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Guru Search Results: 130 matches were found

Sunday, September 09, 2001 #4707
What factors should I take into consideration for pricing in-store advertising eg. ads with price-stickers,displays etc? I would of course need to compare it with other media to show the cost-effectiveness but how do I adjust the pricing downwards for the lack of visual impact (as compared to TV) or adjust it upwards for the better recency effect?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, September 09, 2001 ):
POP signage is a different area than traditional media. Use your own judgement.


Friday, September 07, 2001 #4702
I am looking for info on awareness decline to defend continuity scheduling. I have found in the archives your reference to 5-10% decline per week of no advertising and would like a bit more meat than the rule of thumb. Can you tell me more about it? And how does the 5-10% decline come off of the awareness: 60% *.95 or .9 = 54-57% or 60% -5 or 10% = 50-55%? I'm also referencing recency. These questions are to help me build a model of some sort. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, September 07, 2001 ):
The meaning is 60*.95 or *.9. This way it's asymtotic, like reach. The other way, no awareness would remain from any starting level after 10 to 20 weeks.


Tuesday, August 21, 2001 #4671
I have a client that wants to build awareness and they are already have a 30% awareness so is there a way we can translet building awareness to a reach %?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, August 26, 2001 ):
No, too many variables. Some rules of thumb, when you consider awareness directly correlated with reach, are:
  1. Awarenss is never higher than cume reach
  2. Awareness begins to decline as soon as advertsing stops


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

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

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

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

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

Marketing

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

Message / Creative

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

Media

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


Tuesday, May 08, 2001 #4381
Dear Guru: I have read a lot about the Jone's & Reichel's results about recency but I would like to know how was the research. How was exactly the way in which the found the recency value. Could you help me? Thanks in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, May 12, 2001 ):
Try Journal of Advertising Research and The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.


Friday, May 04, 2001 #4365
What is the minimum TRP level ONE creative execution should have allocated for a campaign? For example, if I have 3,000 TRP's total (NATIONAL) for different products, shouldn't there be a limit on the number of commercials we run, in effect because none of the spots would have enough weight attributed to it? Thank you so much!!

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, May 05, 2001 ):
These decisions should be based on communications goal for each product, not numbers of commercials.

3000 GRP per year is about 60 per week. This is an adequate sustaining level for a brand, especially within recency concepts. If you are allocating this to products which have mutually exclusive selling periods of one month each, you could support 12 products comfortably.

Competitive climate should also be considered.


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

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

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

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

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


Monday, April 30, 2001 #4348
Have a client that questioned the use of recency planning for a packaged goods product launch in spot market television. I've read all questions/answers from 2000 in the archives and found it curious that no one questioned the fact that the levels used for standard recency planning of 60-80 TRPs per week refer to MEDIUM EXPOSURE not ADVERTISING EXPOSURE. Considering that probably only 40% of the commercial message will even register, aren't these levels low (clutter factor), even if they are spread across multiple weeks (in this case 9)?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 01, 2001 ):
A: Medium exposure is the readily available planning metric.

B: recency has been keyed to measured results from media exposure levels.

C: The media exposure levels referenced in recency are -- and this is important -- REACH, not GRP. The reach threshhold is thought to be about 30 - 35, which might tie to various GRP levels, depending on media mix.

D: If best sales success is tied to sustained reach minima of 35, then that is the metric to connect with. The fact that the less readily available ad exposure or attentiveness-weighted GRPs are some other number is an artifact of the process, not a contradiction to the theory.


Thursday, April 12, 2001 #4324
Dear Guru, we are working on a sort of educational document for an important client. What we have in mind is: what should the ideal media briefing look like, som basic media terms (GRP, OTS, coverage,...), what is the difference between strategic and tactical planning, media-memorisation, ... I was wondering if you have some examples of such documents that could give us an idea of such a presentation. Thanks for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 12, 2001 ):
To determine the right media briefing, you must know your audience:
  • What do they already know?
  • What do they want to know?
  • What do they need to know for future interactions?

From the syntax of your query, you seem to use British media terms (like OTS, rarely heard in the U.S.), but your email address is in Belgium. Therefore the Guru is hesitant to try to list the media terms most relevant for your needs. As a broad guide, see the Guru's Parts of a Media Plan and the Guru's Media Terms, keeping in mind that these are often U.S. - specific.

You may click here to see past Guru discussion of strategy versus tactics but briefly, tactics are specific courses of action taken to implement strategies. For example using TV is a tactic to achieve a strategy of attaining high reach towards and awareness-building objective.


Wednesday, April 04, 2001 #4309
Hie l am so glad that this site exists for us media planners. Its my first time to visit it and l was have so many things that l would to ask you but firstly l needed to know how best you can describe timing/phasing of campaign when preparing for a presentation. Thank you so much.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, April 04, 2001 ):
In words, we have
  • continuous, when activity occurs every week
  • flighting, when activite weeks are separated by inactive weeks, and the periods of activity / inactivity are equal.
  • waves describe unequal periods of actitivity / inactivity
  • Pulsing is very short cycle flighting, such as one or two weeks flights.

  • Introduction refers to heavier levels at the beginning of a campaign or for new copy
  • Sustaining or maintanance refers to the lower levels used when a campaign has been established
. There are as many other terms as there are ways of determining weekly weight. Click here to see discussion of "recency", another approach to setting levels.

If you are thinking of how to graphically present the levels, a media flowchart, like the sample below, which is an industry version of the Gantt diagram, is most useful.


Saturday, January 13, 2001 #4099
i want to know the contents of a Launch Document of new product. This needs to be given to all the employees of the organisation, pl help me

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 13, 2001 ):
You want to steal trade secrets? The Guru won't help.


Thursday, January 04, 2001 #4078
Within the plethora of recency documents you've reviewed, have you found any that plot effectiveness based on timing prior to the purchase decision? Phrased differently, if you have a leisure product for which the purchase decision is time-sensitive (e.g., a television show or movie with limited release dates), how much more effective are ad exposures immediately prior to air time vs. 1 day out, 1 week out, etc.?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 05, 2001 ):
recency is about continuity and non-time-sensitive purchases. No doubt there are studies which have genrated scales base on time elapsed between exposure and purchase.

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


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

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

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


Monday, December 04, 2000 #4015
Please help! I am currently marketing mobile billboards (Billboard trucks) to Advertisers and thier Agencies. 95% of those I contact seem to tell me flat out (before I even make a pitch) that they don't do mobile advertising. Is there a bad impression towards Mobile Billboards among media planners? Or Am I just not communicating with them in the right way? Thank you for your help!

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 06, 2000 ):
If you are contacting people who are buying outdoor, then the Guru would expect price or audience documentation to be the main issue.


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, November 07, 2000 #3947
What are your thoughts on the use of radio as an alternative to TV in recency planning? Do you see it as a viable alternative?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, November 07, 2000 ):
recency planning does not dictate the medium used.


Friday, October 27, 2000 #3922
Can you clarify the difference between a pulsing strategy and a burst stratgey? And are either one contradictory to or in support of the recency theory?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, October 30, 2000 ):
As the Guru sees it, "pulsing" refers to alternating, short and equal flights of advertising and periods of hitaus. Burst refers to sporadic higher levels, with no particular flight vs hiatus rhtym, nor equality of levels.

Pulsing is clearly contrary to recency. Bursts, if they are sporadic higher levels within lower level, continuous activity are not totally at odds with recency.


Wednesday, August 30, 2000 #3768
M.G. - please advise how to perform an analysis of TV HUT levels using MRI syndicated research tools? We want to evaluate HUT levels in our market in order to confirm that our daypart mix will be effective (to influence a purchasing action when our target is home using television). Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, September 01, 2000 ):
does not compute.You really can't and shouldn't anyway.

"HUT" is Homes Using Televison. That is, the percentage of all Television-owning homes which have the set turned on at a point in time.

MRI does not report data about households and does not report point-in-time data about TV, but rather data which might be interpreted as cumes.

The analysis you propose, that judging effectiveness based on the portion of the audience which is using television in the dayparts which you purchase, is off the mark. A simple reach evaluation is much more sensible. You can reach 95% of the people in prime time, which has the highest HUT level or 95% of the people with the same GRPs dispersed though several, more efficient dayparts. Or you might reach more perple in dayparts with a lower HUT but efficient enough to afford lots more weight.

Use tools intended for TV, such as Nielsen, and reach ansd frquency tools like Telmar's


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

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

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


Wednesday, August 16, 2000 #3709
Guru, Are you aware of any documentation on the "insert" methdology of readership research for publications? What about the "in-survey" methodology where the survey is actually part of the publication and respondents tear it out for completion and return?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, August 19, 2000 ):
These approaches have well known problems:
  • Respondents genrally are all subscribers or primary purchasers, thus not representative of typical the full readership ofconsumer publications which may have 4 or more readers-per-copy
  • The respondents are self-selected and thus probably not even typical of the primary purchaser group.
Actual research on these approaches can be found at The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.


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

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

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

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


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

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


Thursday, July 13, 2000 #3618
On July 5 you responded to a question regarding the decline of brand awareness due to reduced advertising activity. You indicated that the "formula predicts that a brand running low GRPs per week loses awareness and a brand with no activity loses 5-10% of the previous week's awareness each week." I would love to pass this information along to some clients. Is there a source I can quote?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 13, 2000 ):
"5-10%" is a general summary of experience with various estimates the Guru has found over many years.

The Guru has been told that some people are quite comfortable citing the
"AMIC Media Guru, http://www.amic.com/guru/index.html"
as an information source.

It shouldn't need documentation to understand that awarenness will decline when there is no advertising. It also seems easy to assume that it will be like an inverse reach curve:
constantly approaching 0% in constantly decreasing increments.

No doubt many supporting studies are available through The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.


Sunday, May 21, 2000 #3488
I'm putting together an Out of home analysis and recommendation for one of my clients. We want to use inflight magazines, inflight television, and dioramas in the international departure areas of their targeted airports. The goal is to hit international business travelers. Where do I begin? I have a list of their key markets, all of which have at least 1 international airport. Can you help me set up an outline?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 29, 2000 ):
The Guru isn't sure he understands your question. You have chosen your media. Do you just need help in documenting the plan? See the Guru's Parts of a Media Plan


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

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

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

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

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

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


Monday, April 10, 2000 #3381
tell me more about recency planning

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, April 10, 2000 ):
Click here to see dozens of past Guru responses about recency.


Friday, March 24, 2000 #3338
dear guru, could you tell me what aperture theory is? cant seem to have heard this before. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 27, 2000 ):
Some see aperture theory as a companion to recency, some as a contradiction.

Most simply, aperture theory holds that there is a point in a brands purchase cycle when the consumer is most susceptible to advertisng persuasion regading the next purchase, and that is when to concentrate message delivery. The connection to recency, is that recency theorists hold that, to the extent that advertising affects purchase, the exposure closest to the purchase decision is most influencial in the purchase decison. When purchases are occuring constantly, the best plan distributes exposures continuously, which achieves the most consumers reached relative to purchase occasions, as compared to palns with hiatuses or occasional big peaks in weight.


Saturday, March 11, 2000 #3309
Dear Guru I would like to know, what are those documents, reports I need to present in selling TV media. And, how should I prepare them? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 11, 2000 ):
The basic information a buyer wants in considering TV includes ratings for the demographic target, price, and audience composition. In the U.S., the rating and composoition data typically come from Nielsen Media Research.

Other information can include program content details and competitive information.

The first thing to find out from each buying prospect is how the prospect wants data presented. You want neither to leave out a desired fact nor to bore the prospect with unwanted detail.


Wednesday, March 08, 2000 #3300
Oh mighty Guru, I have just entered in to the realms of recency Theory here in Australia. There are many things which I am not sure of and was wondering whether you had a document or presentation of sorts which outlines what recency theory actually is and all of the fundamental rules involved i.e. If you want to upweight weeks, how do you go about this and should you ensure all of the weeks are full before you do this?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, March 10, 2000 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses which extensively discuss most aspects of recency.


Sunday, March 05, 2000 #3283
hi guru is there any place that i can read about media strategies? ( flighting, continuous,pulsing ,recency)? can you guide me what are the right reach/ frequency levels in FCMG ? shooping goods? others? best regards

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 05, 2000 ):
There are many Guru comments about these topics. Go to the Guru Archives Search Engine. Use your keywords as your search terms.


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

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

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

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

Some would be found in the Newsweek Media Research Index.


Wednesday, January 05, 2000 #3097
Dear Guru Please can you tell me how I know when x% reach is enough? From going through the archives it seems as if your answer will be "that this is a judgement call" but surely there must be something more scientific than that?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, January 05, 2000 ):
Yes, the Guru has often answered such questions with that phrase, but went on to list the considerations to review in making the judgement.

You need to build toward a reach goal, not pull it out of your hat. There is no piece of science that makes one specific reach number correct as an abstraction.

If some level of ad awareness is your real goal, the reach must be at least as high as the awareness level desired: people must see an ad before they can become aware of it. If you believe that it takes three exposures to a campaign before the consumer is consciously aware of the campaign then the awarenes level becomes the 3+ reach level, and a total (1+) reach level may be inferred from that.

If you follow recency theory, you will evaluate the continuous levels of reach delivery affordable in possible media options.

So "enough" is not simply "enough," it must be enough to accomplish a specifed goal of awareness, sales, image change, etc.


Tuesday, December 14, 1999 #3053
I have a production department and account manager that want to produce a :60 TV spot. I know that we need a :30. I need to give them (and the client) a concrete argument as to why :60's are too expensive to produce and place and the effectiveness of a :30 is what we need. I know that :15's can be 70-80% as effective as :30's - but I don't know numbers on the effective of :60's - help

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 19, 1999 ):
When :30's were a new idea, research showed them to be about 75% as effective as :60's. Now that they are coin-of-the-realm, the ratio has probably improved. Even if less than half as effective as a :60, the reach/frequency and recency contibutions of running twice as many spots would outweigh this unit impact issue.

It is a mistake to consider only one execution vs another when it is the campaign that should be evaluated in measuring effectiveness.

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


Tuesday, December 14, 1999 #3051
How do I calculate a radio station's turnover rate?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, December 14, 1999 ):
Divide weekly cume by AQH (Average Quarter Hour) audience.


Wednesday, November 03, 1999 #2931
I have a client that is a local car dealer and wanted to ask you about branding. What, if any in particular, media are most appropriate for branding purposes? I believe in the recency strategy for media placement and wonder how this philosophy would relate to branding as well?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 03, 1999 ):
The Guru believes that
  • Branding (long term identity / positioning) is one side of the coin and promotion (immediate, short-term response) is the other
  • Branding would be unusual for a car dealer, but not unheard-of.
  • any medium can carry a branding message, just as any medium can carry a promotional message.
  • Probably radio and newspaper are more common for retail promotion, TV and magazine more common for branding.

recency is specifically oriented to short term response; delivering "the message closest to the purchase decision." Continuity will also support branding, but can be looked at over a longer span.


Tuesday, November 02, 1999 #2927
I am basing a media plan on the recency theory and wanted to know how to calculate cost per reach and/or cost per reach point for my broadcast buys?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, November 02, 1999 ):
The Guru has discussed this previously.

Click here to see past Guru responses


Wednesday, October 06, 1999 #2849
Where can I find general information regarding television viewing trends? I know that shares and ratings are higher in the Fall with more PUTs and pilots, and they are lower in the Summer. I need to find some documentation supporting these trends for NATIONAL NETWORK television. Thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 06, 1999 ):
The definitive source is the reports of Nielsen.


Tuesday, September 28, 1999 #2831
Is there a documented research/ benchmarks followed which indicates a) how long (in units of time and GRPs) should a TV commercial last before fatigue for that commercial sets in. b) Is this likely to be different for FMCG or durables? if yes, how much? Thanks, Praveen

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, September 28, 1999 ):
There have been many studies, most of them proprietary. The variables are too many to be generally applicable: Commerical length, quality, recall, enterntainmnet/annoyance value, number of executuions in rotation, etc. The differences in cultures and media environments probably also have an effect.

Some set a standard based on quintiles of exposure, others on GRPs.

The major compilations of publicly available research are at ESOMAR, the European Survey, Opinion and Market Research Organization and Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


Wednesday, August 25, 1999 #2740
Dear Guru; following your answer on Aug 11 recency / chocolate snack bar, and since chocolate snacks are eaten on impulse and out of the house, should we use more long term outdoor than TV ? Thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, August 28, 1999 ):
If one continues to reduce "recency" to its most basic level, out-of-home media would always be the first and best option, since they are perfectly continuous. But, all the other elements of media consideration must still be applied to the equation.


Tuesday, August 24, 1999 #2738
Is there a difference in Reach for the same level of GRPs if they are run in one week versus four weeks? It seems like there should be, but most media planning tools don't allow for a difference. They give the same reach result regardless of the length of time the GRPs are running. I'm interested in your perspective. Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, August 24, 1999 ):
Yes, one week reach is higher than four week reach from the same number of GRPs, particularly in radio. The reason is that, while the weekly cume of stations or of the medium, does not vary much from the four week potential, your chances of capturing more of this potential is greater when GRPs are run, well dispersed, in a single week.

In TV the enormous dispersion of program options and audience fragmentation makes this less of an issue. In radio, where buys are typically on just a handful of top-ranked stations, based on the target demo, the difference can be felt.

Telmar's radio planning tools allow you to set the number of weeks in reach calculations and see the difference.


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

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

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


Thursday, August 19, 1999 #2729
Dear Guru, 1- Please let me know SQARE model that SQAD use to calculate CPP for TV and Radio. Please let me know the detail or any link I can find more information or books... 2- Do you know any model for reach vs GRPs? Our client ask us to show the data like that. The problem that we try to find the suitable daypart mix, station mix, medium mix that is good for our advertising strategy but we don't have any optimiser programs. We have only ratings data like Telescope and Prinscope of ACNielsen. Do you know any example to solve this kind of problem? 3- Our client also want to have a model to set advertising budget to get for example 80+ reach but we can not know until it happen. How to solve this issue? warmest regards, Thai Vang

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, August 19, 1999 ):
A general explanation of SQAD's model is available from SQAD. They will give you the same information they would give the Guru. But the essence is manipulating actual buying data in real situations, provided confidentially by actual media buyers.

GRP's and reach do not have any standard realtionship, except within given media and population parameters. You are writing from Viet Nam, where Televison audience cume patterns are likely to be quite different than in the U.S. Even within the U.S., Hispanic TV reach curves are very, very differerent than the General Market TV reach curves.

The way to build a model, to oversimplify, is to collect a great number of actual reaches of real schedules, and then plot their frequency against reach in a regresssion analysis, which gives you the formula for the "curve." Frequency is plotted, rather than reach, because frequency is a straight line while reach is a curve. The curve formula then allows you to create a model with a reach solution for any GRP input. The more variables you use to build different curves, the more sophisticated your model can be.


Monday, August 16, 1999 #2721
How do you plan your media buy using the "recency" philosophy when advertising products with a long cycle re-purchase period such as an automobile?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, August 16, 1999 ):
The central concept of recency is that the message received closest to a purchase decision is the most effective message. Continuous advertising will reach more people at any given time and is best for products purchased all the time, no matter how long the purchase cycle. That is, no matter whether it's 4 weeks or four years. So the only question is whether there are always people in the market for cars. This doesn't mean you shouldn't vary levels at peak selling times.


Tuesday, August 10, 1999 #2704
I am a media planner for an advertising agency. I am working on a media plan for the 1999-2000 winter season (November till April). The product is a well-established brand chocolate snack bar. The plan consists mainly of TV advertising. I am thinking of applying the recency strategy throughout the whole season. My question to you - how much of the weekly schedule should be in Prime Time? What is the minimum required and what are the reasons? Can you refer me to any literature on this subject? Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, August 11, 1999 ):
recency is about delivering reach with as much continuity as possible, so that your message is always reaching the most people as close to a purchase decison as possible.

recency does not specify a daypart mix. Of course, in working on a recency based plan, you will explore various mixes to establish which works best to deliver continuous reach for you budget/ Thus the cost of building reach with prime is a key factor.


Tuesday, July 27, 1999 #2659
Dear Guru, could you pls tell me what is recency? How to use it?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 28, 1999 ):
This is propobably the Guru's most frequently discussed topic.

Click here to see over 3 dozen Guru responses about recency .


Wednesday, July 14, 1999 #2633
Are there any resources available that list pay per view distribution and/or other data?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 15, 1999 ):
Which data? The sellers of pay per view programs would have the data, but since this is an ad-free environment, it's not really a media issue unless you buy "Title" sponsorship or ring signage. In either of those cases, sellers must supply data and document sales.


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

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


Monday, July 12, 1999 #2623
Reciently I have read a couple of documents that explain that you may estimate wearout using an equation(applying quintyl analysis). I would like to know if there is any equation to estimate hoe many grp's per version you need to generate awareness. As always thansk in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, July 12, 1999 ):
Any number of GRPs generate some awareness. So the question is how much aweareness do you want to achieve. Reach may tie more closely to awareness generation, but GRPs are easier to work with.

Also, consider whether you really care about awarness of individual commercial versions as opposed to advertising overall.

Formulas the Guru has seen generally assume some beginning level of awareness and a fall-off in any week with less than100 GRP.


Thursday, July 08, 1999 #2618
Re: #2507. Do you think the planner may want to consider evaluating the schedules based on the sum of sequential reaches on a weekly, avg. 4-week, 13 week, and cumulative basis.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 08, 1999 ):
No, the essence of recency is the weekly reach, not the cume. One of the principal foundation points of recency is that once three exposures are achieved (for those who go by 3+ reach) each added exposure is at 3+. Reaches can't be summed to any purpose, duplication must always be considered.


Wednesday, July 07, 1999 #2614
I do the media planning for a targeted television network, and currently, we are evaluating our spot radio buys to answer the question: "Do these need to be more dispersed (i.e., do we need to buy a deeper station list vs. hi frequency on a few, targeted stations) in line with the recency approach? Please keep in mind that we essentially have a new brand every day, as people tend to watch on a night-by-night, as well as on, an episodic basis, rather than every week by rote. I apologize, as I may have asked this question previously, but I didn't realize I should check back for the answer -- for some reason I thought the answer would come via e-mail.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 08, 1999 ):
recency values reach above frequency. Therefore, greater dispesion of you weight would be preferable under that theory.

But this theory is most typical for package goods, where there is less of an issue of whether or not to buy in the category. The Guru does not believe choosing whether to watch TV and what to watch on TV is strictly comparable.


Wednesday, July 07, 1999 #2609
We're starting to place advertising on the Web and have never done an insertion order for Web-related advertising. Any suggestion or recommendation? thanks. ilaria - Austin, TX.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 07, 1999 ):
Most web sites provide their own documents. But it's just like any other media:

Specify quantity (impressions, usually) per month or other time period, cost per quantity (CPM, usually), kind of unit (rotating banner, keyword banner, etc.) dates/duration of schedule, and payment/cancellation terms.


Monday, May 31, 1999 #2545
Client has asked on how to advertise on their extranet. What does that involve? Should they use a third-party like NetGravity? How do I get started?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 31, 1999 ):
The Guru assumes you mean the client wishes to sell banner advertisng on their web site. Generally,the web representative firms are not interested in site getting less than 1 million impressions or 50,000 visitors per month. Deals for samller sites offer few advantages to the sites, so self-selling is the best option.

Your client should document, as well as possible, its site traffic and then approach a sales rep if the numbers are big enough or otherwise approach firms with which they do business who could benfit from reaching the same audience as those who would visit your client's site.


Friday, May 28, 1999 #2539
Dear Guru, I am working on a document regarding global recruitment and best recruitment media Do you know any internet site that gives information on the different recruitment markets, the media channels used and the latest trends, e.g. new, unconventional channels (other than the internet) Thanks for your help

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, May 29, 1999 ):
If such data exists, it is either

  • The closely guarded trade secrets of a global recruiting company, or
  • Information that only the vendor of the media you are looking for would find beneficial to publish on a web site.
So go to your favorite web site and search for the publisher. At worst you can converse with a salesperson from one of the media you need.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, May 12, 1999 #2507
For several years, I have bought my client's spring and fall campaigns on an alternating schedule i.e., one week on and one week off @ 200 TRPs per week. Historically, we take a four month hiatus between campaigns. Recently, someone told the client that it would be more effective to buy three weeks consecutively at lower TRP levels. Either plan would be restrained by a stated budget amount. Do you have an opinion about each of these strategies or your ownpreference in television buying strategy when trying to stretch the time on-air?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 16, 1999 ):
You haven't stated how many weeks of 200 on and off you run.

But, assuming you take a one-week-on / one-week-off schedule of 200 and change it to 100/week continuous, this will probably be more effective, particularly if your product is something people are buying continuously or regularly. Since reach can only go just so high, the average reach per week of 100 GRPs continuous will be higher than the average weekly reach of one week at 200 and one week at 0 GRP. So the continuous schedule has a better chance or reaching someone just as they are about to make a purchase decision.

This is the essence of the "recency theory."

Click here to see past Guru responses about recency


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.


Wednesday, May 05, 1999 #2489
My partner and I are suggesting our cleint some TV specials as part of our recommendation in which we want to include creative media. Our client concern is that she does not think specials are good enough, since her product have TV presence throughot the entire year. Our recommendation is based not on frequency but on reach and the opportunity to sponsor events in which the target population will be effectively reached. Do you have any other theoretical explanation we can give to support our plan?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, May 06, 1999 ):
The appeal of specials is certainly that they add excitement and may focus on a particular target. If they are truly unusual, you hope to get a gratitude factor from the audience.

In the Guru's opinion, relying on a few specials rather than more continuous advertising is not as likely to be "effective." When a product is sold year round, on a regular basis, there is a need for continuous advertising presence. Effectiveness of reach comes from either frequency or recency in relation to sales opportunities.


Sunday, May 02, 1999 #2482
What is the minimum weekly threshold level of Reach & Frequency to be set for a print campaign [ Full page colour] ? How different would be the same for a television campaign [ 30 secs TVC]?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 03, 1999 ):
There is no absolute standard. recency theory calls for about 30 reach as the weekly threshold. The Guru believes virtually any reach is worth something, but careful analysis of the sales or consumer response needed to support a level of spending can always be done.

To the Guru's thinking, the only reason to have a different threshold for TV vs print is that typically, the frequency levels accompanying a given reach in magazines will be lower than the frequency for the same reach in TV, assuming your reach is at more than a minimum level. (A reach of 10% in either, achieved through one advertisement will have a frequency of 1.0).


Tuesday, March 30, 1999 #2420
where can i find more information abbout the aperture teorty maybe it has another name (i am not mean the recency teory) thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 30, 1999 ):
See query numbers 2323 and 2419.


Tuesday, March 16, 1999 #2394
Hello Media Guru, I am a consultant advising a sales team that sells airtime on in-store radio services in the UK. The recency model seems to lend itself to this particular media format. Are there any details available on US examples of this type of medium, and case studies etc they may have? Thanks Clive Reffell

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 20, 1999 ):
Certainly in-store radio ties in with the idea that the most effective advertising is the last exposure prior to the purchase. Yet, in-store radio has never been a great success in the U.S.

The best source of case studies may be POPAI, The Point-of-Purchase Advertising Institute.

Also visit Music Technologies International.


Wednesday, March 10, 1999 #2382
RE: My earlier question #2379, my boss responded this way: Pre-launch was a 2-week period, so an average 4-week number would have been a misrepresentation of reality. If you do not have a 4-wk period for comparison than you should not do a 4-week r/f. Do you agree with this? How should I handle this disagreement with my supervisor?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, March 10, 1999 ):
The Guru disagrees. The phrase "average four week" in the context of Reach & Frequency refers to a rate of accumulation, not really the period of time other than the time periods actually measured in the original establishment of reach calculations. Four weeks was originally chosen as the basis for the actual measurements that built the formulae when monthly media (magazines) were the predominant national advertising media. One does not really care how much time is involved.

For marketing purposes, what is important is that you communicated an advertising message to X% of consumers an average of Y times. It is easy enough to say that "over two weeks, we reached 60% of the target an average of 3.9 times." No one is misled, nothing is invalid. You just happened to use a four week formula to determine the results. As the Guru said earlier. only in some 1-week cases will there be any real differerence. (As there would for long term cumes, like 13 week).

If your supervisor's only alternative is to report nothing, as if there was no way to measure the schedule, that doesn't seem productive.


Wednesday, March 03, 1999 #2367
Guru - How do Arbitron ratings for commercial radio stations differ from those of public broadcast stations? Our local PBS station is claiming that they're the 4th most listened to station in the 25-45 demo, which doesn't seem realistic. Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, March 03, 1999 ):
Arbitron does not publish ratings for non-commercial stations in the printed reports. These stations ratings are in the respondent level data, e.g. Maximiser runs.

The reporting standards are otherwise the same. It seems unusual for a non-commercial station to be so highly ranked, but it isn't impossible. If they are Arbitron subscribers they should be able to document the claim. If not, a competing station with which you do business would probably be happy to do the necessary Maximiser analysis.


Monday, February 15, 1999 #2333
what is the recent work being done on the recency theory--beyond erwin ephron?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 15, 1999 ):
The advertising trades such as the U.S.' Ad Age publish regarding this topic from time to time.

The Advertising Research Foundation library will compile published information from many sources as developments are reported.

Walter Reichel and Leslie Wood of A:S Link worked on the concept as early as 1989. A forthcoming book by Simon Broadbent will cover recency extensively. Another recent volume, How Advertising Works, by J.P. Jones, also examines the history of recency.


Thursday, February 11, 1999 #2323
What is the main difference between recency theory and aperture theory?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, February 13, 1999 ):
Both theories agree that advertising delivered nearest to a purchase decision is most effective.

recency empahsizes the idea that purchases are happening all the time and continuity gives more chances to get an exposure close to a purchase.

Aperture theory says that there are particular best times for an advertising message to be delivered, whether because there is an identifieable time when a purchase decision is being made or a time when a specific message type is more effective. E.g. the cleaning characteistics of windshield washer fluid are most important in summer and the antifreeze characteristics are moe so in winter.


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

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

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


Friday, January 29, 1999 #2298
I have read many of the questions and answers relating to the subject of recency on your pages and note that you consider that recency planning is more appropriate for frequently purchased goods than more considered purchases on longer purchase cycles. Why do you deem considered purchases less appropriate for recency? It was my understanding that as long as there are purchases every week it doesn't matter at what frequency that product is purchased by the average consumer.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 04, 1999 ):
The issue is more one of seaonality than purchase cycle. See the Guru response of Thursday, January 14, 1999, #2261, for clarification.


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.


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

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

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


Sunday, December 20, 1998 #2227
Dear guru, i am a student of media planning and am currently pursuing my thesis on recency planning and its applicability in India. what are the sites on the net which give information on recency planning? how can i access various studies done on this subject?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, December 21, 1998 ):
There is considerable information here on AMIC . Use the search function in the Media Guru archives or in the Ad Talk and Chats area, where the Mediaplanning and Awards Papers list have all discussed recency extensively.

The Advertising Research Foundation also has all the published material.


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


Thursday, December 03, 1998 #2196
Dear Guru. I am interested in the "recency" theory very much. But unfortunately it is too hard to get the complete view of this theory just investigating your previous answers and "Ad Talk & Chats". So could you provide some main statements of the "recency" theory. Thank you in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, December 03, 1998 ):
The essence of the recency theory is

1- that the last ad exposure before a purchase is the most influential.

2-That this last exposure is more powerful than less recent, more frequent exposures.

3-Therefore, continuous advertising will outperform the same total weight delivered in flights, because it offers more opportunities to be present closest to a purchase.

Of course, there are many sub-points regarding seasonality, minimum threshhold levels, and spontaneity of purchases.


Sunday, November 29, 1998 #2178
Need to know urgently on recency model. Please help

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, November 29, 1998 ):
Always the fastest way to get the Guru's thinking on specific issues is to go to the Guru Archives Search Engine. Use "recency" as your search term in this case and you will find several Guru responses about recency.


Wednesday, November 04, 1998 #2122
1) Guru, Could you please explain what is meant by implementation planning ? Where does it fit into the media planning process?

This is with reference to my question on Implementation planning.

Implementation Planning as I came across it was unexplained and there wasn't any context to it. I came across it in a curriculum vitae of a media planner. I haven't met this person whose CV it was and neither are there any chances of me seeing him.

I do understand, as you clarified that this may be a proprietary term, etc. but what does it mean in media jargon ? U see, I think it'd have to do with plans for implementing (on a monthly basis)a business plan made for the year and evolving buying strategies ? please do answer my query since I'm quite anxious to hear from you.

2) Also, When is the library of media plans that AMIC is to have, coming online?

3) Guru, one last question. The books that you reccomend from the AMIC-Amazon bookstore are for new or relatively new planners. what books would you reccomend for planners at a middle level ? Please, no Amazon - my searches on online bookstores have proved fruitless. can you reccomend a few titles, maybe I can scour a second hand bookshop, somewhere.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, November 05, 1998 ):
1) As the Guru commented in his private request for clarification, Implementation planning is notstandard media jargon. (many agencies develop their own terminology for proprietary processes or approaches to common tasks).

It could describe what some call "buying platform" which compiles all the considerations for choosing and negotiating media during the "implementation" of an approved plan.

Or it could mean the work flow / critical path for implementing an approved plan; an intermediary step between planning and buying.

Or it could be referring to a philosophical approach to creating a plan, like "recency planning."

2) The call for submissions to the Guru's AMIC Media Plans and Research Library is expected to be announced this week. (AMIC's media Guru is often asked where one might find a sample plan or research analysis to serve as a model for one's own project. As a service to our advertising professional members, AMIC is collecting a library of AMIC users' media plans and research analyses which can serve as models or starting points for your own projects.)

Registered AMIC users can expect to get details in their AMIC-News November e-mail. Have you picked out one of your own plans to submit?

3) Media planning texts are inherently basic. Beyond that, more advanced learning is best derived from

  • experience - learning from those with whom you work
  • trade publications and conferences - the two latest big issues in advanced planning: recency planning and buy optimization, have principally been documented in these forums, and
  • information, whether texts or otherwise, from related areas such as marketing.


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

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

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, October 07, 1998 #2078
What is the recency Factor Theory & how is it different from the contemprory theories ?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 07, 1998 ):
There has been considerable discussion of recency here. See the query of October 6, below.


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

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

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

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


Wednesday, September 30, 1998 #2060
Do you knowof any sites where i can find articles on recency Planning ? Would you be able to provide me with Mr. Erwin Ephron's E-Mail address and/or FAX number ? I have tried searching the Web but have not succeeded so far... Thanks Rahul Thappa Account Planning Indian Express Newspapers, Bombay accountplanning-bmy@express2.indexp.co.in

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 30, 1998 ):
There has been considerable and heated recent discussion of recency on AMIC's mediaplanning e-mail discussion list. Telmar's Awards Papers discussion list, created to discuss the papers presented by Erwin, J.P. Jones and Erik Duplessis at the Telmar 30th Anniversary celebration has also discussed recency.

Both of these forums' archives and subscription links are accesible from our Ad Talk and Chats page.

The Guru does not reveal personal contact information for associates. He can tell you that Erwin's company is Ephron Papazian Ephron, in NY City.


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

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

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


Wednesday, September 09, 1998 #2032
where can I find a media plan example?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 09, 1998 ):
Try the Media Guru's "Parts of a Media Plan". Though not an actual plan, it is a detailed description of a plan's contents.

If the idea is to see how a plan is documented at an Ad Agency, your best bet would be to find a friend in a media department.

Otherwise, you can look up trade magazine archives of media planning contests or analyses, but these are likely to be topline summaries at best.


Thursday, September 03, 1998 #2026
Both we and our client agree to the recency theory. The problem is that given the retraints of the budget, we are only able to schedule "weekly" advertising for about half the schedule while still achieving minimal weekly TRP threshold levels. Right now we are wrestling with the dilemma of how to schedule these weeks for the first half of the year while still following the principals of the recency theory: (1)12 weeks straight through then a 14-week hiatus (2)6 weeks on, 14 weeks off, 6 weeks on or (3)an alternating schedule of 4 weeks on and 4 weeks off, etc. throughout the period. Do you have any theory on what might be the best approach to maximize return?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, September 03, 1998 ):
Thinking about a "threshold level" of GRP's is instinctive, but at odds with the essence of recency theory. Review other Guru answers below about recency. Please also see a very interesting discussion of recency on our MediaPlanning e-mail list. The list archives are at Ad Talk and Chats . Why not subscribe to the list and bring your question there as well?


Monday, August 31, 1998 #2019
Dear Guru, can you please give me some guidelines about the following subject: Children and television (meaning theory and measuring audiencies). Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 02, 1998 ):
Nielsen will have several documents available. There have been conferences on the topic held by the Advertising Research Foundation. The ARF's library will have several relevant articles as well as the conference procedings.


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

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

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

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

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

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


Monday, August 24, 1998 #2011
We are in the process of planning for a major TV client where we have been applying the recency theory for the past year. Because of the size of the budget we have been limited to around 70TRPs weekly essentially for the entire year. In Year II our client has asked us to consider temporarily abondoning the recency theory and to move dollars (and TRPs) out of the more expensive buying months (April, May) to the relatively more more inexpensive months (January, Feb)and to increase our TRP levels accordingly. Do you have any input on which strategy should/could have more effect on brand performance assuming all other factors are equal (pricing, distribution etc.)?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, August 24, 1998 ):
First we have to assume that the basis of recency theory is accepted.

recency theory calls for reaching as many people as possible as close to the sale as possible. Thats's why continuity is emphasized for products with little seasonality and regular purchase cycles.

One of the essential elements of recency theory is that not all impressions or GRPs are equal, even in the same programming. You are focusing on cost per point. As you are probably aware, reach developed per GRP decreases with every added GRP in a schedule. There is therefore, a declining return on investment in reach at any point in time, which is why spreading out prospects reached produces the optimal return. The first 10 GRPs bought in a week generate more reach than the last 10 GRPs.

Hence, the added impressions bought when they are cheap produce less sales than the impressions lost from the more expensive times.

So now you have to evaluate what might be produced. Assuming you are lowering -- not eliminating --activity in higher priced periods how many more impressions, and how much more reach can you achieve in low priced times. If you cut back 10 reach points per week in July but buy 20 added reach points per week in March, perhaps the added reach can sell more than the lost reach, or perhaps not. The Guru would look for a 50% minimum trade up in added vs lost reach points to justify the change; i.e. if the plan goes down 10 reach points per week in one period, then it need to go up 15 reach points per week in the other.


Friday, August 21, 1998 #2009
I'm having a difficult time trying to find any material that will teach me how to use CPP when buying network and spot radio. My contacts in the advertsing field tell me that they learned how to use this formula through experience. I know the formula for CPP. However, is there any resource that will show me how to implement CPP when buying network and spot radio? Something that will show me some shortcuts or maybe some examples? Thanks again for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, August 21, 1998 ):
Once you know how to calculate CPP, its uses are pretty straightforward.
  • CPP is an efficiency indicator. Media proposals you are considering can be ranked from lowest CPP to highest if efficency is a goal
  • CPP can be a goal you give to sales people, e.g. "I'm buying a $100 Women 18-49 CPP, what avails do you have at that pricing?"
  • CPP can be weighted with other factors like rating size or cume
  • CPP can be used to caluculate cpm when the universe is known: CPP divided by 1% of the universe expressed in thousands yields cpm
    (this is only valid when rating and audience in thousands come from the same geography as they do in Network. In spot, where you may use a metro rating but TSA thousands , the formula is imprecise at best)
  • CPP can be used as a bottom line number to compare possible schedules you are putting together

Remember - never average CPPs themselves; total the costs and total the ratings of schedules and calculate the bottom line CPP from the totals.


Friday, August 07, 1998 #1994
what is recency planning?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, August 07, 1998 ):
The Guru has discussed recency many times.
  • Go to the Guru Archives and use the search engine there to find past Guru answers about recency
  • or
  • Go to the Ad Talk and Chats area and search the archives of the Award Papers discussion, much of which has been about recency planning.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, July 28, 1998 #1977
My question concerns recency planning and how it may or may not be best applied to different business categories. The research and planning models that I have come across regarding recency typically focuses on packaged goods type products. I cannot recall any examples of recency being applied in a retail or QSR planning environment. Do you feel that recency holds any value as a planning approach for a retail and/or QSR account where scheduling typically emphasizes short term flighted promotional windows with a high to low cascading of broadcast weight?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 29, 1998 ):
recency is most particularly relevant for packages goods which have regular, short purchase cycles.

(When an advertiser relies on promotions, the Guru always looks to see whether the advertising is supporting the brand/product or just the promotion).

The best discussion the Guru has seen about applications and exceptions for recency theory occurs in AMIC's Awards Papers e-mail discussion group. Particpants include "Mr. recency," Irwin Ephron, as well as John Philip Jones, Eric DuPlessis, AMIC Publisher Abbott Wool. The archive of the AwardPapers discussion is at Ad Talk/ Chat .

Click here to subscribe to AwardsPapers


Sunday, July 26, 1998 #1974
Dear Guru! I have cilent that wants to know the accumulated reach of a 5 months campaign. The campaign was based on a recency strategy; 4 "flights", each flight - 3 weeks, and a break of about 2 weeks between one flight to another. It seems to me not right to sum up the reach of all 4 flights as a total, but to show each flight by its own results Can you please give your professional advice in this issue? Thanks a lot, Irene, Israel.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, July 26, 1998 ):
A "recency" strategy generally calls for continuous advertising, not flighting. However this is neither here nor there in responding to your question.

A four-week reach has long been the basic standard of evaluation of a campaign, most likely based on the one time dominance of monthly national magazines in the plans of major consumer goods advertisers -- in the U.S., at least.

"recency" argues for concentrating on the reach at the point in time closest to the purchase decision, so average reach during the typical purchase cycle is a reasonable way to focus on a recency plan. Of course, in reality, despite an average purchase cycle, in most cases, decisions are made every day. You may end your four-week purchase cycle of laundry detergent tomorrow while your neighbor's four week cycle ends a week from Tuesday. Equally, there may be a day of the week of more opportunity than others, when the product is purchased during a main grocery shopping trip.

A five month cume reach can be calculated. Its usefulness is questionable when recency is the guiding principal, but for other issues, like awareness, it may be relevant.


Friday, July 17, 1998 #1959
I am working on a television post buy analysis and was wondering what the industry standard index is for estimated vs. actual GRP ratings? Rule of thumb in the past was 90%+, is this still in effect and does it change from market to market? Is there any documented research for this percentage or do most television sales reps know the "rules" in order for me to get make-goods for my client?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 17, 1998 ):
Everything is by agreement. In this business, one tends to think the policy of the agency or medium where they learn things are rules of the industry.

Some agencies have a +/- 15% policy others have +/- 10%. Some advertisers make their agencies give them +/- 10% when the agency policy is a wider allowance and some major advertisers don't post.

Some network deals are 100% guaranteed, magazine "rate base" is 100% guaranteed, but many advertisers/agencies never verify delivery.

If you negotiate a 90% deal with your sales rep, then that' s what he/she's got to do. If you're doing regular business, it shouldn't be much of an issue to get 90%, anyway.

In markets where there are weekly ratings available, it should also be your practice to rerate buys as they progress and negotiate adjustments during the schedule to avoid shortfalls on post analysis.


Thursday, July 16, 1998 #1954
Dear Media Guru: Our client has asked that all radio stations on a spot radio buy MUST have a 3 frequency per week. I maintain that this mandate is too limiting (and is a sellers perspective) as it requires reducing the number of stations used and increasing the number of spots on the stations being bought. I do agree that a 3 frequency for the entire buy makes sense, but not by station. What are your thoughts?? Thanks so much.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 16, 1998 ):
Is that a minimum average frequency or a minimum (effective) frequency?

The idea of exhausting a station's cume before moving to the next most efficient station can make sense, as a buying strategy.

If stations are reaching definably different market segements which are individually important to your planning, and you need to reach these segments equally, than the station-by-station standard might make sense.

But if all stations are targeted to the same demo and only differ by rating size or formats which are not relevant to brand marketing, then only the overall frequency ought to matter.


Saturday, July 11, 1998 #1946
I'm a newbie and I need your help. I've been asked to put together a proposal for an online campaign. But my startup website doesn't have specific numbers on the desired target audience for this campaign. I can tell you now that we certainly reach that group but we have no hard numbers. How can I build a compelling argument without having to give exacting avails on this demographic? What are your thoughts?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, July 12, 1998 ):
There are limited numbers of ways to document specific demographic target impressions for a website.

1. It can be rated by one of the user-centric meter / panel survey systems which attempt to parallel TV style ratings: MediaMetrix, RelevantKnowledge or Net Ratings.

These services, however, typically report data on larger sites and would not likely generate stable data on a start-up early in its life.

2. It can be rated by one of the other survey systems with a longer report cycle, like MRI or Nielsen, to give demographic composition which can then be applied to server log impressions counts.

These systems may be less likely to be useful for start-ups.

3. Strict registration with demographic details and cookies or sign-in procedures which allow detailed tracking of visitors in the server logs and log analysis software.

While this is possible for a site of any size or age, it creates obstacles to visiting which most sites would prefer to avoid.

So let's see how we can work with what you've got. Of course you have server logs which can tell the boxcar numbers of pages loaded to show total impressions.

From the way you state your question, you appear confident that your site is targeted to the demographic in question. Choose a site which is targeted to the same demographic and is reported by the ratings services mentioned above in point 1.

Assume you will get the same proportion of your total impressions in the target demographic segment as the rated site does.

You will also need to present a good rationale for why your site is targeted to the specified demographic


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

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

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

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


Thursday, June 11, 1998 #1894
what is recency planning

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, June 24, 1998 ):
The Guru has discussed recency a half-dozen or more time this year. Please return to the Guru main page and select the Archive / search engine to find "recency" topics. Or simply use your <ctrl>-F or browser Find function to locate "receny" references on this page.


Monday, May 18, 1998 #1597
how will media segmentation affect media planning ?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 18, 1998 ):
"Media Segmentation" is a two edged sword. Highly segmented (fragmented) media allows better targeting. But, at the same time, it works against building higher reach levels.

A clever plan will find the best compromise between these two.

The current, "recency" approach to planning can take advantage of the efficiency of reaching lower levels of target consumers on a more continuous basis.


Wednesday, March 25, 1998 #1551
Who would have the most up-to-date information or documents relating to media fragmentation?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, April 06, 1998 ):
Try the Advertising Research Foundation Library


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

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

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

The Guru believes the industry is still divided on recency vs Effective Reach.


Sunday, March 15, 1998 #1530
Two Questions: 1) I've been asked to prepare a presentation covering "Alternative Lifestyles Marketing". When I was given the assignment I asked for a definition of "Alternative Lifestyles", but didn't get a good answer. How might you interpret this "target"?

2) I'm seeking information on the "Optimizer" programs that have become newsworthy (in media circles) as a result of the recent mega-million P&G AOR assignment. I've heard there are two. Who are they, and can you describe briefly what they do (strengths & limitations)? thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 16, 1998 ):
1) "Alternative Lifestyles" generally refers to non-traditional social orientations which may become the major influence on a person's relationships, extending to product choices, entertainment choices, clothing styles, etc. Most often, "alternative" seems to be used to refer to socio-sexual distinction.

The Gay market is probably probably most familiar of the "Alternative Lifestyles" markets. Others might arguably be the singles market, the mature market, punk, rapper, etc.

2) Optimizer programs are designed to build media schedules based on detailed analysis of each possible "insertion" (print or broadcast).

Usually the programs optimize reach within budget. Therefore they will first select the most efficient (cost per rating point) single insertion. Next they consider every other single insertion, including a second use of the first selection. The pair of insertions with the greatest net reach per dollar becomes the next selection.

In some systems, each "best" choice is frozen as the base upon which to build additional schedule until the budget is exhausted. In more sophisticated systems, entire schedules are reevaluated for best mix at each incremental budget level.

In either, it is up to the planner to set constraints on which vehicles are to be considered, any weights or restrictions such as using each vehicle a minimum number of times, if used, or a maximum number of times.

Several agencies have proprietary systems. In Europe, there are commercial systems including "Supermaximizer" and "Expert."

In the U.S., the Guru believes the Telmar Optimizer is the only commercial system available allowing TV optimization with any available audience database (e.g. NTI, NSI, cume studies, etc.)


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

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

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

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


Wednesday, February 18, 1998 #1506
I am looking for information on optimization and the recency theory. Have you come across any good reports on this subject relevent to TV buying in the USA?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 18, 1998 ):
The Advertising Research Foundation library is a good source as are the archives of Ad Age and Mediaweek.


Tuesday, February 10, 1998 #1504
Describe trends in Country Music listenership over continental USA for past five years, please.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, February 10, 1998 ):
An Interep report using S immons data from 1988 thru Fall 1996 shows a fairly constant growth in the cume audience of the country format:

It grew from 25,161,000 A18+ to 40,663,000. Only one downturn showed, in 1994


Wednesday, August 27, 1997 #1402
Dear Guru, I am a student for my MBA entrusted with Setting Up Media Independents in South-East Asia" I am specifically refering to Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan & Malasiya. Despite the fact that these Media independenst have set up shop in Hong Kong & Singapore , they have not been able to get the success they claim to have achieved in US & Europe. * What are the trends in the US & Europe in terms of business moving from full service agencies to media independents * What do clients look for in a Media independent * What kinds of service do these firms provide * What are their Salary & incentive structures * How are they configured(i.e. organization structure) * How do they charge- Fee or commision or both * what are the financial dynamics * what kind of staffing is required * what degree of independence do they enjoy * the level of tranparency do they have with the client * what software do they use & how useful is that * what should be ther marketing pitch for ther own services in S-E Asia These are a few questions I have been trying to gain insight into. I have already made some inroads in gathering some information & data but it is not conclusive. This kind of research has not been conducted ever in the school and it is my desire to make a good dissertation. I want to leave the school a good document so that others wanting to move into the advertising and media industry. I am sure you can help me given your extensive network. Please let me know of any other people that you think can help me get more info as well as opinion. Guru, I understand that I am asking for too much & I am getting too demanding, but I have no other place to look for data articles and the experience that you have in the industry. Thanking you, with warm regards, Vivek Mehta e-mail: vivs@aim.edu.ph Tel: 00-63-2-8181629 (home- after 10:00 Manila time) 00-63-2-8924011 to 25 (school)

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, September 01, 1997 ):
You need to do a literature review of Ad Age and comparable Eurpoean publications, such as Campaign


Monday, August 18, 1997 #1393
If I took 75.0 grps from Prime Spot TV, and moved it into Spot cable, would the reach be equal?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, August 18, 1997 ):
Generally speaking, cable does not cume as high as prime spot(ratings size is the simplest guide to relative reach potential, in general). Strip programming cumes less than higher dispersion schedules.

In any given market/universe situation, if a cable buy is made such that its ratings and dispersion equals that of the prime spot schedule, reach may be equal as well, but such a situation is not very likely.

If there is a large schedule of other dayparts or media, to which you are considering adding either Prime spot or cable, the difference in impact of 75 GRP of one versus the other may be quite minimal


Sunday, August 10, 1997 #1387
Hello, I am looking for research on relative campaign build (and speed of build) for cinema and tv. Is there any readily available research you can direct me to. Thanks Lisa Campton, Media Strategist, Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, August 11, 1997 ):
Speed of campaign build, whether you mean reach, awareness or other factors, varies from one media environment to the next. Factors include the number of media, overall cume potential and media consumption habits peculiar to the specific culture. For example, cinema advertising, a major force in many countries is relatively insignificant in the U.S.

The cume of cable TV advertising in a country with 5 or 10 cable networks and 40% penetration will be vastly different than a country with 70% penetration and 50 channels available to the average subscriber.

In the U.S. the Advertising Research Foundation maintains archives of published research on such topics, much of it from other countries, and can often direct researchers to other, appropriate resources. You might also try

The Market Research Society of Australia Ltd P.O. Box 697
North Sydney, NSW 2059
Ph.612-9955-4830
Fx. 612-9955-5746
email sydney@onaustralia.com.au

OR

The Marketing Association of Australia and New Zealand
3 Melton Ave.
Carnegie, Victoria 3163
Ph. 613-9578-8610
Fx. 613-9578-7365


Monday, July 21, 1997 #1376
GURU: I've been out of school, working for a large agency for about a year. I would like for you to help me with just one question: What is the difference between a GRP and a TRP? I don't think there is a difference, but co-workers use TRP and I've learned it as a GRP (Gross Rating Point). Please help with any word origin or history you may have. Thanks for your help,

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, July 21, 1997 ):
Until the late 70's, most TV advertising, especially for major package goods brands, was bought on a Household GRP basis. As demographic targeting became more common, "Target Rating Points" (TRP) became a term distinguished from Household Gross Rating Points, which was especially useful when a plan discussed both. Some people still use phrases like Women 18-49 GRP when others would say TRP. Except that HH points are never TRP, there is really no difference.

What is important is consistency within any document and advertiser.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The complexity or simplicity of the message

The number of commercial in the pool

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

The balance of :30 to :15

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

a similar exercise can also set effective frequency thresholds

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

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


Tuesday, May 13, 1997 #1345
Since "PRICING WEB SITE ADVERTISING" was first published (it's not dated but I'm guessing '96?) have there been any 'advances' in the methodology for pricing web advertising beyond either the ModemMedia model or the alternatives suggested? I am not an advertising professional (and they said us geeks use obscure achronyms?), and I am also looking for a concise FAQ type document that might explain the formulae and jargon (CPM, Frequency, Impressions in your excellent on-line dictionary and Depth which isn't) within the context of web advertising. Are there and other specific media terms (new or old) that are pertinent in a web advertising context (I got page view and hits)? Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, May 14, 1997 ):
The AMIC article was wriiten in the latter part of 1995, not long after the appearance of the Internet World May 1995 article which it discusses.

By the way, please be aware that AMIC has added a new area, called I-Trac, which discusses web terms and measurement and which includes a Web Glossary

In terms of newer thinking, consider the critqued article's central concepts:

1.Determine the ratio of hits between the web site's log and the number of file "hits" that make up the page carrying the ad. Divide logged hits by number of hits making up the page to calculate what we can call "page views." Then call page views "reach."

Since then, the software which interprets log files has developed so that it can distinguish pure "hits" from the more relevant page requests or "page views" . Hits today is taken to refer to any line in a log file, even errors. (Ad) Page requests is the analog to traditional media's "impressions".

2.Determine repeat viewing of that page and call that frequency.

We more commonly use "frequency" in terms of whole campaigns

3.Determine the success of viewings of that billboard ad in moving readers to the actual web site and call that "depth."

This measurement concept has come to be called "click-through" or ad click rate. Depth was a term only used as defined in this Internet World article.

Today pricing is generally based on cost per thousand (CPM) impressions. Rates seem to range from $15 cpm for the broadest, general audience sites' rotating banners, through $50 or so for search engines' keyword banners up to $100+ for "premium audience" on highly targeted business to business web sites. Another pricing model growing in popularity is "price per click," which charges for each vistor who clicks on a banner. The problem here is that the site hosting the banner must rely on the creative to generate viewr response -- it isn't all the effect of the web site itself. Therre is considerable literature today about how to influence clicks, as well as a growing body of research which argues for the awareness building effects of the banners, regardless of clicking response. Finally, simple revenue based models are the rising concept. In this, sites hosting banners are compensated with a portion of the transaction revenue generated by web surfers they send to retail type sites. An offshoot of this is a model for ad placement agency compensation based on the revenue generated by their placement of ads at recommended sites.


Friday, March 21, 1997 #1009
What should be the minimum demo rating for a prime television spot on any schedule?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, March 21, 1997 ):
The Guru doesn't judge "prime" strictly by rating. Is the Prime daypart in your plan because of how prime builds reach, because of the program types available, or just because larger ratings "feel good."

Prime cumes well, not just because of larger ratings but also because of the larger pool of potential viewers available during prime hours and because the once a week programs tend to have better audience turn-over. This is one reason why the prime hours on independent stations are often categorized as fringe, rather than prime

If however, you need to focus on ratings for ratings' sake a sensible rule of thumb would be to use the average of the next best daypart as the minimum rating for prime.

If rating size is your only standard, why pay premium, prime CPP for programs rated lower than more efficient ones in other dayparts?


Wednesday, March 19, 1997 #1014
I need an example of a media plan, could you give me one? I am doing one for a breakfast bar

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 20, 1997 ):
A complete description of allof the parts of a media plan is defined in the Guru Sectionof AMIC Parts of a Media Plan. Note that most media plans containonly a limited set of the information described. Some are fairly brief documents, while in other situations a more complete plan is required.


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

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

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

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

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

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


Monday, February 17, 1997 #1043
When a planner has a small budget and it has been determined that television is the appropriate media vehicle, does it make sense to concentrate all of the GRPs in one or two dayparts? Example: late news and/or early morning for a business person 25-54?Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 21, 1997 ):
If geography is not a variable, then the question relates principally to the balance of reach vs frequency to be acheived. Daypart concentration may increase frequency at the expense of reach, daypart dispersion will increase reach at the expense of frequency. Low cume dayparts like the ones you mention may deliver less reach than a single high cume daypart like prime.

Comparing several possible schedules which are affordable within your budget for their delivery of plan goals is a better course than trying to make the decision based on a generalization of what "makes sense."


Tuesday, February 11, 1997 #1049
I WANT TO KNOW WHICH IS THE BEST BOOK FOR MEDIA PLANNING .I MUST AD THAT IT IS FOR THE ISRAELI MARKET WHICH HAS ONLY 2 CHANNELS AND ONLY ONE OF THEM IS COMMERCIALTHANKS

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, February 11, 1997 ):
In the US, Sissors and Bumba's "Media Planning" is considered the classic. This and other US texts may have very little relevance in another country where media availability, cume patterens and culutral context are totally different.

The Guru would suggest contacting a few local Universities' bookstores to find the most commonly used text for Israel.


Monday, February 10, 1997 #1051
Dear Guru,Our publishing company has recently aquired another company that hosts a site on the internet. This site is very popular with a solid demographic. As of yet there has been little effort to sell advertising/banners on the site. What would you suggest is the most effective (revenue producing) way of getting advertisers to place ads on our site?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, February 11, 1997 ):
The Guru suggests determining who is the ad decision maker at companies which would most benefit by advertising on your site; ie, have their own site an target the same demographic. Then approach them by mail or by phone followed with a good written piece documenting your selling points.


Tuesday, November 26, 1996 #1104
I currently publish a quarterly newsletter for a doucmentmanagement firm which outlines some of the services, software,and hardware that is available today in our industry.In recent converstaion it has come across that we wouldlike to focus our information based upon customer needsand wants in document management.

My first thought was to release a survey that wouldeffectivley find data that would allow us to analyze thecurrent market trends and cater our publication to theirparticular interests or needs.

The only problem I have at this time is findinginformation that will guide me in the right direction ingenerating effective surveys that do not sway theresponses of people taking the survey. I am planning toinclude this survey in the next release of the publicationwhich will be late December early January. (hopefully)

If you could direct me to books, websites, or any otherresource that can provide me with some "good" information oneffective question design I would really appreciate it.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 27, 1996 ):
The Guru regards questionnaire design as an art, rather than a formualristictechnique which can be learned from books. The Guru haspracticed the art himself, and learned it by being part of anorganization which had the expertise and through formal academictraining. Having visited many marketing research sites, the Gurudoes not recall seeing any attempts to teach questionnairedesign. Questionnaire designers begin with a good understandingof the way the intended respondent thinks about the products orprocesses to be surveyed. Often this is doene by conducting"qualitative research" such as focus, groups first. The best wayto learn something quickly about designing questionnaires is toread through actual questionnaires that have been used, alongside their survey results, the oiriginal hypotheses or issuestatement and the conclusions drawn from the data.

Surely there are text books in this field. Try Barnes and Noble.

You are wiseto realize that questionnaire design can substantiallyinfluence the validity of the data. But so can sample design. Agood questionnare used among a poorly selected sample, such as"any customer willing to return a survey" will be equallyunreliable in predicting consumer behavior.


Tuesday, September 03, 1996 #1152
My company has just developed an internet site as an extension of its core business. I'm in the aviationfield. The chiefs believe since we have an internetbusiness, we must advertise on the internet. I'm concerned about its effectiveness over more conventionalmethods. I'm not so concerned about prices, thoughI find it ridiculous some charge $1,000 per month andcan't tell me how many "hits" they get. Is there anyPROOF internet advertising really works?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 04, 1996 ):
Short answer: NO
Eternal answer: It depends

Some are succeeding according to the standard they have set themselves for success. "Success" must be measured against goals. Is internet advertising going to be used to sell your company's product / service or to bring visitors to your site?

Nobody should be charging serious money without being able to count hits / accesses. It's too easy, today, to attach a counter like "Web Counter" and be accountable to paying advertisers. Any site which can charge $1000 / month can surely afford its own documentation.

If the web is your "store" however, you will want to advertise in other media which has a large audience of computer users within your target area.Eg; www.Amazon.com is a successful on-line bookstore which advertises its URL in the book section of major newspapers.

For you, aviation industry magazines are a possibility. Featuring your URL in your regular print advertising is a way to test the waters. If readers of those trade books are not drawn to your site, then there is less likelihood that web advertising will succeed with your customer.


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

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, June 25, 1996 #1191
In ranking radio station, should you rank thenagainst average quarter house rating or is it better torank against cume and why? Thank Media Guru

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, June 25, 1996 ):
Rankings are usually done against AQH ("Average Quarter Hour" -- there are no household measurements in radio ratings)

One reason is that these numbers have a correspondence with cost per point and cpm, which are other typical evaluation standards for radio buying.

Depneding on your overall goal rankings on cume may or may not be useful. If a particular station is trying to convince you to use cume rankings, it -- no doubt -- fares better on cume than rating.

However, if you are buying to a reach goal, buying stations in order of cume or cume/efficiency may be the best way to acheive your reach goal for the least dollars, rather than by amassing GRP in order of cost per point. This is especiallytrue if you are planning to buy many spots on a station. In that case, the cume better reflects your reach potential. Conversely,if you are buying very few spots on a station, the AQH will betterreflect the situation.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

A very simple example:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Monday, November 27, 1995 #1817
What is the best strategy for marketing a NordicTrack?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 27, 1995 ):
Questions like this are far beyond the scope of an on-line guru. Marketing plans for such products call for extensive research and study. They encompass many pages of documentation. You will have to do your homework.


Friday, November 03, 1995 #1826
Which approach to planning Cable Television is more useful, by daypart or by cable network?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 03, 1995 ):
You must first understand that Cable TV, unlike network free-air television, is broadcast, in most instances, live Eastern Standard (or Daylight Savings Time.) What is primetime in New York, i.e., a program running from 8-9pm, is airing during prime access in Chicago, 7-8pm, and early fringe in Los Angeles, 5-6pm. Therefore, National Cable TV dayparts have no real meaning or value because of live time broadcasting. There is a much better way to effectively reach well targeted audience segments based upon target audience exposure to programming. Use Cable TV network profiles as they appear in various research documents such as Nielsen Cable Ratings and Mediamark Research, Inc.'s annual survey, to determine which Cable TV networks attract which audience segments. This approach will provide meaningful information based upon the measured Cable TV viewing preferences of the full range of demographic groupings. Furthermore, the daypart based Cable TV planning systems which are available, are built around the audience accumulation curves developed by The Cable Advertising Bureau, and as such they are general, so as not to play up the strengths or weaknesses of any specific cable network. In summary, if confronted with a daypart vs a network specific system for cable planning the latter is preferable.



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