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Guru Search Results: 151 matches were found

Friday, October 08, 2010 #7805
how do you combine local market grps?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 08, 2010 ):
To combine local market GRPs, you need a weighted average using market populations for weights.

Suppose market A has a population of 100,000 and 50 GRP
Market B has a population of 200,000 and 20 GRPs
100,000 x 50 = 5,000,000
200,000 x 20 = 4,000,000

5,000,000 + 4,000,000 = 9,000,000
100,000 + 200,000 = 300,000
9,000,000 ÷ 300,000 = 30 GRP average for the two markets. This process can be used for any number of markets.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 #7798
Dear guru: if our media mix include TV and NP,how to canculate the total effect of the campaign, which unit can be used,reach(000) or Gross impression? we can get the TV and NP data from two data system, thank in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, August 29, 2010 ):
Assuming "NP" means national print, 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. TV needs simlilar computer support.

Click here to see past Guru responses regarding combining reaches

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 #7797
Dear guru: we have launched one burst newpaper campaign which using more than 15 local newspaper to cover different market,and now,we want to know the effect of this campaign. please tell me how to canculate? appreciate!!

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, August 29, 2010 ):
You can add total circulation to look at total impressions of the campaign. Or you can combine the populations of all the amrkets to build a univrse against which to turn these impressions into GRP. Depending on the size of the schedule, turning this into reach will be more or less complex.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 #7791
We are trying to stay current with the latest media planning tools. Beyond MRI, Simmons and Scarborough, is there a media planning tool that combines consumer insight with media habits, and does a good job of including not only the growing digital options, but also grassroots/promotional media as well?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 29, 2010 ):
The Guru hasn't seen any "grassroots" in syndicated studies, but any of the resources you have mentioned might have some of the activities you aree thinking about, such as coupon redemption, attenance at NASCAR races or sporting events that you could crosstab with your media options.

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

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 #7708
Guru, Can you help me with the formula to predict reach for television. i.e. What figures/stats are used within the formula and what is that formula? Your guidance is much appreciated!

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 01, 2009 ):
Ratings / grps are the usual input. Duplication data, at least in the form of "curve" formulas is also needed. 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

Thursday, June 04, 2009 #7699
We have been using the following formula to add reach from month to month for our online campaigns: (R1+R2)-(R1*(R2/100))*.96. After some research on your site, the initial part of the formula seems to be the formula for random probability but I'm not sure where the multiplying it by .96 came from. Any thoughts? Could that be another estimate on duplication?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 06, 2009 ):
Applying a factor like "0.96" is an old technique to adjust random duplication (which, as you say, is the first part of your formula) for the fact that duplication in some cases is somewhat greater than simply random.

Between different media, such as print and tv, it is thought to be truly random, that is, there is no greater likelihood that a newspaper reader of your campaign will see your tv campaign, than any other two random events.

However, between two elements of the same medium, like two TV dayparts, there is a more than simply random chance of duplication. That is the traditional case for using a factor like 0.96.

Between consecutive time periods of the same medium, as in your case, the Guru expectss a much greater chance of duplication. You are looking at new exposures of the same vehicle, which should be represented as accumulating along one sharply flattening asymptotic curve (see below). It's a "cume," not a "combination." random combination is far too optimistic. Unduplicated users from the first few months to the next added would probably become virtually total unless each month used unique, unrelated sites.

Monday, March 16, 2009 #7671
How can you calculate TV reach if you only know viewership, rating and share (obtained from Nielsen data)?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 17, 2009 ):
You can't. You need duplication between spots data. Or a model like our own eTelmar's.

A very crude overestimate might be done by random combinarion

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 #7667
Do you know where I can get the formula for random duplication? I am trying to combine Stations/Dayparts together to show one over all reach. Thanks in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, February 24, 2009 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses about random combination.

Monday, November 10, 2008 #7636
Good afternoon Guru, I have been trying to get information regarding newspaper readership when a holiday falls on the weekend. Do you know of anywhere I can find research that would indicate a fall in readership on these weekends. One of our clients is requesting not to run the Sunday after Christmas, we aren't sure but believe she feels most subscribers will be out of town therefore won't see the ad. We would like some "proof" of whether she is correct or not. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, November 11, 2008 ):
It's ludicrous on the face of it to say that "most people are out of town" on any given day. Where have they gone? To visit other people's homes where those people are out of town, too? To hotels where there is no staff because they all went out of town?

There might be some readership fall-off due to holiday travel. The Newspaper National Network might have data on readership variations for holidays. According to this Dept of Transportation data there were about 8 million 50+ mile trips (going or returning on the Sunday after Christmas a few years ago, and as we are all aware, travel is down now, in 2008. Even granting that people going or coming on the Sunday might combine with an equal number at the beginning or end of a trip on another day of the holiday period, it doesn't amount a majority of the US families. Beyond that, some have come from wherever to the town in question and will read the local paper and otheres will find their home town paper wherever they have gone; the Guru always does (a large portion of the trips counter are less than 50 miles).

You might also try travel associations for some statistics.

Monday, October 20, 2008 #7622
Hi, Me again #7621. I need to back up. If my frequency is 57 total spots per week - how do I calcuate the average? this is direct response - so do I divide by total days or specific time periods? When I divide by days (7)I get 8.14 - which still makes my reach terrible (4.91%). What am I doing wrong? Over a 4 week period my total GRP's are 40 and total spots airing are 57.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, October 20, 2008 ):
Although arithmetically, GRP ÷ frequency = reach, it does not mean you can get there the way you are going.

Reach is a complex calculation of the net number of different people exposed to your campaign, taking into account the duplication of audience between one spot and another on one station and between the audiences of different stations. Once you have determined reach, typically with a computer model, you can devide GRP by reach and get the average number of spots (frequency of exposure) seen by each of the people who were exposed at all. No manipulation of the numbers of spots you buy will get you to this average frequency that is a quotient of GRP and Reach.

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

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.

Thursday, September 18, 2008 #7602
I have a client who would like us to calculate the combined reach & frequency for a cable, spot radio and traffic radio campaign. Without a media mix program, how can I calculate reach & frequency across these various mediums? Are there standard formulas that I should be using?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, September 21, 2008 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses regarding combining reaches.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008 #7587
Dear MG! Can you explain to me - is it any differense between calculating Recah 1+ in media mix (by random probability) and Reach 2+,3+ and so on, or we can use the same sheme as for Reach 1+? Thank you a lot!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, September 04, 2008 ):
It's quite different.

Assuming you are talking about combining media, in the new 2+ group, you will have some of the two+ from the 1+ group in medium A , some from the original 2+ group some from the same sets in medium B and so on. It's a complex formula.

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

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

Thursday, July 17, 2008 #7568
Hello Media Guru - I am trying to figure out the best way to combine national magazine reach and national internet reach. I know that I can use the random probability formula to combine two reach numbers. However, the problem I keep running into is that my base for print reach is total US (based on MRI numbers) and my base for internet reach is total US that is online (based on comScore numbers). Any suggestions on how to combine these numbers? Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 17, 2008 ):
  1. Determine what % of your target is in the online universe, say it's 70%
  2. Multiply this factor against your internet reach. That is, if your internet reach is 50%, you are reaching 70% of that number on a total US basis. 50% X 70% = 35%
  3. Now you can combine your 35% internet US reach with your print reach by random probability. Apply the same universe factor to GRP. Internet frequency will not change

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 #7546
Is there a formula for Effective (or net) Reach at certain frequency levels? I can figure average R/F, manually, but I need a formula for pulling Effective

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 18, 2008 ):
> You really 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

Saturday, May 10, 2008 #7545
My client, has asked us to include in our media plans, a combined r/f total. Meaning, she wants us to take the r/f that is planned for Cable, planned for print, planned for internet, etc. and combine them for a plan total? Is there a formula for this. Can it be done? Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, May 10, 2008 ):
It's a fairly simple process; click here to see Click here to see past Guru discussion and demonstrations of the calculation.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008 #7477
what method can be used to combine frequency between billboards and transit

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, January 15, 2008 ):
The Guru is not clear as to your meaning when you say "combine frequency." Assuming you mean the combined average frequency of the total schedule;

in any media combination, the combined average frequency is determined in the same way;

  1. Calculate the combined reach, whether by using Sainsbury as in your two previous queries of yesterday and today, or any other method
  2. Sum the GRPs
  3. Divide the total GRPs by the combined reach to get average frequency

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.

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

Thursday, June 14, 2007 #7366
HI Guru, justwanted to know how do get information of the local websites, Basically im looking for reaching audience through internet medium locally, how do i go about with it? I know of google adwords (SEO) and dont want to go for that option, I want to buy banner ads pop ups and pop unders etc,The problem I'm Facing is i dont know the way to search local websites and the category of websites to go for, also Please advice if it will help if i go for local newspapers and radio websites in that case. Many thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 17, 2007 ):
Finding local websites may seem difficult because they are inherently smaller in audience than the large websites that you might find listed in a comScore Alexa or Nielsen//Netratings run.

The Guru's approach would be as follows: "Google" search terms that combine the geographic description with a likely site category for local interests. For example, let's consider Long Island, New York. Googling "radio Long Island" would show you Long Island Exchange high in the results list. This site provides links to sites of a few dozen radion stations listened to on Long Island, including some from nearby New York City. Googling "newspaper Long Island" produces ABYZnewslinks' Long Island newspapers' site links. Searching "shopping," "entertainment," "yellowpages," "sports," etc plus the geographic name works, too.

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.

Thursday, May 31, 2007 #7345
Hi Guru, if national reach can be combined with local reach and vice versa, can reach numbers be combine across markets? For example, can you weight average the reach % numbers for SF and Austin, just as you would GRPs, in order to back into a blended 2-market R/F? Thanks in advance!!!

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 01, 2007 ):
Yes, this is a correct procedure.

Monday, May 28, 2007 #7339
What is the "Sainsbury" formula and is there a difference between unique circulation and paid circulation? Thank you!

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 28, 2007 ):
The Sainsbury formula is a method for combining the reaches of schedules in different media. It varies from the simple random probability method which is based on the generally accepted assumption that there is no particular correlation between exposure to one medium and another. Sainsbury varies by adding a small adjustment to account for an assumed slightly more-than-just-random probability that those exposed to an advertiser's schedule in one medium will also be exposed to its schedule in the next medium. Typically, the adjustment is about a 5% deduction from the result of the random combination.

As you will see at the link shown, we may vary in our arithmetic expression of the probability equation (for the same result), so we can express the Sainsbury formula as (0.95 x random probability).

Unique circulation and paid circulation are unrelated terms.

  • Paid circulation refers to the number of copies which are actually bought for money at the newsstand or by paid subscription, rather than distributed free or at such a discounted rate that the circulation auditor no longer qualifies the copies as "paid."
  • "Unique" is more commonly an intrnet audience term. Perhaps you are thinking of "unduplicated" audience which only counts readers once, if they read two or more issues.

Monday, May 21, 2007 #7333
How can we combine reach between Radio & Television OR Radio & Newspaper OR RAdio & Outdoor ?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 22, 2007 ):
Click here to see more than 30 past Guru responses about combining reach

Wednesday, April 04, 2007 #7309
Who is the founder of random Media Combination theory? Thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, April 04, 2007 ):
The Guru would not consider this a "theory" per se, nor that there is a "founder."

The "random" concept is basic statistics: when the probablity of occurrence of two unrelated phenomena is known, then the probablity of both occurring is calculated by the product of the two probabilites. In media terms, this means:

  • The reach of a given medium is the probability of the audience being exposed to the schedule
  • So 30% reach is 0.30 probability of exposure
  • The combined reach of a media schedule (say print) with a 30 reach and another media schedule for the same advertiser (say tv) with a 60 reach is actually calculated by figuring the probability that neither reached the target:

    0.7 probability that print didn't reach the target x 0.4 probablity that TV didn't reach the target = 0.28 probability that neither reached the target or 72% reach (1.0 - 0.28 = 0.72)

Multiplying the two reaches together gives the probability of both reaching the target, which is not reach, but duplication.

Of course, the reach of different media schedules reaching the same target are not truly unrelated phenomena, and various adjustments to pure random have been promulgated by many practitioners.

Monday, December 18, 2006 #7248
Dear Guru – We are planning to launch an automotive advertising Web portal in January serving Pittsburgh/southwestern PA. The primary income stream will come from local auto dealerships that will pay to advertise their used cars on the site. In order to justify their expense, I need to ensure that enough car shoppers visit the site to search for vehicles, resulting in sales leads for the dealers. I believe we will need to get about 1500 local visitors to the site each month in order to show enough value to the dealers. I have received much appreciated advice from the Guru in the past in which you recommended online advertising, which I plan to do using pay-per-click services through the search engines. I have also budgeted for TV and radio advertising, but you expressed concern with my planned ad frequency. Unfortunately, my budget is only about $12k/month. I currently have proposals from local broadcast TV and radio stations. Here are the stats on each medium: - Google, Yahoo and Ask pay-per-click ads, with an estimated 500 total clicks (can’t seem to get more regardless of what I’m willing to pay for each click) for about $1500. - Two-week radio schedule, 70 total spots (:15s), alternating weeks with a 5.0 frequency and 150k reach/wk (M25-54) for about $3k - Three-week TV schedule, alternating weeks with 95 total spots (:15s) and 750k gross impressions (M25-54) for about $7k My radio and TV commercials are :15s that can run independently or can be combined to create :30s. My questions are: 1) Do these TV and radio rates seem reasonable? 2) Is television advertising really worth so much more than radio advertising? 3) Assuming that the website/concept is useful and interesting, do you believe that this plan can return the 1500 visitor response that we need? 4) Would I be better off to focus my advertising dollars differently? Thanks for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, December 19, 2006 ):
  1. Rates seem reasonable
  2. Your TV seems to cost less than radio, on a cpm basis: TV is $7,000 for 750,000 impressions / cpm = $9.33. Radio is $3,000 for 300,000 impressions / cpm=$10
  3. The plan could generate the 1,500 visitors.

    Revisit your search engines' traffic estimator. When the the Guru tested "car" and "cars" on Google in Pittsburgh, he found about 250 clicks per day available. You may need different search terms.

  4. Consider where to find people interested in used cars. Isn't most used car advertising in newspaper classifieds currently? Consider print and online advertising in newspaper and newspaper websites' used car sections.

Friday, April 28, 2006 #7132
How do I calculate reach?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, April 28, 2006 ):
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.

Thursday, January 26, 2006 #7083
We are a very small online ad network.....we buy and sell and run various online campaigns. Are there established methods to acquire new business? We hired a sales person, but it seems most of the time is spent trying to get accurate info or research.....while that is inevitable,we are very inefficient in making progress.Any resources or suggestions on the "how to" in the growing of a young company?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 28, 2006 ):
.If your network is just a random collection of small sites and you simply sell by low cpm, then any means of advertsing targetting inline media planners will be useful. AMIC itself is one good option, as are MediaWeek, online specialty trade print and online-topic ad trade email newsletters.

If your network is made up of a specifc kind of sites, like hoppyists sites or professional business sites, then find other trae media in those categories.

Around here, we believe advertising works, - as presumably, do you.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 #7073
Can you tell me how to calculate reach/frequency without a software program? We have the TRPs, daypart mix, and I'm sure we can find out population estimates for the demo. Thanks for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 28, 2005 ):
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, November 11, 2005 #7043
Dear Guru ,how can i calculate 5+ reach with in a given GRP and universe for a TV PLAN.May be it depends on the program and channel mix but I want to know the basic calculation ,plz

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, November 13, 2005 ):
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

Thursday, October 27, 2005 #7033
What are the typical stardards in evaluating a Direct Mail piece as a media opportunity? Is there a standard rule of thumb for an average CPM?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, October 30, 2005 ):
The key elements for a DM piece are the offer, the creative and the quality of the list. Only the last is a "media" decision.

The CPM combines the production cost of the piece including postage and the cost per thousand of the list. Production and postage will be the greater costs. A highly selective list might cost $100 per thousand, while the production and postage could be upwards of 50 cent a piece ($500 per thousand).

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, August 12, 2005 #6993
Back when I started in media (1984) I learned a way to hand-calculate combined reach/frequency. Say adding together a tv and radio schedule. I unlearned it over the years, especially when I had software that did it for me. Now I don't have the software anymore and have been asked to do a combined R/F. Do you have that formula? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, August 12, 2005 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses about combining reaches

Thursday, June 09, 2005 #6947
We have put together a campaign consiting of print & television in a few spot markets. Is it possible to determine the reach & frequency for those persons who will only see the TV and only see the print? How is it possible to know who has seen only print & only TV?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 11, 2005 ):
  1. Calculate TV reach
  2. Calculate print Reach
  3. Calculate combined reach (presumably, you have gotten this far)
Now it's simply addition and subtraction:

Suppose you have found the following:

TV reach = 50
Print Reach = 40
combined reach = 70.

Therefore, 20 reach points of the print are added to TV (saw only print) and 20 duplicated (also saw) TV.

Further, 30 points of the TV are added to print (saw TV only), and that same 20 points as above are duplicated.

So it breaks down to

TV only = 30 reach points
Print only= 20 reach points
saw both = 20 reach points
Total reach = 70

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 #6937
Thank you for your answer about internet grps(#6936). Another question would be, can we calculate reach for internet? and how about reach for a hispanic target

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, May 25, 2005 ):
Calculating reach is ususally done in one of two ways:
Using a respondent level audience measurement such as Nielsen//Netratings or comScore-MediaMetrix, one tracks the actual use by the relevant demographic within the sample against the schedule run.

More practically, one obtains a series of such measurements and builds a model, so that one can then genralize from schedules run in the future, using variable such as # of impressions, number of sites in the mix, share of page loads on the sites, etc.

The issues are what portion of the sites' reach does your schedule get and what is the duplication between sites' audiences.

For example, Yahoo might reach 40% of all those online in a month, but your buy will probably appear in less than 0.1% of all Yahoo page loads. And how many of the persons exposed to your Yahoo buy will also be exposed to your buy on

Since Hispanic audience is measure by both services, the Hispanic issues are no more difficult in this scenario.

As a ballpark sort of estimate, most major sites ought to be able to tell you the number of unique visitors exposed to your schedule. This number, divided by the relevant universe will give you an estimate of reach on that site. You can combine sites' reaches by random probability unless you can get site duplication estimates from the sites.

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%.

Monday, April 04, 2005 #6881
Hi, Guru. Thank you for the answer about combined GRPs. I'm estimating the media mix in first meaning of two mentioned by you. And my point of view on this calculation is the same like yours: GRPs are GRPs - they are not more than GI in 'shorter numbers'. Probably, i didn't explain the question correctly. I have a discussion with friend of mine - she insist that since measurements for different media in the mix are providing by different research companies (which means that respondents are also differ), it is strictly forbidden to sum up GRPs of each media in the mix into the 'Total GRPs' of the campaign, as each GRP has its own base (respondents of one research company are not participating in other company's survey). I would agree with this if we would talk about two different markets - in this case, of course, GRPs of each market should be weighted to count the total GRPs. But for the same market... in my point of view, since all surveys are representing the same target group at the same market, it means we are looking at the same people and can easily estimate how often they are contacting with the message whereever they meet the message. (Again, my goal is just estimate the quantity of contacts, not the quality). Thanks, Luba.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, April 05, 2005 ):
.Of course it is not "strictly forbidden" or we could never do media planning, only schedules in individual media. It might be an ideal to have one media source that measures all media, but it is not practical. The rule of thumb in the Guru's book is to use the primary measurement source for each medium. For example, in the U.S. one source MRI, has certain audience information for magazines, radio, and TV. However it is only considered a primary source for magazines. The primary source for radio is Arbitron or MediaAudit, and for TV is Nielsen, which provide much greater detail and much more frequent reports on audience as is necessary for more volatile media.

Looking at it the other way, Arbitron's sample is "different" persons from one report wave to the next, yet we consider each wave comparable.

Although the samples of each medium's research are literally different people, each study is intended to project the behavior of same total population group. (As you note, this is why it doesn't work in different markets; the total popualtion groups would be different people.

Each study, typically follows an established and accepted methodology, presumably. So, bottom line, GRPs may be compared and combined for media planning purposes.

Friday, April 01, 2005 #6875
Hi, Guru. I need to calculate the media mix. I have a set of media, some of them are measured by one research company, some of them by another, some of them are not measuring at all, but i can estimate their reach for my target audicence. All media are using on the same market at the same time. There is no problem to estimate the combined reach for the whole media mix. The question is - is it correct to combine the GRPs, gained by each media to the 'Total GRP of the campaign", which can help to estimate the frequency of the full campaign (for all media in the mix together)? Thanks, Luba.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 03, 2005 ):
From one perspective, a GRP is a GRP, simply and litereally a "gross" representation of all audience impressions. This view is most applicable for the purpose you are considering, leading to a frequencty calculation against the reach calculation.

On the other hand, it is not uncommon to apply weights to GRPs representing their medium's relative attentiveness or message retention, etc. But this approach is most applicable at the stage where media are being comared for inclusion in the plan or allocating a proportion of budget

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

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

Saturday, December 18, 2004 #6721
Hi Media Guru. We're a national advertiser who uses one agency for TV planning and another for buying. Typically, what role does the planner play. I've found I'm mostly getting recommendations on how to flow the media (e.g., GRPs p/wk, number of hiatuses) and broadcast-type (syndication, cable, prime or sports). Where the buyers reco. networks, evaluate value add and negotiate the buy. I feel like I'm not getting much value from the planners. What's your thoughts on what the planners role shuold be on planning TV?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 19, 2004 ):
"Value" is a matter of what you get for your money. If media planning is an included service of an agency you are using for everything short of TV buying, than the planning may be a good value. If, however you are using a totally separate agency for TV planning, which means only "GRPs p/wk, number of hiatuses) and > broadcast-type (syndication, cable, prime or sports)." than it is hard to think it's a good value. The value of media planning is to look at all communications needs and recommend what should be done across all media, not simply TV. On the other hand is your plan looks at all of this, then one agency should be capable of doing what are now separated TV planning and buying functions. This does not necessarily mean that either your current TV planning or buying agency is the right one to combine the functions.

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

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

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

Wednesday, May 19, 2004 #6499
We are currently purchasing local broadcast television combined with local cable television in a large number of markets. We have been grappling with the question of how to report the ratings achieved by each medium. Our initial thought was to add the broadcast DMA ratings to the DMA equivalent ratings of the cable activity in order to keep the figures "apples to apples." How do other agencies report cable ratings back to their client? (Local cable reports their audience delivery a number of ways including: DMA ratings, cable universe ratings, cable zone ratings within cable universe, etc.). However, there are some cases where we may be purchasing select cable zones in a market, rather than the entire market's cable interconnect. In these cases, the cable television activity probably won't be efficient when compared to the broadcast TV DMA CPPs. On the other hand, purchasing the entire broadcast television DMA probably isn't an efficient way to reach just the geography surrounding a few stores. How do other agencies rationalize purchasing select cable zones (surrounding store locations) to their analytical clients? In these cases, the DMA CPP comparison probably isn't realistic. What this boils down to is a basic question--is local cable forced to compete on exactly the same playing field as broadcast television? Are both forms of media judged against the same CPP goals or is cable allowed to compete based on a different CPP (based on the cable universe or percentage of cable penetration)? Does this answer change if purchasing an entire market's interconnect versus a single zone or multiple zones? How is cable television posted when buying an interconnect? When buying a zone or zones? What other factors should be considered in this analysis (i.e. are we overlooking anything)? How is the budget (or TRP goals) allocated to between cable and broadcast television?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, May 20, 2004 ):
The Guru reports ratings on the basis that makes sense for the clients' marketing needs. If the client is a retailer, ratings localized to cable zones in store trading zones make sense and will reflect the efficiency of this localization, while also put the waste of DMA ratings into perspective. On the other hand a national consumer goods marketer with interest in entire DMA's should use DMA ratings as a comparison basis.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004 #6497
What is the difference between qualatitive and quanatative research?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, May 20, 2004 ):
The great difference is "projectability."
  • Quantitative research uses random sampling and may be analyzed statisctically to evaluate its degree of error in terms of predicitng behavior of a group like the one sampled. Surveys are the typical quantitative tool, and we learn what percent of a population group eats cornflakes or Kellogg's cornflakes. Quantitative results may be discussed in terms of "reliability," or how often the same research with the given sample would produce the same result within a given range of tolerance. This is different than "validity" which is about Whether what was supposed to be measured was actually measured.
  • Qualitative research is aimed at understanding how people feel about things or react to ideas. It is the pursuit of insight rather than measurement. Focus groups are the most typical type of qualitative research. In this groups of 8 or 10 people are encouraged to discuss how they shop for a product how they feel about a package or a commercial, how they learn about products. The insights gained may influence copy or the design of a subsequent survey. Quantitative research may not be projected to behavior of populations. Anytime yoiu hear someone say "in the focus groups, X% said ___", beware!

Friday, January 23, 2004 #6356
In a recent conversation I have locked horns with a large agency media director. The issue is on local cable ratings. It is my understanding that Nielsen (or other) does not currently differentiate between local cable viewers and ADS (i.e. dish) viewers in providing their cable rating estimates. Thus, a cable rating includes viewers not exposed to your specific (or any local) message. As a rating is derived from the number of people "watching" against the total universe, I believe that you must subtract the ADS viewers and adjust the supplied rating accordingly. ie. 100,000 cable homes with 20% ADS(assuming all networks have equal ADS %’s). A 1.0 rating = 1,000 viewers. Since 20% ADS only 800 views can see your local insertion. Your true rating on the actual cable system becomes a .8 against your cable universe, not a 1.0. The director’s contention is that a 1.0 rating is a 1.0 rating on both local cable and a 1.0 rating for ADS and, thus, it is still a 1.0 rating in the cable universe. Again, it is my understanding that the cable universe does not include ADS homes yet the Nielsen (or comparable) rating does. Help. Please enlighten me. Thanks. p.s. this seems true even if you take a DMA cable rating and adjust to the cable universe rather than a cable universe cable rating…..

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 23, 2004 ):
The Guru loses track of your issue somewhere, but these facts might help:

A standard Nielsen report uses a Cable+ADS universe for a DMA and reports Cable+ADS ratings (ratings and universe will always match in a given report).

Therefore, a "cable rating" in a DMA which is actually a cable+ADS rating, is correct for program audience but overstates cable commercial audience in the way that you suppose.

(By the way, it is not a 1.0 for cable and a 1.0 for ADS, but an average of the two that comes to 1.0 for the combined universe) Since you are buying local cable commercials from a cable system, they will not run in local ADS (satellite) programs unless you also buy these. Even if you did, the Guru does not expect that they would run simultaneously.

The good news is that Nielsen will sell you a pure cable report.

Saturday, January 10, 2004 #6336
Dear Guru: One of the cornerstones of recency is the idea that advertising works in a short period (up to 7 days). At the same time in his writings by Mr. Ephron always mentions 4-week reach and 13-week reach. Can you explain the reason for that. Thanks, R.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 10, 2004 ):
More important in recency is that the most recently seen ad is most effective.

4 week and 13 week reach are long-time industry standards, greatly predating recency theory. They are based on being able to combine media types in a common period of time and relate first, to the monthly cycle of many magazines, which were a much more dominant medium 60 or more yars ago, and second, to the common, quarterly (i.e. 13 week) planning / budgeting cycle.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003 #6315
How do you calculate combined frequency. If I have a cable plan in a market with a frequency of 2.6 and a broadcast tv plan with a frequency of 6.6 - what is the combined frequency?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, December 20, 2003 ):
The Guru will assume you are referring to average frequency, typically considered for a four week period. One actually calculates the combined Reach and GRPs and then figures the "combined" frequency. Consider the following table. If you had run 400 GRP in broadcast and had 61 reach there would be 6.6 average frequency. If you also had 100 GRP of cable and a reach of 38, there would be an average frequency of 2.6.

GRPs are simply additive for a total of 500. Reaches must be combined by a system that recognizes duplication; "random probability" will overstate a bit when you are working with two related elements such as different kinds of TV. Probability might have estimated a combined reach of 76 here but let's suppose your algorithm estimates 72.

In any case, the combined average frequency is calculated thus: divide the combined GRP (500) by the combined Reach (72) which equals 6.9; see below:


Saturday, November 29, 2003 #6282
Is there a method for "manually" calculating the reach/frequency of network TV/radio? I know other options exist (Telmar, for example) but would prefer to have my students do it this way if possible.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, November 30, 2003 ):
25-30+ years ago, planners worked with tables of GRPs by medium or program frequency, etc, baseds on averages of many fully calculated actual measurements but not full scale calculation, which would involve treating each commerical individually. While there might be some value in learning how to take a set of observations and develop a curve, trying to make these base calculations for each plan seems pointless.

The purely manual 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

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.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003 #6182
Dear Media Guru, In our market we have two companies that offer radio traffic sponsorships. I have been asked by a client to compare the two in order to show which one offers the best exposure and the best "bang for the buck." One company offers live :10 reads on over 19 stations the other offers taped :15s on 9 stations. I know that I can use strata to combine all the stations for each group to get an overall rating average, but I am wondering if I should weight the ratings since these are not :60s. What do you advise? Also, besides, grps, cpp and cpm is there any other data that I should include in my comparision to show the strengths or weaknesses of each group? Thanks! KJG

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, October 04, 2003 ):
Weighting is reasonable. Do the "live" versions allow last minute changes? If "live" means simple announcer script, but taped meand full production, you need to quantify the difference. It might be more significant than just the length difference.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003 #6149
In regards to buying spot tv and spot cable tv - At what point is it more efficient to plan in network buys to either replace or compliment spot buying? Is it the number of markets client has locations? Our client who places spot buys in 55 DMA's, cannot grasp the benefit of a more efficient buy on network and is stuck on having, what he calls "waste" in markets with no locations. Please help!! You have a GREAT site!!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, September 11, 2003 ):
Assuming you have the same weight goal (GRPs) in all markets, when the combined cost of your selected markets exceeds the cost of that weight level in network, network is more efficent. On this basis, "the waste" just becomes free advertising that does not matter. It is not a matter of the number of markets. One advertiser might have a budget for 55 small markets that wouldn't cover 10 large markets. If there are no locations in the other markets, ill will might be a problem, especially in consideration of future growth. Efficiency is simply not the only consideration.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003 #6130
Dear Guru I would like to know if there is any possibility to measure additional reach that is generated by adding other medium to usual media mix based on TV. For a couple of years we have been running almost 100% TV based campaigns for FMCG client and we have recently observed that there are no changes in building brands awareness nor other crucial barnds parameters. We are now deeply thinking about moving some part of the budghet to other mediums as we intuitively think we can be gaining some incremental value by this shift. Is there any way to measure what additional percentage we can gain by using TV + radio or print instead of using only TV? Is there any research on what incremental campaign reach or brand awareness can we get by this decision? We have difference of mediums research methodology (telemetric for TV vs declarative for radio and print) so perhaps you could indicate some findings or research. Thank you a lot

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, August 23, 2003 ):
The Guru infers from your query that you are in a country without media measurement or at least without reach models.

Reach models we have are consistent in demonstrating that adding weight to a base plan in a new medium increases total reach more than adding comparable weight in the base medium already in use. Reach models within single media generally are based on measured "curves" of growth. However the reach added by a new medium can typically be estimated by simple random probablilty calculations.

Click here to see Guru explanation of calculating reach by probability.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003 #6006
Dear Guru, I have the circulation figures and the readership duplication percentage of various dailies. How can I calculate the net reach? What are the other variables required to calculate net reach? Thanx, Toolie, Bangladesh.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 15, 2003 ):
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

Thursday, May 29, 2003 #5984
Want to know the calculation of different GRPs to get required reach on 2+ or 3+ OTS e.g. on 400 GRPs gets 60% reach on 3+ OTS

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, May 31, 2003 ):
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

Thursday, May 15, 2003 #5974
I can use random probability to calculate reach. Is there any way I can create a complete frquency distribution? For instance, Is it correct to add up probabilities for an individual for 4 publications (Say 0.75, 0.75, 0.5 and 0.25) and say that frequency for the person is 2.25?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 18, 2003 ):
The Guru follows neither your math nor your logic here.

If your example means the the indivisual has a 75% chance of reading the first publication, etc how would that give the person a 2.25 frequency for the 4? You are working with almost unrelated data, not to mention the overstatement of random probability in calculating reach of related media. Further, frequency distribution deals with the numbers of persons who experienced each integral frequency, i.e. how many had one exposure, how many had two exposures. No individual may have a fractional exosure.

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.

Friday, April 04, 2003 #5918
How are the overall reach and frequencies derived in a buying program for a particular flight? It is not a sum of the r/f for individual stations, or an average thereof. Is there a formula for this?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, April 05, 2003 ):
The reach of each media vehicle must be combined with the others in a way that accounts for duplication.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, February 15, 2003 #5841
Can you please tell me how to do the Sainsbury formula in order to calculate campaign reach & frequency?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 17, 2003 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses about Sainsbury.

To do the kind of calculation you probably want, 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, 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.

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

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

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

Thursday, September 26, 2002 #5532
How can I calculate reach & frecuency?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, September 26, 2002 ):
You need a computer with software such as that offered by Telmar.

The calculation is extremely complex. In print, for example, 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

Tuesday, September 10, 2002 #5510
Several of my AEs INSIST that there is a way to combine different media R/F over different time periods. Can you help me with what to tell them... why it won't work, how it would skew the numbers, etc... so I don't have to fight this fight every few weeks?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, September 16, 2002 ):
There is a way, mathematically at least. Conceptually, one medium reaches a certain group of people and the other reaches the audience which it reaches. There will be some duplication between these two groups of people reached. Broadly, the difference in time won't cause a major difference in the mathematical results.

The problem is that when planning combined media, we look for cumulative effect on consumer perception. Obviously, it's different when the consumer sees TV alone in February and magazines alone in April, rather than beinbg exposed to both over the same period. The difference is not in reach so much as impact. Perhaps it is important to keep the standard labels on your numbers, i.e. "Average 3 week reach," and "average 4 week frequency." When they don't occur together, the labels need to reflect that fact.

Friday, August 16, 2002 #5468
I need to know, What is the data that I can use to calculate newspaper reach?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, August 16, 2002 ):
As in your adjacent query, 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.

Try The Newspaper Advertising Association for some general estimates.

Thursday, August 15, 2002 #5467
Is there any specific form to estimate print media reach?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, August 16, 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

Monday, August 05, 2002 #5446
As a new publication what is the best way to combat MRI. Currently our website has skyrocketed on alexa versus our competeting books! What is the best approach. In my eyes MRI is old news and alexa is the wave! Would love your opinion.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, August 07, 2002 ):
Alexa neither measures nor purports to measure print media. Alexa is a web page usage report based on 7 million users who have downloaded Alexa software. These are neither a random sample nor representative of web users.

MRI is a measurement of magazine audience, based on a large scale sample of U.S. adults and statistically projectable to the population and various demographic cells.

Web traffic to the web sites of magazines is probably not indicative of the magazine's audience among its target, anyway, and if it were there are better measures of web audience, such as comScore / MediaMetrix.

Alexa is not the wave, in the Guru's opinion. One does not "combat" MRI. When a magazine has not yet been measured, it may talk of circulaiton, subscribers or single copy sales.

Thursday, July 25, 2002 #5436
Do you think PR will kill advertising? What role will PR play in the coming years??

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 27, 2002 ):
No, why would that even be a question? PR and advertising have co-existed for over 100 years. The uses of the two evolve and the wise marketer combines them.

Wednesday, July 03, 2002 #5398
how could I create a reach curve if I don´t have any information of "frecuency and reach" available. What kind of assumption should I suppose? Thanks Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 05, 2002 ):
"Creating a curve" is about graphing some data so that other data can be interpolated. In other words, when you know the reach or frequency from a few different schedules of GRPs, you then can predict the results of others.

Lacking any data, what assumptions might you make?

  • The general shape of a reach curve is more or less like the one shown below

  • Generally, the curve rises rapidly at first and then flattens, because it is 'asymtotic,' in mathematical terms
  • The top of the curve cannot exceed the reach potential of the medium.
  • The starting point will have reach equal to the rating of a single announcement, but the curve is drawn from a (0,0) origin.
  • The smaller the average rating, the slower the rise.
Reach curves are usually created from the frequencies observed in the known schedules, because the graph of frequencies is a straight line, so its 'slope,' to use another mathematical term is easier to deal with.

Reach with no observations is a complex calculation. You need a computer with software such as that offered by Telmar. In one example, as input you need average announcement audience, duplication between announcements of the same vehicle and duplication between each possible pair of different vehicles. 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, May 22, 2002 #5301
In one of your responses to advantages of media mix and multimeedia strategies u have mentioned "Better distribution of frequency of exposure" as the advantage of using a media mix Can u pls elaborate on this Thanks for the help

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, May 23, 2002 ):
Each medium has heavier and lighter users. The heavier and lighter viewers of each medium duplicate at random, so that heavier print readers may be the lighter TV viewers. Consider the graph below, comparing a TV + print plan (1) to an all-TV plan (2). At the same budget, Plan 1 had a reach / frequency of 89.5 / 6.7 while plan 2 achieved 78.6 / 5.7.

Not only does plan 1 have better total reach and average frequency, but the portion of the target exposed to each number of ads (in the bar graph) is greater for plan 1. The proportional margin increases as number of exposures grows.

Tuesday, May 21, 2002 #5295
Avoiding media jargon: provided client have 2 spot (each 30") and he would like to hear recommendation of rotation. Particularly he asked of any proven examples of tactics when one spot is placed 1st in commercial block and the second spot is placed last in block- he called it "top-&-tail" (any research saying it is more effective than random placing in block). The other side of the story is - I suggested to rotate as follows: 1 spot - any other commercial- 2nd spot- other commercials (I heard it is called "consecutive spots". Both spots are in form of reportage- this connects them and therefore I recommended such rotation. I read in couple of books that qualitatively placing 1st /last in break is more effective, as peaple switch to other stations after 1st spot and than come back likely at the end of the block, but it was not proved by any examples, case studies, which is requested by my client.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, May 22, 2002 ):
There is research showing first and last in break are more likely to be viewed. The alternate 'consecutive' might be more effective in awareness / recall building. among those who view the entire set.

So the first issue is to set a standard of "success." Is it most viewers or most recall? Or is it really sales in resonse to audience size versus audience impact?

Best research resources are ESOMAR, the European Survey, Opinion and Market Research Organization and The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

Thursday, May 16, 2002 #5288
Hi, do You know of any publishing companies/print media which are using variable advertising pricing according to the reach of the media so that fixed CPT is offered instead of fixed rates? Are there any print media where You can buy GRP-s? If Yes; how is it done? Thanx, Marko!

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, May 18, 2002 ):
The physical form of print media don't really allow this. You may buy geographic pieces of circulation, demographic editions or A/B (every other copy) splits of the circulation. You seem to want a random placement akin to online.

You can evaluate print media by GRPs but not buy audience chunks this way.

Tuesday, February 26, 2002 #5117
Dear Guru! Sorry for unclear question about media mix. I would like to know is it a possibility to estimate the whole advertising campaign in different media by using common indexes (GRPs, frequency, reach etc) if there are no data from the same source - people-meters (TV), diary (press and radio)?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 27, 2002 ):
Yes. It is a standard procedure to combine media and has been for decades. There are some basic assumptions of statistical overlap, making a crude combination through probability arithmetic fairly indicative, and making modern media software, such as that offered by Telmar, reasonably specific.

Wednesday, February 13, 2002 #5082
Where can I find a complete list of Media Companies and their clients? The Red Book doesn't show all media companies.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 13, 2002 ):
If you mean companies which own media, you would have to combine data from various Standard Rate and Data Service (SRDS) resources or The Gale Directory of Publications and Broadcast Media.

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

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

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

Thursday, January 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

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.

Tuesday, January 22, 2002 #5025
What do I need to calculate reach for print and what is the formula?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, January 23, 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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, October 13, 2001 #4791
I have been trying to find a clear, easy-to-understand way of explaining to account services why Nielsen isn't an absolute, exact science, but see it for the base measurement tool that it is. Any way you could sum it up for me? I have pointed out many of the flaws and error measurements to the methodology but they can't seem to grasp why it isn't black and white.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, October 13, 2001 ):
One would devoutly hope that an account professional would have some experience with survey research, like attitude and usage studies, but then again, many of them believe you can project porduct usage from a couple of focus groups of ten people.

Nielsen is like any other research based on sampling, it is subject to sampling error. Projecting behavior of an entire population based on a large sample is a well established scientific procedure, and Nilesen has a good overview on their site. The short answer is, when well conducted research is based on a random sample, results are at best within a certain +/- range. When you hear that a national political poll regarding two candidates is '+/- 3 points' that really means that a 50% projection is between 47 and 53% at a certain confidence level like 95%. Or, that id the poll was redone the same way 100 times, 95 times the results for that question would be from 47 to 50%. But 50% has the largest possible sample portion behind it ( if the answer was 75%, it also means that 25% said the opposite and both must be equally reliable.

TV ratings are more often numbers like 2% or 7% because there are so many viewing choices and non-viewer as well. With the same sample as the political poll above, the 2% answer (or rating) is subject to much less absolute error than the 50% answer, perhaps 0.4 points rather than 3 points, But as a relative error that is very big, 20% of the audeince reported. Over time, if a show' real rating is 2.0 and rthe aduience doesn't change, there will be some weeks that get a 2.4 rating and others with a 1.6. They'll average out to the 2.0, but depending on how you read Nielsen, you need to account for that. If you by a weekly program expecting the 2.0, and happen to be in a 1.6 week, you hope (realistically) that some other program you bought has an 'up' week. Over a whole quarterly schedule, with a lot of announcements, if the GRPs are far from expectation, look elsewhere than Nielsen for blame.

Friday, September 14, 2001 #4717
Media Guru, First thanks for a great service - I am an experienced broadcast and interactive services executive and I continued to learn new things from this site. Question - I am helping roll-out a new service based on kiosks with high speed Internet connection which combines Point of Sale display, on screen advertising (both full screen and interactive) and consumer data collection, analysis and report generation. How best to develop wholesale costs for the media space? I'm assuming it is most like alternative out of home and should be looked at as a cross between outdoor, interactive and tradtional spot. Any ideas where to start or other media that might be comparable for analysis? Thanks and keep up the great work.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, September 15, 2001 ):
Thank you for the kind words.

The Guru isn't sure he understands your term "wholesale" in this context. However, based on outdoor and current generic internet pricing, a cpm well under $5 is reasonable.

You will find some media cost data in AMIC's Ad Data area.

Thursday, July 26, 2001 #4610
What is your opinion of Mobil Trak radio research and the methodology they employ to generate radio statistics.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 26, 2001 ):
1. Their method can be valuable in certain, specific, retail cases. If a store wants to know what station is on the radio of persons passing their location, MobilTrak can be useful.

2. The limitations are severe, however. MobilTrak's claim that the majority of all radio listening is in-car is strongly contradicted by Arbitron data, which shows only 30% of total listening is in car. Arbitron, unlike MobilTrak, has no vested interest in location-of-listening results.

In multi-store mall situations, a store can't even be sure that passing cars are their own customers.

For market-wide measures, the MobilTrak technique is not only limited by the car-only problem, but potentially by lack of randomness even among car listeners.

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.

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

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

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

You might try the R&F generator at U. Texas .

Monday, May 07, 2001 #4373
Why is television the priority branding medium?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 08, 2001 ):
TV is the priority branding medium in many cases. In the abstract, TV is the most powerful form of communications with the best ability to build a brand. Its combined audio / visual impact is unmatched by other media.

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.

Wednesday, March 21, 2001 #4280
Concerning Local Cable ratings, there seems to some confusion as to the availability of Nielsen demographic ratings. While I know that HOUSEHOLD Local Cable ratings are availbale on Nielsen's HH overnights, how are demographic ratings developed? I have heard of two methodologies: 1) Apply DMA VPVHs to the HH overnight ratings 2) Use Nielsen diary info to determine demographic Local Cable ratings. From my experiences, Local Cable is severly underreported thorugh diary measurement. Therefore, I believe the use of HH overnights would be preferred. Can you provide some insight into Local Cable rating accuracy and methodology? Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 25, 2001 ):
Household overnights are only available where Nielsen uses set meters to measure the Household audience. These meters automatically send their daily readings to Nielsen's computers so that Nielsen can then issue ratings "overnight."

According to information at Nielsen's web site:

" In 49 of the largest markets, we have a sample of homes with set meters (not people meters) which provide the tuning status (set on/off, channel and time) of TV sets in the home. We collect information about who is viewing from separate samples of homes in these markets with diaries for each TV set. We combine the meter and diary information in a way which projects the diary viewing data adjusted to the meter tuning data."

The Nielsen NSI service reports cable in local market reports when the audience meets reporting standards.

So, in any case where HH overnights would be available, NSI is adjusting diary demographic findings to reflect (preferred) meter measurment of households.

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

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

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

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 =

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.

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 13, 2000 #3965
Can you give a definitive explanation of media quintiles (radio, tv, newspaper)?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, November 16, 2000 ):
Quintiles are used in two key ways:
  • Quintiles of media, and
  • Quintiles of schedules

Quintiles in either case involve dividing the people under consideration into five (quint-) equal groups for analysis. Why five? Why not? it has become the established method. Three groups would often be more useful: "average," "above average" and "below average" are easier to conceptualize. And some advertisers have considered "nine-tiles."

In media quintiles, the users of a medium, like radio, are divided into five equal groups, arrayed according to their heaviness of use, for example, the 20% of the population who listen to less than 3 hours of radio per week, those who listen to 3 to 6 hours, up through those who listen to 50+ hours. The range of hours of listening are set so that each range takes in 20% of the population. Then, other aspects of the behavior of these groups may be evaluated and lead to media or marketing decisions.

For example, if the lightest radio listeners are also light TV viewers, but the heavy newspaper readers, newspaper may be the best way to add reach to a radio plan and more evenly distribute frequency of exposure across all the people reached.

Quintiles of schedules are similar, but only consider those reached by a media schedule. For example if you had a radio schdule of 500 GRP in four weeks with a reach of 70 and a 7.1 average freqency, you might find that the lowest frequency 20% of your schedule reached (14 reach ou of the 70) had an average frequency of 1.0 and the highest frequency quintilehad an average frequecy of 19.8. When you add newspaper to the plan you can examine each quintile of the combined reach and will likely find the least reached group of the new total has a better average frequency.

Thursday, September 14, 2000 #3795
Is there a site that ranks high-tech business-oriented magazines by subscription size? Is there a site that ranks cable and tv programming by largest high tech management viewers?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, September 16, 2000 ):
The magazine data can be acquired from BPA International. The cable data maight be available in MRI or Intelliquest might nhave the cable data, but not online. It is likely that the small size of your demographic cell combined with the small audiences of cable programs will allow only unstable measurements, if any.

Wednesday, August 09, 2000 #3691
Dear Guru, what does the terms Bi-weekly, Bi-monthly actually mean. My assumption is that bi-weekly means every other week and bi-monthly is every other month. My collegue assumes bi-weekly is twice a week and bi-monthly is 2X per month. Can you clear this up for us. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, August 09, 2000 ):
This is a semantic question, more than a media question, but interesting nonetheless. The Guru consulted his random House "Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary."

The first meaning of bi-monthly is "occurring every two months." But the second meaning is "occurring twice monthly." Bi-weekly has the same pairing. In both cases, the second meanings are given an alternate definition of semi-monthly / semi-weekly. And, the "semi's" only mean twice per time period.

So, on balance, the preferred usage of "bi" would be once every two time cycles. But a publisher could mean either. A wise publisher will avoid the terms and say "twice a week" or "every other month" so that there is no confusion.

Tuesday, August 08, 2000 #3684
CPMs for portals are often quoted as being in the $20 to $40 dollar range. As ane example, Yahoo! are shown with an effective CPM of more than $40 in the AdZone analysis for June 2000. However, taking the figures for ad revenue and page impressions in the latest Yahoo! financial figures (for Q1 2000) gives a CPM of only about $4.00. Why the big difference?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, August 08, 2000 ):
What you are asking is probably more of an accounting question than a media question, but:
  • If you are looking at the same source of Yahoo financial data as the page the Guru checked, you are looking at NET revenues, while the arithmetic of CPM times Impressions would yield Gross revenues. Of course that should not lead to a 90% discrepancy, but perhaps it could account for 50%, and . .
  • AdZoneInteractive's Ad Data uses published rate card CPMs, and rate card rates are certainly higher than real deals, which might be T 50% of rate card for big advertisers, and
  • If you watched carefully while drilling down to the financial data from the home page, you would have noticed that you generated several Page impresions with no Ad Impressions. There were also no outside banner ads on the Yahoo home page. combined with unsold inventory, perhaps more than 50% of Yahoo page impressions generate no ad revenue.
So if Net is half of Gross, and real rates are half of rate card, and half of impressions aren't sold for advertsing, then it all hangs roughly together.

I.e $40 x 50% (net vs. gross) x 50% (rates) x 50%(unsold) = $5

Wednesday, July 19, 2000 #3630
Can you think of any resource that lists all Radio networks, including a brief description and generic cost information. The SRDS lists the networks, but it has limited information.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, July 23, 2000 ):
Answer: The Guru has not encountered any resource with both types of information. You may need to combine data from multiple sources. In addition to Standard Rate and Data Service (SRDS), consult SQAD and M Street Corporation.

Tuesday, June 20, 2000 #3563
Follow on question about SQAD CPP table columns-- particularly interested in understanding the times when one daypart transitions to another. Could you provide the time ranges for each designation?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, June 20, 2000 ):
  • In the Eastern and Pacific Time Zones, Early Morning means the Monday-Friday 6am to 10am period around programs like the Today, Show, Good Morning America etc before
  • Daytime network, with its games, talk and soaps, from 10a to 4p Mon-Fri
  • Early News is usually 6-7
  • Prime Access is 7 to 7:30 Monday-Saturday
  • Prime is 8-11 Monday to Saturday plus 7-11pm Sunday
  • Late Night is 11pm to sign-off.
  • combined fringe is Late Night plus Early Fringe, which is the period between Daytime and Early News, plus the otherwise undefined weekend hours.

Monday, June 19, 2000 #3560
I can't find information in your glossary on the column abbreviations for the Costs Per TV Household Rating Point data from SQAD. Are they elsewehere on the site and if not, could your provide a brief tutorial?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, June 19, 2000 ):
The columns headings are:

  • Rank, which is based on the
  • Household population shown under "Pop" in the next column
  • EM is Early Morning
  • DAY is Daytime
  • EN is Early News
  • PA is Prime Access
  • PR is Primetime
  • LN is Late Night and
  • CF is combined Fringe

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

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

Tuesday, April 25, 2000 #3420
We are putting together a sponsorship package that incorporates TV spots, our company newsletter, our website and our fleet vehicles -- is it possible to estimate a combined reach/frequency for all four mediums combined?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, April 25, 2000 ):
The TV is easy, using standard methods, of which you are probably aware.

The other estimates must start from simple counts of the newsletter circulation, web traffic and - the toughie - persons exposed to your fleet. Most simply, after getting a standard TV reach, convert the other media impressions to ratings and combine by "random probability."

Monday, March 27, 2000 #3341
Hello I am currently enrolled in the 3-year advertising program at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. In response to a class project and of great interest to me, I am in search of answers to the following questions regarding obtaining a career in the Internet advertising field. 1. What programs are used in the creation of Internet advertisements? 2. What are the job titles and descriptions of jobs within Internet advertising? 3. What are the specific qualities looked for when hiring a person for Internet advertising? 4. How does Internet advertising differ from other forms of advertising? 5. What should a student keep in mind and focus on while attending school in order to further their changes in Internet advertising related career? 6. Is there an organization solely devoted to Internet advertising? 7. What forms of Internet advertising are offered? (Ex. WebPage design yes, banners, etc) 8. When should a company inquire about Internet advertising as a form of advertising? 9. How long has Internet advertising been around and how has it grown throughout the years?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 27, 2000 ):
Since this is the Media Guru, we will address those of your several questions which relate to media issues.

  1. Not a media question
  2. Other than "webmaster" all internet advertising media titles are approximately the same as in other media: General manager/publisher, sales manager, sales account executive on the website side; Media Director, Media planner, media buyer on the buying side. Some companies may have invented special titles either to reflect their individuality or special business structure, such as "Channel manager" when selling multiple sites that can be grouped topically
  3. There should be no specific qualities sought in hiring media people for internet purposes rather than any other media, other than possibly better computer skills and internet familiarity. It was not unusual, in the early days of internet advertising, for employment ads to be signed only with a website or email contact information, so that those who didn't understand such information wouldn't apply.
  4. The chief differences of internet advertising versus other media include:
    Interactivity: Any consumer action in response to an ad generates a reaction by the internet
    combines the full animation potential of TV with the detail capability of static print
    Consumer action in response to an ad 'place-marker', i.e. the banner, is required before the full ad, i.e. the click-thru target, is exposed
    Unlike other media where the medium's full audience is attributed to each ad, the internet allows us to count actual ad exposures
  5. A student should take any internet courses offered in addition to the full standard advertising curriculum, if working in internet media is the only goal.
  6. There are several organizations devoted solely to internet advertising: The Internet Advertising Bureau, which is the Web site owners trade group, C.A.S.I.E. (The Coalition for Advertising Supported Interactive Entertainment) which is primarily, if not exclusively internet focused, is the advertiser/agency internet trade group. Of course there are numerous internet sales representative organizations and ad agencies/media services.
  7. Internet advertising forms include websites, banners (meaning any less-than-full-page ads displayed on websites) interstitials, and e-mail advertising. Within e-mail advertising are three principal types: ads as sponsorships, inserted into subscription email newsletters and discussion group posts, Opt-in email, where the recipient has actually agreed to receive by email commercial information from the sender, and SPAM, or Unsolicited Commercial Email, which is commercial messages posted to newsgroups or sent by direct email. This last is completely disreputable and banned by most consumer ISPs.
  8. An advertiser should consider internet advertising alongside all other media when selecting media for any plan. Internet media should be used when it offers an advantage in efficiency (quite rare), an opportunity to reach an otherwise difficult-to-reach prospect, or the opportunity to deliver a message of a kind or in an environment which enhances message impact.
  9. Internet advertising of one sort or another has probably existed since the early days of the internet. As a real medium, internat advertising is traced to the beginnings of the commercialization of the World Wide Web at the end of 1994. The year 2000 will generate over US$5 billion online ad revenue

Thursday, March 16, 2000 #3326
Dear Guru: I would like to know if there is any equation to calculate media mix reach?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 16, 2000 ):
There are several, equivalent ways to express the arithmetic to combines media according to random probability, which has been found generally adequate for the purpose of multimedia combination.

Here's an easy one:

  1. Work with two reaches at a time
  2. Treat the reach of each medium as a decimal (50 reach is 0.5)
  3. Add reach of medium A and medium B
  4. Multiply reach of medium A by Reach of medium B
  5. Subtract the product of the multiplication from the sum of the addition


  • Reach of medium A = 40, reach of medium B = 55
  • 0.4 + 0.55 = 0.95
  • 0.40 x 0.55 = 0.22
  • 0.95 - 0.22 = 0.73
  • combined reach is 73

To add additional media, treat the combination as medium A and the next medium as B.

In some cases, a planner may have access to research which shows that an adjustment should be made for actual, measured, duplication between different media, rather than use the "random probability" formula above. In that case, more sophisticated reach calculating software packages, such as those from Telmar allow you to make the calculation and build in known adjustments.

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.

Thursday, March 02, 2000 #3273
Hi Guru, It's relatively easy to get numbers on click thru rates. Do you have -- or are you aware of where I might find -- statistics on conversion averages? Thanks!!

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 04, 2000 ):
Online retailers don't generally release these figures; they have no reason to do so. But on January 2, the NY Times had an article analyzing Christmas ad spending for dot-coms, visits versus ad impressions, plus percent of on-line shoppers who made a purchase at a few dozen of the leading consumer ecommerce sites.

This combined Nielsen//Netratings web audience measurments with an Ernst&Young study of global online retailing. The Times article can be analyzed in various ways, and the Ernst & Young report gives a 1 to 10% conversion average across retailers interviewed.

Monday, January 31, 2000 #3176
Dear Guru, I am in charge of IT for a small advertising firm. I need to compile a comprehensive list of software solutions for media buying/planning/research/management. I need to be as exhastive as possible while weeding out the weaker solutions. Do you know of any good sources of information for this question? What are the top five solutions (including Internet/"zero client" solutions?). Thank you in advance,

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, January 31, 2000 ):
The solutions of which the Guru is aware are our own Telmar, as well as IMS, Strata, MediaPlan, Simmons' Choices and MRI's MeMRI

Some do it all, some only handle broadcast rankers and audience analysis, some only handle print. Some focus on detail in one medium or another.

As far as the Guru knows, only Telmar's system, which can run on a PC or via the internet, and IMS, offer multimedia analysis. Also, as far as the Guru knows, only the new, combined offering from Telmar/Strata does it all, covering planning, buying, research and managment needs.

Saturday, January 22, 2000 #3144
Hello Guru : I´ve many questions : 1º Do you know how i can add the impacts in TV, Radio, Newspapers and Magazines. Exist a table of factors for obtain this results

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, January 23, 2000 ):
"Impact" is a term with no standard defintion. First you will have to quantify the term before any intelligent answer could be given.

For example, if you decided impact equalled reach, weighted by historical selling ability, you could first establish each medium's weighted reach and then combined these media impact scores by a probability equation just as you would combine reaches. But a different way of defining impact might lead to another approach.

Friday, November 12, 1999 #2964
Can research determine which media is best to drive traffic to a local retail business? If there is a particular medium or media, what research approach can best determine which media works? Please consider that this a local business that currently advertises in radio, newspaper and billboards and is very successful at driving traffic to retai outlets that are not highly visible in their marketplace.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, November 16, 1999 ):
A specific individual business can use research to determine this.

Most simply, it is easy to include something in the advertising which makes people want to tell the business's operators where they heard of them. Or staff can be instructed to inquire where customers heard. More expensively, a commissioned study can probe awareness and shopping behavior from a random sample or a customer database sample. In any of these cases, the research must be carefullly studied and interpreted, to distinguish the results of branding efforts from promotions.

If the business has a long history of establishing its name and offerings in the community through radio and outdoor campaigns, the research might still find that "What brought the cusotmer in today" was a newspaper or Yellow Pages ad. Analysis might well show that the newspaper or Yellow Pages ad would have had little impact without the other media's branding effects.

Different businesses enjoy different effects from various media. A roadside, impulse business, like a highway restaurant chain can get immediate results from highway billboards which would have much less benefit for an in-town, white tablecloth eatery. A branding-oriented newspaper campaign for the latter would likely be more effective than one for the highway chain.

Friday, October 01, 1999 #2840
What is the difference between achieving a 10.0 rtg. on one spot of Seinfeld, vs. a combined 10.0 rtg. on Oprah, The Today Show and Just Shoot Me? Are we reaching a larger audience? Is there a way to measure duplication of the three programs? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 01, 1999 ):
A combined 10 rating points accumulated across three programs will also represent 10 GRP, or an equal gross audience, but because of duplication the reach will be somewhat less than 10 and frequency somewhat more than 1.0. The reach will be at least equal to the rating of the highest rated program of the three.

The syndicated ratings reports, i.e. Nielsen, measure the duplication; the planner's standard reach & frequency tools estimated the net audience, accounting fo this duplication.

Wednesday, September 29, 1999 #2836
How often are the SQAD cpp's "Refreshed"? What does the designation "CF" stand for? It appears to signify late fringe or late night. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 29, 1999 ):
SQAD TV CPPs are updated monthly. "CF" is combined fringe, the early fringe/late fringe average.

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.

Tuesday, September 14, 1999 #2792
What can you tell me about reach-based planning? Thank you in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, September 14, 1999 ):
> The usual assumption is that print and broadcast duplicate with random probability, there is no special, greater or lesser likelihood that persons in the audience of the print schedule will also be or not be in the audience of the broadcast schedule.

Mechanically. the combination may be calculated in a few equivalent ways. The Guru finds it easiest to consider the reaches as decimals (50% reach = 0.50).

Subtract the reach of print from 1 and multiply this by 1minus the reach of broadcast. Suppose print has a 40% reach and broadcast has 55%.

By subtracting 0.4 from 1 (1 - 0.4 = 0.6), you have the probabilty of the target not being exposed to print. Subtract 0.55 from 1 to get the probability of not being exposed to broadcast (1 - 0.55 = 0.45)

Multiply these two together (0.6 * 0.45 = 0.27) and you have determined there is a 27% probability of people not being exposed to either of the combined media, or a 73% reach.

This formula is typically used in media software to combine different media.

Certainly there are cases where there is a somewhat better than random probabilty of media duplication, such as TV Guide combining with a TV schedule, but that's the exception, calling for judgement.

Wednesday, September 01, 1999 #2762
Greetings Gurus! I am trying to impact enrollment in our university from a specific geographic. I know that the so-called "Generation Y" is a great consumer of the internet. How would you suggest I go about targeting my demographic (probably not a difficult task) combined with geographic to reach the target via the internet? Many thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, September 03, 1999 ):
Relevant lifestyle sites and lifestyle sections of large, portal sites will attract your age target. There are city and state specific sites, though virtually anyone might visit them. Large sites can target impressions delivery so that your ad is exposed only to visitors from the selected geography.

The problem with that option is that such a high percentage of your age target will be using AOL or similar, national ISPs. All AOL users appear to be coming from AOL's Virginia headquarters. To get around that, you can place ads inside AOL (rather than on

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

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

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

Thursday, August 19, 1999 #2727
The formula for calculating the reach of media vehicles is (a+b)-a*b. Please tell me the "N" formula for it, or you have a different formula for calculating reach?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, August 21, 1999 ):
Your formula is for " random probabilty," which is used to combine two different media, based on the assumption that their audience duplication is purely at random. This formula is not appropriate to combining different vehicles in the same medium, which typically have more than merely random duplication.

There are various, quite complex formulae for computing reach of various vehicles of the same medium, among them the Beta Binomial, Lamda function, and others. The Guru is not familiar with your reference to "the 'N' formula."

Friday, June 25, 1999 #2593
What minimal circulation a free ethnic community newspaper should have to attract an ad agency's attention? For instance, there are 4 newspapers with a circulation of 5 000 each, serving a 50 000 people community in a 3 000 000 city. Would a combined space sale proposal in all four newspapers be of interest to an ad agency?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 25, 1999 ):
If the agency cares about reaching the specific ethnic group and the newspaper is one of the largest media reaching that group, the agency will care about the newspaper, whether its circulation is 5,000 or 25,000. If the newspaper is offering 5,000 circulation when other newspapers offer 25,000 or other media like tv or radio have far greater audience, then you have an uphill battle.

And if the ethnic group is very small and the newspaper is also very small, the agency may not care anyway, unless your reader can be presented as a highly desirable prospect for the agency's advertisers. And finally, free distribution just makes things harder. But in many cases such papers are very successful. The Hispanic newspapers of Essex and Hudson counties in New Jersey are an enlightening study.

Monday, June 14, 1999 #2574
What are the standard 'age ranges' that correlate w/ advertisor-targeted demographic groups? for example <12, 12-17, 18-25, 26-30,31-40, etc. thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, June 14, 1999 ):
In the U.S. the common standard is
  • 2-5
  • 6-11
  • 12-17
  • 18-24
  • 25-34
  • 35-49
  • 50-64
  • 65+
a frequent alternate for the ages between 35 and 65 is

  • 35-44
  • 45-54
  • 55-64

Depending on purpose, adjacent groupings are often combined

Thursday, May 27, 1999 #2535
Dear Media Guru I am working in india where the Viewership data is provided by ACNielsen & IMRB which is the indian affiliate of BMRB. Previously peoplemeter data provided by IMRB alone used the concept of TRP while today the combine uses the concept of TVR Is there any difference between the 2 concepts or is it more a case of semantics ? I do remember someboday saying that TRPs were used for dairy data while TVRs is a peoplemeter related viewership figure. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, May 27, 1999 ):
Confusingly, sometimes the same terms are used with different meanings in different countries. Even by the same vendor. The Guru does not relate the difference to diary vs meter, and has discussed TVR before.

Click here to see the past Guru response.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, May 10, 1999 #2499
How do you calculate reach "in-market", and are you to combine that with the national numbers? How is this done? Thanks. We are trying to show total "in-market" delivery. Also, back to the average 4 week dilemma, is it only relevant when looking at sustaining levels of a continuity plan? Or would you show average four week even in a launch, retail, or promotional type heavy-up situation? Thanks as always.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 10, 1999 ):
Suppose you had national media with a reach of 40% and a local media plan delivering 50%.

You would combine the national reach of 40% with the local 50%. If you care to go the extra step, you could analyze local variation in delivery of the national plan and adjust the local delivery of the national media before combining with the local. Or if you run only national media you can look at the locally delivered weight to caculate the in-market reach resulting from national media, as if it were local spot media.

Four weeks is a traditional standard measurement period. This standard goes back to the days of the dominance of monthly magazines as an advertising medium. There are numerous ways this rule of thumb is used. Some look at "4-weeks-when-in" and examine four weeks worth of average activity no matter ho many active weeks a plan has. This focuses on the rate of advertising rather than the quantity. Other focus on cume of whatever number of weeks. One has to make a judgement of what tells the story best. The judgement can be made differently when you are comparing possible plans and when you are trying to quantify potential effects on awareness, sales, etc.

Friday, April 30, 1999 #2481
Is there any way to calculate duplication across a media plan using several media (e.g. print and radio and TV), or can I only get a duplication analysis within a media (radio duplicaton and then another duplication factor for print, etc , etc) I use telmar for research with simmons and arbitron access and we also use JDS for buys.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, April 30, 1999 ):
The standard assumption in media planning is that duplication between different media is purely at random. Therefore, the random probability formula is used:
  • Express the reach of each medium as a decimal (50% reach = 0.5)
  • Multiply the reach of one medium by another to determine the duplication.
  • Subtract the duplication from the sum of the two reaches to get the net reach

So, if you have a 40% reach in TV and a 55% reach in Print, multiply
0.4 x 0.55 to get 0.22
subtract 0.22 from 0.4+.55 and get 0.73 or
73% reach of the combined media.

There are a variety of ways to do the calculation. The Guru actually prefers to use the probablilty of not seeing each medium (reach as a decimal subtracted from 1.0) When these are multiplied they give the net probability of not seeing any of the media. When this result is subtracted from 1, the final result is net reach. This style is particulary useful for combining several media at once.The example would combine this way:

  • 1-0.4 = 0.6
  • 1-0.55 = 0.45
  • 0.6 x 0.45 = 0.27
  • 1-0.27 = 0.73 or

    73% reach.

Telmar's "Media Mix" program uses these assumptions.

Friday, March 26, 1999 #2415
The target audience for my schedule is "Own a dog or cat and took your pet to the vet at least once in the last 12 months". I have done the Xtab in Telmar and know which states this audience lives. I am trying to get more specific and find out what DMA the target lives in. What is the best way to find this information? I do have information from the Lifestyle Analyst book provided by SRDS but I am not that comfortable with it since I was told the data is compiled from warranties people send in. Please help.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 29, 1999 ):
Why are you troubled by data from warranty cards? Of course, this data will not be from as random a sample as Simmons, MRI or The Mendelsohn Media Research Affluent Study. However, its skews are probably based on income more than anything else and data should be fairly useful in terms of finding the geographic dispersion of behavior like vet visits.

Another approach is this: the survey data listed above does report separately on several major DMA's. Beyond that, the mapping/modeling software offered by suppliers like CLARITAS can extrapolate the survey data into regional or market by market data. Of course, this may be as removed from validity as the warranty data.

Why not contact the associations like American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to inquire about visits per market?

Wednesday, March 24, 1999 #2409
Dear Guru - This may seem like a vague question, but what is meant by "adjusted GRPs?" I am looking at a combined TV and print plan that delivers 425 avg. 4-week GRPs against W25-54, and under "adjusted GRPs" it says 336. These are 52-week plans, and there are only :30 units (no copy split). Your help is much appreciated.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 25, 1999 ):
Your question isn't vague, but "adjusted" is. Somone has done you a disservice by presenting something labeled "adjusted" with no explanation. There are numerous bases used to adjust GRPs including:
  • Variations in measured daypart attentiveness
  • Variations in measured daypart recall
  • judgement regarding sales effectiveness of different media
  • copy length/size versus some established standard
  • etc
. Various advertisers have set policies on these matters and planners trained on those advertisers' business report Reach/Frequency/GRP including these adjustments almost without thinking about it. But the first time someone sees such data, they deserve an explanation.

There are no universal standards for "adjusted GRP."

Tuesday, March 23, 1999 #2403
I have been researching these questions for a number of days now and have been unsatisfied with the answers I have been receiving. I am a new member and new to this field, any direction would be most helpful. Thank you in advance... 1) What is the difference between Rate Base (a number guaranteed by publishers and audited by ABC) and Readership (a number provided by, say, MRI) levels for magazine publications? 2) Which number (above) is most often used to calculate CPM (I believe this calculation is ad_page_rate/readership)? 3) Is 'readership' really a composite number (perhaps a result of some other formula)? If so, does Page Exposure Rates factor into 'readership'?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 23, 1999 ):
If you went to AMIC's Rates, Dates and Data area and clicked the link
"Audience data from MRI is available for
Fall 1998 for Total Audience, Circulation and Readers Per Copy
" you would see the table from which this image is taken:

The following discussion will use this table as a visual aid.

"Rate base" refers to circulation, the actual number of copies of a publication printed and sold for the average issue over a specified period of time. In the table, "Circulation" is the middle column of data.

"Readership" is the number of readers of the average issue. It includes "passalong" readers, who may not be the buyers / subscribers but read some else's copy. In almost every case, total readership will be greater than circulation. The first three columns of the MRI table we are looking at are readership numbers.

CPM can be calculated based on either circulation or readership. The circulation CPM (Cost Per Thousand) calculation is: divide ad cost by the number of copies in circulation.

The readership cpm calculation is: Divide ad cost by number of readers of an average issue. Often readers within a specified demographic the advertiser is targeting are the divisor in this second calculation. As a planning tool, the readership CPM is more common than the circulation CPM, especially for categories of print that use readership research, such as MRI.

Many people misinterpret the common reporting of "readers per copy." The last three columns of the MRI data are readers per copy figures. What audience research actually measures is readership. A random sample of consumers is interviewed and asked about their magazine reading to determine how many readers there are for an average issue of a magazine. Readers per copy is a calculation done after the fact, dividing the readers measured by the circulation. It is a handy factor used to compare magazine pass-alongs or to calculate other audience elements.

Sunday, February 14, 1999 #2331
How can i measure and incorporate the effectiveness of outdoor mediai(hoarding,transit etc)in a conventional media plan?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 15, 1999 ):
Do you actually incorporate the "effectivenss" of other media in your plans?

Outdoor is measured, and you should be buying outdoor by audience size as you do other media. 30-sheet and 8-sheet outdoor, for example, sell in "showings." The current standards of "Showings" call for expressing showing in GRP-per-day. In other words, a "50 showing" of outdoor means that the locations you buy have a combined "daily effective circulation (DEC)" -- or number of daily impressions -- equal to 50% of the population.

Some people may discount the passive, short copy outdoor medium by a certain percentage, say 50%, when combining with or comparing to other media such as broadcast and page-dominant print.

Thursday, January 14, 1999 #2261
The Media Guru response of Dec. 4/98 was that "common products . . . bought recently" are best candidates for recency planning, as opposed to products involving "considered purchase," such as automobiles. Not every- body buys even "considered purchase" items on the same day, so does it not make sense to spread impressions over entire year, perhaps on basis of % sales by month? My experience in grocery packaged goods designing Test vs. Control experiments on different ways to execute "recency" supports Erwin Ephron's work. Same approach should apply to even automobiles, it seems to me -- unless someone has conducted experiments proving the contrary. Have you seen such evidence, or are you speculating. There are many myths about recency. My experience is in Canada, where I am a consultant specializing in recency.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 15, 1999 ):
That Guru response combined readings of Erwin's published work on recency, conversations with Erwin, and some of the Guru's own thinking.

Your excerpt is inaccurate, however. The Guru referred there to "common products bought regularly."

In that response, the Guru also stated that recency does not require even levels of continuity, but that seasonal sales peaks can certainly be reflected in plan levels. This would likely fit the automotive situation.

Friday, December 11, 1998 #2216
Dear guru- we are trying to figure out how to combine impressions for radio and newspaper across 18 markets. should we combine each market separately? or should we combine all markets for each media vehicle? what is the best way to do this? thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, December 11, 1998 ):
It depends on what use you want to make of the data. Impressions may be added across media and across markets.

The tricks come when you want to turn them into GRPs. Then you must compare impressions against the population for the relevant geography to get GRPs for that geography.

Wednesday, December 02, 1998 #2192
Dear Guru. It is not still clear to me how to measure or calculate Reach of the ad campaign using media mix. For example, my ads on TV provided 90% reach, and ads in print reached 25% of the target audience. What is the total reach, frequency of the campaign? What other indexes can we find for such campaign? And my second question is about outdoor advertising. It is essential to measure the effectiveness of the ad campaign comparing awereness and sales before and after the ads placing. But that is somehow the post- campaign analisys and my client would like to see some feagures before the campaign starts (pre-campaign). What indexes (like reach, frequency, GRPs, OTS) can we provide to the discription of the outdoor ad. campaign? Thank You very much.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 02, 1998 ):
Reach of a medium in a plan is simply a statistical probability. Further, it is generally thought that each medium overlaps each other medium randomly.

So, in your example, if you consider the reach of each medium as a decimal, the probability of not being exposed to TV is 0.10 and of not being exposed to print is 0.75.

The probability of not being exposed to either one, is therefore 0.10 times 0.75 = 0.075.

Therefore, total reach of the mix is 92.5 (if 0.075 or 7.5% don't see it then 92.5% do see it).

Other basic "counts" for a campaign are impressions (OTS), cost per rating point and cost per thousand impressions.

All of these counts; reach, frequency, GRP, OTS, etc are possible for outdoor, if the research has been done, in your country, to count the audience of the locations used.

Thursday, October 15, 1998 #2099
How do you find out about the entry level creative jobs in advertising? I have tried classifieds but there is nothing. What are some good resources to find out about the industry? I have looked at every bookstore, newstand etc. for industry magazines like advertising age but no one sells tham and I can't afford to subscribe.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 16, 1998 ):
The newspapers are a good source. The Sunday New York Times, for example, usually lists more entry level ad jobs than Ad Age and AdWeek combined. The leading newspapers of other major advertising centers like Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, etc. will also have such ads. Not knowing where you live, the Guru also would point out that many larger libraries, even suburban ones, get Ad Age, AdWeek and the NY Times.

Friday, July 17, 1998 #1957
Dear Guru, I am curious to find out how user-centric Web research firms maintain "freshness" of their samples. How often and how many samples are being replaced on what intervals by companies like Media Metrix, Nielsen, Net Ratings and Relevant Knowledge? I also would like to know how Media Metrix and RK drawn business samples from what sources. Thanks for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 17, 1998 ):
"Freshness" is not necessarily a desirable element in sampling. Panel data, such as is provided by some services mentioned is explicitly not based on fresh samples.

Results based on a sample of 10,000 are about 3 times more stable than results based on 10 consecutive samples of 1000, and equal to a result calculated from a consolidation of the 10 smaller samples, assuming both samples are equally random within the universes they are supposed to represent. From a practical point of view, the cost of recruiting and installing a sample precludes major "freshening." Virtually all syndicated surveys with large samples (10,000+) and frequent reports (e.g. monthly) are based on panels, rather than new samples for each report. The natural churn of panels is probably 20-30% per year.

The services you inquire about are relatively open about methods. They've been written about in the trade press and the respective web sites are also informative.

Tuesday, June 23, 1998 #1917
Dear Guru, 1)I have heard the concepts "awareness" and "response curve" But I need more detailed explanations for them. E.g. what kind of researches are needed, how to judge the findings, how to use these results to improve/evaluate a tv ad. schedule... 2) What do you think about "conversion factor" which represents an index in terms of ratings for a target based on another one. The point makes me unconvinied with this concept is: Some targets are heavy wievers and some are not. But there is nothing for these differences in the "conversion" calculation. Thank you..zrb

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 25, 1998 ):
1) Awareness and response curve can both have more than one meaning. Advertising awareness is a result of quantitative, random sample survey research, where questions are asked to determine whether respondents can recall ads for a prodcut and/or what elements of the advertising they recall, e.g. copy points, which medium was seen, etc.

There is unaided awareness, i.e. "When you think of toothpaste, what brands' advertising have you seen?" and

Aided awareness, i.e. Which of these brands' advertisng have you seen?

  • Colgate
  • Crest
  • Aquafresh
  • Mentadent
  • Other

There is also brand awareness, considered without regard to advertising.("What brands of toothpaste are you familiar with?")

Response curve too, can mean many things. The "curve" part just refers to plotting on a graph with one axis representing some form of behavior such as purchase, purchase intent, ad recall, brand awareness versus another axis representing some stimulus, such as advertising weight or promotional effort.

2)Conversion factor does explicitly account for differences in viewing behavior between one target and the next. For example, if a certain program or daypart has an average Household rating of 10.0 and an average women 18-49 rating of a 6.4, and an average Men 18-24 rating of 2.5 there is a conversion factor of .64 for the W18-49 and a factor of .25 for the M18-24.

This difference is because of the difference of heaviness of viewing of the specific programming by these demographics. Their general heaviness of viewing relating to any other dayparts is irrelevant here.

Tuesday, June 09, 1998 #1886
how do i calculate reach of TV+PRESS, Is there a formula

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, June 09, 1998 ):
As a rule, TV and press are thought to duplicate in a random pattern. That is, the random duplication formula is appropriate. The reach of each medium is treated as a decimal. To calculate net reach, we combine the probabilty of each medium's NOT reaching the target, to get the combined probability of neither reaching the target. The remaining people are the ones reached.

The formula works as follows when TV reach is 45 and press reach is 37.

People not reached by TV would be 0.55 of the target

People not reached by press would be 0.63 of target

Total people NOT reached are 0.55 x 0.63 or

0.35 of target.

The remainder of target is reached (1.0 - 0.35 = 0.65)

so reach is 65

Saturday, May 30, 1998 #1617
what is the history of print media?.where does it stand today?.what it will be its future,say ten years time from now.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, June 02, 1998 ):
The question is so broad that no meaningful answer is possible. Since you are writing for India, the relevant history may be different than for other countries.

Print advertising, in the from of signs goes back many hundreds of years. The ruins of Pompei contained signs advertisng businesses and prostitutes.

Not long after Gutenberg created moveable type, Newspapers were invented, and newspaper advertising is almost as old, probably over 300 years.

Print today has different strengths in different countries and cultures within those countries.

Where broadcast media are not government owned and there are stron freedom of the press laws, combined with high literacy rates, print stands well in relation to other media.

Where government control of broadcast media is strong and the press is free, print is realtively stronger. Where literacy is lower, print is weaker.

The Guru does not see much ov this changing in ten years. In the U.S., for instance, there is research which shows that no more than 50% of adults are ever likley to participate in the internet as we now know it. If Broadcast and cable TV continue to fight for the same audience, print will remain stable.

In other countries, if litereacy is on the rise, print will likely prosper, if nothing changes about broadcast/ The irony about the "TV-like" internet, is that it does require literacy to use effectively.

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

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

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

Wednesday, March 25, 1998 #1553
How can be measurement error calculated? I would like to know is there any correlation between sample size and data validity? Thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, April 06, 1998 ):
Sample size and data reliability are in a "rule of squares" relationship: A sample four times as large is twice as reliable. Note that "reliable" is the statistical term referring to the chances that a duplicate study with the same size random sample will get the same results, give or take a specified range of error.

"Validity" refers to correctness. It might have to do with whether a question asked can corectly produce a result that is desired. For example, a question like "What will you have for breakfast a week from Tuesday?" may not be a valid predictor of what people will actually eat on that day. But, with a proper sample, it will be reliable in predicting with a set degree of variability what people will eat.

The formula for calculation of error for a given sample is:

The Square root of (P x Q over N)


p = the percentage result to be tested (e.g. 10% of the people will have bacon)

q = the complement, or difference vs 100% (if p = 10% then q = 90%

n = the sample size

So, if a sample of 500 produces the result that 10% will have bacon, the sampling error for this result is

the square root of (10 x 90)÷500 or

+/- 1.342

so the answer of 10% should be read as "between 8.658 and 11.342" and really means that 68% of the time the same study repeated would produce a percent of bacon eaters between 8.658 and 11.342.

If the sample is quadrupled, to 2000, then the error is halved, to 0.671.

Friday, December 12, 1997 #1475
Dear Media Guru: This query addresses: How are advertising agencies generally organized? and How do I determine the proper person to present a proposal for a media buy? I work for a five-year-old minor league baseball team that has, until now, concentrated its efforts in selling advertising upon local businesses. However, we are the top entertainment attraction in our region, and we feel our market size combined with our reach and influence in the market should warrant our attracting some business from regional and national advertisers. Our availabilities include print, radio, billboard, and promotions. What would you suggest is the best strategy for approaching regional/national advertising agencies regarding the opportunities we have available? Should we work to contact the people in each agency who are responsible for making buying decisions for each individual client? Or would establishing a relationship with those individuals who are familiar with buying our market on behalf of many different clients be more productive in the long run? Thank you in advance for your assistance.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, December 12, 1997 ):
Agencies generally have a media department or at least a Media Director / Media Buyer who is responsible for evaluating a media proposal. If an agency is so small it doesn't have any media titles, the acount executive for a given advertiser would be the appropriate person.

Be sure to do your homework and be ready to talk about which clients at the agency wold benefit from your proposal and why. It is generally annoying to agency people to have a media seller show up with a non-specific proposal and ask "which of your clients would want this?"

Wednesday, November 19, 1997 #1460
I am trying to calculate the value of various components of a partnership (co-op) program. I am particularly interested in knowing how to go about calculating the value of in-store POP/signage. Could you please help me. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, November 22, 1997 ):
There are two key issues:

How many exposures you get, and

The value of those exposures

It should be simple enought to determine how many people will see your POP; the vendor should have store traffic data.

The value is judgmental. Using as a base something standard like a TV :30 is a starting point.

For how many seconds will a POP sign engage the viewer?



That numbers of seconds' ratio to the :30 is a first step in calculating relative value.

Then, what is the selling power of a sign versus a full sound/motion TV commercial?




All these factors should tell you thata single POP exposure is worth "X"% of a TV :30 exposure. combined with the exposure count, you have your valuation.

Monday, August 18, 1997 #1392
Is there a company, or a source, which is capable of measuring Reach/Frequency of any/all media combined?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, August 18, 1997 ):
The ADPlus system, from our sister company Telmar, can combine reach and frequency from all media. Some media must first be calculated by other systems and then be brought into ADplus for combining

Saturday, March 15, 1997 #1303
Dear Guru. I have some questions about RADIO media-planning: 1. Could you recommend the book(s) which contains: a) definitions of the standard coefficients: GRPs, Reach, Frequency, Time Spend Listening (TSL), Average Rating b) Information about statistical models used for computing these numbers c) Sample outputs from radio media-planning software 2. I have download an educational software from University of Texas. Do you know any other places where can I import demo or edu software for media-planning 3. TSL is additive what means that: a) TSL for (say) 3 hours is a sum of appropriate 12 quater data b) TSL for a whole day is a sum of 12 x 4 quater values c) TSL for (say) three stations is a sum of appropriate three components But what is the behaviour of the Average Rating in these three, described above, cases?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 24, 1997 ):
Radio planning is covered in general planning texts, such as Sissors and Bumba, mentioned in the adjoining Guru answer. The booklet provided by the RAB (Radio Advertising Bureau) will give you the definitions you want. So would a technical reference manual from Arbitron. Since TSL, (time spent listening) is behavior expressed as a quantity and attached to one station at a time by one listener, the TSLs may be added together. This is different than ratings which are percentages and can only be combined or averaged with weightings according to the population groups projected.

Tuesday, February 18, 1997 #1041
What is a good way to combine advertising with Spanish? Are there many opportunities at ad agencies writing copy in Spanish? Also, is there much opportunity finding a job in marketing research in this area?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 21, 1997 ):
There are numerous Spanish specialist advertising agencies,and Hispanic divisions of major agencies. The Agency Redbook,(Standard Directory of Advertising Agencies) which should beavailable at your library will list these. Similarly there aremany Hispanic specialist marketing research firms. The NYAMA'sGreenbook listsresearch firms with a topical index.

Also look, within AMIC, at Abbott Wool's Market Segment Resource Locator which has links to Hispanicagencies, and research firms.

Friday, August 30, 1996 #1157
Dear Guru,We are planning a campaign in the market, where no consistent media research data is available. What we have at the moment is following:1. 2 heavy competitors (one is our client)2. The competitor is running a campaign in the key city of the region using 3 local channels with a combined monthly reach of 93% of the city and the surrounding area, which equals 12.5% of the regions' population. The competitor is spending ca. USD 90K per month.3. We have the objective of running a regional rather than local campaign and, at the same time, outvoice the competitor by 30%.4. To our choice are 3 regional channels with a combined reach of 40.7% in the regionQuestion: what budgert should we be looking at on a monthly basis, given that the average ratio of the local rate card to regional one is 1:1.5?

Sorry for asking for a piece of alchemy and thank you in advance,

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, August 30, 1996 ):
The simplest conceptual answer is to spend 30% more than the competitor in the key city: USD117 This way you outspend him where he's active and meet the 30%+ goal. Otherwise, assuming the regional buy includes the key city, your budget is still 117, with some in regional media and some in the more efficient key city media, so that you have at least a 10% edge in key city impressions.

If the rate card is telling you that a $150 spot buys thewhole region at the same rating that $100 buys the key city's 12.5% of the region (if the Guru followed your data correctly), then 1.3 x 1.5 x 90, or 175.5 is the budget to deliver 30% more impressions in the key city and an equal level across the region.

Monday, August 05, 1996 #1170
Our client is interested in selling web site advertising to local advertisers in serveral markets throughout the U.S. How do we go about finding a local Web advertising sales rep for these areas?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, August 08, 1996 ):
The easiest method is to use a search engine like Yahoo and combine a search for web reps with the specific locality you need.

Otherwise, a geographic list of ISPs such as The Listwill guide you to access providers by area, who will know what sites they have which carry advertising.

Monday, July 22, 1996 #1177
I am looking for a list by industry of gross revenue and the percentage spent on advertising.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, July 23, 1996 ):
Advertising Age frequently publishes this sort of data as a chart. . . or two charts which can be combined into the info you need.

Monday, July 22, 1996 #1649
I am looking for a list by industry of gross revenue and the percentage spent on advertising.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, July 23, 1996 ):
Advertising Age frequently publishes this sort of data as a chart. . . or two charts which can be combined into the info you need.

Monday, April 29, 1996 #1237
I represent a company that is creating a pre-paid calling card (PPCC) where all of the time is sponsor/advertiser supported. The users of the card will be a very targeted audience appealing to a good number of potential sponsors/advertisers. Each month, card users would be given 60 minutes of free time. When a user "signs on" to make a call, he/she hears a brief (8 - 10 seconds) promo/message from on the of the sponsors/advertisers. Our estimates are that a sponsor would get their message to a user at least 2x/month in audio format and 1x/month in print. In addition to these "impressions", the sponsor would get information about each user/subscriber including name, address, phone number, e-mail address (if applicable), etc. Additionally, sponsors would get detailed usage reports show which messages were played when, to whom, etc. My question is about pricing: we are thinking of charging a sponsor $1.50 - $1.75/subscriber/month (60 minutes). Our feeling that this application combines direct marketing tools (lists - compiled and response) and broadcast/mass marketing. Does our pricing seem in line?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, April 30, 1996 ):
Your pricing works out to $500 - $580 per thousand impressions, whereas typical mass media for selective audiences (special interest magazines) are about one tenth of that. If your delivery data capture is enormously valuable to someadvertisers in unique situations, there may be takers at these prices.

Monday, April 29, 1996 #1723
I represent a company that is creating a pre-paid calling card (PPCC) where all of the time is sponsor/advertiser supported. The users of the card will be a very targeted audience appealing to a good number of potential sponsors/advertisers. Each month, card users would be given 60 minutes of free time. When a user "signs on" to make a call, he/she hears a brief (8 - 10 seconds) promo/message from on the of the sponsors/advertisers. Our estimates are that a sponsor would get their message to a user at least 2x/month in audio format and 1x/month in print. In addition to these "impressions", the sponsor would get information about each user/subscriber including name, address, phone number, e-mail address (if applicable), etc. Additionally, sponsors would get detailed usage reports show which messages were played when, to whom, etc. My question is about pricing: we are thinking of charging a sponsor $1.50 - $1.75/subscriber/month (60 minutes). Our feeling that this application combines direct marketing tools (lists - compiled and response) and broadcast/mass marketing. Does our pricing seem in line?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, April 30, 1996 ):
Your pricing works out to $500 - $580 per thousand impressions, whereas typical mass media for selective audiences (special interest magazines) are about one tenth of that. If your delivery data capture is enormously valuable to some advertisers in unique situations, there may be takers at these prices.

Monday, April 29, 1996 #1704
I represent a company that is creating a pre-paid calling card (PPCC) where all of the time is sponsor/advertiser supported. The users of the card will be a very targeted audience appealing to a good number of potential sponsors/advertisers. Each month, card users would be given 60 minutes of free time. When a user "signs on" to make a call, he/she hears a brief (8 - 10 seconds) promo/message from on the of the sponsors/advertisers. Our estimates are that a sponsor would get their message to a user at least 2x/month in audio format and 1x/month in print. In addition to these "impressions", the sponsor would get information about each user/subscriber including name, address, phone number, e-mail address (if applicable), etc. Additionally, sponsors would get detailed usage reports show which messages were played when, to whom, etc. My question is about pricing: we are thinking of charging a sponsor $1.50 - $1.75/subscriber/month (60 minutes). Our feeling that this application combines direct marketing tools (lists - compiled and response) and broadcast/mass marketing. Does our pricing seem in line?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, April 30, 1996 ):
Your pricing works out to $500 - $580 per thousand impressions, whereas typical mass media for selective audiences (special interest magazines) are about one tenth of that. If your delivery data capture is enormously valuable to some advertisers in unique situations, there may be takers at these prices.

Thursday, February 01, 1996 #1768
In developing Web pages for our clients, the question of "the importance of placing reciprocal hotlinks on our Web site" always comes up. Is there any research available that proves it is worth the time/money investment to place links on your site that lead to related sites on the Web?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 02, 1996 ):
There is just barely beginning to be research that verifies site visits, which would seem to be the minimum starting point to put a value on reciprocal links.

General feelings among marketers seem to be that the more links the better, if your primary mission is to generate visits to your site. The guru will attest that there has been an increase in visits to his site as other sites have linked to it. Browsers and web servers would need to be able to track "previous site browsed" to track links. Of course survey research and "guest books" are a possibility.

There seem to be two principal kinds of comercial sites:

1. A site meant to promote your own company by virtue of offering information of interest to potential customers or information about your products and services.

2. A site meant to draw visitors by virtue of offering entertainment content, and which profits by selling advertising in the site

Some sites of course, Like AMIC, combine the two.

In either case, but especially the second, it is a concern if links on your site send visitors away from your site without exploring.

Reciprocal links must be carefully selected if your site is committed to a theme or category of content. Many general sites will link to specialized ones but the reverse link may seem odd from the base of a specialty site.

Perhaps the best research is a sort of literature review which can discern the thinking of marketing pros on this question.

"Market-L," the major marketing discussion e-mail list operating on the internet, has been considering this topic this week. The Market-L Archive is available for review. Join the discussion of Market-L by sending a message saying 'SUBSCRIBE (your real name)" to

Another list which has discussed this topic is Inet-Marketing. The Inet-marketing Archive can be searched as well. To join this list, send an empty e-mail to

Monday, January 08, 1996 #1794
Please explain the future of advertising in media terms? Is internet going to take over other media or is it just going to be another media ?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 02, 1996 ):
There is little prospect of the internet "taking over" other media in its current incarnation.

Look at the history of advertising technology, its always moved FROM media that had more cost and work attached TO media that had less cost and work to enjoy:

First there was print. One had to buy a newspaper or magazine everytime one wanted to use it. One had to do the "work" of reading.

Radio was a one time outlay, and almost no effort to digest, except for conjuring up a picture in the "mind's eye"

TV again was a one time outlay and gave you the picture with the sound leaving no work for the mind.

The internet requires ongoing subscription payments, in many cases (AOL/Prodigy/Compuserve/ISP) payments increase with increased use. Then there's "work" typing. clicking and selecting. The cost of owning necesssary equipment and learning to use it is another barrier.

No doubt technology will ease the cost and work burdens of using the internet but it is more communications than entertainment. It is perhaps analogous to catalog shopping versus retail advertising combined with the store shopping experience: another useful and rapidly growing marketing vehicle, but not the ultimate one.

Some compare the 'net to cable. Microsoft is said to be visualizing 50% computer HH penetration soon, which is in the cable ballpark. But cable still has barely 50 channels competing for audience in any system. The web represent 10's of thousands of commercial sites for a brower to try to find.

Also, today the baby boom is hitting 50, and it's the big population group. Computer use is still primarily a feature of the next consumer wave.

The 'net is not to be ignored, but it's not likely to be the next Television (or even the next Cable) for a while.

Monday, November 13, 1995 #1821
How responsive are shoppers in a convenience store to on-screen advertising? Our method combines Audio and visual messages.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 13, 1995 ):
This would probably be comparable to P-O-P video used in drug and grocery stores. There have been studies of such systems. The ARF library, which is for members only, is the foremost collection of such material. AAAA and ANA members can access the ARF library through those organizations. Another good resource is the Newsweek Media Research Index, as well as is any library's index of AdAge articles.

Thursday, April 13, 1995 #1852
When you are measuring delivery of media, can you combine various media to come up with a single answer? If so, is it reliable? What is the most economical way for a small agency to pick up software that can accomplish this. By combined media, I am referring to traditional medai such tv, radio, magazines, etc.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 13, 1995 ):
The Reach of various media may be combined once the reach and frequency for a media schedule has been computed. Check out Telmar's ADplus product for an inexpensive approach to your problem.