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

Telmar Home Page Telmar.com

 

Media Guru

Guru Search Results: 237 matches were found

Monday, March 16, 2015 #9056
If I'm planning a 52 week campaign with a target demo in mind for 1 tv station...what would an effective cumulative frequency be over the year..I was thinking a minimum of 20 - 25...does this make sense to you?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 16, 2015 ):
There are not enough facts here to answer the question. The phrase "effective cumulative frequency" does not have meaning to the Guru.

The Guru imagines that using only 1 station for 52 weeks and talking about frequency indicates that reach is of no importance to you, so the Guru can't readily imagine your communications goal scenario.


Friday, January 24, 2014 #8926
So I have been reading about Recency and am wondering if Ephron re-packaged what we already assume… Isn’t the core principle of Recency really about buying based on weekly numbers instead of the four weeks that is the industry standard? Ephron himself says “The exposure that triggers a response is not the first exposure, but the most recent of a series of exposures.” So frequency is still obviously important. I use Ostrow’s model to generate an effective frequency per four weeks and this typically works out to less than a frequency of three, which averages a frequency of 0.50-0.75 per week. As I see it, the application of Recency is really about setting the effective frequency in a logical way, i.e. using Ostrow’s method, instead of randomly setting at 3+, then maximizing reach. What am I missing?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 24, 2014 ):
The essence of Recency, or "the most effective impression is the most recent impression" is about advertising being there when a purchase decision is made.

Chasing a 3+ effective reach often leads you to flighting so that when you are active, your plan delivers your reach goal at that 3+ level, but you must have a 4 week on, 4 week hiatus flighting pattern, for example.

Recency says you have missed all the purchase decisions made in the hiatuses. Recency says a lower, but constant, level is more effective unless there is very strong seasonality or otherwise limited selling windows.

Your interpretation of Ostrow may also be off. Ostrow's model is a way of setting the effective reach level, e.g. 3+ or 4+, etc. You seem to be thinking of average frequency, which can't really be divided by # of weeks (nor can effective reach, for that matter). And of course, frequency can never be less than 1. effective reach is a focus on persons reached at least "X" times. Ordinary R&F is using the average number of time ALL the persons reached are exposed.


Thursday, November 07, 2013 #8907
What is the best way to approach buying tv advertising on a national level? Do I need to look at everything on a market-by-market basis?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, November 07, 2013 ):
National TV buying does not call for market-by-market analysis unless you have specific issues in certain markets.

If you have reached a point in your marketing cycle where national TV is appropriate and affordable, it is most likely your most efficient and effective option. If a few markets deserve special attention, a local overlay is always possible.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013 #8900
Is there a tool or model that will allow us to project increase in brand awareness based upon the projected media plan (TRPs/reach/frequency)?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, October 22, 2013 ):
There may be some proprietary models that certain advertisers have built from their own experience. But more practically, consider reach to be your primary capping factor. reach at a 3+ level may be a better indicator. Other levels of effective reach may be supported by further analyses, such as the Ostrow model


Tuesday, October 08, 2013 #8893
why is a [avg] 4-wk RF a standard unit of measurement? If weekly goals are absent (does not mean not optimized) and campaign goals are spread over a larger timeframe, than I am looking for a good explanation as to why a certain amount of minimum TRPs should be planned in a particular month (money aside). Explanations could include: - Enough time to build traction and awareness of message - Enough time to build effective reach (same as above) - Matches sales close cycles (depends if you have them and then it would have to do with above explanations on reach and awareness) - Common timeframe to match across media - like a CPM (not a good answer since print can be measured weekly if need be) - Nielsen sample measured only 1 month (identical people) - who cares if accurate RF - all RFs are directional in my opinion So why 4 weeks, not 2,3 or more than 4. Why should I talk about four week goals? Root of questions is...Client asked about minimum weekly TRP goals...I want to say we don't have them, especially since we talking about tactical flighting but we do have monthly goals. Why is monthly a good period? Rolling 4 week, Avg 4wk = at any given time you will achieve XYZ but why is that 4 wk period good/law/effective. Yes - goals can be whatever you want them to be!!! but roll with me please. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 09, 2013 ):
The simple answer to your question is that 4 weks became the standard in the day ( before 1950 or so) when the dominant national medium was magazines, which were mostly monthly.

Nielsen's National People Meter measures continuously these days. Before meters, weekly diaries were the standard.

It is true that R&F is only one of many measures of communication.

Also, click here to see past Guru responses regarding recency.

There is no magic in 4-week, especially if no monthly media are in the plan. Many broadcast planners focus on whatever cycle represents their flighting.


Friday, August 10, 2012 #8745
I am planning a series of 10-day flights to support attendance at different events in the Top 20 markets. What is the best mix of points for TV, Cable, Radio, Online and OOH to achieve a 70 reach, 5.5 effective frequency?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, August 10, 2012 ):
There are too many "ifs" here; you need to build and compare several options. The Guru can't do your media plans. And what does "best" mean to you?

If we assume best simply means cheapest, think about local cable and OOH. OOH gets high reach and frequency very easily and cheaply. In fact, you would probably get past your reach and frequency goals before you know it. But 10 day flights of OOH are difficult to place and manage. Further, message communication may be more important than price or need to be balanced against price, arguing for inclusion of TV, for example.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012 #8740
Hi Guru, What is a good rule of thumb to generate a copy rotation recommendation? If we have a priority message, is there a level of TRPs or R/F that we'd have to reach in order to ensure our messaging was effective? Any best practices?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 25, 2012 ):
Click here to see over 200 past Guru responses about goal setting


Tuesday, March 27, 2012 #8597
If I have a TV buy with 4 stations and have each station buy's reach, frequency and effective reach id there any way to get the total buy's reach, frequency and effective reach from these numbers?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 27, 2012 ):
Ideally, you would use software like our own eTelmar's.

A very crude reach and frequency estimate can be made by

  • summing the GRPs
  • combining the 4 stations' reaches by random probability , and
  • dividing the GRP by the this reach to find average frequency.
    • .

      effective reach definitely calls for software, due to the complexity.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012 #8553
Guru.hi its nice to hear from u always.. Im from client side...for me its always asked that.how can t effectiveness of tv and print campaign be measured..is there any benchmark which can be attained..is any method to quantify it ...thks a lot

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 13, 2012 ):
effectiveness can only be judged against goals. Is your goal sales, awareness, purchase intent or what?

Then you can set up research to compare. Otherwise. you set communications goals in terms of standards you can evaluate from models, like reach or frequency, etc, and evaluate the plan's performance


Thursday, February 23, 2012 #8486
Dear Media Guru, I'm a little confused. I know that reach x frequency=GRP's . If for example I have given a target of reach+3 60%. Then GRP equal to 180? 180GRP for how long? A Day? a Week? From what I understand , effective television campaign needs about 1000 GRP . How do I get from the number in a formula to the number 1000? Thanks in advance!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 23, 2012 ):
You are confusing arithmetic with measurement.

When you have reach, frequency and GRP, the relationships will always be:

  • R X F = GRP
  • GRP / R = F
But this does not mean you can just pick any reach and frequncy numbers and assume that the resulting GRP from multiplication of these two can actually be achieved. Sometimes a given number of GRP will only produce a limited level of reach.

Further, within any given R&F estimate we are usually refering to total (1+) reach and average frequency.

So if for example, you had a reach of 60 and average frequency of 3, the plan total would have been 180 GRP. But within this plan, within the 60% reach, there might be 20% who have been reached with 3 or more frequency,


Friday, February 03, 2012 #8449
effective reach and frequency

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 03, 2012 ):
Click here to see over 100 past Guru responses on the topic


Tuesday, November 15, 2011 #8294
effective frequency

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, November 15, 2011 ):
Click here to see more than 100 Guru comments about effective frequency / effective reach.


Thursday, July 28, 2011 #8155
What is the minimum # cable Trps/week to be effective when placing an awareness schedule?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 29, 2011 ):
There are numerous variables here and no simple answer.
  • First, what is your awareness goal? Ad awareness will never be more than your reach.
  • What is your expectation from the schedule? Increasing awareness by some percentage or achieving a specific awareness level? Again, awareness level will never exceed reach. More realistically, look at 3+ reach or evaluate the marketing situation to set another effective frequency level.
  • Is cable to be your only medium? in such a case, your levels will need to be much higher than as part of a mix.
  • Are you using cable for reach or for a frequency enhancement? This will determine not only levels but dispersion across networks.
  • There are other possible considerations depending on your target and content needs.


Thursday, July 28, 2011 #8153
Dear Media Guru, There is a research looking at the quality of viewers delivered by TV channels. It has 2000 sample, qual and quant methodology , conducted by Gfk for Central European stations. It has been found that some of the smaller stations, especially those with tight programming and specific Target audience segments appear to deliver better at generating advertising and brand awareness than they bigger wide-reaching channels. Would the Media Guru be able to comment if he believes than even across channels

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 28, 2011 ):
Better targeting, in general, is expected to perform better against the audience exposed.

There is a balance of reach against effectiveness.

Is it more productive to reach 1,000 target persons twice as effectively as 4,000 less concentrated-within-the-target persons for similar budgets? What if the same 1,000 are among the 4,000?


Monday, July 25, 2011 #8151
Hi guru, What is the forumula to calculate effective reach...i.e. what % of my plan delivers against my target at the 2+, 3+, 4+, 5+ frequency level.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 27, 2011 ):
There is no general percentage to use. This is part of the very complex, overall reach calculation.

You need a computer with software such as that offered by Telmar or online through eTelmar.

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


Wednesday, June 22, 2011 #8115
What is an effective 3+ reach goal for a new product using radio? 40%? 50%? 60%?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, June 22, 2011 ):
The Guru's simplest rule of thumb is to reach at least 50% of your target 3+ times. This is just an abstraction, ignoring important considerations such as competitive issues and copy strength. For a more detailed apporach, click here to see past Guru responses about the Ostrow model.


Thursday, June 16, 2011 #8106
Our client wants to use radio to build brand awareness for a packaged goods brand. Currently the brand has extremely low awareness (basically a new product) in a category that has relatively low interest. What levels of 'average frequency' and 'effective 3+ frequency' should I set as goals so we can significantly increase top of mind awareness?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 16, 2011 ):
FIrst, consider that average reach will be the outside limit of ad awareness. The reach at 3+ is an even more relevant limit to ad awareness, The current awareness level also establishes a floor.

Since you are limiting yourself to radio, set a 3+ reach goal. Average frequency will just have to fall naturally out of that.

So, you have an unknown brand in a category that few people care about or about which most people care very little. Do your best to select stations that cover the right people at the right time (if any) and build as much effective reach as possible among their audience. Ideally select stations covering most of your potential purhchasers.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Monday, November 08, 2010 #7811
Thank you for your recent answer on how to calculate the number of trucks required for an OOH advertising campaign. Given that we know the audience,all adults and the size of population by region,we also know the traffic volumes by region and we are trying to assess the number of trucks travelling 500 miles per day required to obtain maximum reach?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, November 09, 2010 ):
The missing factor is duplication. So far you are working with raw impressions, a traffic count. In the OOH arena, this is typically referred to as "D.E.C." (Daily effective Circulation). It would be based on how many times a pair of eyeballs are able to see the truck driving around.

Duplication considers whether the truck is seen by the same eyeballs more than once, for example on the way out in the morning and on the way back in the evening.

Then you must consider whether the same people are exposed to a truck on multiple days of your schedule, let's say one month.

Then you need to consider whether one truck is being seen by some of the same people who saw otheer trucks.

In OOH a schedule of 3000 GRP might be needed to generate 90%+ reach, where a few hundred TV GRP would do it. Industry groups like Outdoor Advertising Association of America should have some DEC versus reach calculations.

Also consider the OOH applications of our own eTelmar.


Thursday, October 14, 2010 #7806
Hi..Greetings from Egypt. I went through your archive and searched all over the internet to desperately find an answer for this question, so please help. The diary gives equal ratings to the spot regardless of its length. Simply assuming that a :5 GRP is the same as a :30 is unrealistic. Also assuming that the :5 is 1/6 of the :30 GRP does not seem right and will ruin the CPP. Is there any formula out there to used by a credible source to convert the GRPs based on duration?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, October 14, 2010 ):
GRP, like impressions, is simply an audience size measure, so duration is not a part of it.

Many buyers use "equivalized" GRP, which do allow for weighting by length. This is based on using :30 as a standard, and as you surmise, taking a simple ratio based on relative length.

Even in this scenario, it is common to leave the GRP untouched and just manipulate the impressions / cpm.

When :15s were new and various metrics showed they were about 70%+ of the recall value of a :30, that was used as a factor.

If GRP are being used in projecting reach, then the idea of holding GRP equal makes perfect sense; 100 GRP of :05 reaches the same number of persons as 100 GRP of :30, albeit much less effectively. You need to make a judgement call as to relative effectiveness and apply it logically. The Guru is not aware of an established standard for :05s.


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

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

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


Monday, February 22, 2010 #7758
Hi again Guru. I would like to take a Poster junior (30 sheets)in a centric Mall in San Diego per $1500.00 monthly. Here are the numbers, (considering 1 panel per 90 days): *Market Pop: 700,000 *Adults 18+: 400,000 avg. *DEC: 874.8145 *GRP's: 0.12483064285714286 *F: 2.1123475785714287 *R: 5.3186123207719795 % *CPM: $ 19.06941266209001 I don't know about those numbers so, my questions are: Are a good numbers? Is the Ad in good price? ($1,500.00 /m) I'll appreciate so much your help. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 22, 2010 ):
Something seems very wrong with your numbers.

  • $1500 is a reasonable price for a 30 sheet poster, but
  • a Daily effective Circulation of 875 impressions, or 26,250 per month is tiny and yields a terrible cpm of $57, around 10 times the outdoor norm.
  • GRPS are 12, not 0.12, if reach is 5.3 and Frequency is 2.1, but 12 GRPs would require many more impressions than you are reporting

Are you certain your DEC is correct? All the problems stem from this low number


Thursday, July 23, 2009 #7713
Guru, can you provide me any information about effective frequancy in OOH and Print? Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 23, 2009 ):
effective frequency can be calculated for print in the same ways as as for broadcast. Since print (i.e. magazine) typically produces higher reach / lower frequency as units are added to plans, the patterns will be different in seeking to get 3+ frequencies if that is your goal level.

In out-of-home, however reaches and frequncies are typically so high, e.g. reaches over 80 for small plans, with average frequencies over 10, effective frequency goals are a separate kind of consideration.


Thursday, April 16, 2009 #7682
Dear MG! Can you help me in such question - there are a lot of theories about effective frequency/reach ( Recency, Eff.Freq etc.) so what the reason to choose one of them? Or decision which theory works better depends only media planners point of view how ad is working? Thanks a lot!

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, April 17, 2009 ):
The decision is a judgment call, presumably based on experience. "Better" depends on the category. Recency says the most recently seen ad is most effective, but obviously this should be more relevant to the less-considered purchase, such as brand of cheese, and less relevant to a more considered purchase such as a luxury car.


Saturday, October 11, 2008 #7616
When planning traditional out-of-home media buys I use the eTelmar Outdoor Synergy system. From day one when I started working at my current media planning and buying group I have been told that the media delivery goal was to be between 60% and 80% market 5+ reach. In the cases where OOH is to be the only medium used the goal is to be between 70% and 80% and if OOH is to be used in combination with other media the goal is to be between 60% and 70%. My question is in regards to the "5+ effective reach" we use. I can't find anyone to tell me why we use "5+" versus "3+" and I was hoping maybe you could shed some light on it for me. Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, October 11, 2008 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses about setting effective frequncy levels


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

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 18, 2008 ):
> You really need a computer with software such as that offered by Telmar.

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


Wednesday, May 07, 2008 #7542
Good Morning Guru- I have been asked by a client to place a spots schedule in the top 20 US Markets. I notice from SQAD that this has the ability to reach 44% of the US households. Where is the "tipping point" where it is more cost effective to buy national instead of spot? In all my years, I have never bought national...how does this differ from spot and how do I learn.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, May 07, 2008 ):
"National" should mean network. Today we have broadcast network, e.g. NBC, ABC, Fox, CW, etc, and spot consists of their local station affiliates, such as WNBC in New York, KABC in LA, WNYW in NY and independent local stations.

National can also refer to cable networks like Bravo or ESPN, and the "spot" scenario of buying local DMA interconnects or MSOs. There are national alternatives like Telamerica Cable Connect as well.

Assuming you mean the first of these situations, you can compare buying one network announcement that covers the entire country or a spot on each of the affiliates of that network. In terms of "effectiveness" this should be more or less equal, assuming your brand is evenly sold across the country. If there are gaps in distribution or variations in sales rate, spot in selected markets or some network weight supplemented by spot in key markets could be more "effective."

But, you probably mean to ask which is more "efficient."

Almost invariably, a network spot costs less than the sum of all the local spots that make up that same audience. So, at what point in buying spot markets does the cost equal the national for only a portion of the audience value? It will probably be around 45-50% of US coverage if you are buying top markets, but there can be significant variance depending on daypart and demo.

SQAD also offers network cost tools that can allow you to make the case-by-case comparison easily.


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

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

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


Monday, January 14, 2008 #7474
TRP levels change from one market to another and countries. With the globalization, US clients many times don't understand that what works in the US not necesarly works in other countries. My question? Do you have a comparison between effective TRP levels in the US vs other countries? Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, January 14, 2008 ):
Even within the U.S., TRP levels' effectiveness vary across market segments like Hispanic vs Black consumer vs B2B vs general market. E.g. the reach/ frequency results of the same radio GRP can be quite different in Black of Hispanic radio than general market radio.

Even other countries have significant ethnic submarkets, for example Boers in South Africa, English in China, etc. Media types is another kink.

Your question would have 1000+ answers if it even made senst to attempt it.


Friday, December 28, 2007 #7464
In national industry with quiet competition, not much advertising - strongest competitor did unprecedented national cable TV buy and acheived significant brand name recognition resulting in gains. Moved the bar. We need to place more nationally now to keep up - currently doing regional spot cable buys in few larger DMA's. Would it be more cost effective to do national cable network buy or national spot cable in mid-sized and up DMA's for max reach(Service not typically used as much in rural areas.) Also, any research on how much average TV ad spend it takes to achieve national brand name recognition? I've heard $25 million but don't know the source of that figure.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, December 29, 2007 ):
Every case is unique, but in rules-of-thumb terms,
  1. If thinking of national brand name recognition, you should be thinking of national media
  2. Arbitrary numbers like $25 million are just that, arbitrary. If your target needs you to be in more expensive (less efficient) media to get to a certain point with the right image or environment, so be it. If more efficient media work, that's even better. Set reach goals and price a plan.
  3. National buys are almost always more cost effective than local / regional, unless you can truly ignore large portions of the country.
  4. "Rural areas" do not account for much of the country.


Tuesday, December 04, 2007 #7455
Hi What is effective cover? Is it the same as effective reach?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, December 04, 2007 ):
"effective cover" is unfamiliar. effective coverage might be a term you have seen abbreviated that way. Adding the word "effective" to another media metric like reach means that there is some limitation to the measurement, as effective reach means that we are counting only the portion of the reach that has received some designated amount of frequency of exposure.

Coverage is generally used in one of two ways:

  • The portion of a demographic group that is in the audience of a single issue / episode of a media vehicle, most often a print vehicle, or
  • The portion of a media market with the opportunity to see a media vehicle issue, most typically newspaper coverage, calculated as circulation households.

The limitation that might be intended by any particular use of "effective coverage" is unclear. Often cable and syndicated tv programs use coverage to describe the portion of the U.S. in the markets where the programming is available, regardless of whether or not everyone in those markets subscribes to that cable network or ever choses to view the program. In such a case, "effective coverage" might be one way to put it.


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

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

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


Friday, November 23, 2007 #7452
What is the average ROI for newspaper advertising? Where can I find this info?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, November 25, 2007 ):
The question is inherently unanswerable and the answer would be virtually useless if found.

There are far too many non-advertising variables involved, on top of the many, many advertising variables that would make almost any result non-applicable to another scenario.

  • On the media side, size, coloration, coverage, budget, schedule and use of other media if any, are variables are too complex to allow any result to apply to any other situation. Just for example, effectiveness typically follows a bell-like curve: lesser effectiveness at the low spending end, before enough reach, frequency and awareness is built and again at the high when wear-out and exhausting the supply of new prospects may set in.
  • In other advertising issues, the strength of the copy, the "offer" and price are critical variables.
  • On the non advertising side, the price and profit margin are crucial. How could you expect any relevance of the ROI of a retail frozen vegetables campaign to apply to a national luxury auto campaign? Seasonality and promotional periods also muddy the waters.

Beyond all this, since ROI is specific to brands and thus proprietary information, it is not likely one could get ROI on enough of the various campaigns to average anyway.

Nonetheless, try The Newspaper National Network for possible useful information.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, June 05, 2007 #7350
I am planning for television advertising in U.S.I dont know how to go about with it to start off, I just have an idea that there is broadcast Network and Cable. How effective is both n which is the best one for local audience? Which is more cost effective? Also if you let me know which all things i need to consider for cable and broadcast respectively to analyse which is better? Thanks Again

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 10, 2007 ):
"Network" is a national medium

"Cable" is a network form as well.

"Network" refers generally to national, not local, media.

"Network," meaning broadcast network programming, and cable both are locally available in a form of buying called "spot."

Either can be highly effective if used properly. Broadcast offers greater ratings and reach potential.

Once you establish your objectives and strategies for communication, you need to find the appropriate outlets in the markets you are targeting and discuss price, program environment, audience and demographics.


Thursday, April 26, 2007 #7317
Through what media vehicles are active seniors most effectivley reached? I am targeting active seniors for a brand new retirement home in a 100,000 pop city.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, April 28, 2007 ):
First you need to develop quantitative definitions of "Senior" and "Active."

Let's imagine you decide it's persons 65+ who regularly participate in any sports.

Then you decide what you mean by "effectively reached." Is it large audience numbers (coverage), high concentrations (composition) or motivation of those reached due to advertising environment?

Then, using syndicated media research such as MRI or Simmons or Scarborough or similar, you can cross-tab that demographic with media choices to determine best coverage or composition. "effectively" may be based on observing the successes of competitors or your own testing.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007 #7296
what are the factors in effective media planning

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 08, 2007 ):
If you are referring to "effective reach" / "effective frequency" planning, it is a matter of combining media elements to deliver a given reach at a specified minimum frequency level. For extensive Guru comment on this click here to see more than 100 past Guru responses on this topic


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

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


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

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

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


Friday, March 24, 2006 #7118
I'm planning media for a reputed airline brand in a market that has the competition dominated by about 4 key players - 3 general (premium) airline brands & 1 LCC's (Low Cost Carriers). Whilst my brands media spends has been a low constant over the years, they are very keen to sponsor day parts (morning drive-time, evening drive-time & mid-day day parts) on radio as almost all competition dominate these day-parts in form of sponsorships. Some competitors carry on-air calling promos regularly to attract listeners to the station/ promo. Sponsoring the entire day-parts such as 0600 to 1000hrs in the morning is an expensive proposition hence a two-week on air call-in promo was looked at in a station not having a major reach in listenership figures where two air tickets with accommodation was the prize offered. Client was not too happy with the outcome but the actual response for the promo was higher than the usual response for the station. Client is very keen to how best to use radio in this context. Personally I feel based on the inherent attributes of Radio such as passiveness of the media, perish ability of the media that radio is best used for tactical activities such as promotions & competitions perhaps but not for strategic usage which is what most of the competition here is using radio for (except for the on-air or calling-in promo they do once-in-a-way). Please advice in a context like this what are the kind-of tools or ways we could best use radio creatively?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 26, 2006 ):
The Guru believes the question is not how to use radio, but what medium to use to achieve goals. But your goal is not clear. Is it simply to sell air tickets? Many direct response media options might do this effectively. Is it to build awareness? Other media and mixes might be best, with a reach emphasis.


Thursday, March 16, 2006 #7112
Hi Guru. How about "the minimum GRP reached for effective tv campaign"? Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 18, 2006 ):
There is no specific minimum. Many planners "feel comfortable" at 100 GRP, but mix and reach / frequency goals are more important. Other details such as purchase cycle and budget have theri impact as well.


Wednesday, November 30, 2005 #7061
Guru, when a local media property or station is promoting itself to the business community or media buyers, is there a rule of thumb that says promoting % reach or the number of viewers/readers/listeners is more effective? Thanks for any words of wisdom.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 04, 2005 ):
The only clear rule the Guru knows for these cases is: more is better.


Thursday, July 14, 2005 #6973
What is the difference between TVR and reach and How do benchmark effective levels of reach?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, July 17, 2005 ):
TVR is rating. The audience size of a single program or commercial announcement, as a percentage of the populaiton universe under consideration,

TVR is equivalent to the reach of this single instance.

reach is the net accumulation of unduplicated audience, the number of different member of the population exposed to the entire set of programs or advertsing schedule.

Click here for past Guru responses about levels.


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


Tuesday, February 22, 2005 #6806
I have been asked to evaluate spending money on a transit program versus adding GRPs and/or weeks to our existing radio campaign with the same amount of budget. The problem is that comparing GRPs for one versus the other, transit clearly has higher levels and extremely high frequency if you believe the numbers they provide. Any additional thoughts?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 23, 2005 ):
Transit GRP are real, but they are based on traffic with an opportunity to see the poster. The real distinction of out of home is the limited message as compared to radio.

If your message can be simple, and reach/frequency are your top communications goals, then transit can be a powerful addition and probably more effective than adding more to an already adequate schedule in your main medium.


Thursday, February 10, 2005 #6790
I'm making a presentation to a franchise group in which I'm supposed to explaing planning/buying of media (largely electronic). Can you direct me to any web site or book that might be good for finding a basic overview or possibly a presentation? Thanks, Paul spector@cwnet.com

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, February 12, 2005 ):
Franchisees are rarely, if ever, experienced in media planning or buying. Generally, they will think schedules including their own favorite programs or those watched by people they know are the right programs and that the average price per unit of a package applies equally to all units(" I get prime time for $50 a spot!"). They don't think about plans being more than schedules purchased

Please excuse the Guru's cynical voice of experience. They think spots aired when the store is closed are worthless.

The point is, minimize discussion of reach, frequency and research methodology. Talk about effectiveness and consumer response.


Wednesday, February 02, 2005 #6772
Hi Guru, We recentrly presented a print plan to our client which we believed would have been highly effective in reaching Prof./Manag Men 25-54. The client then proceeded to compare our impressions against the impressions delivered by their online plan which were significantly higher (20.4MM vs. 3.4MM). Is this really an apples to apples comparison? Is there another way to compare the efficiences of the 2 plans?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, February 06, 2005 ):
"Efficiency" is cost per thousand impressions. So, if that's your only standard, that's that. But experience should tell the client something about the value of a print impression versus an online impression. Generally, online impressions are less expensive than print or tv impressions. If the two plans had the same cost and print impressions were six times as numerous as online, instead of vice versa, among the defined target you specify, then something is wrong.

If the plan is direct response, each thousand print impression might deliver 5-10 times the response of online, if it's static rather than "rich" media.

Yes, there are other standards than efficiency. What else is important here?

In short, comparing print and online solely on cpm is foolish.


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

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

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

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


Sunday, November 28, 2004 #6705
MG, I believe I've seen recent news about efforts to align methods for measuring online and offline media. My first question: Are you familiar with these efforts? Second: Have you seen any data ranking the "effectiveness" of specific channels online and offline. (Clearly "effectiveness" is a tricky label, but I'm referring to it only in the sense of the effort to align measurement methods referred to above.) Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, December 02, 2004 ):
1. Yes, the Guru is aware of such alignment efforts. They have been going on almost since the dawn of internet advertising in 1995. Organizations like CASIE, Association of National Advertisers, American Association of Advertising Agencies and The Advertising Research Foundation have led these efforts.

More recently, The Internet Advertising Bureau is a leader. The newly linked I/PRO and BPA internet audit effort, with the participation of Agencies for Internet Audits, is also a force for this goal.

The essential unit of media measurement is agreed among traditional and online media to be the "impression;" one exposure of one ad to one person. Although measurment methods differ among media types, once there is agreement to impression numbers, moving to reach, frequency and GRP figures is relatively easy.

2. As you acknowledge, "effectivenss" is subject to interpretation and is best examined within an advertising category. One medium may be best for selling real estate another for cars and a different one for diamond jewelry. Within a medium, it is more reasonable to compare the effectiveness of various vehicles, while controlling for copy variations. And of course defintions of effectiveness are variable; sales, awareness, share change, etc.

One great advantage of online advertising is its accountability and immediately measurable results.


Wednesday, November 24, 2004 #6701
My question is two-fold. We are trying to project the number of responses from a print campaign in trade publications. Realize that there are many variables to consider (offer, response mechanism, size of ad) but are there any rules of thumb on response rate. Would the response rate be applied to gross impressions, net impressions, of net effective impressions (e.g., % reach at 3+ level). Thank you, in advance, for your thoughtful consideration.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 24, 2004 ):
The Guru does not know of any specific rules of thumb here. The various publications may have some parameters. Generally, the Guru is used to seeing rates applied to gross or net impressions.


Thursday, November 04, 2004 #6670
Dear Guru, I have several clients that like to say they want to place a media campaign with the main objective being to "raise awareness." Even if they give me an actual set percentage to measure from, say increase awareness by 20%, how do I know what GRP's to plan to? Besides the old rule of thumb of a min. of 3 frequency, are there any set "standards" in the industry of a min. reach and GRP goal to have an effective awareness campaign (I know that sounds very broad...that's why I need help!)

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, November 04, 2004 ):
We are discussing ad awareness, of course:

Consider the current level first. For a newly advertised product, growing awareness from 10% to 30% might be relatively easy as comarey to grwoing awareness of a product with 70% awareness to 90%.

The Guru would posit that the first step in growing awareness is by assuring reach is at least at the desired level of awareness; i.e. you won't attain 80% awareness without reaching 80% of the target.. . You will likely need to reach them 3 or more times. However, if advertising is contiuous, you may consider frequency over longer period of time.


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

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


Thursday, June 17, 2004 #6514
Hi Guru. I have been given the task of planning and buying some spot TV in 5 DMAs to promote a live event in one of those DMAs. There will also be follow-up spots right after the event. On rare occasions in the past when we've bought TV spots, it was on a cost per spot basis. I've been told to do it on a CPP basis this time. I understand what a CPP is and how SQAD works, but how do I determine how many points I need to buy in order to effectively reach my target audience? I don't have my budget for this yet, and anticipate them asking me how much $ I would need to do this right. Can you help me?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 20, 2004 ):
The essence of your needs is in determining what portion of your target audience you need to reach, how often, and over how long a period of time. reaching the majority of the target (at least 50%) at least three times is a starting point.

Then, you need reach calculation software to see what level of GRP gets you there. The Guru's favorite software, naturally, is our own eTelmar.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


Sunday, April 04, 2004 #6448
Dear Guru, What is meant by flatter quintiles in terms media plan and how is it important?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 04, 2004 ):
Consider the adjacent sample quintiles. The 20% of the target with the lightest frequency of exposure averages only a frequency of 1.0, and the next lightest 1.1. Those most heavily exposed have a freqeuncy of 7.5.

The plan would be more effective, especially among the 40% least exposed, if these frequencies were more like the average exposure of 3.1. or if the quintiles were "flatter." Various manipulations of schedule and mix can deliver flatter quintile results

QUINTILE reach Freq GRP
Highest
6.2
7.5
46.3
Next Highest
6.2
3.7
23.0
Middle
6.2
2.2
13.4
Next Lowest
6.2
1.1
7.0
Lowest
6.2
1.0
6.2
Total
31.0
3.1
95.9


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

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, March 17, 2004 #6422
Hi Guru, I am planning a internet plan for client. Pleas help me to what data I have to put in plan to convince client the choosen site,the format(logo, banner, popup,..) most effective or approriate. My client is an IT Manufacturer. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 21, 2004 ):
Given the established target, compare sites for their ability to reach this target (coverage) and their focus on the target (composition). Then consider the appropriateness and supportiveness of site content.

For format, consider effectiveneess measures such as clicks, awareness building and available placement. Also consider audience reaction, for example, there is growing objection -- among some audiences -- to pop-ups.


Friday, March 12, 2004 #6417
Guru, For a reach DTC plan, do you think it's effective to go into 8 books only once or 4 books twice? Or what do you suggest Thanks, Kim

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 14, 2004 ):
This depends on several factors. How thoroughly do the 8 or the four cover the target? If it's truly a reach plan than the one of the two with the higher reach is better. If the reaches are close, then the four book plan will probably have better frequency and be more effective.


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


Saturday, January 31, 2004 #6372
I am doing an assignment for university based on recruitment for one of the armed forces. i cannot decide which would be most effective- to use higher frequency or reach..any ideas??

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 31, 2004 ):
The answer has many variables. reach can be more expensive than frequency. Minority targets can be more difficult to reach and have fewer media options than a general audience. Suppose you had a ridiculously small budget of only $2500 and want to recruit Arab Americans. The problem would then be reach versus efficient targeting. Broad reach might argue for outdoor media in a neighborhood densly populated by Arab Americans, e.g. Brooklyn, New York's Atlantic Avenue. But that budget would buy only one small posting for 5 months. It could achieve substantial reach in that small area and good frequency but with a limited message and considerable waste.

City-wide Arabic newspapers might offer three different options covering broader geography for the same length of time. This would likely increase reach and lose frequency.

In short, never ignore budget parameters when thinking about reach versus frequency. With a more reasonable budget of $25,000, for the same goals, think more about reach and multiple media and adequate frequency will be there.

reach versus frequency needs can also depend on awareness. If your audience is highly aware of your offering but needs persuading, then frequeuncy is probably more important; with no awareness, reach is primary.


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

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


Monday, January 19, 2004 #6344
Is it better to advertise in the same medium as your competitors or somewhere completely seperate, what factors would effect your decision?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, January 19, 2004 ):
  1. Is the medium in question the only one -- or one of the few -- that reaches your target or reaches it effectively? For some niche consumer targets or B2B targets choices are very limited.
  2. If choices are more open, then consider relative levels; you probably do not want to be a small advertiser where competitors will overwhelm you in weight or "quality" such as units size/coloration or subjective copy quality.
  3. Regardless of the first two points, can you somehow stand out; with break-through advertising, positioning or support from secondary media?


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


Monday, December 15, 2003 #6314
Dear Guru, Thank you for answering my questions about the CPM ranges. I was surprised to see that b2b CPM was so high. What are the CPM ranges of TV and radio? And what is in your opinion the most cost-effective medium for reaching upscale audiences?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 21, 2003 ):
True B2B magazines may target very narrow audiences, such as top banking executives or petrolem engineering management. Target Universes can be as few as 5-10,000, so that an audeince of 2,000 is quite resepectable. If the irreducible coast of producing a high quality four-color page is $4,000, cpm is $2,000.

TV and radio can have cpms in the $5 to $25 range depending on target and program selection.

Cost-effective media for the upscale audience are most likely to be print and online. CPM may not be great, but out of pocket is more controlled.


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

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

Click here to see past Guru responses about levels.


Friday, November 07, 2003 #6235
Hi Guru Is there research on effectiveness of advertising in cinema's (i.e. compared to TV)? Do you know something about research on the relation between medium reach and advertising reach in cinema? Can you tell me about the effectiveness of the combination of cinema and TV, radio, print or outdoor? Can you tell me about the quality of the reach of a cinema commercial? What do you think of the future of the cinema as an advertising medium? I'm a media planner from the Netherlands Thanks a lot Kind regards Michiel Veugelers

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, November 09, 2003 ):
Cinema advertsing has not amounted to much in the US, where advertising is virtually everywhere. It has been more important in Europe. Perhaps ESOMAR, the European Survey, Opinion and Market Research Organization has some data.


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

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, October 07, 2003 #6189
Dear Guru, With all due respect, I had written you back in September about a situation I was encountering (below) and received a response that I found extrememly puzzling. You said that my question had to do with copy opposed to media. Guru, copy is a part of media and a vital one at that. You also sent me to a link where you mentioned wear out. I went to the link and didn't find much to answer my question. Being sincere with my next question, why do you spend time to respond in depth to people with ridiculous questions (How do I buy spot cable, what's a CPM, etc) from people who could find the simple answer in a "Media 101" book, while mine is a rationale, functioning question and concern? Product life (packaging influenced) is also part of media. Why blow all of this off? Thank you, CRH Previous question: Dear Guru, 2 Qs: 1.) My client created a TV ad campaign and RIGHT before we launched, a competitor with lower quality/lower price/larger packaging had close to the SAME TV ad campaign! I feel product confusion has happened between my client's premium brand and that of the less expensive "knock-off" product. Do you concur? Any research to back this theory? 2.) Because of my theory, I have advised my client to change ads IMMEDIATELY. They have agreed and we will begin to advertise our OLD ADS starting October. I feel "ad quality restoration" has been achieved through our previous ad's 6 month hiatus. My client and I find that our campaigns last for about 6 months before we experience ad wearout, based on copy and frequency wearout. However, returning to an OLD AD where we are basing campaign results on ad quality restoration, how long will our old ads last, given new ads burnout in 6 months? should we plan on only 3 months since the audience will quickly remember the ads again? Your thoughts? Any research to back this up? Please help! -Media guru grasshopper. The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, September 14, 2003 ): Much of this question is about copy and product, not media. Regarding the wearout issue, there will probably be quicker wearout than with a new ad, but that is hard to quantify.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 10, 2003 ):
1.) Regarding copy vs. media, quite simply, you are wrong.

Advertising is two essential elements:
Copy (creative message or "the Ad," and
media, the vehicles (TV/Radio/Magazines/Outdoor/Online) which deliver the Ad to the audience.

The Guru deals with the planning, buying and analysis of media. This has nothing to do with copy, the advertising message itself except to decide whether the media is suitable to carry the message and communicate effectively with the target audience. Often, a media professional determines for which media copy should be created to best reach or influence the target, but this is far from deciding marketing or message strategy.

2.) The Guru's past responses about wearout include 50+ more or less detailed comments on the topic, which is a subjective concept at best. If you can define wear out, you can measure it.

3.) The Guru's stated purpose is to answer questions about media planning/buying/research. People who aske "media 101" questions didn't take the course, and the Guru would not accomplish much by telling half his users to look at a text book. Occasionally, that might be the only answer, but the Guru preferes to deal directly with media questions.

If you have signed up for a media position but have found yourself making copy decisions, that's a problem. But not a media problem. Luckily for you, AMIC offers a double-your-money-back on the fee for using the Guru, if you are not satisfied with the answers.


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

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


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

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

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


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

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


Thursday, March 27, 2003 #5909
Dear Guru, I'm curious, as a media planner, buyer, how can I utilize information about a radio stations P1s and P2s to produce a more efficient and effective buy. Also,is this info readily available? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 30, 2003 ):
P1 and P2 are Arbitron concepts and are available in Arbitron data.

If you have made a value judgement about P1 and P2 such as the idea that the people among listeners to a station for whom it is first preference (P1) are an advertising audience reached more effectively, then you can evaluate the station in an additional way regarding its efficiency in your buy and perhaps have an advantage if you can justify a lower priced station, not that the Guru endorses this approach.

For details about interpeting P1 / P2, see Arbitron's How to read a P1 report.


Sunday, March 16, 2003 #5882
Dear Guru: our client (a premium price mineral water with a great brand awareness, although years of absence in communication) is considering 2 different media plan for the relaunch campaign: first based on national tv + press and the 2nd on press+outdoor. The budget is 1/4, 1/3 of the top spender in the market. In tv there is a very competitive arena (200-300 grp's per week). The positioning of the brand should target affluent, dinamic and young women: in your opinion it's better to concentrate the media budget on media less used by competitors (targeted press and outdoor) developing a "great noise" or you think it's better plan tv like the 95% of our competitors, risking to not be visible? thank you very much (sorry for my english)

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 20, 2003 ):
In this case the Guru thinks being big in unique media has an advantage, if you can reach the people you need to reach. But do consumers think about relative frequency within media or are they simply exposed to what they are exposed to?

Can you make a case for one medium being more effective than the other?


Wednesday, November 27, 2002 #5649
How can I optimize a media plan based on advertising response curve???

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 01, 2002 ):
If your advertising response curve is assumed to be "S" shaped (as in many published studies), this means there are diminshing returns as frequency (repeated exposure) is added after an optimal point.

One approach to optimization on this basis might be to begin building reach in the most effective medium, and add the next most effective medium at the point of diminishing returns of the first. Then, the added exposures would be more likely to hit a previously unexposed group of prospects.

This assumes you will base your judgement of "most effective medium" on the one which generates the most results (sales / awareness / perception change, etc.) per dollar. . . and track incremental results on the same basis.


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

These points will guide you to weight and daypart mix.

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

Try Japan Marketing Association for some help.


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

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


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

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

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


Friday, June 07, 2002 #5335
I'm looking for a resource that compares different mediums of advertising and their effectiveness in the market (cost vs.numbers reached/caipaign success rates), where could I find the name of such a publication the publication.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 08, 2002 ):
The problem is in defining "campaign success rates." One definition might work in direct response and quite another in a package goods awareness campaign or a political or corporate image campaign.

It is a mistake to compare without considering the standards of succes for the category or without considering the importance of factors beyon the medium itself, like creative, for example.

It is reasonable easy to find media efficiency comparisons, using sources like AMIC's Ad Data area.


Wednesday, May 22, 2002 #5300
what are the best metrics for measuring: 1.media effectiveness 2.media efficiency

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, May 23, 2002 ):
1. When available, the best metric for effectiveness is sales or some direct measure of the ultimate goal. Sometimes the ultimate goal is a change in image or increse in awareness. These goals are almost never purely a result of media, except in controlled test scenarios.

2. Media efficiency is simply a matter of definition:
Audience achieved per dollar spent.
"Audience" may be expressed as thousands of impressions or rating points or sometimes, net reach


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

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

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


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

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


Thursday, April 18, 2002 #5230
Dear Guru, Thank you so much for this GREAT website, really it was very helpful for us. I have a question, I think it was previously asked but I couldnt find the answer I want. How outdoor mediums are evaluated? Such as Mupi Road Dividers signs, Billboards, and 4X3 signs. We are from Jordan located in the Middle East and we have a software which we use to evaluate other mediums such as TV, Radio, and print but not outdoor. I would really appreciate if you can work on this example: From the software: Total population is 2131000 (all the figures are from the software - research) The TG audience is Married Females SEC ABC&D: sec = monthly income 200JD + Total # of TG is 398,200 19% of the total population. We are selecting 100 faces of the 4mx3m signs across the Capital City. The total number of cars in the capital city Amman is 1,131,860 53% The period of the campaign is 1 week. I wonder if the above information might help you giving me the answer in evaluating this campaign and getting the figures for GRPs , reach , AOTS. In anticipation of your kind reply & thanks in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, April 20, 2002 ):
Generally, outdoor media are based on "DEC" or daily effective circulation, which is an estimate of the traffic passing the average posting and is oriented so that it can see signs. In the US, when Total DEC of a schedule equals the population, that is called a #100 showing or 100 GRP.

Techniques for estimating DEC vary from place to place and according to type of sign. A month of 100 GRP ought to have a reach of 95% or so. The Guru could not possibly have specific data on all the signage and demographic variants of all the countries in the world.


Tuesday, February 26, 2002 #5120
Dear Guru, In building reach for a retail chain we have put the emphasis on daily targeted campaigns featuring high TRP levels. For example 350 trps over two days. Would we be better off to spread this over one week. Would the reach be any higher. Can you show me the difference in reach of 350 trps over two days, one week and four weeks. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 27, 2002 ):
The answer will depend upon target, daypart mix and other variables.

Broadly, some expanison of schedule days increases reach, by virtue of the opportunity to catch people whose media use habits vary over different days. Differences in shopping habits will aslo impact effectivness. Spreading too far may diminish reach if you concentrate in fewer dayparts.

reach differences should be small if nothing else varies. effectiveness is also sustained by the frequency change which will balances any reach change. You need to play with schedule variations in some felxible media software, such as eTelmar's.


Sunday, February 24, 2002 #5111
What is the most effective advertising to reach a Senior Target - Adults 55 and over with Income under $17,000/yr. The product is apartments, the market is Greenville County, South Carolina. The budget is only $10,000. What do you recommend other than Sunday Real Estate Newspaper Ads that will be efficient and effective?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 25, 2002 ):
Even assuming that your prospects are all local, the budget doesn't seem serious. You might afford 200 GRP of radio or a similalry indeaquate local cable scehdule. If your prospects might be northerners looking for retirement homes, which seems unlikely at that income level, small space national magazine ads in smaller, senior-oriented magazines might be effective.

Bottom line, you need a real budget, or you're stuck in the real estate section and maybe pennysavers.


Thursday, January 24, 2002 #5033
Is there any data out there that provides ROI information on Radio/Print/TV/Cable Schedules. Just some basic numbers. For example, we mostly know that direct mail averages about a 2% response. Is there a formula or somewhere I can go to get info for Radio or TV? For example #2 My client is placing a certain number of grps on Radio and wants to know of the people reached, how many will attend the event advertised (like a one day seminar). What they want to know is on average how many people reached respond to an ad (Print/Radio/cable/TV). Any where I can find a rough estimate or some research- This is kind of like the "Ad effectiveness Lab" that Arbitron is working on , but is not finished with.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 31, 2002 ):
There are too many variables to generalize. It depends much, much more on the message and product than on the medium. An event is different than a movie, which is different than an inexpensive household product which is purchased frequently, which is different than a big-ticket item bought every few years.

One good resource is an article, "Advertising Wearin and Wearout" in the September/October 1998 Journal of Advertisng Research.

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


Monday, January 21, 2002 #5023
Dear Guru... What is your opinion on the following: How long should a Teaser ad run and how far ahead should it run prior the Anouncement ad? Can you advise on research sources...all I run into is reach and freq data, but none really on Teaser ad effectiveness, etc. Thxs! CTS

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 31, 2002 ):
The Guru doesn't thinks this is really a media issue. It's copy and marketing. Different message types will call for different strategies. So, too, will other marketing issues. A store opening, with a definite start date, but infinite duration is different from a two-day sale, which is different than a movie opening, which is different froma new product in a low-interest category, which is different froma new product in a high interest category, which are all diiferent than the introduction of a new flavor / size / model / of an existing product.


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

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


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

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

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

For research, try The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB)


Wednesday, November 21, 2001 #4901
I am considering selling a simple, novel, kitchen handtool using national newspaper advertising to reach an audience of several million potential purchasors. The advert will have a black and white photo of the handtool with a simple, clear selling message and call to action (telephone orderline to place credit card payment). Assuming my product is correctly priced and has reasonable appeal and my advert is reasonably well constructed and effective, what range of order response rate can I reasonably expect to see (i.e. what percentage of the newspaper readership could reasonably be expected to order based on experience of similar advertising campaigns?). A percentage range (low to high) would be a useful answer rather. Many thanks for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 21, 2001 ):
There is not really enough information for an accurate projection. The results might be anywhere from 0.1% to 3% of persons reached.

Try Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


Monday, November 05, 2001 #4863
Our agency sell advertising and sponsorship for the Mille Miglia (www.millemiglia.com), one of the main international event for classic car amateurs: how can we effectively reach our focus target (affluent classic car amateur) in Usa? Thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 07, 2001 ):
There are magazines aimed at this audience (see PubList) and there may be some ESPN programs worth using.


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Marketing

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

Message / Creative

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

Media

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

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


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

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

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


Tuesday, July 10, 2001 #4564
Hi Guru! I am looking for any statistics on the use of piggybacked :30s (to make one :60) in radio and :15s (to make one :30) in TV to increase awareness/ effectiveness. Does this technique help?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 11, 2001 ):
The Guru doesn't follow your reasoning. Are you expecting that repeating a :15 twice in thirty seconds will have more effectiveness ore build more awarness than stand-alone :15s at the same budget or more than whole :30s at that budget?

Pairs of piggy-backed :15s in TV will no doubt yield less awareness than stand-alone :15s, because the reach will be less. As to effectiveness, you need to define that in terms of awareness, intent to purchase, sales results etc. Pairs of piggy backed :15s versus whole :30's would yield the same reach. There might be more awareness because of the apparent error, but there will be reduced message content.

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


Monday, July 09, 2001 #4562
Dear Guru, Our client has asked me to produce a "payout scenario" that they would be able to expect in sales based on a national plan that I have done for them. I don't know what the creative will look like because it is done in house. How can I calculate the sales potential of a media plan? Thanks again.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 11, 2001 ):
Except in direct reposnse scenarios with considerable past history, this can only be very approximate. Try the following steps:
  • What percent of the target will buy the product over the period of the plan if there is no plan?
  • What percent of persons will you reach at effective levels during the plan?
  • What percent of non-target persons will buy the product over the period of the plan if there is no plan?
  • What percent of non-target persons will you reach at effective levels during the plan?
  • Can you assume that current non-users will be moved to purchase by exposure to the plan?

Of course a lot depends on whether the advertising is aimed at new-user trial, increasing use among currentusers, using up, etc.

Once you have all these assumptions organized, then comparing the value of projected added sales to the cost of advertising leads to payout estimates.


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

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

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


Monday, June 25, 2001 #4515
Dear Guru, I have found out that media plans made by planners was not based on what we have learn about the concept of Marketing, and that is planning based on specific target market/segment that their clients wanted to reach. For example, a client wants to reach woman 20-45, and children 5-10 middle to upper (Social Economic Status Classification A, B). What planners will do is running ACNielsen's software combining those demographic caracteristics all together : Woman/Children/AB/5-10/20-40 to find the best media/program that would reach the highest rating and reach instead of running it separately : 1. Woman 20-40, A 2. Woman 20-39, B 3. Children 5-10, A 4. Children 5-10, B My proffesional opinion on the way planners plan, was wrong! They would end up with : 1. Combination of reach (Woman, AB 20-40, Children 5-10, AB) 2. Not knowing the exact result of how the product reach at Woman A, an B, also at Children ; not to mention the age yet! 3. A reach that is actually low for each segments, because of insufficient media selectivity. I understant that planners will not like this fact, because they would have put more effort in the future. But tell me your opinion on this ? (theoretically & proffesionally)

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, June 25, 2001 ):
First, as the Guru sees it, you are not thinking about a media plan, you are talking about determining the schedule of a media buy, resulting from a plan.

Once a target is determined, how to best reach that taget withing the media selected can be approached in various ways. Here you are talking about two compleletly separate targets, not levels of specificity; a group of children and a group of adult women.

One would not expect there to be programs with appeal to both groups. But if single televison homes were common in your country there could well be programs watched by mothers and children together.

Nevertheless, it should be far more effective to buy the best programs for the adult woman group and the best for the kid group than to try for programs getting both audiences. If the software to which you refer is an optimizer it would theoretically examine various programs to find the best schedule, not judge each program on its owm. The key to optimizers is especially to consider what each Added program contributes to buying goals, not each program in a vacuum. Recenf articles in the U.S. indicate that optimizers are used much more as conceptual new business-getting tools than in actual buying situations.


Friday, June 22, 2001 #4512
I am putting together a media plan for a new product. It is a new pill dispenser that is targeted to A45-64, who are active. I am trying to research consumber publications that would reach my target audience. I was thinking about Florida and Arizona as geographic target. But I am in need of finding publicatons to effectively advertise this new product. It is an Iowa based company, but we are trying to do a proof of perfomance and get the product sold. Then build a better image. What would be the nest way to go about planning this campaign?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 23, 2001 ):
If you target these states, presumably you are finding a concentration of the age target, because these states are retirement centers. But are "retired" people the active ones you want?

Also, you may be mostly limited to newspapers in this targeting.

Nevertheless, try MRI+


Wednesday, June 13, 2001 #4484
how to approach a media plan for automotive lubricants, where emphasis given on truck drivers, fleetowners and mechanics

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 17, 2001 ):
Determine
  • which media reach this target
  • what media environments are most effective
  • and what schedule is feasible within your budget.


Thursday, June 07, 2001 #4460
Hi, I was wondering if you hace any informationa about the effectiveness of running ads - on tv screens- in supermarkets and fast food restaurants. My client would like to explore this way, in regards to reaching people in a new way, but we suffer from the lack of information in this area.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 07, 2001 ):
These concepts have been around for 25 years or more without becoming established,

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


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

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


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

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


Wednesday, April 11, 2001 #4323
Dear Media Guru, my client is a massive audience tabloid newspaper that needs to sell advertisement. Up to now, its excesive mass profile has been a problem in selling ad space to poweful brands. What kind of campaigns to the advetisers and the media agencies do you recomend? How can I keep the newspaper in their top of mind? Could you help me with outstanding campaigns? Cecilia

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 15, 2001 ):
Pure size should not be a problem for major, reach-oriented brands. Perhaps it's your demographics. But these are marketing and not media problems.

It's no secret that advertisers and media planners can be reached in trade media like AdWeek / MediaWeek. Something more targeted like our own AMIC might also be effective.


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

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


Thursday, March 08, 2001 #4247
Dear Media Guru, I have a client who is interested in an advertising campaign to change the public's opinion of them. I would like to know what would be more effective, a sustained low frequency campaign over an 18 month period or a short 3 month flight with both high reach and high frequency. The budget level is the same either way. The goal is at the end of the 18 month period, the target market should have a MUCH better opinion of the the client. I revere your expertise and look forward to your answer.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 13, 2001 ):
The simplest answer is that if you run a heavy, three month schedule, and then measure target opinion 15 months later, your message is likely to be all but forgotten.

If you spread your schedule over the entire 18 months then you will probably be in a better position at month 18.

A good compromise is probably a brief -- possibly one month -- schedule to establish presence and sustaining spread over the 18 months. Since you appear to be focused solely on image rather than sales, some flighting should not be a problem.


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Click here to see past Guru discussion about establishing levels.


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


Friday, December 01, 2000 #4009
I handle a small investment advisor service client who's target is super affluent. They currently have decent awareness on the east coast but are virtually unknown on the west in LA where they just opened an office. They gave us a $1MM budget and we told them to use local cable on financial networks/programs, & other networks which generally reach a more affluent audience(A&E, Bravo, Golf Channel, etc). They are not convinced that TV will help them penetrate the market and assist with sales calls. Is there any way to convince them that TV is the best and most effective offensive media based on budget and awareness concerns. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, December 02, 2000 ):
You should start with a comparison of target compostion of all the options. Almost anyone accepts tv as the most impactful medium, all else aside. Financial networks are appropriate. However, some print will be far more authoritative than simply affluent cable networks. Wall St. Journal, Barron's, Financial Times, etc.


Thursday, November 30, 2000 #4005
What are the strengths and weakenesses of using a :30 television spot vs. a :10 television spot. And vice- versa?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, December 02, 2000 ):
The sole advantage of a :10 is that it is cheaper than a :30, usually about half the price. This advantage may be turned into added frequency and reach.

But it is a message that may be half --or less -- as effective.

:10s are not as freely available so using the added frequency potential may not be realistic. :15's are the more commonly available short form.


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.


Saturday, November 18, 2000 #3975
How can we reason for the phenomenon that usually longer campaign period(e.g. 3 weeks) could build a better reach for a certain effective freq. level, say 3+, as compared to a short campaign period like 1 week??

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, November 19, 2000 ):
Over a longer period of time, more people become available to be reached, whether once or three times. The reach potential or people who have actually watched TV, over a three week period is greater than the potential in one week.


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, September 27, 2000 #3844
Dear Media Guru, Off the top of your head, what would you say are consumer "target groups" that are the most difficult to reach through television advertising. In other words, what are "target groups" that marketers of consumer packaged goods companies would like to more effectively reach?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, September 28, 2000 ):
"Off the top of the Guru's head" the most difficult targets to reach are not neccessarily the targets for consumer package goods. The toughest ones are probably young men and male teens.

Thinking more broadly, there is the Hispanic market, which is highly desirable to package goods marketers, and not reached effectively by general market TV nor at high reach levels in Spanish language TV.


Wednesday, August 30, 2000 #3769
i'm working on a plan that exclusively uses television and has a attained the reach cap- at what point is it generally effective to add a second medium?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, September 01, 2000 ):
The rate of reach building can be graphed as a "curve." You find a flattening curve as the potential of the medium is approached. (See example below for reach over time). If you plot the reach curve of your tv schedule, with dollars as the x axis, you will see where you begin to add money at a far faster rate than you add reach reach. The spending rate increase is always faster than the reach increase, but there's always a time when the spending increase notably accelerates. That's when to use a secondary medium
.


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


Tuesday, August 29, 2000 #3761
We are a business to business agency, and one of our clients is considering releasing a consumer product. Without investing in Nielsen, Arbitron, and Consumer SRDS- what would you think would be the most effective approach in reaching female teenagers?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, September 01, 2000 ):
Without using any of those resources, and without knowing a budget, the Guru would recommend teen female magazines, such as Seventeen, YM or Teen.


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

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

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


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

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

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


Friday, August 04, 2000 #3676
Do you have any research that shows how using multiple advertising medium (e.g. using radio plus outdoor) can increase effectiveness?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, August 08, 2000 ):
The first purpose of multiple media is to improve reach / frequency for the dollar. Otherwise, there can be many definitions of "effectiveness," such as brand awarenss, ad awareness, sales, etc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, June 13, 2000 #3548
I am in the process of evaluating a print proposal submitted by a business to business annual register with company listings/profiles, accessible by category. In addition to receiving a P4C ad, my client wil also receive 8 bold type listings with descriptive information and 4 bold type listings(company name and phone # only) throughout various sections of the register. At first glance the package looks like a great idea. The circulation is nearly 100% targeted, the CPM (based on the P4C alone) is very low, and there are additional merchandising perks that will expose my client to their target for one full year. The problem is, I must put a "value" on each component of the package. Do you have any ideas on how to place a value on the "bold type listings" described above?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 15, 2000 ):
Your situation is analagous to evaluating reach versus GRPs or a full commerical in a special versus billboards.

Since the deal seems efficient and effective simplay based on the P4C, any value you give to the other elements can be arbitrary and will be just for the sake of dicsussion. Why not calculate the impressions of all the other elements and price them at 25% of the P4C cpm?


Tuesday, May 30, 2000 #3503
Media Guru, I'd like to clarify my question from last week about national media vs. spot media planning. Based on the marketing and communication goals of our client, we have determined that network television is a necessary part of our media mix. We are in the process of aquiring reach/frequency software for national media, but don't currently have it so I can't do a run to determine TRP levels that will generate effective levels of reach/frequency. So, in order to get a feel of what other national advertisers planned, I looked at other plans that contained network television. In looking at those plans I noticed that the TRP levels are significantly lower than spot television plans. Have you noticed that same descrepancy in media plans that you are familiar with? If so, why?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 30, 2000 ):
You must be comparing all-TV plans where one is all spot and the other is all network for these comparisons to make sense, in the first place. If there are other media involved, naturally that will affect TV levels.

In national plans containing both media forms, the network will be mostly low-readh daytime and high-priced prime. So there are reasons to limit investment in each. Spot ususally is concentrated in fringe times, which offer better reach potential than day and better efficiency than prime, so that is one reason for higher spot levels.

In other plan where there is network as well as spot, spot may be used to give extra weight to markets with greater sales or greater sales potential or to fill in market that are underdeliverd by network versus national averages. In any of these cases, spot is typically used at higher levels, but in a short lis of markets.

There is nothing inherent in spot versus network to make spot levels higher than network when either one is the sole medium.


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


Friday, January 21, 2000 #3140
i am doing a project on effectiveness of print medium vs Televion. i would like to know if you have any studies or articles on the same. i would also like to know the trends in advertising spends on both the mediums in various markets across the world especially India. could also please suggest various parameters of comaparing the effectiveness of the two media.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, January 23, 2000 ):
effectiveness studies would be available from Newsweek Media Research Index, ESOMAR, the European Survey, Opinion and Market Research Organization and The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter.

International agencies like YR and Saatchi compile and publish ad-spend data for various countries and regions.

Professionals working in one country and culture typically overlook the basic fact that the relative strengths and impact of the media differ in different cultures. They have the same physical nature, e.g print allows visuals plus detailed text, radio is sound only, tv offers visual/sound and action, yet the strengths may differ.

In one country broadcast is government controlled and print is the only viable commercial medium. In another, TV has only one commercial outlet and one government outlet in each area while radio has few outlets to compete. In yet another culture, radio is the best reach medium while TV has the biggest individual audience ratings and print is very weak.

The ultimate standard of effectiveness is sales, when that can be directly linked to advertising. Brand Awareness and Ad Awareness, Attitude and use, purchase intent, etc are also possible comparisons.


Thursday, January 20, 2000 #3137
Are there any studies on the effectiveness (in terms of cost and reach) of non-traditional mediums, such as, tradeshows and presspacks?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 22, 2000 ):
These marketing tools are evaluated more against direct results than reach. There should be some research on effectiveness at the The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.


Friday, January 14, 2000 #3120
What is the minimun number of GRP's a radio schedule should have to reach A35-64? I have planned a minimun of 50 GRP's for various markets, but I do not know if this is too little, or too much.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, January 19, 2000 ):
The only generally accepted "minimum" in radio advertising is 12 spots per week per station. But GRP must be considered as well in judging communications value.

50 GRPs is almost too small a total schedule to bother with. Most advertisers, pulling a number out of the air would probably start with 100 GRP per week in a campaign if radio is the only medium being used. A total campaign of 50 GRP should reach about 20-22% of the target, at a low level of average frequency: about 2.3. This would not be expected to generate much consumer response.

4 weeks at 100 GRP/week will get about to 50% target reach at an average frequency of 8x.

Certainly budget is a constraint, but effective levels in fewer markets is better than wasting money in a longer market list.


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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Marketing

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

Message / Creative

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

Media

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


Monday, October 04, 1999 #2842
I am doing research for a german based software company, that is about to go international with its produkct. Hereford I am completing a media plan. The countries I am mainly intrested in are Those in europe and in North America. I would like to know where I would get relevant infor mation about; How effective are different types of media in the different countries and what target groups do I reach if I use that type of media. I would prefer this data to be specified for individual magazines, newspapers, tv stations ect. I have read thru your past answers, and my main problem at the moment is that I dont have a large budget to pay a market research company. I am still a student doing this as a final assignment (thesis) for college. I hope you can be of any assistance. Thanks. Arno

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 06, 1999 ):
In the U.S., universities which teach advertising and marketing often have in their library past years' sets of the broad product and media usage studies from MRI or Simmons. Perhaps your school has the same or a relationship with a U.S. university.

By the way, data would not be about TV stations, but about networks and programs. The U.S. has over 1000 TV stations.


Monday, September 27, 1999 #2830
I have read all your responses regarding recency. If you wouldnt mind answering a few more, this is a multiple question predominantly regarding recency as a planning theory. 1) What Telemar program deals with TV R&F on a weekly basis? 2) Do the same audience accumulation formulas work for a one-week cume vs. 4wk or 52 wk? 3) When now planning an a weekly basis rather than a flighted basis are frequency guidelines or goals a consideration in the recency planning theory? 4) Has there been a clear industry swing relative to EF or recency yet? 5) A 1997 JAR article by Erwin Ephron cited some minimum target reach guidelines like 35 weekly, 65 four-week and 80 quarterly. Has there been anything more definitively determined since then (I noticed reply 2631 7/14/99 lowering the weekly reach to 30)? 6) For those espousing recency, is the trend to a 52 presence or extended flighting like 8-10 continuous weeks of each quarter? 7) On the effective Frequency side, where the defacto goal has centered around the 3+ level, has the time frame shifted to anything other than a 4-week period?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


Monday, August 30, 1999 #2750
Let me elaborate further on the question posed by Ajay (Question sent from India , which was answered on 8d August). In India, the data collection and hence reporting of the peoplemeter data is on a weekly basis, unlike the daily collection and reporting in most other markets. Since we follow a weekly collection, the sample is determined for each of the seven days. (after rejecting viewing which does not satisfy the threshold levels of various criteria that the viewing data is supposed to fulfill). As is obvious, this effective sample could be different across the days. Hence, we actually could end up having 7 different samples for each of the seven days. The question now arises as to which of these seven figures to use for projection to the universe. This is the part where the difference in the reach and rating calculations occur. A rating figure is calculated based on the sample for each day. Hence , on Monday, if the effective sample is 95, then this 95 is projected to the universe figures. On Tuesday, the effective sample could be 96 - then this 96 is projected to the universe figures. And so on. Hence the actual weights attached to the sample could vary, though the universe figures remain the same. Once the sample figures have been projected, the ratings are calculated. These rating figures can then be averaged across days , if desired, since a rating figure can be averaged across time periods. On the other hand, a reach figure cannot be averaged. Hence, if the sample is different across each of the days, the dilemma is as to which of the effective sample to use for the projection purpose. Hence they designate one day as REFERENCE DAY. The effective sample on the reference day is the one which is used for projection purposes and hence for all further calculations for reach figures. The reference day changes depending on the period chosen. In India, the research agency has fixed the reference day to be the last day of the period chosen. So, if I vary my period of analysis, the reference day changes and hence my reach figures change. This is where the confusion occurs ! Since a rating calculation does not have a reference day, the ratings don't change, irrespective of the period chosen. So please let us know if this is the norm followed across countries ? Is the concept of reference day valid ? How do other countries deal with this ?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, September 02, 1999 ):
The Guru is not aware of this method in use elsewhere. It does not seem that it would have significant effect unless there are substantial daily variations .


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.


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

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

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

Click here to see past Guru comments on effective reach

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

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


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

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

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

But this all has to be taken in a context of

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


Thursday, July 15, 1999 #2636
Is there any research that explores TV versus TV+Radio advertising? I would like to know if and when radio should be added to TV advertising. Any advice on analyzing this would be extremely helpful. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 15, 1999 ):
Generally, assuming TV is your primary medium and your goal is to maximize reach, adding a new medium begins to be worth considering when the reach curve of TV flattens. Compare how much reach the "next" dollar ads when it's in TV to the amount of reach the dollar would add in radio (reasonable numbers of dollars must be examined).

For effectiveness research, go to the Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.


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.


Thursday, June 10, 1999 #2568
What media are most effective to reach the 65+ market? This is a local/regional campaign, so national media aren't a consideration. I'm looking for any research that shows 65+ audience media usage habits. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 10, 1999 ):
When you eliminate the national media like Modern Maturity , it's difficult. Of course, Modern Maturity, the world's largest circulation magazine, does offer regional editions.

MRI and Simmons report media habits by age. Locally, you are more likely to want to look at radio formats and TV programs with an appeal to your target. Start by identifying one staion in each medium which you are likley to use and requesting research help. Try a talk radio station and ask for Scarborough data.


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

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


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

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

Click here to see past Guru responses


Wednesday, May 19, 1999 #2515
I want to know about the procedure involved in doing the advertising on internet. Which are the factors that has to be considered by a client or a agency to go for internet advertisng? Also how effective is this mode of communication? Don't you think it is more of personal selling ?The another thing is that how adevrtising has changed in the last decade interms of creativity and new ideas with the advent of internet?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 23, 1999 ):
The factors involved in selecting the internet as a medium ar e the same as any other medium:
  • Does the medium reach the target audience?
  • How efficiently?
  • Does the internet environment help the advertising message to make an impact?
  • Are there aspects unique to the medium that create added marketing opportunities, like interactivity, audience involvement, direct selling?

The effectiveness depends on the goal. Brand building may be less effective than in other media, direct reponse more so. Computer-related products may be more successful than those whose relevance is less universal among the internet user.


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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

There are no universal standards for "adjusted GRP."


Thursday, March 18, 1999 #2399
We are currently working with a sit-down restaurant client who has asked us to investigate a market-by- market media mix "optimization" using spot TV and Spot radio. Because the cost of radio is about half of what we are paying in TV, the optimizer continually picks radio as the dominant medium. We know, however, through experience that once we turn on the TV program, results usually happen. Is there any guidance you can provide that would help us in quanitfying this mix outside the realm of what the pure numbers tell us?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 20, 1999 ):
Optimizers, at least worthwhile ones, can be set to "optimize" to any of several criteria. It sounds like you are optimizing only for net audience (reach) efficiency, so radio has an advantage.

The Guru doesn't quite understand what "once we turn on the TV program, results usually happen" means. Has radio not been tried?

Apparently, the client believes reach is the key driver of success, while you believe there is an effectiveness issue inherent in the media types. You need to quantify this difference (is a radio reach point only 75% as sales effective as a TV reach point?) and get the client to accept the quantification, then include the factor in your optimization. Consider also the effects of mix on frequency.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Friday, October 30, 1998 #2118
This is a two part question: PART 1: Attendant to the: (1) clutter in primetime television and (2) the erosion of the 4 network's share of audience, are there any current studies out that addresses the effectiveness of advertising on network TV in prime? PART 2: If the effectiveness of advertising in prime on the net is being affected, then how much less effective does advertising in spot tv (in prime) become? Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 02, 1998 ):
Answer to Part1:

The Guru has not seen studies of the specific factors and chain of causation you desire to examine. It seems most likely that the two causes you cite would work entirely separately to erode the effectiveness of prime time.

The two key benefits of prime were generally taken to be

  • attentiveness, which is likely to be hurt by clutter and

  • high ratings, not important in themselves, but leading to what is often cited as a planning goal, -- high reach. This becomes less avialable with the decline in network share.
The diligent planner will seek various combinations of vehicles to deliver the desired reach within budget, and put the supposed "prestige" of prime time in perspective. (Do viewers of E.R. accept the commercial more readily because they know they are part of a larger than ususal viewing audience?)

Answer to part 2:

Spot prime will or will not be effected to the extent it suffers from the same clutter and erosion. (See the adjacent query about clutter and attentiveness for related information). Your definition of spot prime will effect your answer, too. If you define spot prime as only that which runs on the 4 networks affiliates, that means the effect are more similar. But if spot prime on "independent" stations counts that changes the picture. After all, a good portion of the 4 networks' erosion is due to the WB and UPN shows like Buffy, Felicity, Dawson's Creek, Charmed, etc.


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, October 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.


Sunday, October 04, 1998 #2070
My client is a large medical-surgical products manufacturer. Their audience is nurses and sometimes physicians. Their budgets are small, they advertise several products with separate b-to-b campaigns. They are urging me to recommend online instead of or in addition to business print. This does not seem effective to me given their small budgets. Do you have any info on how I could recommend an effective online ad effort instead of using print?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, October 04, 1998 ):
Is the goal of adding on-line to add reach or to reduce costs?

In either case, the first step is to identify media which draw an audience of "nurses and sometimes physicians."

Then, the efficiency in audience impressions per dollar can be evaluated as can the total audience which is reachable.

Your first step may well be to locate the websites of the print media you use (and if you find these, they may offer free on-line ads as merchandising for your print schedule). Other possiblities are the sites of non-competitive advertisers who share your target.

Once you have explored these possibilities, you can decide whether you can make an effective recommendation or can support a decision against on-line.


Thursday, September 17, 1998 #2048
We have a client who is interested in utilizing Network Radio over a two-month period (January and February) to help maximize the awareness of a new brand. Is there any research that correlates radio TRP levels with brand awareness levels to give us some direction on how many points we should buy for the period without generating too much wearout? we should buy? brand.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 23, 1998 ):
Awareness is more likely to correlate with reach/frequency than TRP's. Only those reached can be aware. The same level of TRPs might reach 40% of a target or 60% depending on the schedule.

The Guru has seen research that shows that any level below 100 TRP a week in TV allows awareness to decay.

Most research on wearout which the Guru has seen ties wearout to frequency i.e. a commerical is worn out (loses sales effectiveness) after "X" exposures. This may be expressed as the frequency in the next-to-highest quintile. I.e. the 40% most exposed to the commercial would have "X" or more exposures. 25 exposures might be the threshold level you choose. This level would occur at about 200 TRP/week for 8 weeks, which is more than the Guru would guess you would buy.

By the way, one Adult 18-49 plan with those quintiles would have a 66 reach. Another plan with the same TRP's and different schedule could have an 85 reach and just 22 exposures in the next-to-highest quintile.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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.


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


Saturday, May 23, 1998 #1602
I am looking for any guidelines / research about: 1- number of spots for radio (sustaining level, 50% heavy up, 100% heavy up 2 - if I have continues strategy what maximum gap of not being on air may I allow without harm to sales (one week, two, three?) 3 - in my country (Russia) we have practice in outdoor not to place competitors on two opposite sides of billboard, ahzt I think is not correct, as each face of billboard works for different directions and can not compete with each other. What is the practice regarding this in other countries. Thank you very much.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 26, 1998 ):
1) The Guru doesn't judge radio effectiveness in terms of numbers of spots. If one schedule of 12 spots, for example, has an average rating of 0.5 (one-half of 1 percent of the target audience), which is common, it cannot be considered equal to another station's 12 spots with an average rating of 2.5 (also reasonable for top stations in the US). The first accumulates 6 GRPs and might reach 3% of the target, the second accumulates 30 GRPs and might reach 12-15% of the target.

So GRPs' or other audience measure are more realistic ways to determine levels. Having done this, if you determine that 100 GRPs, for example, is the correct sustaining level, then by simple arithmetic, 50% heavy-up is 150 GRPs and 100% heavy-up is 200 GRPs

2) Awareness begins to decline as soon as there is any advertising gap. Current thinking is that sales of a continuously purchased product are better supported by continuity at whatever level is affordable rather than an arbitrary minimum effective weekly level, separated by periods of inactivty. The U.S.'s Advertising Research Foundation has considerable literature on the topic and so might ESOMAR , the European Survey, Opinion and Market Research organization

3) The Guru agrees with you regarding opposite sides of a billboard. The competitive protection policies the Guru is familiar with in the U.S. only deal with advertising seen by the same audience, that is, traffic headed in the same direction. Usually there will be a certain range specified, such as "Within 500 feet" for metropolitan 8-sheet boards, which are about 5x12 feet and can be placed in dense concentration within cities.


Thursday, May 07, 1998 #1584
1.how to achieve better reach in lesser media budget? 2.please provide some tips on clever media planning. 3.who is best media planner as per you and why?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, May 08, 1998 ):
1. If reach is the only concern then it is usually easy to find media with higher reach per dollar. For example, outdoor delivers enormous reach and has the lowest cpm of all traditional media.

Smaller units also stretch budgets without losing reach. Fractional pages or TV :15's instead of :30's, radio :30's instead of :60s also help.

But of course, there are other, copy effectiveness and impact issues associated with these media choices. There is always a trade off; you can't get more reach in the same media for less money, unless you can persuade the sellers to lower the prices.

2. Clever media planning includes some of the ideas above, but also requires a planner to sell the ideas for their benefits, and get past the negatives. The goal of media planning is to deliver on the marketing objectives.

"Clever" is doing it in non-standard ways. Can you persuade the media to create special programming which ties into your campaign? Can you show the media a benefit to them in carrying your ads so that they want to resduce the price or give more than the usual value added elements?

If the Guru has one real tip on clever planning it is: Learn to use and understand the research which is available. Few in media today do. An knowledge of what research is available and how to apply it to media decision making will make a planner stand out, and appear clever and creative, because that planner, in fact, will be so.

3. The Guru himself is the best planner he knows. The nature of the media planner's position in the ad business is to be subordinated to creative and account services. There is little chance for planners to become known beyond their agencies. No doubt the "best media planner" lurks in unsung obscurity in a hundred agencies.


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

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

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

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


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.


Saturday, October 18, 1997 #1438
Dear Guru Could you please give me your views/suggestions on the following: 1. How can you set media objectives for a banking client in a market with only two major competitors; both of whom do not have a clear-cut advertising campaign? Would a % above last years GRP levels be appropriate; in proportion to the market share desired? What other parameters should I consider? 2. Qualitatively or quantitatively, how can front page solus positions in newspapers be compared with inside pages and ear panels? 3. And lastly, how do you add TV and press GRPs; for a specific audience? Sorry about the long query. Thanks in advance

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, October 18, 1997 ):
As a rule, the Guru sets media objectives based on marketing goals, not competitors' activity. Some marketing goals do indeed lead one to comparsions with competition, and awareness of competitors' plans is always a consideration.

If the key marketing goal is share growth, then a proportional increase in weight is one approach. But consider that share, like reach, exhibits an asymptotic curve. In other words, it can't pass 100%, so the higher it goes, the more effort is required to "move the needle."

Consider: You first assume that "X" amount of GRP's are required just to maintain share, on the assumption that competitive activity doesn't vary (and that advertising is the only variable influencing share).

Have you considered whether current share is proportional to share of GRP weight among competitiors?

Would 50% more GRPs grow share by 50%? No, if only because it increases the size of the total advertising arena. Your 50% increase in GRP does not increase your share of GRP by 50%, so calculate the right number to increase share of GRP, if you follow that philosophy.

But since there are competitors, perhaps it takes 50% more weight to gain 25% more share?

Newspaper positions can be compared on a basis of noting, reading, recall, etc. In each country or culture (you are writing from India), the relative power of media and the way consumers relate to them are different.

In the U.S., for example, a front page ad in a newspaper would be quite unusual if not unheard of.

Contacting the U.S. Advertising Research Foundation or ESOMAR, the European Survey, Opinion and Marketing Research organization, or your own country's newspaper advertising association may turn useful up research on positioning.

The Guru treats GRPs of different media as simply additive. When there are established effectiveness factors, as some advertisers have developed, GRPs may be accordingly adjusted before adding, in comparing plans.


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The complexity or simplicity of the message

The number of commercial in the pool

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

The balance of :30 to :15

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

a similar exercise can also set effective frequency thresholds

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

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


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

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

Nevertheless, here are some considerations:

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, February 04, 1997 #1057
What is the best way to evaluate outdoor - qualitatively and quantitatively? Any available research?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, February 09, 1997 ):
In the US, outdoor is typically packaged in "showings" of 25 / 50 / 100 which generally mean 25 / 50 / or 100 grps per day, that is, a selection of locations with a total daily effective circulation equal to 25 or 50 or 100% of the adult population of the market. (demographic data is often very approximate).

Outdoor delivers very high reaches at low CPMs. Message lengths are of course quite limited.

Barring specific creative testing or pre-post attitude awareness and usage tracking, evaluation is very much a judgement call based on creative and your communications goals.


Wednesday, October 09, 1996 #1129
I was wondering what the effective levels of reach &frequency for a new product launch would be, as well as an adequate budget?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 11, 1996 ):
Determining the effective levels and desired geographic scope will determine adequate budget.

There are no absolutes in effective levels for intros or any other purpose.

Issues to consider include:

  • Competition; how many, spending how much
  • Clutter in the media to be used
  • Typical levels of frequency in the media used
  • Complexity of your message
  • Interest in your product type - e.g. insurance vs sports cars
  • Ability of the target consumer to digest information
  • and others which may be specific to your own situation.

Generally, you want to reach the majority of your target at the determined effective level.


Tuesday, July 23, 1996 #1176
My telecommunications client is planning a multimedia (TV, newspaper, radio) launch in Chicago this fall, hoping the phone will ring off the hook. Is there a way to predict response levels per medium (or in total?) for the client to effectively staff its phone lines? I have total population, target population, reach & frequency levels (for TV - a 6 week flight; for radio a different 6 week flight; print used in both flights). The kicker is: this is not a direct - response spot (of course, an 800# will be included, but generally, it's an image builder). I also know that it will depend greatly on many things creatively (length of time the 800# is on the screen, is it a pnemonic number, is there an offer, etc). I'm thinking if there is an easy answer to this, I wouldn't have a job.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 24, 1996 ):
The safe answer is to contract an "inbound telemarketing"service which is large enough to expand or contract around your actual traffic. Depending on the offer and strength of copy, calls could equal .01% to 5.0% or more of persons reached. Using a service the first time out, especially if you're not specifically setting up a DR business, will give you benchmarks for the future.


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

A very simple example:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Some use attentiveness by daypart.

Some use a combination of the two factors.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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.


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

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



Back