insertions; the media vendors do not sell quantities of awareness. So either you have a formula which equates awareness numbers to media units or you do not. The Guru does not.

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'.

Monday, June 12, 2000 #3547
I am buying radio in two different markets - one is a large market which is measured by Arbitron. The other is a small market where I get the ratings through Arbitron county measuring. The two cities are only 45 miles apart and there is a large amount of radio overlap. Is there any way to figure an accurate combined reach & frequency? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, June 12, 2000 ):
First, define "market." If these radio markets are both in the same DMA, and you want DMA r&f, add the two stations' reach in thousands and divide by DMA universe. If they are in two different Metros, calculate reach within each and do a weighted average of the two:
  • Metro "A" target population = 100,000
  • Metro "B" target population = 20,000
  • Metro "A" target reach = 40% (40,000)
  • Metro "B" target reach = 55% (11,000)
  • Combined, total coverage area reach = 40,000 + 11,000 100,000 + 20,000, or 42.5%

Saturday, May 06, 2000 #3447
Guru, is there a website that offers r&f calculators? I work at a small agency & don't have access to most research data.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, May 06, 2000 ):
Right here on eTelmar

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.

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. (#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

Monday, September 27, 1999 #2830
I have read all your responses regarding recency. If you wouldnt 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, August 23, 1999 #2734
Dear Guru, in regards to broadcast, my company advertises on national cable networks only. Our media buying company submitted a post-buy analysis for 2Q, but did not include reach/frequency info. When I asked for this information, they said "it's not standard to give cable r/f" is this true and if so, why? Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, August 23, 1999 ):
The Guru agrees that it is not "standard" to include delivered r&f in a post analysis. It is probably not relevant, if the buy was built around a planned r&f and the post shows that the buy delivered as estimated.

However, what is standard, is for a service to respond to a client's question. If the buy delivered out of line with the estimate, the service should, at minimum recalculate the r&f. If the issue is running an actual r&f of the schedule, based on spot by spot use of the Nielsen cume system, significant expense might be involved, and this could be open to negotiation.

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.

Friday, April 23, 1999 #2465
I am puzzled and maybe I should know the answer to this question, but I don.t We are competing with another agency to win an account. We were given the assignment to put together a television buy. The objective was to put the same buy together, but improve on the rates. Bottom line is that the buy starts in two weeks and the market is very tight. We improved in some areas and some ares came in higher. We were able to secure some overnight spots at no charge. This was the only difference. The ratings were .1 and .2 for overnights. We ran a reach and frequency. The following are the results: Ours results: 69.5 reach 4.4 frequency 309.1 GRP's There results: 46.6 reach 6.6 frequency 309.2 GRP's Why the difference? We use MM+ and they sue TAP SCAN. Could the diffence software programs be so difference in calculating r&f? I hope I have supplied you with enough info. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, April 23, 1999 ):
Two systems can legitimately have very different results, but this case does seem extreme. The detail level taken into account can vary and be quite important; for example, repeated use of the same stripped program or weekly program may be something one r&f model takes into account while the other just considers a more general GRP by daypart.

You haven't said whether the schedules were very nearly identical, either. If your 309 GRP was made up of 60 spots and their 309 was made up of 300 spots there would be substantial difference in r&f. Yours would then be preferable to most advertisers.

Bottom line, it doesn't make any sense to compete based on r&f results unless the same model is used on both schedules.

Wednesday, March 10, 1999 #2379
My supervisor said it is impossible to figure an average 4 week r/f if the flight is shorter than four weeks, but i remember doing it on another account. Can you please confirm who is correct, and how to figure it out if I am? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, March 10, 1999 ):
You're correct. There are a few workable approaches to this.
  1. One says that whatever GRPs run within four weeks are the GRPs that count in figuring an average 4-week r&f, whether these GRPs are spread over one, two or three weeks. So, if you have two weeks at 100 GRP/week you have the same average four week r&f as you would for 200 GRP across four weeks; it could just as well have been 50 GRP/week for 4 weeks or 67 GRP/week for 3 weeks.
    The Guru supports the above theory.
    A small exception might be made for one week schedules, where actual data shows that, for radio in particular, a given number of GRP run in one week delivers slightly higher reach than the same GRP spread over four weeks, due to listening patterns.

  2. Another approach uses "when-in" data. Here, if you run 100 GRP/week during your flights and your flights are two weeks in and two weeks out, then you do your r&f as if you had 100 GRP/week for four weeks. Using this theory, you get the same result for 100 GRP/week two in, two out, as you do for two in, four out, which, to the Guru, is clearly quite a different communication level.

Monday, March 08, 1999 #2378
How do you figure out average four week r/fs without software? Thanks for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 08, 1999 ):
Before software, there were tables to get reach from broadcast GRP, and books of factors and formulae for print.

Those old tables are probably no longer valid, perhaps someone has done some new ones. The Guru has discussed this frequently.
Click here to see past Guru responses on reach and frequency

Tuesday, November 10, 1998 #2144
I need to find out more information on how to figure reach and frequency, especially four week averages as it applies to print, radio and television. What is the best source to use for finding R/F analysis including some work samples. Help me Guru, I want to be like you!

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, November 10, 1998 ):
When the Guru started out, Reach and Frequency was calculated manually with the aid of tables and factors. Since then media have become more complex and measurement more detailed. Complicated, multi-step algorithms such as numerous iterations of the Beta-binomial function must be calculated. Now, the computer is virtually the only way Reach and Frequency is analyzed.

Some of the measurers such as Simmons, and MRI have systems for r&f on the media they measure. A few, rare, media such as Telemundo Spanish TV Network, offer sytems (STRETCH2) for their medium.

Most common is the specialized, all-medium software system, such as the one provided by AMIC's sister company, Telmar.

Wednesday, September 09, 1998 #2035
Hi! We are at that stage where the Diary system is being scrapped to be replaced with Peoplemeter. I need to know a)International experiences in different countries when peoplemeter was introduced in terms of fall/increase in ratings, non prime time vs. prime time choices etc. etc. b)how to set reach and frequency objectives post the transition. Thanx.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 09, 1998 ):
a) The Advertising Research Foundation and ESOMAR , the European Survey, Opinion and Market Research organization libraries will have several articles about these conversions.

b) The transition itself should not affect your objectives. If "X" reach and "Y" frequency were right before, then they still are, even though the schedule which produces them may be different. But, if you have calibrated r&f against actual sales in the past, then you merely need to analyze those old schedules against the cumes of the new system.

Thursday, June 18, 1998 #1905
Is there a threshold at which you maximize on reach (TV) at a certain weight level? I am purchasing a high concentration of grps (60% in prime / 20% in news/prime access / 20% early morning/daytime/late night) in excess of 300 Ad 18-49 GRP's per week for 4 weeks. Running r&f against such a plan shows reach at 99% --- which I feel is impossible. Isn't the threshold of maxing out on reach at 96%?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 19, 1998 ):
The typical, short term cume study gives a 96% top end. But 99% of Homes have TV so a 99 reach is theoretically possible.

Since either 96 or 99 is the result of all TV collectively, a very heavy plan is required to achieve it, especially in today's fragmented TV environment, where cable has so great a share of viewing.

For your schedule, even 96 is probably somewhat high. If your r&f system is unsophisticated, outdated or unable to adjust to the number of weeks in the schedule, that may explain the high result you are getting.

Saturday, February 22, 1997 #1039
I am trying figure out the best way to calculate reach & frequency for the following:

Television Flight:
4 consecutive weeks (250 TRP's per week)
Then scaling back and running 175 TRP's per week - Every other week for the following 8 weeks.

How do you calculate r&f when your schedule runs on an every other week basis?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 24, 1997 ):
There is no basis for believing that an alternate week schedule of 700 total points (175 per week for 4 of 8 weeks) cumes to a different total than 87.5 grp per week for 8 weeks, as long as the scedules are otherwise identical in numbers of different announcements, and numbers of different episodes of the same programs.

It is true that if the schedules per week of activity were solarge as to exhaust reach potentials, the answer might bedifferent, but this is far below such levels

So the total schedule of the first four weeks at 250, plus the 4alternating weeks can be calculated as if there were lower levelconsecutive weeks.

Monday, January 27, 1997 #1067
My client is requiring me to use adjustment percentages whencalculating grp's in print. I was always taught that reach x frequency= GRP's. Now if I calculate the adjustment to my grp's, the formula no longer works. Is this correct, or do I have to do something else to my reach/frequency? Help!!!

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, January 28, 1997 ):
There are various approaches. If the GRP adjustment is just an index reflecting characteristics of the vehicles and their audiences, it may be sufficient to show R/F/GRP/AdjGRP

If the adjustments are meant to change actual value of the GRP, it is usual to recalculate reach from the new, adjusted GRP. Since print r&f is usually calculated from actual schedules, via a "black box" algorithym, rather than from a grp "curve," this may be impractical. If your system allows you to enter factors for each publication before calculating reach, that may solve your problem.

Lastly, even with adjusted GRP to represent some abstraction, the people reached would not be reached at a different average frequency, so one quick and dirty answer, if you must use adjusted grp, is just to divide them by the original frequency, to get reach.

It's similar to the concept of changing a spot coverage area, broadcast r/f to its national equivalent: The GRPs are weighted by the coverage area % and the frequencyremains constant, to calculate the reach.

Friday, March 08, 1996 #1266
Guru:Is there a formula for calculating reach & frequency for trade vehicles.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 10, 1996 ):
There is no truly simple formula for calculating reach and frequency of any medium. The key datain print r&f are pair-wise duplication between different vehicles and between two or more insertions in the same vehicle.

As the number of insertions in a plan increase, the number of data elements to include in a formula increase. The number of possible pairings for just a 10 insertion plan is 45 ((n x n-1) / 2).

Telmar among others, offers software designed to quickly perform these calculations on defined schedules of media measured by SMRB, MRI, MMR, J.D. Power or others. Using measured media as prototypes, reach of various schedules you might want to consider could then be calculated. From these numerous calculations, you could, by regression analysis, develop a "simple" formula of the form y=ax+b to calculate frequency based on GRP of typical plans of the sort you run in these media (y is frequency; x is grp; a and b are factors from the regression).

A formula of this kind is very specific to the audience dynamics of the media vehicles involved. Please understand, this is not a recommended technique, merely a response to your question.