Telmar.com Telmar.com eTelmar.net Home Page The Advertising Media Internet Center

Telmar Home Page Telmar.com

 

Media Guru

Guru Search Results: 204 matches were found

Wednesday, May 18, 2011 #7892
Media Guru Thanks, I am refering to national media and specfically cable, not local spots. We are primarily interested in the cost of DRTV 1 min - 2 min because of what we think we need for a high priced, more complex product in the $400-$500 retail price range launched nationally. our plan is to drive interest to a toll-free number and/or website ie. for a free DVD/more information and then close sales ultimately i.e. over 4-6 wks. and continuing running DRTV based on acceptable returns from the advertising a to be determined length of the campaign. If this does well, then we may then consider a longer format version. Consequently, I don't understand enough about reach and frequency, but understand the DRTV approach is strictly about frequency/number of spots and a conversion rate- our investor - simply wants to spend x dollars for the most # media spots at the least cost and generate the maximum number of profitable leads or close sales. Our objective is to schedule it with cable channels with an audience that meets our target M-W, 35-55, college educated, ideally $70,000 household income demographics and may skew towards women (60% purchasers vs men 40%). Consequently if i had a media budget of say $100K for just for purposes of discussion for 1 month all spent against DRTV either 1 or 2 min formats on national cable, how many spots would I approximately receive and at what cost per spot? For example if the media budget was $100,000 divided by say $1000 per DRTV 2 min spot, this would yeild 100 spots for the month, So whatever rough range of media costs per spot that you can provide for 1 min, 2 min and 30 min formats would be helpful just for budgeting on our end. Lastly without you knowing our product - on national cable say a Lifetime, Discovery Channel or even Animal Planet if there is any range that you are aware of assuming a new, unkown product and if the creative execution addresses a need or problem but was just considered fair not bad, not good: would a range of 2000-3000 website hits per spot be reasonable by the end of the first month? I know this could be a tremendously wide range, but assuming the ad creative as just average for a DRTV spot what have you seen in aproximate ranges for average number of website hits per spot for the first month of a new product's campaign (i.e. assuming $100K or $200K 1st month media budget?) Sorry I am asking lame questions, but appreciate any general responses - it will be helpful just for some preliminary budgeting.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, May 18, 2011 ):
As to web hits, consider that a web campaign averages about 0.1% clickthru. So 2000 hits would need about 2,000,000 web banner ad impressions. But you are trying to convert TV impressions into people typing in your URL.

Let's say that will only work 10% as well. so you would need 20,000,000 impressions. If an average cable spot you buy has an audience of say 300,000 in your target that's about 70 spots. Looks like you could afford it.


Friday, May 06, 2011 #7869
How do I calculate reach and frequency for print

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, May 06, 2011 ):
You need a computer with software such as that offered by Telmar or online through eTelmar.

The calculation is extremely complex. For example, in print, as input, you need average issue audience, duplication between issues of the same publication and duplication between each possible pair of different publications. These must be combined using a complex formula such as the Beta-binomial function. There are variants of this formula, which might be preferred, depending on media type and other variables


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, March 09, 2011 #7836
Dear Guru, Can you please explain the differences between Quantcast and comScore/Nielsen data? How do they compare in terms of number of websites measured and reliabilty of data? Am I correct that only tools from comScore and Nielsen will provide a reach and frequency report for an internet plan including multiple websites? Thank you!

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, March 09, 2011 ):
Visit the methodology sections of the respective sites: Quantcast | 'How We Do It', comScore | Methodology and Nielsen Online Measurement


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%.


Friday, December 31, 2010 #7822
Q1- What is the difference between media planning audience & media buying audience & how do we measure these if we are working on one brand then how can one brand has two audiences ( buying & planning audience )? Q2- Is media Planning audience & media planning TG is different?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, December 31, 2010 ):
The Guru sees two ways to answer your question:
  • Sometimes a brand's true target is something of an oddball;. Nielsen measures age cells in 3 or 4 year blocks, e.g 18-20 / 21-24 / 25-29 / 20-34, etc. Yet media is typically sold in broader demographic segments like 18-24 or 24-49.. So, your brand may be really aiming at 21-29, but buying 18-34 which is more readily available.
  • OR, Planners use simple GRPs, based on impressions ÷ population. Commercial length is irrelevant to this calculation which might be used to develop reach and frequency, etc. However, buyers typically "equivalize" to account for the relative value of :15s vs :30s vs :60s. So a :15 is treated as if it had half the impressions of a :30 when buying. Thus a half-the-:30- price :15 has half the :30 impressions and the same "equivalized" cpm.GRPs are usually not equivalized in this connection.


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.


Thursday, September 16, 2010 #7801
Can you provide any direction on how to determine ratio of online buy dedicated to paid search vs. online display? Minimum impression levels? Is there a standard rule of thumb? Is market size a variable?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, September 18, 2010 ):
This is truly a multi-layered question.

  1. A buy must follow the dictates of a plan
  2. A plan must be structured with specific communications goals
  3. The communications goals must be a part of a set of media strategies
  4. The media strategies must be designed to answer media objectives
  5. The media objectives are designed to answer marketing strategies and objectives
  • Within all this structure, your target market will have been defined.
  • Your goals as to awareness (display advertising) vs sales / web traffic via click-thru (search driven) will have been defined.
  • Your reach and frequency goals (driven by impressions levels) will come from your awareness goals
  • Impressions levels should not figure in search structure, as that is Click-thru driven and will vary by the effectiveness of placement on various sites
.Market size need not be a variable in all this except as a reality check on the levels being set.


Thursday, June 03, 2010 #7788
How would one go about assigning GRP's to trade publication advertising to generate a reach and frequency?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 06, 2010 ):
GRPs are always impressions ÷ population.

For trade media, we generally use one reader-per-copy to calculate impressions, unless you have better information. You will have to know the population of your trade segment.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010 #7775
What is a formula that can be used to calculate reach and frequency in just one newspaper?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, April 14, 2010 ):
If you mean reach and frequency for one insertion in one newspaper, the reach is the daily coverage divided by the relevant population (Metro, DMA, Trading area, etc). The GRP is equal to that and the frequency is 1.0.

If you mean multiple insertions in one newspaper, it is more complex to calculate.

You need a computer with software such as that offered by Telmar.

The calculation is extremely complex. For example, in print, as input, you need average issue audience, duplication between issues of the same publication and duplication between each possible pair of different publications. These must be combined using a complex formula such as the Beta-binomial function. There are variants of this formula, which might be preferred, depending on media type and other variables


Friday, March 05, 2010 #7768
hi, What are equvilent GRPs, and how can they be used?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, March 05, 2010 ):
Equivalent GRPs are usually :30 equivalent. These are used in evaluating competitive activity or comparing plans using different creative units.

One :60 is treated as "equivalent" to 2 :30s. Two :15s are equivalent to one :30.

Some anlayses may apply these factors to reach and frequency evaluation.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010 #7753
What research tools are available to normalize results in regards to reach and frequency when combining traditional forms of media, emerging media, and interactive?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, January 26, 2010 ):
Our own eTelmar's new tool, Media 360, should do the trick (although the Guru is not entirely sure what you mean by "normalize.")


Thursday, July 30, 2009 #7718
I need reach and frequency on a campaign that includes 3 eighth page newspaper ads and 12 home page leaderboards. I would like to know how to calculate this as a combined campaign and what figures I would need to perform this calculation. Thanks for your help!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 30, 2009 ):
First, unit size is not a factor.

You need to determine the total print reach and the total online reach separately. You should have software for each medium, most likely from your audience measurement provider.

Or consider our own eTelmar. You may go here to see past Guru instructions on combining reach and frequency.


Wednesday, July 01, 2009 #7709
Guru, thank you for your insight. Is such a complicated formula needed to create a cover guide? Or is there a simpler equation to calculate this? I’d like to create a spread sheet in Excl to use as a guide when planning.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 02, 2009 ):
In the olden days (1960's - 70's) we made up tables of actual calculated reach and frequency results from measured schedules that Nielsen reported. The table might have rows of GRP levels and columns reflecting schedule dispersion, i.e. number of announcements per program or network used. Or, if you have this much information, you can develop a crude "curve" formula.

But you must start with some actual reach and frequency results to build the table or curve. If the formula was as simple as A * B ÷ C3, the Guru would have told you in the first place. There are simply too many variables make it simple.

Different ratings sizes; duplication between one announcement and another; duplication between one station or network and another, different cume patterns of different demographic groups, different ways these all behave in different dayparts, in cable versus broadcast, etc.

Our own eTelmar is one reasonably priced solution.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009 #7691
Dear Guru: Thank you for all your efforts it is of tremendous help to all of us here, I am sure. I had already discussed with you the issue of reach and frequency before. Now I need you advice regarding the models of calulation of the fee for a media agency. Of main interest is the labor-based model: cost of labor+overhead+profit. Can you tell me if this is a common formula and what are the normal ranges for overhead and profit. I have seen agencies charge anywhere from 70% to 120% of the labor cost for overhead. And between 5% and 30% of the sum (labor+overhead) for profit. Thank you!

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 12, 2009 ):
You're welcome.

Your formulas seem to be within normal ranges. But norms differ from country to country, and the Guru has no way to compare Uzbekistan to Hong Kong to South Africa. Overhead can differ considerably as well with real estate, communication and benefits costs varying considerably by country.

One thought to keep in mind: with the historical 15% commission full-service agency structure (if that applies in Uzbekistan) that will likely be an upper-end barrier to fees, except in very small billings projects.


Friday, March 13, 2009 #7670
Are there any free tools that can provide reach and frequency for online media planning? Are there any models/formulas for calculating reach/frequency for online? Unfortunately I do not have a budget for this and was hoping there are some free tools out there.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 14, 2009 ):
The Guru is not aware of any such free tools.


Friday, December 05, 2008 #7648
I am working on a plan for re-branding a product/service. The category itself is well developed, and the old brand is well developed. Now the brand wants to re-tool its position in the market. Which is more imprtant for the re-branding - Reach or Frequency?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 07, 2008 ):
To oversimplify, when we talk about branding, we are referring to managing the expectations of consumers regarding products or services marketed under the brand,

When we talk about rebranding, we may be thinking of

  1. changing that set of expectations or
  2. about reestablishing them because they have faded from consumer consciousness.
. In the latter case, we have an awareness issue, so reach is the first consideration, In the former case, we are probably thinking of targeting those who are already aware of the brand in order to change their perceptions. If we know these people well enough, we know how to reach them; frequency of message, to have the effect of revising their thinking, becomes relatively more important.

In either case, a well considered balance of reach and frequency is appropriate,


Friday, October 17, 2008 #7621
Hi MG, I have been asked to do a direct response media plan and include reach and frequency. I have 40 GRP's and Frequency of 57. When I calculate to get Reach I come up with .7017 - does this mean my reach is 70% or am I doing this wrong...?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 17, 2008 ):
If you are right about the 40 GRPs and 57 Frequency then the reach is actually 0.7017% (Reach can never be greater than GRP). But the Guru doubts your frequency. How would you get to frequency without having calculated reach? Don't confuse the total number of messages (commercials / mailings / etc) in your plan with the average frequency of exposure of your schedule.,


Wednesday, September 24, 2008 #7608
If we don't have software to combine different reaches on a media plan, how do we establish an acceptable, unduplicated reach and frequency when buying both boradcast and cable, and combining it with print and internet? Also, can we have duplication in broadcast since TV is a "moment in time" rather than print pubs where you can subscribe to more than one but you aren't reading more than one at any given time? Do ratings account for multiple stations or networks viewed?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 24, 2008 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses regarding combining reaches.

Reach is calculated over a period of time, typically 4 weeks, so that TV as well as print may duplicate.

Ratings are about a point in time, multiple stations viewed are not a factor, except that ratings have generally decreased as viewing choices have burgeoned.


Monday, August 04, 2008 #7575
What are the pros & cons of running 15 second TV ads or bookend ads?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, August 05, 2008 ):
Briefly:

:15's Pros

  • Lower unit costs, which creates opportunities for greater reach and frequency

Cons

    Less communication of message
  • Less awareness building
  • Lower recall, possibly even when all savings are reinvested in greater frequency.

Using bookends may offset some of the cons, but not without offsetting the pros. :15s typically cost more than half of a :30.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008 #7540
Can you offer guidelines for purchasing a banner ad on a local newspaper web site? The newspaper will only provide me with a monthly fee for a set number of impressions. They won't disclose any info about the number of advertisers on the site or the number of impressions purchased by other advertisers. I can't select dayparts. How do I get a sense of the reach and frequency associated with my buy?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, April 29, 2008 ):
Your reach and frequency do not correlate to the number of other advertisers nor to their impressions. The site might legitimately consider these data confidential.

You may reasonably and more usefully ask what number of page loads are required to serve your impressions commitment, what share of site impressions you are buying, what the number of ad positions on the site is, what is the overall number of unique visits and unique visitors and what the overall reach of the site is.


Monday, March 24, 2008 #7521
Dear Guru, I need a clear concept of GRPs. I understand the terminology that it is the sum of rating points but what actually refers to it and what is the rationale behind it. For suppose, I have achieved 235 GRPs over a period of 40 days and my audience is Male - Female, 18-35, SEC- A & B. What does 235 as a weight refers to. What is the minimum threshold level of GRPs. How does the calculation works. I am clear on reach and frequency. Thank you!

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 24, 2008 ):
For any given audience considered, each time there is one exposure of an ad to one member of the audience, an "impression" is generated; there are 2 impressions whether the same person sees an ad twice or two different persons each see an ad once, and so on.

If the sum of all these impressions is divided by the population base (universe) of the target audience, the result is GRP, which are expressed as a percent of the population. I.e. if the number of impressions is equal to the population size, the result of the calculation is "1" or 100%, expressed as 100 GRP.

Similarly, the impressions of a single ad, divided by the population, is the ad's rating. Thus, the sum of all ratings is also the GRPs. There is no "rationale," these are simply media terms and definitions.

Different theories and approaches set various GRP thresholds depending of marketing goals.


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.


Monday, November 26, 2007 #7453
What is the current practice for calculating the most effective daypart mix? Are there new media tools or research to do this analysis?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, November 29, 2007 ):
Optimizers have been around for 20 years or more. reach and frequency analysis is even older.

But you have to define "effective" first. Is it based on reach, frequency, efficiency, sales, awareness, recall, etc?


Wednesday, November 14, 2007 #7447
I have a question about online reach and frequency. We are planning 1,500,000 targeted impressions over 4 weeks in a market where the A25-49 population is 1,300,000. Is there a way to hand calculate expected reach and frequency of the campaign? Is it more accurate to use the population as a whole, or to use only the online population?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 14, 2007 ):
So you have 115 GRPs, to begin with. The range of reach possible in online is enormous, depending on the sites and placements selected. If you use a third party ad serving system e.g. DoubleClick, you can determine reaches of schedules that have run, and build yourself a model to roughly estimate reach.

Even rougher, you might use a web measurement tool like comScore to get reaches site by site and calculate by "random probability".

Ultimately you want to know a number of target persons reached, soit really doesn't matter which universe you work with until you turn the results into reach percents. Then, be careful to label accordingly.


Monday, November 05, 2007 #7440
Is there an industry standard or formula I can use to estimate length of time it would take to brand a new company in small regional areas from a media standpoint. Is there a goal to set for GRPs or impressions? I understandn the short answer is probably "no" with so many variables to take into consideration but I am hoping for maybe some parameters and goals to shoot for. thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 05, 2007 ):
You are right that there are many elements here beyond duration of media exposure.

Your biggest issue in looking for formulas is quantifying your terms.

First off, how do you quantify "to brand?" What factors define a "branded" company?

  • There must be awareness, certainly (how much?)
  • The awareness must be positive and relate to the brand character desired.
The latter depends on creative as much if not more than media. The creative must say something positive about the company, it must say something that supports the branding message and it must be memorable.

From a media perspective, awareness correlates strongly with reach and frequency. Ad awareness will never be greater than the reach level achieved, and will not equal that level without sufficient frequency. This is why some planners look only at reach at 3+ frequency or some other frequency level judged effective.

Using the best media, whether described in terms of environment, "engagement" or other impact descriptors, is important.

Budget is also a controlling factor. Time-wise, "branding" would be likely to be achieved sooner if higher GRP levels were used.


Thursday, November 01, 2007 #7436
What is combined reach and frequency?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, November 01, 2007 ):
Assuming the Guru correctly understands your question, combined reach and frequency refers to the overall reach and overall average frequency of a schedule consisting of two or more media, such as televison and print. Click here to see an example


Wednesday, June 13, 2007 #7364
How do I determine reach and frequency of a media mix that includes television, radio, print and online? Also, how do I calculate newspaper reach? Is it the same as coverage? Can I calculate by demo? Thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, June 13, 2007 ):
Once you have the pieces, combine using "random probability"

Coverage (a HH percentage) is the same as rating or one-time reach. Demographic reach may be determined in Newspapers.

See our eTelmar for reach calculation tools.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007 #7357
Hi guru, What is the bench mark with respect to reach and frequency in a television plan for a grand opening of the retail store. What would be the ideal GRP or reach and frequency we need to acheive for such a plan,It would be great if you can ans similarly for other mediums as well i.e outdoor, radio and internet Thanks Again

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 10, 2007 ):
For a retail opening, more is better. 90+ reach at 3+ frequency is great if you can afford it.

Simply aiming for those numbers, they will be cheaper in outdoor, depending on how you define your coverage area. Radio can reach those levels, and internet cannot (only 146 million U.S. active home users in April '07, according to Neilsen//Netratings). Reaching even 90% of those on line is unlikely and potentially ruinously expensive.


Thursday, January 11, 2007 #7267
Guru - I am hoping you can confirm something for me. When planning a media buy, we pull ratings for targeted audiences (for example, W25-54). We report GRPs, reach and frequency. A client has asked that instead of reporting GRPs, we supply TRPs. Because we are pulling information for a specific demo, aren't the GRPs the same as the TRPs? As I understand it, if we were pulling total household information, then there may be a difference between GRPs (total household) and TRP (our targeted audience). But because we're pulling ratings for W25-54 to begin with, then GRP = TRP. Correct?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, January 14, 2007 ):
You are correct.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006 #7209
When you consider reach and frequency levels, what are considered the upper and lower levels for reach and frequency?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, October 29, 2006 ):
In recency theory, 30 reach weekly, on a continuing basis is considered a minimum by some pratitioners. 95 is the highest many will consider reporting.

Obvioulsy 1 is the irreducible minimum frequency. Some practitioners like a minimum of three (these are not the "recency" theorists). Upper limits are not really to worry about unless one is considering copy wear-out.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006 #7198
We have a health care client that has specfically asked for Quantative data to back up our planned reach and frequency for a buy. We have used Ostrow's model and have determined a 4.4 frequency. Is that a weekly frequency? or the standard 4 week frequency? Over how long do we sustain that level? It's a fairly new brand in a highly competitive market where we are clearly #2. The client has asked for specific examples of R/F levels used by other advertisers (especially in our category). He is concerned about message wearout and consumers being innundated with his healthcare message along with all other healthcare messaging (competition, pharmaceuticals...).

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, September 23, 2006 ):
You are working with a four week frequency.

Sustaining period depends on issue like budget, and seasonality as well as competitve pressure.

Many healthcare categories are very heavily advertised and others less so, so the media climate is a valid consideration. Consideration of the overall pharmaceutical messaging is less so, in the Guru's opinion. Yeast infection remedies' messaging most likely pass relatively undigested by potential prostate problem patients.


Friday, August 04, 2006 #7174
Dear Guru - In a past posting I mentioned that, in addition to online advertising, I am planning a TV and radio campaign to drive traffic to my web site. I was planning for about 35 to 40 0:30 spots per month each for radio and TV, however you suggested that this is a little light, at least for radio. I have since looked at focusing my message, and I believe I can create an effective 0:15 message for both media, nearly doubling my placements for about the same budget. My question is, do you think that 70 to 80 0:15 placements each for radio and TV is more in line for a monthly schedule? Also, should I be running the same number of ads on radio and TV, or does one require more time than the other? Thanks as always. -Rich

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, August 07, 2006 ):
reach and frequency-wise, this is better, but usineg :15's alone in radio is a questionable approach.

Radio, engaging only one sense needs more messaging than TV. A longer message and more of them is the rule-of-thumb.


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.


Friday, May 19, 2006 #7139
1. Is Below The Line Activity part of Media Jobs ? 2. What kind of tools to maximize our media planning ? Thank you very much

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, May 19, 2006 ):
"Below the line" is generally promotional activity, which may or may not be part of media.

Events and street teams, for example are not ordinarily media activites.

Competitive spending tracking, reach and frequency analysis, syndicated data tools are among primary keys to media planning.


Thursday, February 23, 2006 #7101
Media reach and frequency

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 23, 2006 ):
Click here to see approximately 200 past Guru responses on this topic.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005 #7030
What would tv reach and frequency be over a 3 week period in Chicago with 4stations on buy and total A35+grps of 165.0?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 19, 2005 ):
Visit eTelmar


Friday, October 07, 2005 #7026
Hi, Guru. I am trying to show a client that buying cable is more efficient than network TV in a large Metro market, ie. Chicago. I've determined the client's service area is 19% of the DMA. 1) Is it fair to compare reach and frequency of 2 schedules? 2) When comparing number of impressions in client's service area, can I use 19% of total impressions of broadcast TV and 100% impressions on cable (assuming all cable zones fall in service area)? 3) Can I consider 81% of the impressions on broadcast TV waste? Any other suggestions or advice on the best way to show to compare the two is appreciated. Thanks in advance Guru.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, October 08, 2005 ):
Apparently your premise is that the client's entire service area is 19% of one DMA. The Guru doesn't understand how such a client could possibly consider network TV at all. But,
  1. Yes, you can compare two schedules
  2. If you are talking about broadcast spot TV rather than network, yes, roughly 19% of broadcast, vs 100% of cable "counts." A more precise measure of this should be available through Nielsen.
  3. Yes, similarly, 81% of the DMA broacast coverage is "waste."


Tuesday, September 13, 2005 #7010
I have a client whose target audience consists only of Insurance Brokers. I am planning a print campaign and need to justify it to the owner who wants to know only the ROI. I have one weekly business publication and two trade pubs in three markets. I also only have the circulation numbers and nothing else. What is the best way to calculate reach and frequency with this information? Can I also figure the percentage of awareness from these numbers?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, September 17, 2005 ):
In trade publications, circulation tends to be heavy among qualified readers, pass-along is often minimal. A conservative audience estimate is audience = circulation. Again, because of this distibution pattern, issue-to-issue cume is minimal. As far as duplication between titles, random probability is a safe estimate, but may be a bit high.

Reach becomes a maximum measure of awareness; you need to estimate the required frequency which generates awareness as well. Ad Awareness can't exceed reach.


Friday, June 17, 2005 #6955
hi media guru, can pls tell me the relationship between reach and frequency and average frequency

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 17, 2005 ):
Each person reached has a specific number of exposures to the campaign (simple frequency). The phrase "reach and frequency" refers to average frequency among all thosae reached. GRPs ÷ reach = average frequency.

Or, each person reached multiplied by the frequency of that person's exposures yields a number of impressions. The sum of all impressions of all persons reached = gross impressions. Gross impressions ÷ number of persons reached = average frequency.


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.


Monday, May 23, 2005 #6930
what is reach & frequency?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 23, 2005 ):
Go to the Guru Archives Search Engine. Use " reach and frequency | reach & frequency" as your search term.


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.


Tuesday, May 17, 2005 #6926
reach & frequency

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, May 20, 2005 ):
Click here to see Click here to see over 200 past Guru responses refererring to reach and frequency


Thursday, May 12, 2005 #6921
Dear Guru thanks you for your response on my previous question and I have another question for you. Please tell me how I should calculate reach in the diary methodology when in the diary’s there is not present question about reach of each program (meaning how many people were watching the selected program in the same time with the interviewers). Until this moment I am making media plans based on the GRP’s level on weekly basis, but I have requests from my clients to make media proposals based on reach and frequency. Is it possible to make reach and frequency media plans when the research methodology is diary, and how to do this? Second question is what is the difference between the reach calculations in the diary and reach calculation in the people meters methodology? Thank you in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 15, 2005 ):
"Reach" of a program means the average (time period) audience of the program. Diary or meter, it means the same thing, although the method differs. Diaries do not "ask about reach;" reach is a phenomenon of the total sample, not the individual. Diaires require the respondent to record viewing as the measurement period goes on, just as meters record this same behavior electronically, and rating or reach is a calculation conducted by the reasearch vendor from the compilation of diaries' or meters' results. Reach models may be built based on cumes genrated in either methodology.


Tuesday, April 26, 2005 #6908
I was asked to present Q1 & Q2 local TV buys to my client's new advertising manager. Both buys include daytime and early news only. The Q1 buy aired Mon-Sun/8-week flight: Q2 airs Wed-Sun/8 week flight. Question #1: The new ad manager insists that the reach and frequency of the 7 days/week buy should differ from r/f of the 5 days/week buy. I say its the same. Who's right? Question #2: The ad manager informed me she likes marketron reports (because they are easy to read) and asked if I could obtain them for the current buy for her review. My reply was, "Sure I can. No problem". There is, however, one small problem. I don't know what a marketron report is. Please help!!!!

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 01, 2005 ):
Assuming the same daypart dispersion and GRPs, the same schedule dispersed over more days should have a higher reach; there is greater reach potential in more dispersion. The typical reach model at your disposal may not have the ability to account for this level of detail in the input variables. In any case, the 5 day / 7 day difference is most notable in a one-week schedule. Over eight weeks, little or no difference would remain.

Marketron is a vendor of computer analysis systems for broadcast, nowadays more used by stations and reps than by agencies. One of the stations you buy from may be able to produce the report you need.

Sytems more oriented to agency media buyers and planners include those from our own eTelmar.


Tuesday, April 19, 2005 #6903
Dear Media Guru, Please help me figure out the combined reach and frequency of a multi-station TV buy. To find the average frequency, would I add the frequencies of the stations and then divide by the number of stations? Do I then multiply it by the total number of GRPs to calculate the reach? Since I do not have access to a software program, I need to calculate this manually. I'm in desparate need of your help since these figures are due soon. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 24, 2005 ):
Frequencies are never additive. A specific model is the only accurate way to combine station reaches. The reach may be divided into the sum of GRP to calculate the average frequency.

A very rough estimation of combined reach might be calculated by a string of random probabilty parings (i.e. pair two stations and then combine the next with those and combine the next with the cume of the three and so on). Because this is "random" and does not account for the greater likelihood of any TV viewers to view other tv, the result will be overstated, by at least 10%.


Thursday, January 13, 2005 #6742
Dear Guru, I am a media director for a very very small agency. My boss (the owner) has sold one of our national clients on the idea of network radio. All fine and good except that their budget allows the purchase of only 3 spots per week!!!!!!!!!!! I have been unsuccessful thus far in trying to convince him that this will not be effective. Do you have an opinion on minimum levels to be effective on Network radio?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 13, 2005 ):
Do they understand reach and frequency at all? Does the network to be used have a rating of 1.0? So the message will reach perhaps 1 or two percent of the target each week an average of 1-2 times per person? Perhaps 5% in four weeks? Can you express the limited POSSIBLE effects? It makes no sense to do this if the money could buy a real schedule in a few markets.

This sounds like a client with a delusion that it is "national." With this plan, it will be nowhere.

As for effective levels, this will depend on target, and what are the marketing goals, but generally the same standards of schedule as in spot radio will work. One possible exception; if you are sponsoring a strongly authoritative commentator, like Tom Joyner or Paul Harvey, their influence can affect a brand, at least among their audiences, with relatively few weekly spots.


Monday, January 03, 2005 #6732
Guru, If I want to look at a total reach/frequency for several TV schedules that have run over the course of a year (same demo, various creative messages), does it make sense to use the highest reach and to just add up the frequency of all the schedules? Thanks for all your help!

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, January 03, 2005 ):
If you are trying to calculate a cumulative reach and frequency for the year, and any one schedule delivers 95 or more, then you can probably safely call the cume "99+." Then add all the GRPs and divide by 99 to determine the year's cumulative, average frequency. You would have a total reach, total GRP and average frequency among the total reached. "Total frequency" must apply to a specified group and this seems to be the most logical group.

If the best schedule delivers much less than 95, then you should process all the schedules together to determine annual cume reach as your first step, then proceed as above.


Thursday, November 18, 2004 #6691
I have a client that has a one county market area. The billboards selected for the campaign are within the market but the DEC counts that relate to reach and frequency relate to a wider marketing area. The other elements of the campaign are within the one county market. How do I establish measurable goals for the campaign? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, November 20, 2004 ):
DEC is calculated for individual boards at a stage of the prosess. Be sure to focus on boards in the right area.


Thursday, November 04, 2004 #6669
I'm writing a newsletter and am wondering how to best explain how reach and frequency are calulated in a newspaper buy. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, November 06, 2004 ):
Click here to see more than 100 past Guru responses about reach calculation.


Sunday, October 17, 2004 #6643
Dear Guru, In the past we used to assess media plans based on CPM. More than ten years ago, planners started to use CPP as a base of comparison and not CPM anymore. I would highly appreciate if you could elaborate on this evolution from CPM to CPP. Thank you & regards,

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, October 17, 2004 ):
This is not an evolution, this is apparently how your company has changed. Both of these measures have been in use for 40 of more years.

CPM is a more absolute measure, while CPP is in relation to a target population.

Network buyers may look more to CPM, since they don't deal with geographies of varying sizes, while planners look more to CPP, which relates directly to GRP, a planning metric, from which reach and frequency are most readily calculated.

The growth of internet as a medium brings more emphasis to cpm, as CPP is not typically used in online media.


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.


Monday, August 02, 2004 #6560
Dear Guru: In one of your answers re efficiency of :15 spots vs :30 you said: "In a campaign, these latter measures may mean overall recall and impact favor :15s, if the message can be communicated". Can you give me any references to such studies. The references I have been referred to so far support the opposite view: "Television viewers' attitudes and recall of 15 second and versus 30 secund commercials. James S.Gould" and "Max Sutherland & Alice Sylvester "Advertising and the mind of the consumer". Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, August 06, 2004 ):
The issue is what do you measure; under almost any circumstances, a :30 has better recall than a :15. But the consumer experince is not about seeing a :15 or a :30. If a campaign has 50 to 100% more exposures because it is executed in ;15, the reach and frequency will definitely be increased and if the ;15 communicates the message, overall effect may be better. It's about camaign versus creative. i.e the media director view rather than the creative director view.


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.


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.


Thursday, April 08, 2004 #6458
Dear Guru, Radio data collected via diary gives a signficantly higher reach figure than data collected by syndicated databases. The methodologies are of course different. In the diary system, respondents are given a diary and asked to record their listening habits. For syndicated studies, the question is "Did you listen to radio yesterday/past month etc.?" Still, why is the diary data reporting higher reach? The research agency assures us that the panel selection is based on ownership of radio or listernership of radio , and is not limited to those who already listen to radio. Is it because diary panelists are more aware of radio, and are actively seeking it out? Almost like the phenomenon where if I am thinking of buying a VW Passat, all the cars on the road I notice are VW Passats? Response awaited.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 11, 2004 ):
Apparently you are in an unknown country outside the U.S., hence the Guru can not effectively comment on the specifics of your local research systems. The Guru imagines the radio system is meant to measure listening to specific stations and times, while the "syndicated" study, as you call it is a more general measure of radio usage, estimating general listening rather than schedule reach. As a rule such systems are not meant to estimate reach and frequency.


Saturday, March 06, 2004 #6403
Hi Guru, I have a question. What's the difference between a frequency plan vs. a reach plan? How would you go about putting together a reach plan if needed? Are there any formulas or anything that you need to plug in to determine reach? How do you know what is effective? Please HELP!

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 07, 2004 ):
A reach plan emphasizes reach versus frequency and the frequency plan is the oppposite. That is, a reach plan is designed to deliver is message to the greates number of different people while a frequency plan emphasizes the number of times each person reached is exposed to the message - no matter how many are reached. Reach plans are used when branding or awareness building are the focus. Frequency plans are aimed at more immediate, direct action such as a retail promotion for a limited time sale.

Some media, such as prime time TV and national magazines produce relatively more reach and others, such as radio, online or daily newspapers are better at frequency within a plan.

You need tools of the sort provided by our own Telmar or eTelmar to evaluate reach and frequency.


Friday, January 23, 2004 #6357
Are reach and frequency goals outdated? If so, how do you measure effectiveness?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 23, 2004 ):
The Guru does not see how it can become "outdated" to consider what portion of your target is exposed to a campaign or how often.


Tuesday, November 25, 2003 #6274
If a rating point is the percentage of the audience that could see the message, then what is the difference from reach? I work at a small agency, and we have gotten rid of our software. I used to be able to plug a plan in, and it would compute my reach and frequency, based on the ratings. How can I figure this out without software, if I know the rating points and GRP's?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 28, 2003 ):
Each advertising exposure has certain rating points. For a single such exposure, Rating equals Reach.

For a Schedule, each of the various exposures will duplicate a portion of the audience of the other exposures. The sum of the ratings, less the Duplicated audience is the reach. The sum of the ratings is open-ended. Reach can approach - but not exceed - 100% of the target.

The calculation is complex, and software is worthwhile, especially pay-per-use software like our own eTelmar.

For example, in print, as input, you need average issue audience, duplication between issues of the same publication and duplication between each possible pair of different publications. These must be combined using a complex formula such as the Beta-binomial function. There are variants of this formula, which might be preferred, depending on media type and other variables.


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

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


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.


Friday, April 25, 2003 #5950
Dear Guru, In response to your answer of question: Tuesday, April 22, 2003 #5945. I am grateful for this free service and respect your answers. However, your response, “How did they determine that people who have injuries will watch these programs? HAve they looked at / understood reach and frequency, IF this is the right programming?” This doesn’t answer my question. Since their campaign uses a phone number and they get immediate response to their spots, we know the programs they are buying contain their prospects. My point is, they over-advertise in the same area day in, day out, week in, week out (my original over-saturation point). The easy way to prove my theory is to have them just cut back a small portion and buy other areas. They are reluctant to do so without other proof, first. So, my original question stands: How do you determine (using media formulas) that an advertiser has oversaturated a day part? Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, April 26, 2003 ):
The simple approach, based on media formulae is to look for the point where the reach curve flattens (around 80% in the example below). This is where added GRP cease to add enough reach to be worthwhile, generally. But, your issue is one of definiton: What is "oversaturated?" In direct response terms, it's the point where response drops below an acceptable return on investment -- and apparently that has not happened. You would like to experiment with something new, which you apparently believe could have a greater ROI. If there has been any slackening in the response rate, that might justify a test.


Wednesday, April 23, 2003 #5947
Is there any way to determine reach and frequency for a television or radio schedule if the only variables you have are cost and grps?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 24, 2003 ):
Aside from how many GRPs are affordable, cost has absolutely no bearing on reach and frequency.

GRPs can give a rough estimate if you have tables or formulae of general results, and GRPs by daypart / station / program can be all the input you need if you have the right software or formulae.


Tuesday, April 22, 2003 #5945
I am trying to convince a personal injury law firm that they have oversaturated daytime television (court & talk shows) with their advertising. They regularly run in the same broad time period on each station daily. I am recommending cutting back a small percentage and spend it else where to build their reach. They are afraid to loose their dominant position. My question is, how do you determine overkill?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 24, 2003 ):
How did they determine that people who have injuries will watch these programs? HAve they looked at / understood reach and frequency, IF this is the right programming?


Tuesday, April 22, 2003 #5943
i believe there is a rule of thumb when calculating the reach of trade publications. something like the first major pub in the buy gets over like 75 or 80% and then there is a average increase per added pub. It's just a rule of thumb, but it sure would be useful since we cannot define the size of the overall industry's target universe. IF you do not know this rule of thumb, how would you suggest we calculate the reach and frequency of 5 trade pubs bought with differing levels of insertions over a year. Thanks for any help!

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, April 26, 2003 ):
Crudely: Calculate each book's circulation's percentage of the sum of the goups' circs and make this each one's individual reach. Start with the largest and calculate the added reach contribution of the others by random probability.


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 flowchart....it 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.


Wednesday, March 05, 2003 #5866
reach and frequency

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 08, 2003 ):
Are you looking for definitions or more? Click here to see past Guru responses about reach and frequency


Friday, February 07, 2003 #5815
We've been asked to estimate reach/frequency/etc. for a plan that includes USA Today, newspapers in 8-10 major markets, spot radio in 5 markets, metro traffic in 8-10 markets, and national magazines. I think this is impossible, but can you think of any way I can provide the client with a decent estimate? I was thinking I could start by pulling delivery for USAT, magazines, New York Times, and then somehow estimating the rest.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, February 08, 2003 ):
The Guru sees no problem, and so does not quit understand your question perhaps. Assuming you know what reach and frequency is, you can readily determine the reach of each one of the media you mention. Most simply, you can combine them by Random Probability . Most reach and frequency systems on the market, like our own eTelmar, can do this for you. The only "trick" is accounting for the different geographies, but that's just artithmetic, and easy if you look at all the percentage reaches as their equivalent in thousands.


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.


Tuesday, November 26, 2002 #5646
I have a client who buys only newspaper price & item inserts 26 weeks per year. In an effort to grow his business, he wishes to invest in inserts 52 weeks per year. Beyond reach and frequency, how can I demonstrate to him that his money would be better spent in another medium?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, November 26, 2002 ):
reach and frequency is the central argument. Other than that, propose short-term tests of alternate media.


Saturday, November 16, 2002 #5622
Can you give me the name of research software that provides reach and frequency for tv broadcast, cable tv, and for a mix of media (tv schedule plus newspaper or magainzes)?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, November 17, 2002 ):
AMICs' sister company, Telmar is the leader in such software.


Saturday, November 02, 2002 #5594
1.how do you measure the effectiveness of sponsorship? 2.is sponsorship more effective than other types of media

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, November 05, 2002 ):
You must begin by deciding what kind of effectiveness you want: sales, public opinion, image, awareness?

For some of these, e.g. public opinion, image, sponsorship may be more effective. Sponsorship is about depth of communication and its impact, media is about breadth of communication. Media gets reach and freqeuncy, sponsorship engages the hearts of those who care about what you sponsor, and will cost you in reach and frequency terms.


Thursday, October 17, 2002 #5566
What is the reach and frequency of Cosmopolitan Magazine?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, October 19, 2002 ):
According to MRI, an average issue of Cosmopolitan reaches 17,110,000 adult women. Frequency is an aspect of a schedule, not of a specific magazine.


Thursday, October 17, 2002 #5565
Does the guru have any experience with the effective use of :10 IDs in syndicated programming? In general would it make sense for a limited budgeted advertiser to place 100% of his budget into this media form in order to maximize efficiencies?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, October 19, 2002 ):
:10s should cost about half of thirties, so the gain in reach and frequency is big. But the key question is whether you can tell the story in a :10. 100 bad commercials aren't worth as much as 50 good ones.


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.


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.


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.


Thursday, July 11, 2002 #5406
We are in the middle of planning a small trade plan in the science field. First question - do you know of any syndicated research that measures these types of publications? The client believes that somewhere one must exist. Also, we need to determine the communication goals. How would we go about calculating reach and frequency for our plan when these publications are not measured? And duplication studies are not available? Any help would be great! Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 13, 2002 ):
There are syndicated medical and technology daya bases, but the Guru does not know of one for basic sciences.

Click here to see past Guru responses regarding procedures to estimate print reach


Sunday, June 30, 2002 #5387
I'm working in Japan this summer and trying to get as infomration on the effectiveness of advertising and using a mix of media vs. buying only Tv. Are there any statistics on reach and frequency measurements or can you suggest a simple way I can translate the information to my client without getting too technical? - Difficult to cross the language barrier.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, July 01, 2002 ):
Keep in mind that in different countries and cultures media behave differently, media mix differently and reach/frequency cumes differently. The U.S. Hispanic market's media are very different than U.S. general market media, for example. Therefore, it would be a mistake to think about simply translating U.S. concepts. Basic definitions such as rating or impressions should be safe, but mathematical relationships or impact measures can bne quite different.

Try Japan Marketing Association for some help.


Monday, June 17, 2002 #5352
I have a very small ad agency that places local TV buys, is their a computer program I could purchase to help in computing say reach and frequency on these buys. I can't afford to pay Neilsen a monthly fee for TvScan. Any suggestions?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, June 17, 2002 ):
The Guru's organization includes Telmar which provides the software you need.


Tuesday, May 14, 2002 #5284
Hello, I am looking for some help on determing ROI for a print media campaign I've had running for about 8 months. Unfortunately, I cannot include sales as we are a B2B company and our product is pricey (read millions of dollars). So advertising is not going to make the phone ring with sales but I would like to put something together to determine how effective the print campaign is at awareness/perception. Or at least reach/frequency. Is there any rules of thumb I can go by or incorporate besides just circulation and cost per pub? Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, May 18, 2002 ):
Click here to see numerous past Guru responses, posted for your reference, regarding estimating reach and frequency.

Awareness / perception may be a useful metric in evaluating a plan, but unfortuately you really need to have a benchmark base level from before the campaign began.


Sunday, April 21, 2002 #5237
Hi Media Guru, Our product is a toy box and our primary target is mothers of young children between 1-2 years of age. Our secondary target is grandparents and children. 1. What's the best way to reach our primary target? 2. Should we allocate media budget to target kids through cartoon shows on TV although the purchase takes place when they're too young to influence the decision? 3. We do not have access to either Simmons Choices II nor MediaMark, what would be an alternative to support our choice of titles/channels and to get reach and frequency data? 4. Is there a standard way to split the budget between priamry and secondary targets? Thanks Amal

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 28, 2002 ):
The Guru's recommedations:
  • Forget targeting 1-2 year olds. As you say, " they're too young to influence the decision"
  • Your target may be reached in any medium, and efficiency against the target will tell you something, but parenting magazines and web sites are probably most effective.
  • The media you might buy will have access to Simmons or MRI and should be happy to provide these data
  • One way to split budget is in proportion to your assessment of the portion of sales which might be made to each target.


Thursday, March 14, 2002 #5151
how do i best explain reach and frequency to a new media student

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 17, 2002 ):
The Guru doesn't see the difficulty. Reach is the number of Different persons exposed to advertising, expressed in simple numbers or as a percentage of a target audience. Frequency is the number of exposures experienced by those who are reached.

Click here to see past Guru responses on the topic.


Tuesday, March 05, 2002 #5136
Thank you Media Guru for your response to my last question. Now I have a another one for you: A hypothetical advertising situation I'm working on involves a client who wants to invest in some specialty advertising, specifically pencils, coffee mugs, toy tractors and other things of that nature. Is it possible to determine the reach and frequency of such a medium?...or are reach and frequency better left to descriptions of broadcast, print, and other media

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 05, 2002 ):
The first step in measuring reach and frequency is defining the target so that you can eventually say that "X" number or "Z" percent of this target has been reached. In your hypothetical, the number might be the quantity distributed, but it will depend on how well the distribution is controlled to go to the target and to prevent duplication.

Direct mail is not a good analogy, because that depends on percent who open/read to filter the reach.


Friday, March 01, 2002 #5127
I am a student trying to target the affluent for radio advertising. Is it possible to obtain reach and frequency when I don't know exactly how may individuals are in this market. Thank you. Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 04, 2002 ):
If you think of reach and gross impressions in thousands, then there is no problem; if you want Percent reach, then obviously you need to have an estimate of the size of your target universe.

Scarborough is a resource which can provide universes and percent reach estimates for an affluent audience, if you can define affluent in concrete terms, e.g. HH income over $100K.


Monday, February 18, 2002 #5092
I have a National Cable TV plan that we estimate will deliver a reach/frequency of 33/5.5 if run for four consecutive weeks. I have 7 networks planned. My question is this: What would happen to reach and frequency if I scheduled the same 180 GRP's as two weeks on, two weeks off, two weeks on. My estimate is that the reach may increase slightly.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 18, 2002 ):
On the theory that there are always a very few people who do not watch in any finite period, but may be caught across a longer period, you are probably correct. The opportunity to capitalize on this aspect of reach is probably better by spreading the weight over the same weeks than by flighting, but the differences are likely infinitesimal.


Monday, February 11, 2002 #5080
How do I figure reach and frequency? If I know that I want to buy 2000 TRPs over the course of a year, 20 weeks of 100 TRPs flighted. I need to tell how many people I am reaching 10 times. I do know the population and TV HH numbers.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 11, 2002 ):
This is very complex and has numerous variables, including daypart mix and target.

The eTelmar starter package is a quick, inexpensive resource.

Click here to see past Guru responses


Thursday, January 31, 2002 #5039
calculate reach and frequency

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 31, 2002 ):
You need a computer with software such as that offered by Telmar.

The calculation is extremely complex. As input, you need average issue audience, duplication between issues of the same publication and duplication between each possible pair of different publications. These must be combined using a complex formula such as the Beta-binomial function. There are variants of this formula, which might be preferred, depending on media type and other variables


Wednesday, January 23, 2002 #5030
Hi Mr Guru. Just wondering : in the basic (reachxfrequency)xCPM/1000 formula, I have a question about reach. Are we talking about the number of people who see the ad, or who might see the ad ? E.g. the 500,000 people who drive by a billboard every week, but who don't necessarily see it. Thanks a lot.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 31, 2002 ):
There is a term - "opportunity to see" - more commonly used in Europe and probably more descriptive than our own "impressions." Each research measurement has a standard for inclusion in the reported audience. For outdoor it may be something like: the number of cars passing a billboard each day time an average of 1.7 passengers per car. In magazine, the number of persons who say they looked into the most recent issue. There are arguements about why each overstates the numbers actually exposed to the ad. However, reach and frequency systems are usually built to deal with the reported audiences fed to them. Most sytems have allowances to adjust inputs or results based on attentiveness, noting or other refinements.


Tuesday, January 22, 2002 #5026
Now that Outdoor can be mixed with other media, what is your thinking on how do the number of uses effect the frequency distribution? Should we be transferring GRP's, number of days or number of boards times days? How does this effect the frequency of the programs?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 31, 2002 ):
Outdoor could always be mixed with other media, so the Guru presumes you mean that the media software you use now has the ability to calculate reach and frequency for the combined media. Your question is probably answered in the software's manual.


Thursday, January 03, 2002 #4975
how does reach and frequency build

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 04, 2002 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses about reach build.


Thursday, December 20, 2001 #4956
how does reach and frequency build?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, December 21, 2001 ):
This differs from medium to medium and among specific combinations vehicles.

Generally, the audience of each added advertisement has increasing duplication with those already reached. The curve below is typical.


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.


Thursday, December 13, 2001 #4944
We have a client that insists on running :30 LOCAL radio spots instead of :60 spots. We have done a significant amount of network radio, where the "standard" unit is, in fact, :30. Standard units for local buys on the other hand are :60s. The client still challenges our recommendation for :60s in LOCAL markets. Do you have an opinion on this subject, or can you tell me where to find some independent research that addresses the topic?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, December 13, 2001 ):
Today, not only is the local standard :60's, but most stations sell "units" meaning their charge is the same for :60 or :30. In this situation, there seems to be no reason to use a :30 unless specific copy research proves that the 30 is more effective.

In other cases, where :30's cost 80% of :60's, the added reach and frequency achievable trhough :30's may be worthwhile.

For research, try The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB)


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.


Tuesday, October 30, 2001 #4852
What is the formula or methodology for calculating reach and frequency in print media?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, October 30, 2001 ):
There are various formulas, such as beta bimodal, Metheringham, etc. The complexities call for computeres or a lot of time. Try Telmar or eTelmar.


Wednesday, October 24, 2001 #4819
I know you have addressed this question many times, but I could not find an answer to help me in your archives. How can I determine reach & frequency for my television buy without buying software? I do not know reach or frequency, only total TRP's. Please help.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 24, 2001 ):
reach and frequency is a complex calculation. Without software, only tables of results based on averaging actula caluculation will be helpful. Complexities of dayparts, demographics, and timing can mean a 2:1 range in results for the same GRP. If the media vendors can't help you, eTelmar is a low-cost, pay-per-use alternative.


Wednesday, October 24, 2001 #4815
I just started free-lance media buying, Is their a software program I can buy to compute reach and frequency, CPP etc, without purchasing Arbitron or Nielsen? I would submit my own numbers for each program. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 24, 2001 ):
Try our own Telmar or eTelmar.


Monday, October 01, 2001 #4742
Dear Guru, I am interesting in IMS Modal reach and frequency model. As far as I can understand they use beta-binomial model for plans with one vehicle, but what model is used for plans with more than 1 vehicle (so called between vehicle duplication problem). Could you give me any references or ideas? Sincerely, Lena M

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, October 02, 2001 ):
Contact IMS


Friday, September 07, 2001 #4703
How to arrive with reach and frequency

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, September 07, 2001 ):
Try eTelmar


Wednesday, August 15, 2001 #4658
Guru, Could use some help framing questions for my agency relating to the effectiveness of a media campaign. We recently ran a test cell for a new campaign (our first)in which the agency provided information on total TRPs, total reach and total frequency over the life of the test. I need to determine how the frequency builds over time. Are there any formulas/rules of thumb for calculating build over time? If not, what specifically should I ask them for? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, August 15, 2001 ):
Reach relates to GRP in a curvilinear function. Frequency relates to GRP in a straight line. This doesn't mean that each week adds the same amount of frequency, merely that it's fairly easy to work with.

The easiest thing however, is probably to ask the agency to calculate cumulative reach and frequency, week by week, over the course of the campaign.


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.


Tuesday, July 24, 2001 #4603
I was wondering if you have any ideas were I may be able to find some sort of template for RFPs that involve media buying like requesting C.P.P. or reach & frequency? We have been working on many media bids for a department of the state and they do not request specific media numbers so the media buyers are only submitting the information that makes their plan look the most favorable. We wanted to reccommend something to them so the comparison of the different agency plans would be more like comparing apples to apples. Thank you for any help

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, July 24, 2001 ):
First we need to distinguish between requesting plans and requesting buy proposals.

A media plan is a document that details what media should be used at what budgets, to accomplich sets of objectives and strategies which meet advertsing objectives set for the planners. If you are soliciting media paln proposals, you should be setting advertising objectives and asking for plans to meet them. Some judgement in addition to quantitative comparison will be appropriate. You could use the relevant portion of the Guru's Parts of a Media Plan as an outline of what is to be included in proposals reveived.

If, however, the media plan is completed and you are taking proposals on media buys, that is what stations, newspapers, magazines, etc fulfil the plan, that the analysis might be simply numerical, as long as all meet the plan's specs, which should be in your rfp.

Beware of comparing reach and frequency analyses that have been created by different software, and are not therefore comparable.


Friday, July 06, 2001 #4555
Our agency handles a lot of business to business accounts how would one go about calcualting reach and frequency for each particular business sector ex. one account makes catheters. How would you calculate in various value-added opportunities into reach and frequency like links on a site, direct mail lists etc. Thanks for the great service.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 06, 2001 ):
To calculate reach and frequency two data points are necessary:
Unduplicated audience within the target (sector, in your case) and total population for the target. The media type or unit size are not relevant; reach is pure arithmetic; relative impact and other creative judgements are separate.

It should be basic to estimate the numbers of audience for any media vehicle, site or mailing in your plan. You certainly must have an idea of the size of the sectors you are targeting. The tricky part would be estimating the duplication between advertisements. In the medical field, possibly PERQ has some useful estimates.

Once you add the gross audiecne of all your ads and eloiminate the estimated duplication, you divide by the population to determine reach.


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.


Friday, June 29, 2001 #4538
Hello again, I have two questions about calculating reach and frequency that I have been unable to find in the archives of past responses. Perhaps you can help? 1. I normally use the formula (a+b)-(.a*b) to determine combined reach of two mediums, such as radio and print. How do I calculate the combined reach of more than two? The plan I am working on includes spot TV, spot radio and local newspaper. 2. Is it possible to determine a combined reach for more than one market or should each market be reported separately? In the past, I have provided separate delivery for each market in the same plan with a total number of gross impressions for the whole plan. Is this correct? Thanks in advance!

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 29, 2001 ):
1. This common formula is based on an assumption that different media duplicate their audiences according to random probability. Therefore if you follow this assumption, media may be added to combinations of media in a "chain" of the same formula. So, once you have combined TV and Radio, you can use this combination as your "a" and then combine it with newspaper as "b."

2. You can combine reaches across markets by doing a weighted average. Multiply the reach in each market by the percent of U.S. in each market. Add all the products and divide by the sum of the % U.S.


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.


Wednesday, May 30, 2001 #4441
This is in regard to automotive advertising. A schedule is bought for each franchise/product. Let's use 3 products for this question. Each schedule is a modest R/F of 65% / 3.5. The creative is one spot for each product, a "donut", the open and close are identical or have the same theme but with a different product in each of the 3 spots. All three spots run within the same flight dates. Is the reach and frequency actually greater on each product because of the "common" open and close or does the common open/close just build the "brand"?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, May 30, 2001 ):
Though there may be some synergy in brand awareness, "reach" is simple statistics. The middle of the donut reaches only those who see it.


Friday, May 11, 2001 #4386
Guru, can you please point me towards research on the effect of pay/cable TV in the home on channel zapping ? Specifically do more channels reduce the amount of advertising viewed ? Have you heard of an Equalisation model to account for this in reach and frequency calculations. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, May 12, 2001 ):
It should be simple enough to directly reduce GRPs according to any measured reduction of ad viewing versus program viewing.

For research try The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.


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.


Thursday, April 26, 2001 #4345
Are there any accessable studies showing the enhanced reach and frequency by using a media mix of direct mail in conjunction with targeted b-to-b print advertising, rather than direct mail and email only?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, April 27, 2001 ):
Obviously email has a limited audience potential and many business people have developed filters to avoid such spam.

For studies, try The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.


Sunday, April 08, 2001 #4318
Dear Guru : Please help me, my companie is looking for a new softaware supporters, one of these is Steve Perry in London, another is Telmar. Plase give me a phone,fax or email of Steve Perry software consultant based in London

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, April 10, 2001 ):
Acording to our sources in London:

"Steve Perry used to work at IMS, he writes systems for TV reach and frequency. He has now sold his company SPC to BMRB and moved to South America."


Thursday, April 05, 2001 #4315
which kind of programs tend to develop large reach and high frequency? Sarwar -Lintas

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, April 09, 2001 ):
Generally, programs which are more different in content from one episode to the next, and thus are more likely to draw a different audience, each time get high reach.

In the U.S. this has meant programs like prime time, feature movies, a fading genre.

Of course, GRP for GRP, the higher the reach the lower the frequency. Therefore in media planning, a mix is used if the goal is to optimize both reach and frequency.


Thursday, March 29, 2001 #4295
We are doing research for a media plan and we can't find the reach and frequency numbers for any of our magazines, newspapers, and television shows. Is there someplace that we can look that can give us the reach and frequency with out us having to pay a subscription fee?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 29, 2001 ):
Individual ad's reach can be found in some places, like our own AMIC's Ad Data. In these cases frequency always = 1.0.

For various specific schedules, it's not reasonable to expect all the infinite possibilities to be posted anywhere; this calls for calculations by software with a price attached.

For inexpensive, single use, pay-as-you-go software, visit eTelmar.


Tuesday, March 13, 2001 #4254
Dear MG. I am currently involving in making an internal online media planning system. It seems to me reach&frequecy planning in online media does not fit very well. I am appreciated if you tell me current discussions on reach&frequency in online planning.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 15, 2001 ):
The key issue in reach and frequency is defining your universe. If your system is totally for online planning, then your universe would logically be the population with internet access. This should match whatever audience data source is being used to generate audience figures in your planning.

Presumably, if reach is an issue, then unique visitors will be the key metric.

In comparing to other media reach estimates, it should be kept in mind that online impressions are a very different sort of measurement than in other media.


Tuesday, March 13, 2001 #4250
My ad agency is putting together a media plan for a client. Currently, the client is spending about 15% on radio and 85% budget on broadcast television. I am recommending a combination of radio, cable and broadcast. I am trying to show a combined reach and frequency. I am able to do this for radio and broadcast tv with my media software. How can I add in the reach and frequency of cable (since universes are different)? My cable rep says she can enter my entire schedule (broadcast & cable) to come up with reach and frequency. Is this possible? Won't I be neglect in showing reach to those HH without cable???Please respond ASAP. Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 13, 2001 ):
The Guru can recall when some managers opposed the introduction of computers because people would no longer know basic media math.

Keep in mind that the real story is how many people you reach. Once you determine that, it is simple arithmetic to express that number as a percentage of a target group, as we are used to seeing reach.

It is also standard to show reach within the cable universe and in the remaining U.S. For example, you might show that you reached 75% of the cable universe and 60% of the remaing U.S.

And. . . if the cable universe is 80% of the U.S. then your average U.S. reach is 72%

0.8 x 75
+ 0.2 x 60 =
72


Tuesday, January 30, 2001 #4137
Please help. One of my clients started a TV campaign YESTERDAY and wants to know why sales haven't gone through the roof yet. Where can I find research explaining R/F, etc. to help him answer this question? Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, January 31, 2001 ):
This is not a matter of reach and frequency, just common sense.

If first day schedules usually put sales 'through the roof' why would anyone ever advertise all week or for several weeks?

Look at your GRP per day: is it perhaps as many as 20? If so, perhaps day one's schedule reached 12 or 15% of your target.

What's a reasonable proportion of those exposed to your message just one time immediately wanting to buy that day (assuming killer creative)? 1% as a generous estimate? Thus on day one, if there were one-tenth of one percent of the target as new customers, that would be a raging success. Over the course of the first week, more of those who heard it on day one may get around to buying, plus those from day 2,3, etc. Plus those who hear it 3 times by day 3 or four may finally become persuaded.

If you are doing direct response, you might expect the build to be flatter and resonse to be more immediate.


Wednesday, January 24, 2001 #4120
Which is the best way to decide how many billboards are effective in a specific city?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 26, 2001 ):
Out-of-home media are sold in "showings." These are typically #25, #50 or #100. The numbers indicate that the daily traffic being exposed to a showing equates to impressions which would translate to the indicated number of marketplace Adult TRP.

So, a #25 showing is 25 TRP per day, etc. This means 150 TRP weekly (discounting a bit for lower weekend traffic) and 600 TRP in four weeks. reach and frequency are given in the defintion of "Showing" in the Media Guru's Encyclopedia of Media Terms

In different markets, billboards will generate different daily effective circulation, depending on traffic patterns, and locations. The outdoor plant operators know how many locations are necessary to achieve each showing level in their markets. Market differences may not be proportional to market size differences. One market 4 times as big as another may need 6 times as many boards.

With this information, you can plan billboards to suit your communications goals.


Wednesday, December 13, 2000 #4041
My question is regarding print measurement. For a consumer print campaign (magazines, regional) I've been asked to provide a pithy statement (to be read by a board of directors with limited marketing savvy) adressing the effectiveness of the proposed print campaign. Our account planner asked for reach and frequency, which I don't believe I can provide. I can provide circulation and readership (which would equate to reach, I believe, but that doesn't account for duplication). I am to complete the sentence "This plan results in..." Am I missing something? Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 17, 2000 ):
You have not made clear why you believe you cannot provide reach and frequency. Once you have the readership of individual publications you can begin to combine their audiences in a rough way, by "random probability." This method will understate duplication somewhat, because related publications and particularly multiple issues of the same publication duplicate more than merely randomly. Using duplication between simialr national magazines, as documented by services like MRI, you can reasonable estimate the duplication in your own schedule and thereby estimate your reach and frequency.


Monday, November 27, 2000 #3993
A client has asked for information pertaining to the level of advertising required to increase awareness and positively affect the perception of their company on an on-going basis. Is there a source for information regarding required grp levels for radio and television to maximize awareness. Our client is based in Phoenix, Arizona, with an interest in statewide coverage?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 29, 2000 ):
Awareness relates most to the reach and frequency of a plan. You must reach more people more often to increase awareness. You must reach more people than are currently aware.

Click here to see past Guru responses about awareness and levels

For research, try The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.


Friday, November 24, 2000 #3983
I am constantly being told that the banner is dead and that clients are moving away from banners to e-mail marketing. Do you think that this demise has been due to lack of targeting and hence ineffective campaigns. Shouldn't the Internet be able to provide one to one advertising?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 24, 2000 ):
The Guru doesn't believe the banner is dead. The Guru doesn't see an upsurge in email marketing.

lack of targetting would be a failing of the online planner, more than the internet. Possibly the appeal of big sites over well focused site is a drawback. Or the pursuit of reach and frequency which are not the best use of internet media. "one to one" advertising sounds more like an email than web function. The Guru believes that anti-spam feeling continues to grow. Email "advertising" offers far more annoyance than sales power. In email, like banners, a fraction of one percent reponse rate is all that can be expected. When goals are not realistic, this rate of return is more likely to to be acceptable in email than banners, given the ad rates.


Monday, November 13, 2000 #3966
how do you calculae radio reach and frequency by hand?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, November 16, 2000 ):
The calculation is complex, because it describes a curvilinear function and considers several factors, such as grp, dayparts, turnover, quarter hours in a daypart, # of stations, etc. Sometimes agencies run computer calculations of several schedules with varying components and print tables summarizing these to allow quick, rough calculations.

Visualize a left hand column of GRPs from 50 to 1000, in 50's
and adjacent columns for 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5+ stations.

Read across the appropriate GRP row to find the reach under the correct number of stations. But wait, you'd better make a different table for schedules running only 6am-7pm Monday to Friday and another table for Mon-Sunday 6am - midnight. But wait, you'd better make extra tables in each of those categories for when average rating is 1 and when average rating is 2, 3, etc.

Years ago, some reps and ratings report offered slide rules for the calculations.


Thursday, November 09, 2000 #3959
Dear Guru - I have two questions - #1 - I have a client who wants a shifting reach pattern in place for a media test - No problem - however, there corporate department wants to run the test 2 on 2 off - I think it needs to be every week so that the hiatus time doesn't screw up the added frequency and reach you would receive by being on consistently - any thoughts? #2 - I have a new client that I am working up a media plan for in general terms of spots, reach and frequency. We are using 4 different medias in each market - Radio, TV, Internet and Outdoor - How do I estimate a total reach and frequency, GI and Persons Reached for each market to give to the client when I am using general CPP's to estimate numbers of spots, etc.?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, November 12, 2000 ):
The Guru doesn't understand your first question. What do you mean by "shifting reach pattern" and how do you ssuppose this is affected by the flighting? Where do you have a problem with reach and frequency in #2 other than the impossibilty of an accurate local market internet impressions count? Do you have reach and frequency tools for these media but face a local problem or something else?


Wednesday, November 08, 2000 #3951
I am in the process of making a media plan targeting Germany and UK, but have had problems finding resources for those areas. What I would really like to find is something comparable to an SRDS book that gives the prices along with ratings, reach, Index, frequency. etc. Thankyou for your help!

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 08, 2000 ):
International Media Guide is the analog to srds, but don't expect ratings or reach and frequency from either.


Wednesday, November 08, 2000 #3950
Dear Guru, How is reach and frequency determined for a print (magazine) schedule?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, November 12, 2000 ):
The average issue audience, measured duplication between issues of the same publication and between different publications are compiled using various formulas. Generally commercial media software like Telmar's or that of the magazine measurement vendors is used.


Monday, October 30, 2000 #3926
Very basic: Why can't I add the weekly frequency for each week in a 13 week flight and have it total the frequency for the total 13 week flight? I know that I can't do this; but I couldn't explain it properly to someone. Help

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, October 30, 2000 ):
If you mean the simplest definition of "frequency," that is the number of ads in the scedule, then you can do what you say. But most likely you are referring to average frequency of exposure, as in "reach and frequency."

Like reach, this kind of frequency is not additive. Why? Because it refers to the average frequency of exposure among the people reached. Suppose your campaign looks like this:
Week # Weekly Reach

Weekly Freq.

Cumulative Reach

Cumulative Frequency

1 20 1.2 20 1.2
2 20 1.2 27 1.5
3 20 1.2 36 1.7
4 20 1.2 40 2.0
5 20 1.2 43 2.3
6 20 1.2 45 2.7
7 20 1.2 46 3.0
8 20 1.2 47 3.4
9 20 1.2 48 3.8
10 20 1.2 49 4.1
11 20 1.2 50 4.4
12 20 1.2 50 4.8
13 20 1.2 50 5.2
If you added weekly frequency, you would get a frequency of 15.6 by the 13th week instead of the correct 5.2. The trick is that the average frequency is the average among a different group of people each week. As more people are reached, the group grows. So the frequency of week number one is the average among 20% of your target, and in week number two it's the average among 27% of your target.


Thursday, September 07, 2000 #3783
What are the benefits of Spot TV versus print for a 3 month launch campaign?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, September 09, 2000 ):
TV is a more active, impactful medium than newspaper. There is a greater range of flexibility in schedule, reach and frequency, especially in achieving quick, up-front high levels. 95% reach at 20+ frequency in week 1 is possible in TV, with nothing close possible in local print. But budget will be a key issue.


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.


Monday, August 21, 2000 #3728
What is the formula to equate reach and frequency from an outdoor showing? i.e. a 25 showing has a reach of 76.8% and a frequency of8.2 (I pulled these numbers from your media glossary)

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, August 21, 2000 ):
"25 Showing" in out-of-home media indicates a buy with a daily effective circulation, or traffic count, or impressions, which equate to 25 GRP per day.

In considering a month's reach & frequency, it is common to adjust the weekend days' traffic down by about 50%. In a month, instead of 25 X 30 = 750 GRP, we credit about 630 GRP. This agrees with the arithmetic of 76.8 Reach and 8.2 Frequency.


Monday, August 14, 2000 #3703
Do you know where I can find some published articles about how to determine the media investment base on Optimal reach & frequency level ?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, August 18, 2000 ):
This is a very basic aspect of media planning. Probably the most common approach to formal media planning is setting a communications goal in reach and frequency terms and then examining the reach delivered by various plan options.

The richest source of articles might be Journal of Advertising Research.


Wednesday, June 07, 2000 #3537
I'm new to media software. If my agency is planning all media, is Donovan a better package than Telmar. Are there any others that I should consider? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 08, 2000 ):
No. Donovan software is for buying and stewardship. Telmar (AMIC's sister company) offers programs used for planning, such as reach and frequency estimators, print cross-tabbing and rankeing, flowcharts, etc.


Thursday, June 01, 2000 #3516
How can you estimate the reach and frequency (or even TRPs) of a radio schedule in a market that is not metered?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 01, 2000 ):
In any county, there should be at least an occasional Arbitron coverage study data to use for audience estimates.


Friday, May 26, 2000 #3500
Guru, I have had a lot of planning experience for spot television and local cable television and am now being asked to plan network television, network cable television and syndicated television. I've noticed after looking at several example plans that network GRPs are often lower than spot GRPs ... Why is that and what are effective GRP levels for network media? Please help.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 29, 2000 ):
The Guru would surmise that in spot, you have seen more promotional or retail-oriented schedules, where noise level is the basis. In network plans, more sophisticated assessments of communications goals may have been made, focused on reach and frequency.

The concept of "planning spot tv" or "planning network TV" is also puzzling. The media choice is the result of planning, not the going-in assignment. Are you part of the buying process moving to network tv where multimedia plans may have been assembled by others, prior to your involvement with a single element?


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.


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.


Monday, May 01, 2000 #3434
I am trying to determine how best to manually calculate reach and frequency for Out of Home Media. Would you be able to help and provide me with reach curves and turnover ratios for OOH media. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 02, 2000 ):
Out-of-home (outdoor poster media) is usually bought in #25, #50 or #100 "showings." These are based on daily effective circulation, or traffic, equal to 25, 50 or 100 GRP per day, respectively.

Within the state of the art, in rough terms, these levels usually mean 4-week reach and frequencies of approximately

  • 80 / 8.8 / 700
  • 87 / 16.1 / 1400 and
  • 92 / 30.4 / 2800.

As should be apparent, there is not much room for fine tuning, nor much reason for considering other GRP levels.


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.


Thursday, April 27, 2000 #3425
Are there general guidelines for media planners so that they will know how and when to consider ethnic or cultural groups in the planning process? Are there any planning tools?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 27, 2000 ):
The three major ethnic/cultural groups are currently almost one-third of total population ( see AMIC's Abbott Wool's Market Segment Resource Locator ): African American is 13%, Hispanic is 12% and Asian American is 4%. The rule of thumb is always "consider" ethnic and cultural groups. There are several common or basic product categories in which these groups have a 150 - 300+ index of usage versus the remainder of population. These include fruit juice, baby products, rice, corn meal, and many brands of beer, popular foods or over-the-counter pharmceuticals.

General advertising doesn't reach the linguistically isolated portions of these markets (50% or more of Hispanics and various Asian national groups). Even those reached, among all the ethnic/cultural segments, are less impacted due to lack of appropriate cultural cues in the general advertising or the media environments.

Upon due consideration, the planner may find that for his or her particular advertiser, no special effort is required. But, the planners may also find that there is a 12% segment of their universe consuming 25% of their product, and reachable through efficient media. It is not really unusual for the "first mover" in one of these market segments to gain 10% market share among the segments, which equates to a gain of more than 1% national share, something that couldn't have been achieved for three times the budget in general advertising.

Non-ethnic segmetns such as the mature market may also bear consideration.

Telmar's media software includes a Spanish TV reach and frequency system, called STRETCH, created by Telemundo

Hispanic Broadcasting System (formerly Heftel) has created En Total which does general Hispanic radio calculations and media combinations.

The African American, Spanish, and Asian-American media all offer research analyses.


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 19, 2000 #3410
What is your opinion on using out-of-home (30-sheets or bulletins) as a stand-alone medium for a brand-building campaign? On a related note, are there any "rules" for adjusting different types of media for their "impact" versus other media (e.g., impact of an all-newspaper campaign versus an all television campaign given the same TRP levels and the same "likelihood of use" by the target market)?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, April 21, 2000 ):
The Guru has seen impact adjusments across media based on recall, on attentiveness and on an advertiser's proprietary research, but no general rules-of-thumb.

Unfortunately, such adjustments are too often based on one unit of the advertising, such as a TV spot versus a radio spot, and don't take into account the crucial difference in number of spots or GRPs per dollar.

As for brand-building in outdoor, there are two principal considerations in the Guru's view:

  • Definition of "brand building:" The term, one of those nebulous buzz-words which seems to mean whatever the speaker wishes, implies, to the Guru, the creation of a brand image and positioning from a low-awarness start.
  • Limited message: How much can a brand be "built" by the few words and large graphic allowable in out-of-home media?
  • Yet, the Guru is very favorably inclined to taking advantage of the enormous reach and frequency possible via out-of-home

In short, the Guru's gut feeling is that outdoor can contribute greatly to brand building, but that the process needs at least one longer-form medium.


Monday, April 17, 2000 #3401
Dear Guru, I need to develop a cost estimate and approx. reach/freq. for a US television buy in the top 40 markets. Here's what I have and what I still need to know: I have the markets and approx. CPP per daypart from SQAD. I need to know how to calculate a rough estimate of reach & freq for 1 week to 1 year based on 200 points per week in each market. Can a network (CBS etc)place the entire buy, or do I have to do this per market. I'm one person and can't spend too much time executing this (if it happens). Any advice would be great. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, April 17, 2000 ):
No, networks don't place spot buys. You can use spot reps or media buying services. Find these in Standard Rate and Data Service (SRDS) or The Standard Directories of Advertising Agencies and Advertisers ('The Redbook')

Either one can help you with reach and frequency, or eTelmar.com offers an inexpensive, online reach calculator.

If you are buying 200 points per week for a year in the top 40 markets, you are spending in the 10's of millions, at least. This is ample to hire a buying service or at least some experienced free-lance help. Either one would save you far, far more in media costs than the expense of their fees.


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.


Tuesday, February 15, 2000 #3216
What have you found to be the maximum weight one should put behind a specific television spot before it "wears out?" Assume 200 TRPs per week for 39 weeks of the year exposure. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 16, 2000 ):
For this question, asked in this specific form, the Guru would say 2000.

But it isn't so simple. Different daypart mixes will build different reach and frequency -- and it's frequency that's the issue. Some say 20+ frequency in the second heaviest quintile is the cut-off.

Even then, the qualities of the specific commercial and the size of the commercial pool are important factors as well.


Wednesday, February 02, 2000 #3179
Hello Media Guru, I am searching the information about the media planning model worked out by Canadian Media Directors Council (CMDC). Please, can you tell me what is the heart of this method. I would be also very grateful for any references about this theme. Thank you in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 02, 2000 ):
The Guru's limited knowledge about this "model" includes these points:
  • It's not a media planning model, it's a reach and frequency model
  • It has not yet been released
  • When released, it is likely to be available only to Council members, and therefore not accesible for the Guru's evaluation.


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 20, 2000 #3136
Is there a simplified reach and frequency calculation formula that allows for the number of stations (TV or radio) as well as the target audience size?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 22, 2000 ):
reach and frequency calculations have become quite complex today and are typically done by computer. Because reach is curvilinear, the formula can be quite complex, even without this issue. A different algorithm is needed for each dispersion scenario.

A good system will account for number of stations, at least in radio; AMIC's sister company, Telmar has such a system.

Since reach calculations are typically done with percentages of universe, like rating and percent reach, target audience size is not specifically relevant. Different curves will have been deduced for different targets, based on their accumulation patterns, which may not exhibit a direct correlataion to size. If reach in thousands is needed. it is simple to calculate by multiplying perent reach against target population.


Monday, January 17, 2000 #3124
Hi, Media Guru... I am new to media planning and need to know how to figure out how to distribute the budget among media. We have decided to use Direct Response TV ads and Radio, but how do I determine how much of the budget to put in either? I understand the definitions of the terms reach and frequency but do not know how to use these tools. Also, is there an online (free) resource that can help me come up with psychographic data either in general for a demo or by market and demo? Thank you in advance for your help!

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 21, 2000 ):
When the planner has a free hand, media mix is determined by examining various combinations to see which best meet the Media Objectives and Strategies.

You may go through an examination of efficiency, communication impact, environmental support, etc, of broad types prior to testing various mixes for reach and frequency or other measurable contributions.

In the case of direct response, you probably have some track record of the relative selling ability of each medium on which to base an intial distribution. After start, careful tracking of response will lead you to modify budgets. This direct tracking of sales, typical in DR, makes reach and frequency analysis moot.

The Guru does not believe there are any free online market psychographic/demographic resources.


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.


Monday, December 06, 1999 #3029
Dear Guru, I am an Advertising student at the Univesity of Akron and I doing a promotional campaigns project. What I am doing now is trying to develop a mock budget based on reach and frequency. Do you know where I can get information on how much Advertising through different media (tv, radio, newspaper, magazines)costs per contact? Or even on average? I can't start any research without information on cost of advertising. Could you please help me? Melody

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, December 07, 1999 ):
Visit AMIC's Ad Data area


Friday, November 19, 1999 #2989
Media Guru, Our client is asking us why we use reach & frequency to analyze the effectiveness of our media plans. We are not aware of any other tools/methods that have been developed. Can you give us some pointers on how best to answer this question? Thanks in advance!

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 19, 1999 ):
reach and frequency are used to help predict the effect of plans and, more appropriately, to compare the available alternate plans, when communications power is the issue.

Media plans are actually advertising communications plans: "how many people of the targeted demographic receive the message and how often?" is the most basic quantification of the expected acheivements of the plan. In the process of selecting targets amd media, other issues of prospect quality and ad impact are addressed, but the final wieghts and measures are reach, frequency, and their product, gross impressions.

During and after execution, of course, sales and awareness measures are more direct evaluative tools.


Tuesday, November 02, 1999 #2928
Guru: I'm trying to plan an online media buy for branding purposes and having a hard time devising a formula for adequate impressions levels. I think % reach is a better way to go, but what's the optimal % reach for online branding on a website (high enough frequency without waste)? Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 03, 1999 ):
It is very early in the scheme of internet reach models to imagine that there are standardized formulas.

You are correct to think that "branding," which means different things to different people, but seems to be about awareness in most definitions, depends upon reach.

But reach in relation to internet impressions is a curious thing. As in all media, it depends upon duplication between one day's visitors and the next plus duplication between one site's visitors and another site's.

When reach formulas are created, they begin from examination of the actual reach and frequency in real advertisers' schedules.

In this connection, it is instructive to visit the "Top 10 Advertisers of the Month" page at Nielsen//Netratings, a web audience research firm. In the month of September, 1999, the #1 advertiser, in terms of impressions, was TRUSTe, with 945 million immpressions and 25% reach among persons with internet access. But Amazon.com, the advertiser with the highest reach, at 44%, had less than one-third as many impressions, 273 million. Other advertisers with as few as 103 million impressions surpassed TRUSTe's reach.

The bottom line is that

  • Clearly, there is not a lot of consumer reach possible on the web, if the top advertisers' perform like this.
  • Impressions-to-reach models are going to be complicated to build.
  • We probably need a new definition of "branding" for on-line purposes.


Tuesday, October 26, 1999 #2907
Respectable guru, I am writing from a country where outdoor is still sold by number of sites. What would be the pro's and con's for a 14 day campaign with 200 sites against a 30 day campaign with 100 sites (in the same area for the same cost)? What would be the relation between reach and frequency in both cases? Are you aware of any web sites with research on this topic? Thank you for your answers.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 27, 1999 ):
The Guru imagaines that in your situation, the daily effective circulation (DEC) of the sites is not known. This data is the basis for GRP based out-of-home buys in the U.S.

If we assume that the average DEC is equal for all 200 sites and the 100 sites, and that the 100 are evenly dispersed among the potential 200 locations the Guru would opt for the longer schedule. The net reach over each schedule should be similar and the longer presence should produce more sales.


Friday, October 01, 1999 #2841
I am going to be freelancing from home. What are the tools that you would recommend me subscribing to, or the sources to have to keep me in touch with the industry?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 01, 1999 ):
Ad Age and MediaWeek will cover the basics. Depending on the areas in which you expect to be active, you might want to read The Industry Standard for interactive, Business Marketing's Net Marketing for Business to Business, and to have a basic set of media software with reach and frequency capability, like ADplus or Telmar's N3P.

You might also need some of the sources fromStandard Rate and Data Service (SRDS)


Friday, September 24, 1999 #2820
Hello Guru!My question may fall outside only media planning. Neverthless I hope you can direct me to the correct info. sites. I am planning a promotion for an established FMCG-Women's product. The product is used for hygiene as well as cosmetic purposes. The promotion entails the consumer entering a contest along with a proof of purchase and a writeup on her experience with the brand. 1. Which media TV or Print would yeild the best response. The brand has high TOMA. The campaign has a duration of one month in the peak sales season. 2.Is there any model to predict the response in terms of no. of entries received and offtakes 3.How should I plan- for generating max. response, in terms of reach and frequency at a moderate budget? No previous data exsists for any such promo with me.4.Are there any rules of thumb in exsistence for a corelation between reach, frequency and responses? Thanking you in advance for your guidance.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, September 24, 1999 ):
As you imagine, your questions fall mostly outside of media, and your acronyms are not standard in the U.S., so the Guru is not clear on the background.

A good source for the sort of information you want is the Direct Marketing Association (DMA)

Within the realm of pure media / direct response concepts, the Guru does not believe there is any rule of thumb for Reach / frequency / response relationships. The Gurru has seen small audiences produce much more response than large audiences in many cases.


Wednesday, September 22, 1999 #2815
Can you please refresh my memory and tell me how to calculate multi-week reach and frequency across television and radio? Thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, September 23, 1999 ):
If you mean combining these media, the formula has been addressed. Click here to see past Guru responses.

If you mean how to get multiweek reaches for either medium, you need reach curves or software, the extension formulae are tow complex for casual use.


Wednesday, September 22, 1999 #2814
Hi Guru The ad agency I work for has a theory that cable GRP's and radio GRP's effectivenesss are significantly less than network and spot television. On our flow charts we only calculate 1/2 half of these points. I have heard this theory before but I've never seen a plan that cuts the GRP's in half. What do you think?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, September 23, 1999 ):
The Guru has been aware of theories that use effectiveness factors in comparing media. Sometimes GRP are adjusted on the flow chart, but since the flow chart often serves as the buying control document, more often the adjustments are shown in reach and frequency comparisons.

There can certainly be an argument that radio has less effectiveness than TV, commercial exposure versus commercial exposure, all else being equal. But, the argument doesn't seem to be rationale for cable TV. The commercial is the same, the presentation is the same. Unless there are objective measures of attentiveness or clutter or recall used, why is cable less effective? Individual commerical audience size is not relevent to message effectiveness of the medium; one consumer is not aware of how may others are watching the same program.


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 #2797
I am looking for software that figures "reach and frequency" for newspaper media plans. Do you know of any and if so, which has the most current, up-to-date data?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, September 14, 1999 ):
AMIC's sister company, Telmar is one that offers newspaper plannning software. You might check with The Newspaper Advertising Association for recommendations.


Tuesday, September 14, 1999 #2793
What is the protocol for adding print delivery to a broadcast reach and frequency analysis? Does it skew the analysis or can it be done accurately with media planning software?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, September 14, 1999 ):
Very simply, reach-based planning sets the reach / communications goal as the priamry focus of the plan. For example, rather than focus on CPM, the cost per person reached takes precedence over cost per person exposed (which is what CPM measures).

So, the first vehicle or medium in a plan might have the best CPM, but the second one is the one which, in combination with the first, produces the most overall net reach for the combined spending.


Monday, August 02, 1999 #2679
our peoplemeter claim that we must weight commercial lenght according its duration for example: if the commercial lenght is 15 second and the rating of the commercial is 20% so the multiplie the rating 20% in 0.5 and the weighted 15" commercial is 10% (the ration between the commercial length to 30 second i claim that it is wrong since they want to put an impact index and the rating is a quantity index which tells as how many people watch? and if the same people so 30" commercial and 15" second commercial it is means that the same amount of peolple so the commercial besides, the meseaure unit on the meter is 60" and last why the dont weight reach and frequency to commercial? who is right?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, August 05, 1999 ):
Commercial length has no effect on reach unless your peoplemeter considers second-by-second turnover, so that some additional people might be reached in the latter 15 seconds of a :30. Even in this case, the ratio would not be 2:1.

For all practical purposes, any length commercial at the same time in the same program has the same reach.

Impact however, can differ by having a longer message. When fifteens were new, most studies fount they had about 75% of the impact of a :30, based on recall.


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.


Monday, May 31, 1999 #2548
How do you determine reach and frequency for a site?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 31, 1999 ):
Reach is the number of different people exposed to a message or media vehicle and Frequency is the average number of times the person reached is exposed in the stated period. On the web, unique visitors is the term used for "different people," and the period of time usually considered for average frequency is one month.

If your site has server log analysis software, like HitList , for example, it can tell you the number of unique vistors per month, and also the total number of page impressions served. Monthly page impressions, divided by unique visitors = Frequency .

Also, syndicated, user-centric, web ratings services like MediaMetrix report on these audiences independently. Hoever, only the top few sites, less than1% of all sites, are big enough to be reported.

Traditional media planners are used to expressing reach as a percentage of a target audience. However, for most sites, this percentage would be vanishingly small. Only the top few sites among MediaMetrix's sites reach even 1% of active web users: the 50th ranked of the 15,000 they measure reaches about 3 million unique vistors. This would be about 3% of the perhaps 100 million people on-line in the U.S. and Canada.


Tuesday, May 18, 1999 #2512
We want to educate marketers on the importance of reach and frequency in business to business pubs, specifically in lawyer publications. They seem to think reach is enough. I remember using reach and frequency tables for broadcast schedules. Do you have anything similar for b to b pubs? I need this rather quickly. Thanks for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 18, 1999 ):
Most people understand that a single exposure is not enough to memorably communicate a message. The Guru has often encountered advertisers and account execs who felt that their message was so important, such a breakthrough and so exciting that only one exposure was enough. They didn't consider that most messages don't penetrate or catch one's attention on the first exposure.

Of course most messages aren't that stimulating, in and of themselves, on multiple exposures, either.

Tables come from analyzing several actual schedules of real data. If your publication is measured and you have access to the research, you can prepare schedules and tables. Multiple insertions in one publication build reach slower and frequency faster than a schedule dispersed among multiple publications. If you know duplication factors between two issues of your publication and between your publication and others in the field, you could do crude estimates of reach. If not, there are not likely to be other valid ways of building tables.

Click here to see past Guru responses about "frequency."


Monday, May 10, 1999 #2500
Would like research/tables on law publications or business to business pubs reach and frequency research to support our claims that frequency is just as important as reach

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 10, 1999 ):
Try the Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.


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.


Friday, April 09, 1999 #2439
Where can I find a list of the top business websites. A client is looking to reach business executives through web advertising. Do you have any suggestions?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, April 10, 1999 ):
MediaMetrix, one of the leading web usage measurers, offers a list of the top sites visited from work.

Defining "business websites" and "top" are different issues. "Top" may not really be relevant. The web is different than any other medium. In TV or magazines, we credit the entire audeince of the vehicle to an ad run in it. But on the web, we usually buy the number of impressions or clicks we want. It is no easier to buy 1,000,000 impressions/month out of 300,000,000 availably on www.yahoo.com as from another site that only has 5,000,000/month in its inventory. reach and frequency might be better buying 5,000,000 from 5 different sites than just one.


Thursday, April 08, 1999 #2434
My client was told from a previous agency that 100 points a week is a standard guideline for television advertising, for sustaining levels. I know there are tons of factors that would really go into developing point levels, but other than showing r/f and eff 3+ numbers is there any way to source this or provide rationale? The client is looking for it. Thanks as always.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 08, 1999 ):
As a regular correspondent of the Guru's you certainly knew that an agency saying 100 GRP / week is "standard" is a sign of ignorance, at best, and you've come to the Guru for help in debunking this nonsense.

Looking at the 4 week reach of 100 GRP / week might show a 100% variation in reach, frequency or reach at 3+ based on daypart choice, for Adult 18-49. So ignoring whether daytime or prime is used is foolish. Will 50 GRP/week of Prime do the same communication job as 100/week in day?

When GRPs are seen as just weight, with no consideration of programming content, reach potential, frequency, etc, one suspects media planners have not even gotten into the game.

Factors such as how high is the introductory weight, how high is the competitors' weight how long are flights vs hiatuses, should all influence a choice of sustaining weight.

The simplest way to rationalize for your client is to show how different the reach and frequency of 100/week can be and what the competition


Friday, March 19, 1999 #2400
I need to know the calculation to work out margin of error for TV reach and frequency results. E.g. what is the margin of error of 40% @ 2+ depending on the size of the sample, penetration etc.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 20, 1999 ):
Assuming you are using a model to calculate reach and frequency, your error is no longer an aspect of sample size but of the reliability of the model.

For instance, suppose your schedule consisted of 20 advertisements with an average rating of 10. And, based on sample size, the 10 rating was +/- 2 rating points (or 20% relative error). But your total schedule of 200 GRP is not going to be +/- 40 points. Because error is plus or minus, there is an equal chance that one 10 rating is really PLUS 2 and the next 10 rating is really MINUS 2. So, in a schedule, most of the error cancels out. This is one reason why ratings minima for buying are often short-sighted.

When it comes to reach analysis, someone might have built a model by compiling several actual schedules measured by the original research and finding a formula for the straight line formed by the average frequency of each. Since the actual schedules came from the orignal research, the sampling error of each (minimized by the plus or minus aspect of the schedule elements, as above) could have been calculated. But now the "curve" coming out of the model is only judged by its ability to match back to actual schedules.


Wednesday, March 17, 1999 #2398
Is it statistically correct to merge television Reach and frequency and Reach and Freq. delivered by Print vehicle? is so how, what is the rationale behind the process as the basic samples for readership and viewership studies are usually very different. do readership studies in the west capture product ownership and usage data ? and if so, do planners use such data to redefine their TG definitions for eg. the ideal TG for the replacement market for TVs could well be owners of Television sets over 4-5 years old !! thanks, Rahul

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, March 17, 1999 ):
Combining TV and Print reach and frequency is a philosophical issue not a statistical one.

Though the original research used different samples, both were designed to project the behavior of the same population. By the time you're dealing with reach and frequency, things are quite removed from the ratings research; you're working with models, not respondent data.

Objections to combining Print and TV are usually based on the difference in message qualities.

Yes, U.S. syndicated readership studies such as Simmons, MRI and The Mendelsohn Media Research Affluent Study include product usage data and these are frequently used to define planning targets.


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


Monday, December 21, 1998 #2230
I am currently analyzing a media schedule that includes consumer print, trade print and national cable. I have been asked to pull a reach and frequency for the entire schedule. I realize that I am working with several differenct universes. I have added the circulations and pulled the gross impressions for cable. I have added those together. Is there any formular to determan a reach and frequency? Help?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, December 24, 1998 ):
In general, different media have different audience accumulation patterns when thinking about net unduplicated audience vs gross audience.

Calculating reach from a total multimedia impressions number is not practical unless the gross rating points (impressions divided by GRPs) is so many thousands that a 95+ reach can be assumed.

Some media, in particular broadcast media, allow general estimation of reach from a table of GRP levels. Print media are more complicated.

What you really need is standardized media software for reach and frequency calculation like that which is offered by AMIC 's sister company, Telmar.


Friday, December 11, 1998 #2215
I want to obtain some free media software.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, December 11, 1998 ):
And the Guru wants one million dollars. What kind of media software do you need; to do what task? It is rare that the specialized software for reach and frequency, cpm rankers, etc is available free unless a particular medium creates some to fill a need when there is no standard software that works for their media type.

The only free media software of which the Guru is aware is reach and frequency for U.S. Spanish language TV.

Univision has temporarily withdrawn their HispaniCume, and Telemundo has just released an update of their STRETCH2 sysytem.


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.


Monday, November 30, 1998 #2179
How do you manually work out reach and frequency for TV campaigns. Is there a particular formula?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 30, 1998 ):
See the query of Tuesday, November 10, 1998 #2144. It is not feasible to do manual calcuations without tables, which are probably not being created any longer. Someone with the computer reach and frequency tool could develop the tables easily, but there would be little point.

Once reach has been determined for a range of possible schedules by various available means, there would be a fairly simple algebraic formula that describes the "curve." But, today, that's the long way around.


Thursday, November 12, 1998 #2148
We have a client who is planning to run about 450 GRPs in cable TV. The timeframe for the spots is from 6pm - 1am and the campaign length is 10 weeks. We have 2 :30 spots in rotation (new copy for the client). If frequency is important, what would be a good level to shoot for and what would be overkill? Help!

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 13, 1998 ):
The Guru is not sure whether you mean average frequency of exposure, as in "reach and frequency" or the frequency per cable channel per week in your buy.

At 450 GRP over 10 weeks, you will probably run about 75 - 200 spots per week, depending on the networks used and target. 15 to 20 per network wouldn't be a bad level.

The Guru believes that some cable schedules get so heavy that the repeated commercials quickly become an annoyance to loyal viewers of content specific networks.

Four week Reach / Frequency would probably be in the 30 / 6.0 range.


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.


Friday, October 30, 1998 #2117
I have a client that would like to do an image radio schedule for the first time. An 8 week schedule was proposed - he wants to cut it to 6 weeks for budget reasons. The reach and frequency for both schedules are similar. Is there research to show him as to why the longer schedule will have more impact and long term effectiveness?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 30, 1998 ):
There seems to be a missing factor. If you were running 100 GRP per week for 8 weeks and cut back to 100 GRP per week for 6 weeks, GRP would be reduced by 25%. Therefore, reach or frequency would have to change significantly, if not both.

I.e: suppose your 8 week plan had a reach and frequency of 60 / 13.3 with 800 GRP. If you reduced the plan to 6 weeks / 600 GRP and the reach did not go down, frequency would drop to 10 -- a 25% change. If the frequency did not go down then the reach would have to decline to 45, again a 25% decline. Realistically both reach and frequency should exhibit obvious drops.

Perhaps someone is mistakenly comparing average 4-week reach in the two plan. That comparison would be irrelevant, but be "similar" if not identical.

If you mean that the 8 weeks schedule is compressed into 6 weeks, then there would be an avergae 4 week difference but no budget reduction.

In this case, however "recency" theory would prefer the 8 week version becasue it provides more chances to deliver advertising to the consumer at a time of decision making. This theory may not be appropriate for "image" campaigns.


Wednesday, October 14, 1998 #2095
Dear Guru, Do you know special media models for autdoor advertising? Are there any difference of modelling diffrent media? What is the most appropriate model for calculating reach and frequency for the outdoor advertising. There are several models like Agostinis, Beta Binomial eg., what is the closest one to the outdoor models. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, October 15, 1998 ):
Harris Donovan of Canada has an Outdoor reach and frequency system.

A media reach model is based on several observations of the actual reach achieved by real schedules and finding a "curve" that matches a regression analysis of the GRP vs frequency lines. Some of the models you mention are appropriate with small ratings like radio's or medium ratings like consumer magazines'.


Wednesday, October 14, 1998 #2094
Dear Guru! Could you explain the speciality of billboard advertising, focusing on the time length of the campaign. I suppose there is an optimal length of a campaign, and after that the reach is not growing (or just a little). In the European market we can find 1 week 2 week and 1 month long campaign too. Are there any available research on this topic? Thanks Tamas

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, October 15, 1998 ):
In the U.S., an outdoor campaign is usually bought as a 25, 50 or 100 "showing". "Showing" means GRP's per day, based on camparing DEC (daily effective circulation) to the population universe.

A "50 showing" outdoor campaign will achieve 85% or better reach in one month, so obviously there cannot be much reach growth from there. A 25 showing isn't much lower and a 100 showing isn't much higher.

Campaigns usually run 3 or more months. The cost of production typically works against less than 30 day postings.

Even though outdoor delivers very high reach at low cpm, in the Guru's experience it is rarely employed just for this reach building, because it offers limited message length and detail.

Harris Donovan of Canada has an Outdoor reach and frequency system.


Tuesday, October 13, 1998 #2093
I am a novice at media planning. Recently I acquired a job as a media planner due to my overall advertising experience. I've been assigned a medical account with a focus on orthopedic surgeons and the media type is print. I've been instructed to base my analysis for publication recomendation on CPM. The number of orthopedic publications is limited but I feel there should be more to my analysis than CPM. Can you tell me what other types of analysis I can do and how to accomplish them?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, October 15, 1998 ):
If you have titles that are not purely for orthopedists, then you can compare their compostion -- the percentage of audience who are orthopedists. This indicates their focus on your target.

If you have the specialized physician audience studies, i.e. PERQ's FOCUS, you can compare audience duplication between titles and develop reach and frequency for various schedules of the publications you might use.

The same study might tell you which titles have more audience members who purchase what you are advertising.

An editorial analysis might show that some titles have more coverage of the category of the product or service which you are advertising.

An advertising analysis might show which books get more of your competitors' business.


Friday, October 02, 1998 #2068
Hi Guru! We have a client who has $80-100,000 extra budget to spend this year. The budget has to be spread out nationally (in over 150 markets). We were offered a full page ad with a magazine (that reaches our demo) with a circulation of 7.6 mill. for 90M. We were also considering running a cable schedule on only one station since that's all we could afford. Which do you think is the better option? In addition, we are looking to run the first 2 weeks in December.Thanks for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 02, 1998 ):
There really isn't enough information here to make an informed decision. For instance, a lot would depend on what media are in the base level of the plan, what your base reach and frequency are already, and what are your goals.

But let's play with it anyway: Suppose your magazine is Better Homes and Gardens, which reaches 26% of Adult Women. You would be achieving 26 Reach, a frequency of 1.0 and, of course. 26 Women GRPs.

Let's suppose your cable network is Lifetime. Does your money buy 26 GRPs there? More ? Less? It might get you 13 reach and a frequency of 2.0. Which is more important to you, reach or frequency? Does the magazine or does cable offer better content as an environment for what you are selling?

You need to reduce the question to specific factors which you can evaluate.


Tuesday, September 22, 1998 #2052
I am working on a national cable buy. First question, please explain VPH. I have been asked to provide the following information: -How many households will my schedule reach and how many times. Of course, I have to have all this information by tomorrow at noon. I have selected my networks and have asked for proposals from each network. The networks inform me that it will take several days to pull a reach and frequency. So my question to you is, can I take the HH's thousands and add them? It this the right way to approach this project. How will I calulate for a frequency. I can give the client the total number of spots, but is there a way to calculate frequency? Please Help? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, September 22, 1998 ):
VPH is "viewers per Household" and is used as a simple way to express persons audience in relation to housholds. In other words, if a network has a measured average quarter hour (aqh) audience of 1000 Households and a measured aqh among women 18-49 of 550, then its VPH for women 18-49 would be .55

Estimates of reach are based on modeling from actual past schedules and are typically calculated with computers. These calculations take only minutes, but you are probably facing a backlog in your vendors' research departments or, typically, a turnaround time policy which can be overriden if you apply the right charm or pressure to your sales reps.

Because these models reflect varying audience duplication between one spot and the next and between one network and another, adding household impression would be wrong. Such a calculation would produce "gross impressions" which is much greater than reach.

Frequency is calculated by dividing reach into gross impressions (or percent reach into gross rating points), so you need reach to calculate frequency.

If you have any media planning software at all, such as Telmar's AdPlus or Maestro, you would find that these system usually have a general calculator of cable reach built in.


Wednesday, September 09, 1998 #2037
I am looking for a method of calculating reach and frequency for national syndication radio vignettes. A. Does the amount of time of the vignette matter ie, 90seconds, 120seconds etc. B. Is there a method of adding multiple radio station figures together and averaging out these calculations accurately. C. Is there an inexpensive source for this information on a national level.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 09, 1998 ):
A) Length doesn't matter in reach and frequency (unless you are dealing with a commercial long enough to experience audience turn-over during its air time).

B) In syndication, usually stations are exclusive with a given geography, so the audiences are additive nationally, or may be mean-averaged across markets.

C) Arbitron and RADAR provide such data. "Inexpensive" is a matter of opinion.


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.


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.


Friday, July 24, 1998 #1973
I need help! I need to know the forumla (or formulas) for figuring the reach and frequency on a television schedule. I need it to be demo / and have the following information: universe, impressions and grps. What else do I need and what is the magic FORUMLA! At this point we are using the cumulative impressions into the universe to figure the reach - but could that be right? I don't think so - but the reach is what I need to figure (already have grp and freq is easy if I have reach!). Please help - and thanks tons.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 24, 1998 ):
When you divide the accumulated impressions by the universe, your result is GRPs. There is no simple reach formula unless you already know GRPs and frequency. There are various very complicated algorithms for calculating reach for a given average rating size, known average duplication between programs used, etc. "Beta Bimodal" is one of the best known.

But today, Reach calculations are done by computer, using models built from Nielsen's actual measurements of net audience reach from meter-measured schedules.

Telmar, AMIC's sister company, is the leading provider of software for such analyses.

Before computers were commonplace, media planners had tables which gave reach for various GRP levels depending on demos, dayparts and duplication. These, too, were based on average Nielsen audience accumulation reports.


Monday, July 06, 1998 #1937
Dear Guru, I'm trying to find info on the relationship between reach and frequency known as the prime axiom in media planning. Such as, what it is, why is it useful and how is it directly or indirectly measured? Also, I need research on the volatility of broadcast media. For instance, how can broadcast media avoid law suits if they fail to run a commercial. I'm frantically completing a take home exam for a graduate class and can't find research on these topics. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. I'll let you know if we get an "A."

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, July 07, 1998 ):
One wonders at the sort of course where these terms matter but are not thoroughly taught. reach and frequency are the weights and measures of a media plan.
  • "Reach" tells you how many different people are exposed to an advertising schedule. It is commonly expressed as a percentage of a target group's population. E.g. 75 percent reach among women 18-49.
  • "Frequency" tells you the average number of exposure to the schedule experienced by the people reached.
The usefulness should be obvious: no matter how great or impactful an ad may be, it will not sell product unless it reaches enough people and reaches them frequently enough to have an effect on their behavior.

The various research tools media planners use which measure the audience of TV shows, radio stations, magazines, etc can also tell us how many people are reached by schedules of several uses of theses programs and books. From these direct measurements, statistical models are built which can estimate the reach and frequency of schedules being planned. Media Planners can therefore compare alternate schedules to determine which ones will best meet reach/frequency goals.

Thinking of pure arithmetic relationships, reach and frequency are linked with GRPs -- Gross Rating Points. When the ratings (audience as percent of target group) of all the individual ads in a schedule are added up, the resulting total is GRP. GRP divided by reach = frequency and reach X frequency = GRP. 2. Mistakes happen. Fine print in contracts protects broadcasters against liability if they inadvertently miss airing a commercial, or deliberately do so because a higher paying advertiser comes along, or because the decide to air a news special. etc. Their only obligation is typically to give a "makegood," another commercial location with equal or better quality.


Monday, March 23, 1998 #1548
what is the correct television weight for a campaign

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 30, 1998 ):
The "Correct" weight depends on many factors, there is no one correct weight.

One way, but certainly not the only way, to calculate an appropriate level is to follow this checklist:

  • (A) How many new sales / product units, etc are your monthly sales goal?
  • (B) What percentage of the prospects who are successfully exposed to your campaign are likley to buy what you are selling?
  • Divide (A) by (B) to determine with how many prospects per month your advertising must effectively communicate.
  • Using the reach and frequency calculating system of your choice and your judgement of "effective levels of communications, calculate what level of weight delivers the desired effecively reached audience.


Wednesday, November 19, 1997 #1459
Does it make any sense to calculate GRPs not having reach and frequency stated? My campaign brings me 530 GRps - whatdoes it mean for me? Could I calculate OTS if I have only GRPs? Thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, November 22, 1997 ):
GRPs are simply a summation of all the audiences of all the ads in a plan. They give you the "boxcar" size of a plan without any detail. This can be used to compare to other campaigns or other times, in crude terms.

If by OTS, you mean "Opportunities to See," which is equivalent to Impressions, then the calculation is simple. GRPs are a percentage of the population. Whatever your GRP's target group, you need to know the total "universe" of that population for which the GRPs are stated. Then, if you have 500 GRPs, you have impressions equal to the population, times 5.


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?


Thursday, March 20, 1997 #1296
I have a client that is interested in obtaining an easy to read and understand book on reach and frequency. Do you know of one? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, April 23, 1997 ):
There are two types of books that would cover "reach and frequency." Statistics texts and media planning texts. In either, most of the content would be about othewr topics. The media planning text is probably more useful. One such is Advertising Media Planning, by Jack Z. Sissors and Lincoln Bumba. It's available from Amazon Books and other sellers of texts. The ARF's library contains many articles on the topic which might fully answer your needs, and their publication about the "ARF Media Model is a classic.


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, May 07, 1996 #1226
How many times can a print ad run before it wears out?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, May 08, 1996 ):
The only answer to such a question is "it depends."

How powerful/interesting/competitive is the ad?

What reach and frequency is being developed as the ads insertions repeat.

How many different magazines versus repeats in the same titles.

What is your definition of "wear out?" Decline in awareness, decline in incremental sales, frequency of exposure in the top quintile or top 2 quintiles?

. . .it depends.


Saturday, April 06, 1996 #1249
Interested in locating research re radio programming, in-depth info re radio listeners (psychological characteristics as well as demographioc variables). Most research seems to be reach and frequency. Has any qualatitive research been done with various types of radio listeners? [Interests, values, what turns them on, etc]

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 07, 1996 ):
The major syndicated media studies MRI and Simmonscover demographics, psychographics and purchase behavioralong with radio listening by format. The studies are notprincipally focused on radio, but would be useful. Radio Networks and major stations have access through their national reps, if not locally.

Many major stations may also have proprietary studies, butit would be harder to fairly compare different studiesacross formats.


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.


Thursday, January 04, 1996 #1800
How to estimate demographic editions for magazines in IntelliQuest, Simmons CompPro and/or John Adams' Studies for coverage, composition and reach/frequency purposes.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 02, 1996 ):
One good way is to use Telmar's "Prototyper" which can estimate magazine audience based on modelling from known magazines and/or indices on known demographic differences between basic and demographic editions. Composition and coverage results can be used in reach and frequency analyses. Telmar supports all three of the data sets you mention. Send mail to sales@telmar.com for more information about their prototyper.

Other magazine analysis systems like Choices and Memri have similar protyping processes, and may support some or all of the data resources you list


Wednesday, December 27, 1995 #1804
what is the difference between general media and direct response television media? and would I ever recommend to my client DRTV as an inexpensive way of getting exposure?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 02, 1996 ):
General TV and DRTV are different in the way they are purchased and in key aspects of the copy used. To qualify for DRTV, the copy usually must be selling something through an 800 telephone number. Mail is also possible, but the immediate nature of telephone response is preferable (900 number ads are typically under a different rate structure).

DRTV rates are usually based on half of the going rate for the time period. The concept of "going rate" is hard to pin down with any certainty, unless you are buying the same schedule at the same time as "general media." These half price schedules are typically in remnant time or relatively undesirable times late at night or early in the morning or weekends. They are also instantly preemptible. You can't rely on delivering a schedule of "50 GRP per week in prime and 75 GRP per week in early fringe" through DRTV.

General TV schedules are used to build awareness through planned levels of reach and frequency or timely impressions delivery during specific promitions or campaigns DRTV schedules are opportunistic buys, with each airing anticipated to generate a certain quata of responses for a product ready to sell at all times without specific timing issues.. DRTV advertisers often track resonse minute by minute to associate each call with the specific commercial airing responsible. This is in clear contrast with the awarenes building aspect of general media.

When your client measures "exposure" in reach or effective reach terms than DRTV is not an efficient way to get exposure. Those remnant timeslots are not reach builders.

A DRTV advertiser is generally selling something worth the investment in inbound telemarketing expenses for each 800 number order, and assuming a certain minimum of orders per airing. (You cant make money if a $5 an hour operator has to spend 10 minutes taking address, size, flavor and credit card info to sell a $2 item, unless you add $3 shipping and handling). This means it doesn't work for toothpaste, floor wax, soap or cookies, unless you're selling the $29 bag-o-groceries special.


Monday, November 27, 1995 #1816
Where can I find reach, frequency, and rates for NordicTrack Advertising?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 27, 1995 ):
Use a syndicated "competitive expenditure" service like NYC based CMR (Competetive Media Reports) to learn advertising schedules and price estimates. Then analyze these schedules with industry standard reach and frequency software, like Telmar's Maestro.


Monday, October 30, 1995 #1828
Where can I find reach, frequency, and rates of outdoor advertising in Salt Lake City, UT?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, October 30, 1995 ):
The large "network" Outdoor companies sell and have rates for markets and "Plants" beyond those which they own. They also can compute reach and frequency data. Gannett (212-297-6412) and Patrick, also in NYC, are good to starting places.



Back