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Guru Search Results: 785 matches were found

Thursday, September 16, 2004 #6604
Hi MG . My question is regarding FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION , could you please tell me how can one design a frequency distribution tabale if only the reach data is available over a period of time. For example I have the reach of a particular TV program which is tecasted 4 times a month.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, September 16, 2004 ):
An approximation is possible. For example if you are considering one month and you have had an announcement in each program, and the reach is 40% and the program rating is 15%, your table will have rows for reached 0 times, 1 time, 2 times, 3 times, and a maximum of 4 times. It will begin to look like this:


(# of exposures)

% reach
Average Frequency
1 or more
2 or more
3 or more

Beyond this, lacking specific measure of the program, old actual schedules may be compared to approximate the missing cell entries.

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, August 24, 2004 #6575
I've been planning and buying media for a few years now at a smaller ad agency. I've been to a few media conferences, but all seem to be very basic (i.e. - this is rating point, this is reach, etc.) Are there any conferences out there that really focus on advaced media buying? I"m interested in negotiation tactics, how far you can push, what you can expect for added value, etc. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, August 29, 2004 ):
The Guru never recommends these conferences.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004 #6562
Can you please clarify the differences between objectives, strategies and tactics within marketing and/or media planning?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, August 06, 2004 ):
It's forest versus trees:

Objectives are the broad statements of what is to be accomplished, such as "increase awareness," "grow share," etc.

Strategies are the general ways in which the objectives will be persued, such as "build reach at high levels of frequency via network television."

Tactics are very specific approaches to eexcuting strategies, such as "select most efficient programming to extend budgets and build highest reach," or "select programming which enhances product image to build awareness in the most favorable light."

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

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

Wednesday, July 28, 2004 #6556
what are reach an frequency

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 31, 2004 ):
Click here to see over 160 Guru responses regarding reach and Frequncy

Monday, July 26, 2004 #6550
Can you give me some rationale on why spreads are better than full pages. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, July 26, 2004 ):
From a media viewpoint, there is little justifcation in light of the price; creative issues are key. The noting is better. Creatives often act as if twice as big is twice as good, but from an empirical perspective, no measure increases in proportion to the price difference vs a single page. Noting in better, the impact is better, the reach / frequency is no different. Intangibles of "impact" are the primary argument. Sometimes brand positioning issues support some large units.

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.

Friday, July 16, 2004 #6539
Our automotive agency is using propritory research using GIS to match past buyers to PRIZM Clusters then using MRI reports to target our best prospects in media buys. All reporting is based on indexes. Narturally cable is intexing much higher than broadcast television but I am having difficulty explaining that an Index is only an indication of interest - not people. I am concerned about using 100% cable and missing the reach possible with broacast in markets where cable penetration is 50-75%. Am I looking at this wrong or how could I better explain my position?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 16, 2004 ):
It isn't clear what you're indexing, nor why it's "natural" that cable does better. It isn't clear why GIS maps tell you something that the PRIZM / MRI data didn't, and the Guru is a big fan of GIS mapping, himself.

You may have too many links in the system. What not just plot customer data base on a map and look at cable the same way?

If the index is cable subscribers rather than viewers, that's one way to be misled.

In any case, you're right to have reach concerns. The Guru would use the indices you are getting to adjust the cpms of cable and broadcast to copmapre them, but not apply the indices further. Then you can consider gross efficiency or efficiency of reach appropriately given the data you have.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004 #6535
Do you know of any models that allow you to project what your brands advertising awareness could be based on different variables such as spending, current awareness, etc? I have a client that wants to know if he doubles spending, can he expect to double awareness? Are there other ways to answer this question?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 16, 2004 ):
Like reach, awareness grows along a curved -- not straight -- line, since it can only approach 100%; and in ever-smaller increments. Further, awareness can decline over a period of communications inactivity.

So the simple answer is no, doubling spending does not double awareness -- unless the earlier spending is on low reach / awareness vehicles and the next dollars are invested better.

Monday, June 28, 2004 #6522
M.G., what do you consider to be a "sustaining" level of GRPs in a mid-size local TV market for a major auto dealership? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 02, 2004 ):
If you ignore any competitve activity or seasonality or promotional calendar an auto dealership might have, a shedule sufficent to reach 30% of target weekly would be "sustaining."

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.

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

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

Wednesday, May 19, 2004 #6498
hi guru , I have avery fundamental doubt, i.e about reach , does reach mean the number of hose hold have access to a particular channel whether they swich on to it or not. If it is so how relevent is reach in selecting a channel.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, May 20, 2004 ):
reach is about the number of people actually exposed to ads or programming. Coverage is the appropriate term for the number of homes or people who are able to watch.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004 #6462
When assisting in building brand within a market, is there a minimum reach percent to aim for? ie, no less than 80%?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, April 17, 2004 ):
"Building a brand" is not a quantified goal. More reach is better than less. More continuity is better than more reach.

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

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

Tuesday, April 06, 2004 #6453
How often do u have to run a 30 second tv spot in the same daypart before your generate awareness?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 11, 2004 ):
How much awareness? Every announcemnt generates some awareness. Some planners would view 3+ reach over a short period of time as an awareness indicator.

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

Next Highest
Next Lowest

Friday, April 02, 2004 #6447
Is online a valid form of Media for adults 50-64 and adults 65-85?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 04, 2004 ):
"Valid" is a nebulous term here. These people can be reached on line, although they might not be as active or available as younger demos. Is there a reason to use online in your plan beyond the quantitative?

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.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004 #6430
Dear MG, Thanks for replying to my question on quintiles. If we take the same example (Q No. 3965) how does quintiles help in better media planning or deciding on the media mix.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, March 26, 2004 ):
Quintiles of media allow selecrion of media which are more likely to be cosnumed by the target.

Quintiles of schedules allow balancing frequency of exposure so that a greater portion of those reached are exposed "enough" times to the campaign.

Monday, March 22, 2004 #6427
Dear MG, In respose to Q.No. 3965 Dated Nov 13, 2000 you said that reach is devided into 5 quintiles of 20% each. Then we have to look at highest viewing qintile and lowest viewing one. I want to know from how do you find the highest and lowest viewing quintile. Our Media Analysis Software gives data in terms of reach, frequency and GRP for a given schedule in addition to reach at 1+, 2+, 3+ etc exposures.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 22, 2004 ):

It's a fairly simply bit of arithmetic:

Imagine you have the following frequency distribution for a schedule of 31 reach, 95.9 GRP and 3.1 average frequency:


reached exactly (%)

reached at least (%)

That is, 31.0% reached at least once (1+) and 11.6% reached exactly once. To convert to quintiles, the steps are as follows:


  1. Divide the reach into 5 equal groups to set the percent reached in each quintile. This will be 6.2% reach (see table below)
  2. Beginnning with the "1" frequency level in your frequency distribution, put GRPs into your quintile table. That is, if 11.6% were reached exactly once, then the lightest 6.2 percent must have been reached once, so you can fill in the "lightest" row at 1.0 average frequency and 6.2 GRP.
  3. This will leave
  4. 5.4% reached 1 time to begin building the "next lightest" quintile (11.6 - 6.2 + 5.4)
  5. Now you need to take 0.8 reach from the reached 2 times group to finish building this "Next lightest" quintile (5.4 left + 0.8 from the 2 frequency = 6.2)
  6. This quintile now has 5.4 GRPs ( 5.4 reach @ 1 frequency) plus 1.6 GRPs (0.8 reach @ 2 frequency) for a total of 7.0 GRP. By division we determin the average freqeuncy for this quinntile is 1.1 (7.0 ÷ 6.2 =1.1)
  7. Continuing the same way, the middle quintile is made up of the remaining 5.2% reached 2 times and another 1% reach from the 3 frequency group, so it has 13.4 GRP and 2,2 average frequency
  8. "Next Highest" has the remaining 2.7 from the 3 frequency level, the 2.6 from the 4 level and 0.9 from the 5 level, to make 23.0 GRP and 3.7 frequency
  9. Finally, the "Highest" quintile has the remaining 46.3 GRP (95.9 - 46.3 accounted for in the four lower quintiles) or conitinue working the arithmetic for each frequency in the distribution.


QUINTILE  reach Freq GRP
Next Highest
Next Lowest

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.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004 #6412
Hello Guru I receive your comments of my question . I Want to know , How many weeks is the maximum period I should accumulate for analysis of the reach for one campaign???

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, March 10, 2004 ):
The (US) standard is 4 weeks. At times, for various purposes, such as wear-out analysis, 13 week and 52 week cumes may be calculated.

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.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004 #6409
Is there a standard for reach/Frequency for TV over one week and over four weeks? How many TRPS should be bought per week on TV? This is most likely to differ by product category and media mix, but are there any studies that can be quoted to defend a certain level of TRPs bought per week?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 14, 2004 ):
No one standard. Click here to see past Guru responses regarding levels

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.

Monday, February 16, 2004 #6383
Hi, I've looked through the archives but couldn't find anything on developing Spot TV RFP's to the various stations. I've done spot radio RFP's, but want to know if I need to include anything more than: client & brand, target, market and market R/F goals,weekly GRP's, Target CPP goals, flight dates, days of the week within flights,daypart mix, any must buys shows, spot length, RFP due date, and the flight schedule deliveries. Is there something really embarressing that I've overlooked? Don't hold back. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, February 17, 2004 ):
A good RFP has two key elements;
  • It specifies everything that will be considered in your decision making, so that proposals are complete and allow decision making immediately, and
  • It does not request any information that will not contribute to decison making so that you don't have vendors wasting time on unnecessary work that you have no need to waste time considering, rather than the important info that you do need.
. It strikes the Guru that you have included everything under the sun that might eventually be used to describe the eventual buy, but do not need as qualifiers of submissions.

Do you have a standard for days of the week to decide what to buy? In retail that's possible, otherwise, perhaps not.

Do stations need to deal with your daypart mix? One station may have different strenghths than another. It might be counterproductive to ask each to submit the same mix, when you might do best with one station's prime and another's news.

Do they need to think about your GRP total if you might buy 2 or 3 or 4 stations?

Can they respond to your reach goal, knowing they are providing only a portion of a schedule?

All these specs would be useful if each station is competing for an exclusive, but the Guru doubts that is the case.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004 #6379
I am a media director at an ad agency specializing in pharmaceutical promotion to physicians. I am working on a multimedia promotional campaign for a new brand. Is there any data that shows in general, how the various forms of pharm promotion (detailing, journals, desktop, internet, etc - compare in terms of cost efficiency, reach, targetablility, etc? Specifically, the strengths and weaknesses of each. I am looking for an overall chart or comparison that will show how each form of media may contribute to new prescriptions (depending of course, upon mkt input, etc).

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 13, 2004 ):
Most of what you are asking about is promotion rather than media. Try Promo Magazine

Sunday, February 01, 2004 #6373
What is the most cost efficient way to get political information to as many people in the shortest amount of time?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, February 01, 2004 ):
Sunday Supplements have the shortest publication-through-cume cycle for high reach, but network radio is quickest from concept to air to reaach development and can be more efficient.

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.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004 #6334
We currently have spot fill radio slated for 2004 to make up for underdelivery of our Network Radio schedule in key markets. Of course we have recommended a :60 spot be created for the spot fill. Our account team does not want to produce a :60 spot and prefers to use two of the existing :30 spots back to back to fill the time. This would not be bookends within a pod, but two very similar commercials running together. Are there any exisiting white papers or support that demonstrates this is not the best use of the purchased time? Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 09, 2004 ):
  1. The Guru presumes that you are spot filling for GRP underdelivery.
  2. Many stations charge the same for :30 or :60 units, so solo :30 might not save any money, nor would separating the :30/:30s add reach without adding to budget.
  3. The question then becomes a creative issue about what the is effect on the listener of hearing a given # of :60s versus an equal number of :30/:30

Try The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004 #6331
Dear Media Guru, This is a followup to my previous question regarding direct response ads on satellite television. 1). Please elaborate on your statement "Top Tier may as well not be a consideration, since you are persuing minusucle audiences, at best." Are you saying I may not want to buy the most expensive (top tier) networks because satellite subscribers are more fragmented than cable subscribers (disregarding the the obvious difference in subscriber quantities). 2). Would it be safe to assume that one spot airing between 12 midnight and 6am on any given network would be seen by 1/10th of 1 percent of the total subscriber base? Would it be the same for either national satellite or national cable? 3). Is it a safe to assume a 60-second DRTV spot placed in first week of Feb 2004 on national cable on one of the larger networks in overnight (12AM - 6AM) will be twice the rate of a :30 and cost $500 each? Or, is $600 each more realistic? Other rate? 4). WIth a $30,000 budget I can buy 60 national cable spots @ $500 each or 200 spots @ $150 on satellite. Based on a .02% response rate, my media cost per order for cable is $3.31 compared to a $6.25 cost per order for satellite. Will 60 spots be enough for testing DRTV? My thinking is that satellite would be better since more spots will allow me to test more networks and daytime vs. overnight. (Also, I could test one offer on Direct TV Comedy Ch --11,850,000 subscribers -- and a second offer on Dish Comedy Ch -- 9,085,000 subscribers.) Then, I plan to apply response rates from satellite to national cable to determine if rollout is feasible. Does this sound right? How would you do it? 5). VERY IMPORTANT!!! How do I contact DirectTV and Dish to request rates? I can't find one bit of advertising sales info for either company on the internet.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 09, 2004 ):
  1. If a "top tier" network gets a rating of 0.5 to 1.0 and a satellite network has 8% U.S coverage, then a "top tier" spot might reach .04% to .08% of the target, and an average spot .01%. These audiences are too small to make price premium distinctions about, in the Guru's opinion. The Guru expects that satellite audiences are just slightly more fragmented than cable, due to greater numbers of choices, but it's a much smaller universe.
  2. 1/10th of 1% might be generous for an overnight estimate.
  3. The :30 / :60 ratio is right, but everything is negotiable and lower rates are probably possible. In DR, ratings never seem to matter as much as finding the "right" audience.
  4. If testing is the issue, then low out-of-pocket cost is a key consideration
  5. Dish ad sales contact is here. For DirecTV (note: just one "T"), the Guru would call any number listed on the page at this link and ask anyone you reach for an ad sales contact.

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

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

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

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


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.

Saturday, December 06, 2003 #6301
I would like to know HouseHolds of W18-49 and approximate cost of spot to air commerical in syndicated program (Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Phil). Also, what is the Households W18-49 and cost per spot for NBC Today's Show. Your immediate assistance is greatly appreciated.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 07, 2003 ):
Visit Oprah ad Sales and Dr. Phil ad sales.

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

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

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

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.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003 #6275
Dear Media Guru, We did a multiple regression analysis to correlate the Nielsen Awareness scores achieved by a brand with the media weights delivered by the brand. The entire category advertises only on Television. The dependent variable was the current awareness score for a brand (Y). The independent variables examined for the analysis were Share of Voice achieved by the brand in the Category in the week (X1), Awareness in Previous Week(X2) and 1+ reach achieved by the brand in the week (X3). This analysis was done for a eight-week period. The tracking continues. Hence, we are planning to extend the analysis and build a more robust base on which the analysis can be extended. The R-Square values we obtained after multiple tests for Current Awareness with all three independent variables is 0.94 The R square values for any other combination is below 0.3 The question is a) Is this a collectively exhaustive list of what can cause impact on the awareness score ? b) Is there any flaw in the method used ? Regards RSV

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 28, 2003 ):
The method seems reasonable. The only other variables which immediately occur to the Guru are
  • # of competitors.
  • Ratio of share of market to largest SOV competitor. (i.e. 25% SOV might have a different impact against four other smaller competitors than against just one at 75% SOV).
  • Some measure of commercial impact, like recall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 13, 2003 #6246
I'm a little confused about your answers to my two questions (#6233 dated November 4th) becuase they seem to contradict eachother. If one household impression is often worth more on Network TV than Cable TV (answer 2), then how can the CPM rate for a Network TV Spot be the same as a Cable TV Spot with the same rating (answer 1)? Is it accepted by the industry to charge more for a Network Spot than a Cable TV Spot even if they are reaching the same amount of people? If so, any insight as to why would be of great help. Thanks in advance!!!!

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, November 15, 2003 ):
There is a difference between price and value. If two spots are in the same programming, with the same audience size, and same commercial clutter, there is little rational basis for different cpm. Yet, in the real world, because of tradition, marketplace attitudes or negotitation, the difference exists.

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.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003 #6224
I'm looking for any publications or resources that will help me do a comparison of buying Network cable to Local cable. For example, I want information that will give pointers/comparisons on how to persuade a national advertiser (McDonald's, Burger King, etc) from buying ONLY National cable to also Buying LOCAL cable. Any resources that you know of that could help me out would be greatly appreciated.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 31, 2003 ):
First, ask yourself what are all the reasons that an advertiser uses National Cable?
  • Efficiency vs broadcast network
  • Programming that relates better to the product or target audience
  • Overall demographics of the channel purchased
  • reach expanision vs Broadcast alone
  • Etc.

Now ask yourself which of these things does Local Cable also offer or have a relative advantage?


  • Same programming (if you can offer the same selection)
  • Localized deliverywhere the store or product distribution is.
  • Better efficiency than broadcast spot?
  • reach expansion?
  • Etc.

Friday, October 24, 2003 #6217
What is the rationale for using a mix of :30 and :15 second spots vs. either alone?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, October 26, 2003 ):
:15s cost less than :30s. Therefore, replacing some :30 spots with :15s extends the schedule, yielding added reach / frequency / impressions, etc.

:30s generally communicate more / better than :15s. Often a schedule begins as all-:30 before :15s are mixed in once the message ius established.

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.

Friday, October 17, 2003 #6206
Dear Guru, I've read Erwin Ephron's article on Adstock. Is Adstock widely used in the US? Also, other than reach/frequency goals, the Recency Theory and Adstock, are there other theories currently being used or debated? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, October 18, 2003 ):
As Efron himself says: "In the US most agencies schedule media without much regard to Adstock carry-over effects, because we have learned that immediate response to advertising dissipates rapidly."

Thursday, October 09, 2003 #6195
What is the correct process for analyzing comparable period retail sales? Specifically, we are working on a project that would not only compare comparable sales periods (year over year), but also compare a sale window to a pre-sale window. Thanks in advance for your feedback.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, October 13, 2003 ):
The Guru assumes you mean to compare advertising performance in these periods. The simplest approaches are comparing budgets or weight (GRP). Many refinements are possible as to media mix, reach. frequency, etc.

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.

Thursday, October 02, 2003 #6184
Hello Guru, Could you tell me what's the difference between communication objectives, advertising objectives and media objectives? What's the difference between advertising mix and media mix? Thanks already.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, October 04, 2003 ):
To address these in a logical order:

  • Advertising objectives are broader and will include such details as message content and strategy
  • Media objectives are more specific to media planning and buying, including media budget, target, seasonality, geography, ad environment.
  • Communications objectives are narrower stiil, addressing such issues as reach / frequency levels and flighting

Advertising mix includes media plus direct mail, collateral materials, promotion, etc. Media mix is a narrowed focus encompassing items like TV, Radio, Print, Online.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003 #6183
It is suggested that cable tv be bought the same as radio. With this in mind, should the cable cpp also be the same as radio?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, October 04, 2003 ):
Cable's ratings size and reach invite comparison to radio. But people may view quite differently. Since cable has more frequent ratings, other buying issues arise.

CPP will likely be higher.

Hey, it is TV.

Monday, September 29, 2003 #6180
Dear Guru, This is further to my question on having a classfieds section in a marketing magazine with a niche readers community (i.e specifically from advertising/media/marketing/PR). The reason I asked this question was regarding Classfieds section, the advertisers you would be targeting would be very low budgeted and it happens that they are not aware of your magazine and its readership, as a seller, you know that you are going to provide the right kind of audience, but these advertisers generally do not get convinced or at times doubtful about advertising in a classifieds section with a frequency of monthly! how do you suggest to market it? or your opinion to have a classfieds section in a monthly magazine where the readers take their own time to read?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, October 04, 2003 ):
You need to assume that potential classified advertisers are either
1) your readers or
2) are interested in your readers.

The first group will be reached by in-book advertising. The second perhaps by listings in Standard Rate and Data Service (SRDS) and the like.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003 #6169
Dear Guru, My first book was published and I am looking for ways to reach the public to sell my book. I am totally new at this. You must also understand that I am just a simple country girl with a college education but I have no concept of how to reach the media. Lavern

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 24, 2003 ):
You might place ads in book review sections of newspapers, or in magazines that have such editorial, such as "New Yorker."

If your book is focused on a specifc topic, perhaps there are periodicals or web sites with the same topic.

Your publisher should deal with this, or you can find a small agency that has this specialty.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, August 19, 2003 #6129
Dear Guru, Could you please give me the evaluation method or ideas to link with sales and media impact (e.g. GRP/R/F)?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, August 23, 2003 ):
If you have sales data, it should be simple to correlate with past GRP or reach or Frequency using data tools in something asd simple as MS Excel.

Sunday, August 03, 2003 #6100
I work with a small but well-established African American weekly newspaper. I am seeking to contact as many media planners and buyer as possible to increase ad insertion orders. What is the best way to identify as many buyers and planners who may have either a general or specific interest in advertising in an African American newspaper. Also, is there a way to identify the correct person within an agency who should be contact to increase the likelihood of success in this quest.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, August 06, 2003 ):
Of course, AMIC is the place to reach media planners and within AMIC, Abbott Wool's Market Segment Resources is the area for those interested in ethnic media.

At some agencies, such as the many specializing in African American or multicultural advertsing, any media planner might be appropriate. At others, some are better prospects, but unless you have contacts who can identify them, the Guru can't suggest a method. You might consider buying lists from publications with apporpriate targets such as Black Enterprise magazine

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

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

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

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

Friday, July 11, 2003 #6075
Dear MG, I've refered to previous answers on each medium strength, pros & cons. I would like to know further how to : 1) articulate Impact, reach, Frequency & Continuity for each medium, especially TV, Radio, Print 2) product placements - what are the benefits against spot buy in TV. thank-you.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, July 14, 2003 ):
Articulating these issues is more about wrting skills than media issues. You need to carefullly evaluate the marketing and advertsing goals you have received as input and craft your own documents to relate your recommendations to their delivery on these goals. Expressing how you are answering the needs expressed by the person giving the assignment can be quite powerful.

Product placement is not quite media. The key benefit is the implied endorsement value.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003 #6070
We have a new client on our business who is trying to "make his/her mark" on the brand. I work on a national packaged goods account and the client is questioning our use of primetime as part of the network TV daypart mix. The client's argument is that he/she can buy more points in cheaper dayparts, and therefore is wanting an explanation of what prime "does" for the plan. Beyond showing R/Fs (where the reach goes down and the frequency goes up once prime is taken out) is there anything else I should do? Our theory has always been that prime has a higher attentiveness level but the client wants proof that higher attentive means more sales. I have also championed the idea that people who are more passionate about a particular show are more likely to be more interested in the ads running during that show, but again I have no proof for this. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, July 14, 2003 ):
This theory is popular. Try The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

Friday, June 27, 2003 #6047
I have been approached to be the title sponsor of a new sports talk radio show. The show will be on over 200 stations across the U.S. and Canada. With no ratings or history, how do I determine what is a fair price to pay for the sponsorship?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, June 30, 2003 ):
The Guru would start from the assumption that a sponsorship which reaches the target and has added impact for your marketing is worth some cpm premium.

Then you need to know what cpm you would pay for ordinary, targeted programming.

Finally, you need to estimate the audience delivery against which to apply the cpm and premium factors. You can get a guarantee from the vendor, if the program will be rated. Otherwise, examine the average ratings of similar programs in similar circumstances.

Thursday, June 26, 2003 #6043
Hello Media Guru, Could you tell me what the leading publications are to reach chain and restaurant owners?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, June 30, 2003 ):
See Standard Rate and Data Service (SRDS) and PubList.

Saturday, June 21, 2003 #6029
Dear Guru, Please help me to clarify these issues : - What CPT and CPM stand for ? - Are the formulas to calculate them as follows : CPT=(Costx1000)/Impression CPM=(Costx1000)/reach(000) - Impression and reach in thousand are not the same,are they? Impression include duplication but the reach in thousand does not. Impression = reach(000)x OTS? - Therefore, there must be different b/w CPT & CPM. But it seems that most books consider them as the same. - GRP = OTS x reach (%)or GRP = Frequency x reach (%)? - Does OTS have some meaning of impression? Since these issue confuse me now so much and I current get a stuck in preparing a report. Pls do reply me as soon as possible. Many thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 21, 2003 ):
You have tangled up several ideas and defintions. In different countries, some of these terms are used differently or not used. For example, in the Guru's base of the U.S., we do not use "opportunities to see (OTS)," and though you may be in Thailand, the Guru will not assume so.

CPM stands for cost per thousand impressions; the "M" is the Roman numeral M, meaning one thousand. CPT is not familiar in the US, but is probably another indicator of Cost per Thousand impressions.

The Guru most often sees "OTS" used as equivalent to "impressions" but sometimes as a reference to average frequency, so here are the simplest definitions.

"Impressions" are the number of advertising exposures, i.e. the number of different people exposed to advertising times the average number of occasions on which they are exposed. Thus, duplication is included.

"number of different people exposed" is equivalent to "reach."

"Number of occasions on which they are exposed" is equivalent to "frequency."

CPM is cost of advertising divided by impressions in thousands. reach is not involved.

When reach is expressed as a percentage of a target group, then reach x frequency = GRP.

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

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 15, 2003 ):
You need a computer with software such as that offered by Telmar.

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

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.

Friday, June 06, 2003 #5999
Dear Guru: I would like to know that GRP calculation is reach x Avg. frequency or rating x Avg. frequency

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 07, 2003 ):
Just as a matter of simple arithmetic relationship,
GRP = reach x average frequency.

Thursday, June 05, 2003 #5996
How do I figure out the total readership of trade publications. They are not listed in MRI. Is there an industry average for Readers Per Copy for trades? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 07, 2003 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses about trade publication reach.

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

Tuesday, June 03, 2003 #5993
There has been a major shift in focus of media planning from the "numbers" to the actual "environment" of the medium, especially within print. Why do you think this is so? When are numbers important?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 07, 2003 ):
The Guru sees it differently.
  • In the Guru's experience (30+ years), print has always been more focused on environment versus numbers as compared to broadcast media.
    --In fact, the Guru can remember when some experienced planners didn't even know that print had GRP's, back in the days before everything was computer- dependent
  • On the other hand, over this period of time, the broadcast world has changed from there being three giant network outlets with the big numbers versus few independent stations to a situation of 7 major networks (ABC / NBC / CBS / Fox / WB / UPN / Univision ) just somewhat bigger than several independent stations market-by-market, and 100's of stronger or lesser cable options.
    --Environmental differences outweigh the numbers
    --Or, the compuers handle the numbers leaving planners the environment to discuss subjectively
  • Finally, as you mature professionally, you become more able to deal with enviromental data versus numbers; you are changing, more than the world around you

The media environment in which you communicate is always important, but you must know how much of your target audience you reach and how often and whether you have spent your budget efficiently.

Monday, June 02, 2003 #5990
Media Guru: What is the carryover of awareness from one flight to the next? (with relatively little time between) How does the first flight affect the level of support necessary for the second flight? For instance, if the first flight achieves a target reach of 80%, I assume that your second flight could acheive the same reach at a lighter media level. Do you have any research on this? Please help! Thank you, Brooke

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 07, 2003 ):
The reach of a flight relates to the GRP and program dispersion. Given the same schedule, the same reach is achieved.

Awareness is not the same as reach, but of course there is a relationship; only those reached will have ad awareness.

Once a level of awareness is established, less weight may be necessary to maintain that awareness. One rule of thumb is a 10% decline in awareness in each week without advertising. From this, levels of added support can be planned. Much depends on the levels achieved and desired.

Monday, June 02, 2003 #5989
for finding the number of the total viewers in a tv campaign, which one is more reliable and logicial? to multiple the reach with the total sample or multiply rating with the total sample? thx.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, June 02, 2003 ):
Firstly, in neither case is the "sample" relevant. You need to consider the total population which the sample represents.

Then, if you want to find the number of different viewers exposed to the campaign, multiply by reach. If you want the gross exposures, including duplication of exposures, multiply by the sum of the ratings (GRPs). Reliablilty isn't quite the issue. Ratings are subject to reliability toilerances, which grow smaller as you compile GRPs and the tolerances on each ratings measure cancel out. reach, on the other hand, is subject to the accuracy of the model. The relative error is usually greater on reach than GRP, but they are not measures of the same thing.

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

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, May 31, 2003 ):
You need a computer with software such as that offered by Telmar.

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

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

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

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

Friday, May 09, 2003 #5964
Dear Guru Would be interested in knowing if you have any info on online advertising models for financial clients. Any iformation pertaning to the approach for online advertising for financial clients would be welcome Thanks in Advance Johann

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 11, 2003 ):
Sometimes the Guru wonders at the use of the buzzword "model," apparently meant to make an approach seem formularized. A "reach model," for instance, is a mathematical formula meant to take variables and produce a reach number based on past variables that actually produced a measured reach result. The intended result of a media plan is not so quantifiable when you specify that it is for a particular category. The key is the result intended, this will change according to the narrow category as well as other factors.

A promotional plan to sell bonds to consumers would be quite different than a branding plan for a full service "big 5" accounting firm.

The "model" if any is based on consideration of goals and strategies such as target, and communication strategies. See the Guru's Parts of a Media Plan.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003 #5960
If someone desires to share a regional / global media project with a leading global media marketing company and after several attempts to reach the top bossess does not get a response or even an acknowledgement with or without regret then what opinion should the person taking the initiative must have about the "Gurus of the Industry?" Regards Zahid Hussain Khalid

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 06, 2003 ):
The first conclusion is that "the Guru's of the industry" do not deal with the sorts of inquiries you are making. This is not a global company's boss's concern. You need ot find the right person in the marketing department or the agency . . . who might still not be interested, of course,

Friday, May 02, 2003 #5956
What are the costs of 30 second spots on the top 3 Nielsen rated TV shows reaching the M/F 25-44 50K+(HHI) demographic? Also, what are the ratings for these shows and how big are their audiences. Thank you o guru...

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 04, 2003 ):
For such a narrow definition of top programs, you need to go to Nielsen, these won't be among the commonly published data.

In general, citations of specific program prices are meaningless. You may ask what was the average selling price of a :30 in "Program X" over the past year. But for planning purposes you must recognize that at any given time, a programs price depends on time of year, the size of the package within which it is purchased, the overall volume of the advertiser, etc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, April 21, 2003 #5941
apart from reach, frequency and continuity is there any subject that can be used in determining media objectives?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, April 26, 2003 ):
Seasonality, purchase cycle, effective frequency, BDI/CDI, awareness, wearout, etc.

Saturday, April 05, 2003 #5920
what is modal planning?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, April 05, 2003 ):
"Modal" planning is not a term familiar to the Guru. Perhaps you mean what the Guru referes to as "modular" planning. This means setting up the broad strokes of plan elements such as a month of print or a week of radio, with costs and audience values, so that a good approximation of a plan can be built with details filled in later.

Alternatively, but probably unrelatedly, certain reach calculations use a system called "modal."

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

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

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

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

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.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003 #5908
Dear Guru, I am quite new to the field of media planning and currently experience the following problem: I am trying to find out what is the reach of uotdoor poster packages, but not for th whole population, as they present on the websites but more specifically, for example 25-54 ABC1. I may be approaching the problem from the wrong end, so any help on the matter will be appreciated.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 30, 2003 ):
The problem is that the actual measurement of outdoor is typically based on traffic, i.e. cars passing locations, multiplied by an average passenger load, with no opportunity to assess demographics of these people,

Demographics of outdoor are typically based on some assumptions from the daily activities of people reported in syndicated product usage surveys. Therefore, it calls for some assumptions and fusion of the two forms of research. This typically overlooks details particular to a specific outdoor buy in a given geography.

This issue might be addressed by overlaying a third type of research, geodemographic mapping, such as Geoscape

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

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

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

Tuesday, March 18, 2003 #5886
Greetings Guru! Some clarification on basic web-site metrics would be much appreciated. What are the current evaluation metrics? Is it Unique visits, page views, and time spent on site? I am confused about the utility of page views- am I correct in my understanding that a page view does not mean that the ad was actually "served" and if it was not served, then there was no "opportunity to see", so what is the value in reporting this number? Are web-sites providing Ad-view data? R.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 20, 2003 ):
Are you evaluating a site or an ad campaign? Unique visits is about the site's reach. Pageviews is about the sites total impressions, If a page is designed with ad positions, an ad is served when the page is served. This does not mean the user saw an ad if the user has images turned off or uses ad-blocking software, but the site can't control that, although it can track it.

Generally, web sites provide you ad view data about a campaign if you are the buyer. Thre are various ways to provide thie data, ranging from third party ad-serving servces to site's internal server logs.

Time spent relates to a site's opportunity to expose pages and ads; of more use to the site operator than the media planner.

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?

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, March 08, 2003 #5869
Hi Media Guru, I am preparing a media plan for a considered purchase product. Its target is businessmen. As my pocket research, we cannot communicate them via print or TV medium. Please suggest other media that I can put under consideration. Will appreciate should I have your reply by next monday ( 09 Mar 03). Thanks in advance for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 08, 2003 ):
If print and TV are out, we are left with radio, interactive and Direct Mail, assuming that:
  • out-of-home falls within print and that
  • a considered purchase by businessmen requires a more detailed and targeted message than outdoor can deliver.

More info about the product is needed to go further. Direct mail and interactive are potentially the most tightly targeted, radio probably the most efficient and broadest reaching among the choices, but details would help.

Wednesday, March 05, 2003 #5866
reach and frequency

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

Tuesday, March 04, 2003 #5865
What are the pros and cons of using a :15 tv spot versus a :30 tv spot? Does emotional based creative work well in a smaller unit size, like a :!5 tv spot? Thanks, WP

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 08, 2003 ):
By any measure of impact, e.g. recall, persuasion, etc. :30's will always beat :15s, one for one. By measures of media communications, e.g, reach, frequency, GRPs, impressions, :15's will always beat :30's, in a campaign. In a campaign, these latter measures may mean overall recall and impact favor :15s, if the message can be communicated.

Monday, March 03, 2003 #5863
Dear Guru, I learnt in school using only-only-both method to calculate the reach for media A only, media B only and both. However, if there are more than two media, how to calculate the reach of media A+B+C? And reach for media C only?....

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 03, 2003 ):
The trick is to look at the percent who do not see each medium. This is 100% minus the percent who DO see A. The percent who do not see medium A times the percent who do not see medium B is the percent who see neither. 100% minus the percent who see neither = net reach of both. Working this way the calculation can be readily chained as far along as needed.

In other words, if you have

  • reach of A = 20%
  • reach of B = 24%
  • reach of C = 31%
  • reach of D = 47%,

then the calculation for the net reach of all is

0.8 x 0.76 x 0.69 x 0.53 = 0.22

so net reach = 78%.

Remembering that as above, if reach is the probability of seeing a medium, then 100 minus reach is the probability of NOT seeing the medium, you should be able to calculate exclusive reaches as needed.

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

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

To do the kind of calculation you probably want, you need a computer with software such as that offered by Telmar.

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

Friday, February 14, 2003 #5838
I am working on creating a hypothetical media plan for a class project, which entails targeting adults age 18-34 years of age, for a new product. I am lost as to how to set reach Frequency goals, and then once I formulate my plan, how do I calculate the actual reach? Also, how do I figure out cost per point for network tv late fringe and cable tv? Is there a guide that could help me estimate?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 14, 2003 ):
Go to the Guru Archives Search Engine. Use "goals" or "calculate" or the other questions as your search terms.

Friday, February 14, 2003 #5835
I'm proposing 1 ad every day, M-F, in Wheel of Fortune for 5 weeks. My media software is calculating an average frequency which does not seem to take into account frequency built against this one program over a 5-week period. What can I do?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 17, 2003 ):
The Guru would expect almost no reach build after the first week, just a GRP increase. So if the program has 1 rating of 5, and reach of, say, 8 at the end of week one. the reach is 8 with a frequency of 3.1 (The 25 GRP ÷ 8).

After five weeks, reach might be 12 and frequency 10.4 (125 GRP). The range of possibility is not large, Minimum of one. maximum of 25. Get better software.

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

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

Tuesday, February 04, 2003 #5802
what does vertical media selection mean????

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 07, 2003 ):
It means within a category. To reach men18-34, for example, you might choose horizontally, e.g. a computer or trechnology magazine (PC World), a lifestyle magazine (Maxim), and Sports Illustrated. If you used only computer magazines, PC World, PC, and Wired, that would be verical selection.

Sunday, February 02, 2003 #5796
Dear Guru: A Recency question. Suppose I have 1 competitor. Suppose both of us use Recency for the advertising strategy at approximately the same level of, say, 35% weekly reach. What do you think is the effect of such strategy on the market? What if there are not 2 but 4 or 5 competitors using the same strategy? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 03, 2003 ):
Recency is just a communications strategy. Competitive environment is a separate issue. Recency theory may set a threshhold value of 35 reach, but the essence is in the continuity, not low levels. Competitive pressure may dictate a higher level.

Wednesday, January 29, 2003 #5778
Mr. Guru, I am the marketing director for a PI law firm. The firm has been on tv for the past 15 yrs. Of course, our target is anyone from age 8-88. I have read a ton on the recency theory and feel that it may work for us. In the past we have always concentrated on the highest reach with keeping freq. at at least 3. However, I feel that we've built brand awareness over the year and that the frequency level should not be a factor. In addition, I don't think that people really recognize an attorneys comercial unless 1. They've been exposed to it a lot, or 2. Are exposed to it when they are in the market. Can you comment, and possibly lead me in a direction to reports and studies concerning attorneys or similar industry? Thanks for you help.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 03, 2003 ):
The Guru agrees your commercial is only effective when someone is in the market, so recency is appropriate.

Wednesday, January 29, 2003 #5776
how to analyse a media strategy

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, February 01, 2003 ):
It takes considerable data gathering and analysis to determine the media strategy being used by an advertiser, if that is what you mean. For starters, one must be certain all advertising and geography is accounted for, which by itself is nearly impossible through published sources.

Once you have complete details of all advertising run, you determine who is in the audience of this advertising to learn who the advertser wants to reach. It can be quite difficult. You won't at first know whether vehicles are chosen for age/gender appeal, income skew or efficiency of box-car numbers. Complete correlations are necessary. Then the relative spending and scheduling must be considered, as well as geographic allocation and competitive picture.

Monday, January 27, 2003 #5764
Which media will have the most impact when targeting potential recruits for a public service position? Do you think that Print or Outdoor will reach the large target audience of 18-45 year olds?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, February 01, 2003 ):
Outdoor always has the most reach, but with a limited message. Radio is probably the next choice. "Impact" is a vague term. You seem to mean reach, but impact is more a copy measure, and TV is the "impact medium."

Monday, January 20, 2003 #5745
Dear Guru: Can you give some information about when is better to do enfasis in reach or frecuency. I mean we have to consider the marketing goals.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, January 26, 2003 ):
Yes, you must consider marketing goals, particularly communication needs. Do you need to communicate with more people (for example, in building brand awareness) of more often (for example, in a short term retail promotion)?

Friday, January 17, 2003 #5742
Guru- In the trade magazine category, typically what percent coverge will the primary magazine provide, and what additional reach is provided by subsequent magazines? There used to be a study on this by CARR (Cahners Advertising Research Reports), I can't seem to find them anymore. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 18, 2003 ):
One can't expect there to be a "typical" answer to such a question. If a category is large and highly competitive, there will be numerous magazines. If the category is small it will not support many. In the first case, such as computer industry publications, the largest may reach 20% and two dozen others range from 18% to half a percent.

A smaller category migh support only two publications, with one reaching 75% and the other adding another 15 or 20%.

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

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

Tuesday, January 14, 2003 #5732
I have heard comments from media agencies that emphasize quality over cost for TV spots. However I am a little skeptical, especially when their compensations are tied directly with the budget. So I would like to ask you a few questions to help me get a better understanding. 1) Does a good relationship between the director of a TV station vendor and the media buyer strongly affect the quality of TV ads (in terms of POD position, etc.)? 2) Does buying above the SQAD mean a bad buy in comparison to others who purchased below the SQAD? 3) Are there ways to measure (quantitatively) the performance of a media buyer? Your opinion would be highly valued. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 18, 2003 ):
The Guru comments:
  1. In any buying / selling situation, a good relationship between the parties is likely to improve the deal as perceived by both sides. This will affect product "quality" for the buyer and quantity sold for the seller.
  2. Buying above SQAD is a pretty reliable indicator of having spent too much.
  3. SQAD is more of a benchmark than an absolute. Once some basics are set, you can tell the buyer has gone wrong if his/her costs go up when SQAD costs trend down, or go up much more than SQAD does. Likewise, a buyer whose costs go down more than SQAD's costs do has made good deals.

A media buyer needs to be given explicit goals against which to be measured. There are no absolute quality indicators of a buy, whether you look at cost, cpm, reach, rating, pod position, etc, unless these goals are set. Undirected, a buyer will probably go for lowest cpm/cpp or his own interpretation of best reach. If you wanted high ratings or heavy frequency instead and didn't make that clear up front, it is not the buyer's performance error when you don't get your secret desires. If you did give specifications and the buyer went a different way or didn't meet goals, then that's bad performance.

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

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

Sunday, December 22, 2002 #5700
To broaden the customer base by inducing new customers what should be the media strategy? Should one look at having more reach or the frequency should also be considered?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 22, 2002 ):
One way to look at it is: think about whether the customers you don't yet have are unaware of your product/service or aware but unpersuaded. Then you can decide whether to speak to new prospects (reach) or try for more persuasion (frequency).

Wednesday, December 18, 2002 #5695
When developing a cable schedule, how is it possible that the cable companies are providing reach number of 70 - 80%. With so much fragmentation and with cable still in only about 70% of households, how can they deliever that kind of reach?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, December 19, 2002 ):
First, cable companies' figures are typically based on a cable-homes universe, so they are talking about reaching 70-80% of the 70-80% that are in cable homes. The fragmentation does make one question that any one cable net can reach that level, but there will be Nielsen data to suport or disprove the claim.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002 #5691
Dear Guru: We can calculate (or estimate or guestimate) how much reach we can get for every dollar we spend on TV. Question: Can we calculate how much brand awareness we can get for every dollar we spend on TV? If positive, how do we do that? Thanks, R.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, December 19, 2002 ):
It would be an after the fact estimate, as is reach, really. You would need top have measured awareness across a variety of schedules and built a curve.

But, reach is simply a head-count measure of media delivery, while awarenss is influenced by creative and other circumstance, so a predictive model would be much more complex.

Saturday, December 14, 2002 #5681
I am planning for an entertainment account. We have sold our clients a plan that emphasizes quality buys versus tonnage. I have a buyer who is insisting on buying Prime Orbits or Rotations vs fixed position prime in order to save costs. However for the plan, we value quality and delivery over saving versus year ago cpps. Can you help me explain why fixed position prime is better in this case than prime rotations and orbits?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 15, 2002 ):
First, it is the buyer's job to deliver the media according to plan and not according to the buyer's own personal goals. The Guru has often encountered buyers who bought something more expesive/less efficient to deliver better reach when the plan was focused on tonnage or GRP goals. A buyer's first goal is delivering planned media.

That being said, the Guru does not think there is anything better about fixed posiotns versus rotations inherently. If your prime schedule for a week on the NBC affiliate is 1 spot in "Friends", one spot in "ER" and 1 spot in Third Watch, why do you care if they were bought individually or delivered in a rotator of "3 prime spots."

It's a very good buyer who can deliver the programming you need at Orbit prices. Fixed positions are NOT "quality" because they cost more, but because your specification have mafde these programs more desirable

The issue may be that your targeting or program evironment needs make ER or Third Watch desirable and Friends less so.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002 #5671
I am doing a media plan for a global biotech company and they advertise in the major trade and science journals. They gave me geography goals of 65% US, 30% Europe and 5% Japan. Meaning the % of impressions in each region they want to reach. How do I calculate the percent that they are reaching with the current plan? For example, do I just take the Europe circulation of the publication and multiply it by the total number of insertions scheduled for that pub to get the total number of impressions in europe? Media Guru, I need your help, I don't know how I am going to reach 30% in Europe. Thanks so much.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 15, 2002 ):
If you assume circulation = readers, then your formula works. In most cases, trade media like these won't have any survey-based audience research available. so circulaiton is a good basis.

Obvioulsy, you need to be considering titles published in some of the regions you wish to cover. See PubList

Thursday, December 05, 2002 #5657
Where can I find information on Frequency and reach of major Network stations

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, December 05, 2002 ):
There seems to be some confusion about terms or metrics here. First, let's assume you are asking about network affiliate stations in major markets, such as New York's WNBC.

Then we could learn from Nielsen how many persons the staion reaches in a given period of time and the average frequency of exposure of these persons to the station.

But since frequency is a more useful measure of an advertsing schedule, the Guru expects that your question may have been something else.

Monday, December 02, 2002 #5651
How does our agency evaluate signage inside and outside an NFL stadium? We have a client that advertises in a NFL stadium and would like us to provide an analysis of their sponsorship. - How many people are they reaching, what would be the costs to other sponsors versus what they paid, benefits of having all of the signage in and outside the stadium. We are not getting much cooperation from the NFL stadium and we are have a hard time conducting this analysis.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, December 06, 2002 ):
As a rule, the Guru refuses to do business with any media vendor who will not provide audience estimates, so start by making the stadium understand that the decision for future business is in the agency's hands.

The Guru wouldn't expect them to reveal costs paid by other sponsors and your client shouldn't expect that information.

The value of owning all the signage is probably analogous to 'fully sponsored' magazine issues. It's an effort to appear more important on top of the judgement that sponsoring the stadium has a positive marketing effect, beyond name recognition. It goes beyond media issues.

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.

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

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

Sunday, November 24, 2002 #5640
for the recency planning we need to set a certain reach level per week. Are we going to use the same week programs selected over the whole year or are we going to have alternative programs each week with the same reach result??? The target reach that we set for the Recency planning is it by TV station or a mix of TV stations??? are we going to use different TV station each week??? Thank you...

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 25, 2002 ):
Recency theorists would use 30 as a minimum base weekly reach. There is nothing specific about which schedule to use. It's about total schedule. It seems logical to extend cume reach by varying programming week-to-week. In this way your 30 weekly reach will grow to 90+ over time. Repeating the exact schedule every week will yeild a very low cume. The essential idea behind recency is that purchasers are in the market all the time, even though only a portion of the target is purchasers. With a w18-49 target, for example, you don't know what portion of your 30 reach overlaps the purchase prospect in any given week.

Friday, November 22, 2002 #5637
What's the definition of point of diminishing return and how it's applied?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 22, 2002 ):
This is not a purely media term. In general "point of diminishing returns" refers to the situation where additonal effort or spending begins to cause notable less results. A media example is the point where a reach curve "flattens." The first 10 GRP may generate 10% reach, the next 10 GRP adds 8 reach points. At 200 GRP, the next 10 adds less than 1 reach point. The curve below is illustrative, with the point of diminshing returns somewhere around 250 - 300 GRP

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 20, 2002 #5630
How do you determine the reach on TV and Radio schedules.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, November 21, 2002 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses about reach calculation.

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

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

Saturday, November 02, 2002 #5594 do you measure the effectiveness of sponsorship? 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 29, 2002 #5589
Our company works with separate media agencies for planning and buying. The method of evaluating TV plans is different by both - one follows 50% prog reach while the other follows spot reach within a commercial break, resulting in huge variance in GRPS for the same plan. Can you tell me what is the best method to do this?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, October 29, 2002 ):
Perhaps your ratings service measure differently than in the U.S. Spot reach seems perfectly reasonable, and directly applicable to the schedule. The Guru isn't sure what you mean by '50%' of program reach. In U.S. ratings, program ratings are an average of audience through the program and not far different than the rating of any spot aired within.

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

Monday, October 21, 2002 #5570
Dear guru, How is it that I would get a lower net reach in TV when targeting a specific CPP than if I target against affinity? I am trying to determine the best benchmark for buying against A18-49 in a country with a TV monopoly - no real channel selection, some programm choices for younger audiences. I am insisting on affinity, my agency maintains that when targeting CPP, the net reach is higher for this target. I understand that affinity targeting may increase my CPP but how is it that they feel by buying on CPP I will optimise net reach AND get the cheapest CPP (?) - with the warning that, yeah, you will get the Grandmas too, but hey, they watch everything, can't help that. Are they kidding me, or what?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, October 27, 2002 ):
The Guru is not sure what you mean by "affinity: in this case, but let us assume that you mean product users, such as ice cream eaters.

A given program has a given audience, no matter how you identify your buying target.

Suppose a program reaches 10,000 people among whom are 5,000 A18-49 and 4,000 ice cream eaters. And let us suppose that the universe od persons 18-49 is 100,000 persons, while the universe of ice cream eaters is also 100,000 persons.

A spot in this program costs $100.

The program has a rating of 5 against A 18-49 and a rating of 4 against ice cream eaters, right. So the same program has a cpp of $20 ($100 ÷ 5 rating) for A 18-49 and a cpp of $25 for ice cream eaters. So there is an apparent efficiency advantage when you look at it that way, even though you get the same people for the $100. And an apparently better net reach A18-49.

The Guru believes in the long run if the affinity group is the target, you are better off buying the group and not a statistical abstraction of the group.

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 10, 2002 #5557
Can you recommend any sites to reach Females 18-49 that suffer from allergies? Or a resource that could help direct me? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, October 13, 2002 ):
Sources that measure large numbers of websites don't include information about maladies. If the Guru were trying to approximate, he would cross tab MRI or Simmons findings on Female 18-49 users of allergy medications with website audiences. However, the mentioned sources do not go very deeply into the site-specific web arena.

At any rate, you are probably more likely to find better prospects by placing ads on the allergy-related areas of Web MD and similar sites or buying key words at search engines.

Friday, October 04, 2002 #5545
Hi folks, Has anyone come across any research on reach R(1+,2+,...n+) and Brand Awareness. Idea is to understand whether there are some coefficients, that would allow to forecast Brand Awareness given a R(1+) dez

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, October 06, 2002 ):
Try The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, August 16, 2002 ):
As in your adjacent query, you need a computer with software such as that offered by Telmar.

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

Try The Newspaper Advertising Association for some general estimates.

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

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, August 16, 2002 ):
You need a computer with software such as that offered by Telmar.

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

Wednesday, August 14, 2002 #5462
Dear Media Guru: Let's say there are 2 competing chewing gum brands in the market that generate over 800 GRPs weekly each. Clearly they are fighting for a higher SOV. The awareness level of each is close to 100%. I would think that when you have such a high awareness level you just need to maintain it with about 100 or max 200 GRPs weekly which will give you 80-85% reach. Maybe there are merits in such huge GRP weights that I am not aware of? Thanks, R.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, August 14, 2002 ):
In communications levels questions, it is always important to understand that different target groups and especially differetn cultures have different expectations and needs.

You appear to be writing from Uzbekistan, so the Guru's experience may not apply directly.

Sometimes schedules seem high because ratings are enormous, perhaps 25%, so any kind of frequency runs to heavy GRP weights. If ratings are 2-5% than this probably isn't a factor.

There are more effects derived from GRP weights than just reach. At the levels of which you speak, frequency becomes the key variable. If chewing gum is a major staple in your market with users making purhcase decisions daily, extreme frequency levels might be justified. If gum brands have more significant social overtones - i.e. are culturally significant, unlike the U.S. perhaps the weight is justified.

In a U.S. context, these levels do seem mystifying.

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.

Thursday, August 08, 2002 #5456
Do you know of any research that would show which is more effective in gaining audience attention: a medium length schedule with larger ads (6x with spread ads for example), or a longer schedule with smaller ads (12x with full page ads). Any insight is appreciated.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, August 10, 2002 ):
There will be many studies of this nature. The key is your definition of "audience attention." reach will be greater with the greater number of ads. Recall or noting is likely to be greater with the spreads. Ad or brand awareness might be the more decisive difference.

Try The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter,

Wednesday, August 07, 2002 #5451
Hi Guru, how can we evaluate outdoor as a medium. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, August 08, 2002 ):
Like any other medium, you compare it to your goals and to the contribution of other possible media.

Some of these issues are efficiency, reach, impact, communication and geographic flexibility.

Tuesday, August 06, 2002 #5449
what is the best medium used to reach latino's home buyers?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, August 07, 2002 ):
Spanish radio has high reach and immediacy. Outdoor has the highest reach in absolute termes, albeit with a limited message. Depending on what you are selling to homebuyers, your may like the geographic flexibility of these media or the impact of Spanish TV. Or the ability to associate with relevant real estate or decorating editorial in print, despite its much lower reach.

Tuesday, July 30, 2002 #5443
If you are designing a pullout poster for a business magazine with a circulation of 35,000 and you want to add advertisments to it, what is the going rate for a 2 x 2 advertisement with the staying power of a poster?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, July 30, 2002 ):
The Guru is not aware of a "going rate" for such an ad. It does not seem to be worth more than a similar sized ad in the magazine's regular pages, unless the poster is of the sort to earn regular reference. In that case, perhaps 50% premium can be justified. Even then, the ad only adds frequency, not 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.

Tuesday, July 23, 2002 #5431
How do you calculate cost of incremental reach? thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 27, 2002 ):
Simple artithmetic:

Base plan has reach of "X"

Spending "Y" additional dollars will produce a plan with reach of "Z"

Incremental reach = Z - X

"Y" is the cost of incremental reach.

Tuesday, July 23, 2002 #5430
Is there any research information available that explores a break-even analysis for local vs. national media (i.e. television). Evaluating how many local markets you could purchase before reaching a national CPP. Please explain why this type of analysis would be completed.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 27, 2002 ):
This is not so much "research" as a market place analysis. The answer changes over time, depending on economy, demographic, daypart and market rankings. It's a matter of comparing the specific costs you face. See past Guru responses.

Why do the analysis? If you are planning to buy advertising in a ranked list of markets for a national brand, and the do not need to vary levels by market, or need a given base level across markets, cost per rating point will eventually mount to a point where a network rating point is less expensive than the rating point purchased through the local media. At that point, you get the rest of the country "free" if you switch to network,

Monday, July 22, 2002 #5429
I am from the Philippines. We are bidding to get a bank as a client. They are relaunching their housing loan product. Their given budget is equivalent to twenty thousand dollars ($20,000.00) only. Size of the ad is 7 columns by 40 cms with long copy. A full color (launch) ad costs about $2,600 per newspaper. The sustaining black & white ad costs about $1,400 per newspaper. We plan to use the full color ad only for the first week, while the black and white ad would run from the second week up to the fifth week. This would be at the rate of 2 ads per week within three maor dailies. Is this right or should I use recency and just stretch the budget to 8 weeks at the rate of one ad per week? This is a relaunch and we want the ad to have impact in spite of the limited budget and the long copy of the print material.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 27, 2002 ):
Your answer depends on the reach of the newspapers used and the advertising climate for the industry. The Guru generally favors recency, but circumstances must be considered. You have not stated the relevant facts.

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.

Thursday, July 18, 2002 #5420
Does research exist, which addresses the probability of any individual article being read within a magazine having broad national reach?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 20, 2002 ):
MRI and Simmons have reported % page openings, etc.

Try The Magazine Publishers' Association

Monday, July 15, 2002 #5413
I would appreciate any feedback you can provide on the following....the client is looking for us to make a recommendation on how many print titles should be on their plan. What criteria should be looked at when determining this? I am sure a lot has to do with budget. They will be running in trade pubs in the biotechnology area and their budget is about $300,000. Also, how many times do you recommend running in a weekly publication? thanks for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 17, 2002 ):
The number of print titles isa a result, not a goal. Goals should be reach, or frequency or coverage of specifc arenas, If there are twenty possible titles, there will be reasons to prefer some over others. The budget needs to be viewed in a context of the average ad cost.

There are some rules-of-thumb -- guidelines, not carved in stone -- which suggest once per month minimum in a weekly, every other month in a monthly, but these are about consumer perceptions of frequency. How many arenas do you need to cover?

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

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

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

Wednesday, July 10, 2002 #5405
Quick question, I have an AE who keeps bringing up "impact factor" with planning. And that the impact factor needs to be addressed when planning and GRP's and total R/F need to be adjusted. I have no clue what he means or an idea how to do this. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks again.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 10, 2002 ):
It sounds like your AE just arrived from working on an account which used such factors. Perhaps he never worken on any other acount and doesn'r realize this is ideosyncratic. Or perhaps he came from an agency with their own factors.

In any case, "impact" factors might be based on an index of recall or attentiveness or some other measurement of results specific to media types, from synidcated or proprietary research.

Typically, the "best medium" which is probably going to be prime time television has a 100 index and the others are set in relation to that. Also typically, the GRP are adjsuted and reach is then calculated based on the adjusted GRP.

None of this "impact factor" process is absolute or standard, but it can be done.

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

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

Lacking any data, what assumptions might you make?

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

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

reach with no observations is a complex calculation. You need a computer with software such as that offered by Telmar. In one example, as input you need average announcement audience, duplication between announcements of the same vehicle and duplication between each possible pair of different vehicles. These must be combined using a complex formula such as the Beta-binomial function. There are variants of this formula, which might be preferred, depending on media type and other variables

Wednesday, July 03, 2002 #5397
Hi: I Need to get "the reach and frecuency" of one cable TV`plan and for my understanding exists a curve generated by GRP and some assumptions which could tells me what I want. Do you know a web site where I could find this kind of information?? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 03, 2002 ):
Try eTelmar

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.

Saturday, June 29, 2002 #5384
I am working on a recruitment media plan, targeting ER physicians. Would you agree that the general media strategy should be to have increased frequency, in lieu of increased reach. For example, run FP4C ad in every issue of a trade pub instead of running every third month in three pubs. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 30, 2002 ):
There is nothing in your question's set up which would lead the Guru to make a recommendation one way or another.

However, the Guru would imagine that there are times when a prospect will be interested in your ad and other times when the physician would not. Under theses circumsatances, reach would seem more productive than frequency.

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.

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

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

Sunday, June 09, 2002 #5340
Hello Media Guru I am a principal of an Online Radio (Internet based Radio broadcasting)and have a question about licensing of News Content. What If I go to a web site like and read that news over the online radio so that listeners dont have to go to 100 websites and read that content and give the courtesy to that website/company on a web page. Is there a copyright breach here? Thanks in advance for responding.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 09, 2002 ):
The Guru deals with Media planning/Media buying/Media research/Media managment questions, which this is not

. The Guru does not give legal advice.

As a layman however, the Guru does not see how this would not be a copyright violation. Why else do you suppose CNN puts a copyright notice at the bottom of each page?

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.

Sunday, May 26, 2002 #5309
Our company has recently appointed a new media planning agency. Are there any standard parameters on which the performance of planning agency can be evaluated? Since the planning agency is different from buying agency, the performance can not be measured on CPRPs or cost/spot etc. Secondly, is there merit in having separate agencies for media planning and buying? Your views. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 26, 2002 ):
Assuming your communications and advertising goals are coming from yet another resource, you might set up some objective standards for how well your media plan answers these goals, translating into reach, frequency, impact, image building, etc.

The Guru believes that separating planning and buying somewhat limits the planning agency in the support it will get from the media sellers regarding packaging media deals.

There is some benefit in letting a good planner buy, but no inherent benefit in separating the processes.

Wednesday, May 22, 2002 #5304
The Church I attended is looking into placing a commercial on a Cable Network Station. Please provide me with any low cost media service companies in the Los Angeles area. My Pastor has received rates from AT&T Media Services, however, I'm sure there are other low cost providers.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 26, 2002 ):
See the yellow pages for cable companies and 'interconnects' serving your churchs' service area. Remember that cost ought to reflect numbers of subscribers and reach of announcements.

Wednesday, May 22, 2002 #5301
In one of your responses to advantages of media mix and multimeedia strategies u have mentioned "Better distribution of frequency of exposure" as the advantage of using a media mix Can u pls elaborate on this Thanks for the help

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

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

Wednesday, May 22, 2002 #5300
what are the best metrics for measuring: effectiveness 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 21, 2002 #5299
I'm a webmaster with exclusive Hollywood content and a nice audience in the tens of thousands. The daily, weekly, and monthly numbers are good, and most importantly, they're real. The main site is part of a large network, but I don't make good money from this network, and a HUGE portion of my advertising is going unsold. (All of the new sites I'm creating are pay sites and have no ads....) What is the best way to move and sell the unsold ads. I think the best way is just to get on the phone myself and start making the calls. Where can a I get free lists of people to call and sell to? Where is a good resource or list of people or companies that buy internet advertising? What is the best way to reach these ad buyers and let them know I've got some places they might like to advertise?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 26, 2002 ):
First ask yourself, what is the value of "free" lists? "Tens of thousands" is not impressive to major advertisers looking for mass audiences, you need to find those whose message resonates with your content. If you want it "free" you need to do some legwork and identify advertisers who will most benefit by association with your content. Check other related sites and see who is advertising there.

Tuesday, May 21, 2002 #5297
I am writing a POV for a client on radio frequency levels. Are there any guidelines or general principles on weekly and 4-wk frequency goals for national radio? I haven't been able to find anything through the RAB.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 26, 2002 ):
There are many theories. Other than buying 12 spots per station per week, in local radio, there are few standard points of agreement, and even the 12 spot theory is not absolute.

For example, in some situations, such as Black or Hispanic radio, where ratings levels can be 8 or better; GRPS for 12 spotrs can be 100 or more and you are really buying reach more than frequency, attitudes about frequency will change.

Then, are you talking about spots-per-week frequency or average frequency of exposure? The answer will again change depending on what other media are in the plan.

The Guru feels that all this and more need to be taken into consideration, rather than look for general rules.

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

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

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

Tuesday, 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.

Tuesday, May 14, 2002 #5279
DEAR Guru, advertising a car model can you explain the connections between the target market, the product and the communictaions campiagn? also what are the ad/disadvantages of each method of media when preparing a media campiagn?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, May 18, 2002 ):
Most simply: Various brands of products have appeal to specific demographics. For existing brands, these ddemographics can be discerned by analyzing survey research, often syndicated studies such as MRI, Simmons and The Mendelsohn Media Research Affluent Study. Proprietary, "custom" research is also used.

The working theory is that the best advertising target is people similar to current purchasers. New models or programs aimed at changing the purchaser appeal may have variants based on the profile of competitive models, speculation or other research, including qualtitative types.

Communications is then planned to reach the same target, and to place advertising in a supportive environment, that relates to the product, target lifestyle, image goals of the brand, etc.

For some comparisons of media, see the Guru's media strengths page.

Friday, May 10, 2002 #5275
What is the difference between program reach and program rating? What is the difference between spot rating and spot reach?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 12, 2002 ):
Program rating is the average audience at a point in time during a program, expressed as a percentage of a target group.

Program reach is the total of different audience members accumulated over the duration of the program, which may be more than at one point in time. In another context, "program reach" may refer to accumulation of different audience members over multiple episodes of the program.

Spot rating distinguishes the audience of the commercial ("the spot") from the audience of the program. Channel switching may decrease commerical audience from in-program audience.

Spot reach is the accumulation of reach of the commercial over its schedule.

The above uses spot in its sense of referring to a commercial unit. A different meaning of "spot" distinguishes local airings from network / national airings.

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 couldn’t 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 è 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 è 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 GRP’s , 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.

Thursday, April 18, 2002 #5229
Dear Media Guru, Do you have any research or date that studied ideal budget allocation between main media and sub media? Or, How much of budget is good for sub media in order to maximize advertising impact?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, April 20, 2002 ):
One common rule of thumb is "use the primary medium up to the point where it becomes inefficient to add incremental reach." This rule works in reach oriented plans. Another might be ". . .until the submedium adds reach __% faster than more money in the main medium." A frequency or tonnage plan would have a different approach.

In any case, the rule will be based on media delivery measures, not some abstraction of budget percentage. The budget percentage split which results will vary greatly depending on the main and submedia involved, and the communication goals that define "impact".

Wednesday, April 10, 2002 #5216
Is it the same advertising in two totally different places? Where everything is different (culture, media, number of people etc.). Does the consumer react the same whoever he is?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, April 15, 2002 ):
Definitiely not. Take a simple example, such as US Hispanic advertising.

It is well established that advertising can not simply be translated and used otherwise unchanged. The cultural cues, and context, including everything from the look of sets and actors through how products are used, past consumer experience with the products, and flavor/scent prefernces make too many differences.

On the media side, reach levels of the various media are different, for instance Spanish TV has a four week potential below 70% of Hispanics for any reasonable schedule, radio has a higher potential, and magazines are not a strong medium at all, generally (with one or two exeptions) having circulation coverage only 10-25% as deep as the US general. market. Newspapers compare similarly, with 10% HH coverage of a market being almost unheard-of.

Taking advertising from country to country raises even more problems.

Thursday, April 04, 2002 #5197
is there a standard ratio between media spend and media tools? said another way, does spending on media research tools typcially represent x percentage of media budget? i am a media planner at kenneth cole. we are a small in house agency with no research tools and i am trying to figure out if it is cost effective for me subscribe to telmar and mri. thank you, joe andrews

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, April 05, 2002 ):
The Guru doesn't believe there is a standard. The pricing of research reaches a cap well below the totola billings of some of the giants, so averages would not be meaningful.

You need to look at the media decisions you will make, and the cost of potential errors or misjudgments that could happen without the tools. Particularly with a concentration in print, the tools you mention should easily pay for themselves.

To keep costs down at first, begin with the pay-per-use option of our parent company's eTelmar.

Sunday, March 17, 2002 #5157
how do you find the reach?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 17, 2002 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses about media calculations

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

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

Click here to see past Guru responses on the topic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, February 26, 2002 #5121
If an advertiser cuts their typical TV schedule in half for three months, can we guage any residual effect in the following three months even if they return to normal levels.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 27, 2002 ):
One old rule of thumb was that about 10% of the previous week's awareness is lost each week without advertising. A collateral rule was that about 10% of the GRPs were added back to reach if some advertisng ran.

So, if awareness was 80% and you had been running 100 GRP per week, after one week without advertisng, awareness would fall to 72%. But if you ran 50 GRP instead of nothing, you could gain back 5 points.

Obviously, this scenario will always show an awareness loss in any week with less than 100 GRP, no mattere the ratio to prior weeks GRPs. It is overly simplistic, but may be directionally useful.

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.

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

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

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, February 21, 2002 #5104
Dear Guru, how can I appriciate the effectiveness of media mix (TV, press and Radio)?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, February 23, 2002 ):
The Guru is unclear on what you mean by "appreciate."

Among the benefits of media mix are

  • Gerater reach
  • Better distribution of frequency of exposure (flatter quintiles)
  • Ability to focus on different elements of communication; e.g. the immediacy and impact of full sight, sound and motion through tv plus the detailed descriptions of print

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

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

Friday, February 15, 2002 #5087
I am planning a magazine campaign which is over a period of 6 months with a reach emphasis. Can you please explain how the frequency builds along with reach.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 15, 2002 ):
Each magazine has a rating. The rating is equal to target readers ÷ target universe. GRP = sum of the ratings of all the insertions.

The first insertion will have reach equal to its rating points and a frequency of 1.0.

When GRPs accumulate, reach increases at a decreasing rate, as in the curve below.

A print reach "curve" builds more quickly at first; especially when there are more different titles and less so when there is repetition in fewer titles.

GRP ÷ reach = Frequency. Frequency, if graphed, would be a straight line.

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

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

The eTelmar starter package is a quick, inexpensive resource.

Click here to see past Guru responses

Monday, February 11, 2002 #5078
Hi - My client wants a general guideline for scheduling strategies for a maintenance versus a launch campaign. The obvious answer is continuity versus burst, but could you advise on the number of weeks on and off air for both approaches? Including ideal GRP levels? Thanks a lot!

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 11, 2002 ):
The primary factor here is budget. With adequate budget, continuity is always better even if levels vary at specific times. You need to determine what is an "adequate level" which you might define in terms of reach, or frequency or media mix, etc. For additional guidance, Click here to see Guru comment on recency.

Thursday, February 07, 2002 #5069
Guru - I need to price the sale of advertising on Wireless phones? Are there any benchmarks for the service when X number of subscribers have agreed to recieve X number of messages per day? Thanks for any and all help!

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, February 10, 2002 ):
Pricing sould be based on cost per thousand messages delivered. Other advertising is priced from under $1 to over $200 per thousand depending on the audience's desirability to the advertiser or the difficulty of reaching it.

Tuesday, February 05, 2002 #5059
Dear Guru (by the way, thanks for your earlier answers, they are really helpful !) : If I reach 3 differents profiles of people with 1 outdoor campaign, is it correct to say that reachxfrequency for each target equals the TRP (target rate points), and that the GRP is reachxfrequency over the entire population. So the GRP would be composed out of several TRPs?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, February 10, 2002 ):
First, GRP and TRP are equivalent terms. Some people reserve use of TRP (Target Rating Points) for cases where a speciific demographic is targeted, such as Women 18-49, College educated men, or Employed teenagers, and then only use "GRP" (Gross Ratings Points) for a Household target. Others use GRP for any target. In either case, the term means gross percentage of the specified target universe.

Arithmetically, reach x Frequency = GRP or TRP. GRP or TRP for different targets may not be added.

Tuesday, February 05, 2002 #5056
I've heard reach/frequency curves described as asymptotic curves. Can you please explain what that means? Thanks again.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, February 10, 2002 ):
Asymptotic, in this sense, means approaching 100% at an ever decreasing rate. In reach terms, if your first ad has a rating of 10%, it reaches 10% of the target. The next ad with a rating of 10 will have some duplication with the first and so possibly add only 9 reach points. The next will duplicate with both and perhaps add only 7 points to reach, etc. This is why reach curves (see below) "flatten" as they rise.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, January 23, 2002 ):
You need a computer with software such as that offered by Telmar.

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

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, January 21, 2002 #5022
Hi Guru, I've been asked to do a media plan for radio buys in the DC market. I've never done a media plan for radio before and have never even purchased radio ads before. Can you tell me where I should go for more information on how to buy radio ads and how it all works. I guess I'm looking for a radio101 or something. Please help! Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 31, 2002 ):
Get in touch with an experienced sales person from one of the top stations with which you will be dealing. Stations have marketplace and general radio planning tools. A good salesman can give you more education quicker than any other source

If you are starting from an assumption that you are only using radio and only one market, you are not really "planning," just selecting a schedule.

Your big-picture elements are meeting reach / frequency goals, format choices, and added value.

Tuesday, January 15, 2002 #5006
I have been asked to provide the impact of advertising by medium, for a multi-media retail plan. The advertising consists of TV, Radio and Outdoor. The percentages are: TV 80%, Radio 14% and Outdoor 6%. The communication is both branding and price/item. During the TV campaigns the creative split is 60% branding/40% price & item. The radio is almost exclusively price and item and the outdoor is 100% branding.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 17, 2002 ):
First you need to define the 'civilian' term 'impact'. Is it
  • Sales contribution
  • recall
  • awareness
  • or something else?

    Are the percentages Budget, impressiosn, reach contribution or . . .?

    This is not a reasonable question.

Saturday, January 12, 2002 #5000
Dear Guru, where can I find information about multi media planning (when I buy all media for GRPs and plan them together to gain aggregate effictiveness: reach, Frequency, etc.)

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, January 15, 2002 ):
Planning per se is about multimedia combinations, or reasons to use only one. Start basic media planning texts, you will find in theAMIC Bookstore (in association with

Friday, January 11, 2002 #4998
Broadcast planning; I work in the digital space and was trying to learn more about how broadcast is planned, specifically television.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, January 15, 2002 ):
Planning is a process of matching media choices to advertisng goals.

The biggest differences for traditional media versus digital are

  • Planners don't think in terms of a single medium; the plan is theoetically open to any medium at the start.
  • Audience measures are typically more detailed and finite, especaily in regard to reach.
  • Outside of direct response planning, audience exposure estimates, rather than any analog of clicks is key.
See media planning texts in the AMIC Bookstore (in association with

Friday, January 11, 2002 #4995
should there be more emphasis on either reach or frequency depending on the level of involvement associated with the advertised product? also, is reach or frequency more important for standing out within a saturated market? cheers

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, January 14, 2002 ):
Frequency, in both cases.

Wednesday, January 09, 2002 #4989
I have some questions about duplication. If I want to find the duplication between 2 titles (i.e. what % of readers of either title read both) do I want to determine net or gross duplication. Should I be dividing duplication impressions by gross impressions of the two titles or net reach of the tow titles? When would you want to look at net duplication instead of gross duplication?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, January 13, 2002 ):
"Net" and "gross" usually refer to the unduplicated or total audiences, respectively, rather than variants of duplication.

There are just a few simple quantities involved. It is easier to consider them as impressions (numbers of persons) than percentages at first:

  • Let A = Persons in the average issue audience of title A
  • Let B = Average issue audience of title B
  • Let X = Persons in within A who are also within B (i.e. readers of A who also read B)
  • Let Y = Persons within B who are also within A.
  • Let Z = Readers of A and B

The first thing that you should realize is that X, Y and Z are all the same group of people!

You may then consider:

  • X ÷ A = Magazine A's percent duplication by Magazine B
  • Y ÷ B = Magazine B's percent duplication by Magazine A
  • Z ÷ A + B = the duplication of the "pair," Magazine A and Magazine B

Any of these are facts you might use depending on the point you are trying to make. As far as labeling goes,
Gross audience is A + B.
Net unduplicated audience is A + B - Z.

Sunday, January 06, 2002 #4979
How can I estimate response rates to ads for a new product in a given region in various media (print and radio primarily) based on known data such as population, reach, etc. I need to make forward projections for marketing budget decisions.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, January 06, 2002 ):
There are too many variable with this vaguely stated question. Industry average for comparable products are the only reasonable quide.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For research, try The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB)

Tuesday, December 11, 2001 #4938
Greetings. You previously answered a question for me regarding calculating R/F for a trade print plan (question #4900). Based on your answer (which included calculating ratings and using industry standard duplication figures), I am calculating overall reach for each publication and for the entire schedule. Once I have that information (reach%, Rating%), can you confirm what formula I would use to get the Frequency (both for each publication and for the entire schedule). I have searched many years of your archives and can't find an answer that addresses that specific question. Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, December 11, 2001 ):
Frequency = GRP ÷ reach

GRP is the sum of all the Ratings which go into the reach.

For example, if publication "A" has a 12% rating, three insertions = 36 GRP.

A schedule of 3 times in publication "A," plus 4 times in publication "B," which has a 16% rating = 110 GRP.

Tuesday, December 04, 2001 #4924
What does 'reach' mean?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 05, 2001 ):
reach as a noun is defined in Query #4921, below. As a verb, it means to deliver a message to a target consumer.

Tuesday, December 04, 2001 #4923
If I want to reach medium to large size (Fortune 500) advertisers interested in new growth areas, what publications are best to advertise in? Thank you very much.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 05, 2001 ):
This is too nebulous a description of a target. What might "new growth areas" mean? The general business publications like Forbes, Fortune and Business Week probably reach the right people in the right companies, but a better definition might allow narrowing the scope of audeince morre efficiently.

Tuesday, December 04, 2001 #4921

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 05, 2001 ):
reach is the number of Different people (net) exposed to a campaign or schedule. It may be expressed in numbers of unduplicated impressions or as a percentage of the relevant target audience.

reach is sometimes carlessly (and inaccurately) used in reference to the potential audience of a cable network, i.e. subscribers, when it should only be used to refern to an audience exposed to advertising.

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.

Thursday, November 15, 2001 #4894
Will you please explain the math and rationale for equivalizing :15s in broadcast tv? I keep hearing the term, but my buyer couldn't clearly explain it. She also said she didn't believe in doing it. Do you? Thanks as always!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, November 15, 2001 ):
Buyers and planners look at this process differently. In actual fact, a :15 and a :30 in the same program have the same audience, but different costs.

To planners the audience is more important, in its relationship to reach, etc.

Buyers, however are more cost and efficiency focused at the program level. They will simplify avails by assignninig everything the :30 price and using a factored audience to reflect the :15 efficiency.

Tuesday, November 13, 2001 #4886
We are deciding between 2 DRTV ad companies. One suggests buying nationwide spots on a cable network. Another company states that's a waste of money. They suggest buying spots on nationwide cable networks in only the top 10-15 markets. What are the benefits of the 2 and how much cheaper do you think buying in single markets would be than buying nationwide? I didn't know how in depth this process could be. Thanks in advance for throwing me a life vest in the vast sea of DRTV

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 14, 2001 ):
Assuming your cost of selling and delivery is equal across the country, buying networks will be much more cost efficient on the media expenditure side of the equation. The out-of pocket dollars will be more, but the audience reached will be much more. If the one company that favors buying top markets can show you that these markets produce a better return from these markets, that may be worth listening to. Network buying is much less labor intensive.

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

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

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

Thursday, November 08, 2001 #4871
If we provide a basic demographic profile of our customer (age, gender, geography etc.), are there any services that can match that profile to a database of magazine demographics and present us with a list of magazines that best reach that audience?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 12, 2001 ):
You should be able to do this analysis uding the crtoss-tab and ranker sytems of companies like Telmar

Monday, November 05, 2001 #4865
Guru, what's the methodology for reach & frequency. I have two schedules, one gets an 77 reach/3.1 freq, the other 85 reach/4.2 freq. and a cume of 87 reach/5.6 freq. A client just asked why such a small increase from year to year.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 07, 2001 ):
The Guru's answer is based on the assumption that you mean:

"In year 1, I ran a schedule which cumed 77 reach, with 3.1 average frequency (and presumably about 240 GRP), and

In year 2, I ran a schedule with a cume reach of 85, and an average frequency of 4.2 (about 360 total GRP), and

the cume across the two years reported as 87 reach / 5.6 average frequency (487 GRP). So why is this cume only 87 when I had 85 in year 2 alone, on top of the 77 in year 1?


  1. First, if the cume is the combination of the two schedules, there is an arithmetic error somewhere in the cume. The GRP (reach X frequency) of the cume must be the sum of the two individual schedules, which would be about 600 GRP.
  2. reach grows more slowly as you near the potential. Why? When you reach 85% of the target, most of the people reached are among the 77% you reached previously. At it's simplest, based on pure probability, your 85% reach in year 2 means that year 2's schedule reaches 85% of the 77% already reached and 85% of the 23% not yet reached. This would add 20% to year 1's 77% for a cume of 97%. But the nature of media is that some people consume some media regularly and others not at all. So duplication in a given medium is more than pure probability. Thus reach is only 87% in cume.
  3. If you had used completely different media in each year the cume would more nearly apporach the 97% probability.
reach methodology differs between media types.

Monday, November 05, 2001 #4863
Our agency sell advertising and sponsorship for the Mille Miglia (, 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, October 31, 2001 #4854
Dear Guru, I have an super affluent target and want to recommend the use of selective national TV vs. print and other media given my budget of $2MM. I know print will deliver a higher reach, but can a case be made for TV given the impactfulness of the medium?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, November 01, 2001 ):
There is no argument that TV is the most impactful of the media. But where is the trade off? For your target tv may so much less efficient that it can't deliver its impactful messages to enough people. The Guru would far prefer to reach 2 million target people with good impact than reach 100,000 with great impact and that may be the degree of difference you face. Try to quantify impact vs audience to really evaluate.

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

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

Monday, October 29, 2001 #4844
I am doing a comparison study of two local weekly print vehicles in Cleveland and am looking for some assistance in reading The Media Audit reports that both have provided me - mainly cume rating vs. index. Let's take for example a comparison on the following target audience: Attended Past 12 Months - Rock/Pop Music Concert. The percent of the target audience as a factor of the whole audience is 23.7% or 376,300 people. Paper A reaches 154,900 (41.2% rating) while Paper B reaches 140,100 (37.2% rating). Therefore, Paper A has the larger rating or "total eyeballs" per say. However, when we switch gears and look at the Index, we see that Paper B has an index of 208 (49.4% composition) while Paper A only has an index of 168 (39.5% composition). We've been trying to talk this situation out all day to determine which number is more important in deciding who to go with -- since we can only choose one for next year's plans. can you help me to understand in plain english the difference between the 2?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, October 30, 2001 ):
Composition is the portion of the readers of a publication who fit within your target.

reach / rating is the portion of your target who are within the audience of the publication.

Compostition, therefore is an indicator of the degree of focus on your target while rating is popularity among your target.

Playboy or Maximum PC will have a very high audience composition who are Men 18-34, but People Weekly has more readers in that demographic group.

If two publications have more or less comparable content, as daily newspapers would prefer rating to composition, but cost efficient should also be considered. If overall reach is a goal, including both has merit.

Sunday, October 28, 2001 #4839
I'm the author of a new book on investing called "If It's Raining in Brazil, Buy Starbucks" Please suggest an advertising strategy to reach active traders and investors on the net

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, October 28, 2001 ):
The Guru would advertsise on stock price or stock trading sites, like Morningstar or Nasdaq.

Saturday, October 27, 2001 #4835
What wins ad size or frequency? Are there any case studies or research available that proves either theory? Your assistance is greatly appreciated to help settle this debate.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, October 28, 2001 ):
What wins what?

The Guru finds that frequency will do better at generating awareness, recall or reach. Size may convey a different impression of "importance." Frequency is probably better for sales, but ad size may be better for image or to convey certain highly graphic ideas.

Thursday, October 25, 2001 #4828
hi guru, can u tell me a difference between reach & impression?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, October 25, 2001 ):
Every time a person is exposed to an advertisement, an impression is created. One person exposed twice = 2 impressions. Two people each exposed once = 2 impressions. reach is the number of different persons exposed to advertising. reach is often expressed as a percentage of the target population.

Wednesday, October 24, 2001 #4827
I have a few questions regarding advertising to children between the ages of 9 and 12. I am a Xavier University student working on a project for my Media Planning class and would really appreciate it if you could answer any of the following questions or if not, please direct me to someone who can. 1) What options are available for advertising to children between the ages of 9 and 12? I'm looking for creative ideas as well as anything that may be considered standard. 2) How do these options work and who do they reach? Are there any internet sites that may be helpful in locating this information? 3) What are the strengths and weaknesses of these options? Are any better than others at reaching this specific target? What would you recommend as far as frequency is concerned? 4) Hold are these options sold? Monthly, weekly, daily, etc.? On a spot by spot basis? Where could I get quotes for these to include in my presentation? 5) How much do they cost? 6) How are these mediums measured? Who provides measurement? For example, Arbitron measures radio in average quarter hour ratings. Do you know where I can go to find statistics on these? How many people are reached over what time span etc.? 7) Lastly, who should use these mediums? Is it better for one industry/company than another? Why? If it is easier to respond to me directly to my e-mail account please do. I would really appreciate this. Thank you VERY much.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, October 25, 2001 ):
The Guru thanks you for the opportunity to do your class project.
  1. There are numerous TV shows on the broadcast networks, as well as Nickelodeon and other cable networks. There are publications from Scholastic Magazines and Radio Disney and many more
  2. These work pretty much as do comparable media for other ages. Visit the sites.
  3. Strengths and weaknesses generally parallel the same media for all ages. See the Guru's media strengths page. Broadcast tv will have the greatest reach, others may be more targeted or efficient. The Guru imagines frequency will be more important for this age group.
  4. Timing and pricing varies, visit the sites. Request kits. You may have to talk to vendors for realistic pricing. You will encounter varying willingness to help a student.
  5. See #4
  6. Nielsen measures the tv options. Print and radio are not measured by the standard sources such as MRI and Arbitron, except on rare occasion. The vendors will have some proprietary studies, possibly online.
  7. Who should use them depends on the marketing strategy. No doubt figuring this out is the point of your learning.

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 16, 2001 #4798
Could you please give me all examples of TV flights pattern: GRP min/max levels, guerilla tactics, else ?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, October 16, 2001 ):
Flight patterens can be any imaginable combination of active and inactive weeks from 1 on / 12 of to 12 on / 1 off. Anything more extreme shouldn't be considered flighting. The on/off patterens do not have to be equal or consistent.

Some think GRPs should be at least suffieceint to reach 30% of target weekly in a continuity plan. There is no real upper end except the "point of diminishing returns" where adding reach is prohibitively expensive or no longer possible. Even then, some would add weight just for frequency in promotions.

Guerilla tactics are marketing, not media issues.

Friday, October 12, 2001 #4785
What is the difference between 100 GRPs in Canada and 100 TRPs in US? I've heard that it is harder to reach Canadains than it is Americans through television, is that true? If so, why?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, October 15, 2001 ):
100 GRPs means a quantity of impressions equal to the size of the population. So in Canada, 100 GRPs represents about 11% as many impressions as in the US, since Canada has 11% as big a population.

'Harder to reach' might mean many different things. Perhaps the major programs in Canada have lower ratings than in the US, or there are more different program choices. Or cume patterns are lower for whatever reason. Or cost per point is greater due to less economy of scale.

Wednesday, October 10, 2001 #4772
I am going to the planning process for a new b2b client at our agency. The client has a very specific audience it is looking to reach, thus buying by the numbers is becoming less of an option than cherry picking programs and flight dates based on the small and very high brow target. Any suggestions on how to request rates without buying on GRP's or CPP? I don't want to get taken on the rates as a result of our obvious interest in very specific programming only. Additionally how do I then prove the buy later since it was bought on a qualitative basis?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, October 13, 2001 ):
  • At some point, you preumably are using some sort of numbers to evaluate the presence of your target in program audiences to support your cherry-picking
  • Rates are usually quoted as cost per spot for programs whne you are buying programs, so you can apply whatever numbers you have to compare these programs
  • If your audience is so small and rare in broadcast, perhaps you shouldn't be using broadcast in preference to more selective media
  • Or, if there are a specific network or two which focuses on your target, they may well be prepared to cater to someone buying this target

Tuesday, October 09, 2001 #4766
Can you provide a guide for calculating the optimal number of advertisements to place per annum using radio, TV, an Newspaper Printing?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 10, 2001 ):
There is no basis for such a rule of thumb. Pay more attention to impressions, reach / frequency, etc

Tuesday, October 09, 2001 #4763
What's your opinion on Recency planning (Low weekly GRP levels) in a market with no People Meter data only diary data (1 week survey twice a year). Having in mind that Diary data usually overestimates TV ratings. Are 80 to 100 Weekly TV GRP to low in Diary data market?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, October 09, 2001 ):
Recency is about maintaining minimal continuous reach levels, not 'low GRP levels'. 30 is about right for weekly reach. If you have a reach model keyed to diary measurement, that's your guide.

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

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

Thursday, September 27, 2001 #4738
Is there a resource to help plan an on line campaign to reach healthcare professionals, particularly MDs.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, September 27, 2001 ):

Click here to see past Guru responses on the topic.

Tuesday, September 25, 2001 #4735
All about CUME reach. What about the recency & net duplication planning?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, September 27, 2001 ):
Cume is about longer term, recency is about a week at a time.

Click here to see past Guru responses about cume and recency .

Friday, September 21, 2001 #4727
Hi Guru, I am looking for a resource that provides the amount of marketing and advertising dollars spent on various demographic segments. Any ideas?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, September 24, 2001 ):
No, the Guru has never a source toalling spending by dempographic. How would an outside source know the demographic target of an ad in broad reach vehicles like People Magazine or on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Such vehicles account for a lot of the spending. If an advertiser spent only in similar niche media, a conclusion might be drawn, but the lion's share of dollars would go unaccounted for.

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

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

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

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

Thursday, August 30, 2001 #4685
Guru, I have this client in the Wealth Mgmt/Financial industry who has been using natl. print solely over the past 3 yrs. There budget is only $3 million. According to Monroe Mendleson, our campaign reach is around 70% against the super affluent. The client would now like to switch gears to Natl. TV and sponsor/own one program with a high concentration of their target. I don't believe they could achieve the same reach as with print, but am not certain how to present the differences. Can you help?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, September 04, 2001 ):
Any program with a high composition of your target is likely to have a very tiny rating and little reach development. Monroe Mendelsohn should provide the data to analyze this.

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

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

Wednesday, 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Message / Creative

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, July 23, 2001 #4599
I'm trying to find out the national inbound, outbound and in market spending to determine how much is being spent in each of the below markets: Atlanta Boston Chicago NY Dallas Houston LA San Francisco Do you know what the best resource would be?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, July 24, 2001 ):
Your best resource is probably CMR (Competitive Media Reports), but there are going to be issues around rules and definitions of terms:

Does "inbound" mean purchases of media which reach audiences within the market or media that are owned within the market? Think of superstations.

Does outbound mean placements by agencies based in the market or by buyers based in the market or advertisers based in the market? How do you account for Dallas activity of an advertiser corporation with headquarters in Boston using an AOR agency based in New York that places buying regionally from an Atlanta office?

Thursday, July 19, 2001 #4594
Hi Guru, I have a set of queries: 1. What is the difference between program reach and program TVR. 2.How can reach curves be used in planning media 3.What skills apart from negotiation does a media buyer need 4. The gross weight of a tv plan can be a. sum of all spot tvrs b. product of 1+ reach and average ots of the entire plan These values for the same plan are not always equal- why? 5. Why dont u allow advertising on your site? How do you make money from your website currently Please let me know Thanks Ajit

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 19, 2001 ):
Your terminology is a bit different from US usage, but with given assumptions the Guru's answers are as follows:
  1. Assuming "TVR" is rating, program reach and rating are identical for a single ad unit. reach and ratings accumulate differently because reach discounts audience duplication from one ad unit to the next.
  2. As an example, reach curves show where the reach added by additional advertising in the same medium diminishes and a new medium should be added to the mix to optimize the effect of more spending.
  3. Aside from negotiating skills, a buyer needs good communication skills to convey the benefits of his buys. Otherwise, the skills are the same as any for business, perhaps emphasizing math.
  4. Assuming again that "TVR" is ratings and that "average ots" is average frequeuncy of exposure, then the sum of tvrs must equal the product of 1+ reach and average ots. Any tiny difference will be rounding.
  5. Of course AMIC accepts advertising! Ads do not appear on the Guru's "current answers" page, because it is dynamically generated by scripts, from a data base.

Wednesday, July 18, 2001 #4590
I know there comes a point of diminishing return on advertising investment. What is the maximum reach you can obtain through media advertising considering that some people may be out of the country or unreachable do to unfortunate health issues?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 18, 2001 ):
The Guru has always made it a policy not to report reaches higher than 98%.

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 #4563
Increasing Budget and Web Response: Is there research showing that if I double (triple, whatever) an overall promotion budget to drive click-throughs on a Web site, I'll double--or more than double -- the rate? Is there a formula that can be presented to the client. Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 11, 2001 ):
Like the reach curve, "response" functions are typically curvilinear, that is, once they reach a threshold level, each added dollar adds less return than the prior efforts.

As far as research that might yield a formula, try The Internet Advertising Bureau or 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, June 29, 2001 #4536

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 29, 2001 ):
Please begin by reviewing the Guru's Parts of a Media Plan.

A good media plan

  1. Sets Media Objectives to answer the marketing or advertising strategies that have been given as input
  2. Logically connects Objectives to Strategies to tactics and execution (media selections).

This means that any marketing/advertising objectives mentioned in the backgroun for the plan must be addressed by media objectives and/or strategies in the plan. Some plans go wrong by reviewing too much marketing background that isn't relative to the media decisions.

Every stated media objective must be answered by strategies aimed at meeting that objective. By the same token, every stated strategy must related to soem stated objective. For example if a strategy is to concentrate advertising in the southwest, there should be an objective to build sales in weak areas or support sales in strong areas or some such. This strategy should also be suported by sales data for regions, or whatever is relevant to the point.

Similarly, media selections should be supported by their relationship to strategies. For instance, media should not be included to "reach working women" unless some objective or strategy calls for this emphasis and shows why this is a segment meriting special support.

reach or efficiency of media or combinations should be demonstrated, if asserted, but neither should be a decison factor unless a strategy calls for it.

Thursday, June 28, 2001 #4533
What are the best media to reach government and public school employees?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 29, 2001 ):
Consult PubList

Wednesday, June 27, 2001 #4527
I have a Telmar Maestro run on M25-54 watching weekend sports. What is the difference between "Exposed (000)" and "Exposed at least (000)"? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, June 27, 2001 ):
Note that the first column of the run is labeled "freq" or frequency. So that each number of (000) in the columns you are asking about is in a row with a frequency number from 1 to 15 or higher. The number "exposed" is the number of persons who see exactly the specified frequency of commericals (number of spots), while "Exposed at least" is the number of persons who see that many commericals or more. "Exposed at least" to 1 frequency therefore, is equivalent to your reach.

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 20, 2001 #4500
Dear Guru, Where can I find the report from Ron Lawrence,"Uniform Target Delivery:An Illusion,"Marketing and Media Decision,Desember 1987,in the internet?. The definition of target audience is still too vague for me because of some reason. An example : if i have a product with target audience ABC15+, and I want to find the best possible TV program to get higher reach and optimal GRP for my campaign at this target audience. Should I go directly to ABC15+ program or I go to A program first, second to B program and third to C program?. If I go to A program first, should I divided it again to Male and Female program?. This is very 'crucial' because most media planner in my country usually go directly to target audience ABC15+. Is it right or wrong?, what is strong and weakness for each methods?, where is the best methods? (go directly to ABC15+ or go to each segment first).thank/ AM-Indonesia

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, June 20, 2001 ):
Assuming no part of the target is more important than the rest, you will most likely buy more efficiently on the specific target. It should not be difficult to examine different scenarios. Marketing and Media Decisions has been out of business for years, but back issues might be on file at The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230. or ESOMAR, the European Survey, Opinion and Market Research Organization, or universities.

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

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

Wednesday, June 13, 2001 #4485
I would like to evaluate and/or add some new execution models to my cache for our local retail clients. Models for television such as "bookends" or "roadblocks" seem to be either tired or useless these days. I realize that the efficacy of any execution depends on the goals, strategies and tactics of my plan, but would like to learn of other methods employed in other markets. Any suggestions on where I might find some other multi-media ideas for different categories of clients?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 17, 2001 ):
When you cite "bookends or roadblocks" you are talking about the finest final fine points of buying your schedules. These are simply tricks to optimize reach or frequency, and which have catchy sounding labels.

When you talk of multi-media, ideas you return your thinking to the prliminary planning level.

Cross-media promotion is the sort of approach which best fits. Start by talking to salespeople at the media conglomerates. Companies like AOL-Time Warner and Viacom, for example, have sales specialists to help you develop these approaches.

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 ):
  • which media reach this target
  • what media environments are most effective
  • and what schedule is feasible within your budget.

Monday, June 11, 2001 #4469
Which media are recommended to test a hair growth product.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, June 11, 2001 ):
Media are selected primarily because they reach a desired target audience. You need to define your target of "users of hair growth products" in terms used for media measurement, such as Men 35+, for example. Then use media measurement resources like MRI to identify media which have these people in their audience in appropriate numbers or concentrations.

Additionally, such resources will directly report numbers of users of various products who use specific media.

Monday, June 11, 2001 #4468
My partner and I were asked by our clients to prepare a "communication strategy" for a government-sponsored responsible gambling strategy. We have already designed a brochure, a logo and we're currently working on their website. We've been looking for examples of a "communication strategy" but have come up empty handed. Our clients are not trying to sell something tangible but instead are trying to promote an idea - gamble responsibly. Any ideas where we can get a template or an actual communication strategy? We've looked through the archives and noted that you often refer to strategies only as a way to sell a product. Should we consider the idea of "gamble responsibly" as a product? Thanks for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, June 11, 2001 ):
The Guru uses the word "product" in such discussions as a generic term including prosucts, services, image campaigns, etc

"Communications strategy" is a term that can have various meanings in different contexts. In the context of a media plan, it is covers the definition of the target, media envoronments and levels of communication (reach, frequency, etc). See the Guru's Parts of a Media Plan

"Communications strategy" can have broader meanings in the context of an overall advertsing plan or marketing plan.

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.

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

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

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

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

Monday, June 04, 2001 #4453
dear guru i am looking for a researchqor any information that refering to the reach levels needed by advertising in newspapers to diffrent categories of brands like fmcg, convenience goods, and so on , i am intresting especialy at the real estate market. thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, June 04, 2001 ):
Visit The Newspaper Advertising Association and The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

Friday, June 01, 2001 #4452
Hi Guru! I am currently developing a media plan for a client that is interested in reaching the hispanic population of the New york - New Jersey area. I have not been able to get a list of the newpapers aimed at hispanic audiences and their circulation. Where would you suggest I might be able to get this information?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 01, 2001 ):
AMIC affiliates include Abbott Wool's Market Segment Resources. Abbott Wool is the research and media editor of Hispanic Market Weekly. Abby's weekly articles are posted within his the site. One recent article "The Mystery of Hispanic Newspapers" discusses resources which list Spanish newspapers by market.

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, May 31, 2001 #4443
Given the complexity involved with the IP addressse , how does on emeasurs the reach of the Net , especially in cases where Registartion are not required

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 01, 2001 ):
Registration is a site centric system and can only help with the measurement of individual sites.

reach of the net needs to be a user-centric measure such as surveys or panels with tracking software, for example Nielsen//Netratings or MediaMetrix.

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

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

Friday, May 25, 2001 #4428
How can I best locate the affluent hispanic community leaders and the affluent hispanic community in Los Angeles?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, May 25, 2001 ):
If you mean how can you reach them through media, newspaper is the typical vehicle for such a target and the daily newspaper "La Opinion" is the L.A. leader.

Other options include carefully selected TV such as KMEX and KVEA or all news KBLA-AM.

Check Scarborough for Los Angeles.

Thursday, May 17, 2001 #4412
Where can I find a template or example of Televsion buying guidelines (i.e. client dictated programming to stay out of) to give to my broadcast buyer?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 21, 2001 ):
Some advertisers have ratings minima, some have restrictions aimed at better reach, such as limiting episodes of strip programming.

Some have content restrictions, such as sex, violence, social or political issues or other controversies. In any case the details are usually treated as trade secrets and no "template" should be neccessary, just clear language. Also, since any restrictions work against efficiency, none should be used withouot good reason. For example, sometimes there is a bar against ratings below "X," on the theory that statistical tolerances will sometimes mean that rating dps to nothing. In reality, statistical tolerances swing one way as often as the other and the overall tolerance of a schedule's GRPs won't be much affected by the inclusion of some lower rated programs to make packages efficient.

Tuesday, May 15, 2001 #4404
I am an a media planner, looking for opportunities to sponsor various web site opportunties for OTC brands interested in reachng MDs. I have been looking at Medscape - a pharmaceutical consumer portal. They sell advertising space and sponsorships on their site. When we look at Media Metrix data to see traffic, and determine whether we want to advertise with them, we see a fairly low number of visitors. We are told that that is because Medscape has an alliance with AOL, and when members go through AOL to Medscape, these visitors are not included in Medscape traffic counts. Rather, they are counted towards AOL traffic. We're talking about over 1 million visitors. Is this true? How can this be addressed? Is it possible to change the way Media metrix counts these visitors or is this standard. I have asked Media Metrix for a response as well, but have not heard back from them yet. What do you think and how would you proceed to address? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 21, 2001 ):
AOL, per se, is not on the internet, it is a bulletin board service that predates the popularization of the 'net. Most members dial up directly into the AOL system. AOL provides a gateway out to the 'net for its members and there is also an site which is part of the net.

MediaMetrix, which measures internet behavior, might well be unable to track areas within the AOL system. However, it appears that when an AOL user accesses Medscape, the user is taken to the internet, to Therefore, the MediaMetrix traffic for Medscape would be complete.

With a total universe of under one million MDs in the US, traffic of one million visitors seems quite high.

Monday, May 14, 2001 #4396
Is newspaper used as a reach or frequency vehicle?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 20, 2001 ):
reach. With only one daily exposure opportunity in most cases, the frequency possibilities are far less than broadcast, online or out-of-home media.

Saturday, May 12, 2001 #4389
What would be an acceptable rate to charge for TV advertising during a horse racing simulcast? The signal reaches 255 betting locations including racetracks, casinos, and off track betting parlors.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, May 12, 2001 ):
You need to know the audience size. If you have advertisers who particularly want to reach bettors, perhaps a cost per thousand of $30-$40 could be charged. If the average audience per location, per commercial is 10 people or a total of 2550 people, then the cost per ad unit would be about $75 to $100. If the audience is bigger, then a proportionately higher rate is reasonable.

Saturday, May 12, 2001 #4388
dear sir, may i know what are the limitations of internet advertising!

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, May 12, 2001 ):
Different ad units will have specific limits, but as a medium, some key limitations are:
  • Total reach: only 50% or so of any population are internet users, some groups much less, some a bit more.
  • Individual ads on specific sites have very low reach potential; a high reach schedule can be very expensive
  • Click rates are vanishly low; a problem if generating traffic, rather than awareness/branding is your goal
  • Acceptance of internet advertisng is controversial, many consumers seem to object to its presence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, May 04, 2001 #4364
When planning network television versus spot, why are the TRP's planned per week typically so much lower?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, May 05, 2001 ):
This may be true in some circumstances, but not as a general rule. If you look at network TV plans where TV is part of a larger media mix versus spot TV plans where TV stands alone, this might be true.

If you look at plans where there are multiple national media and spot TV is the one local medium, used to bring markets up to heavy-up or "ideal" weights, this might be true.

If you look at national plans, which are more often for package goods or other national consumer products, where reach and continuity are emphasized, vesus retail or promotional local plans where totla noise level over specific periods is more valued, then again you might find the situation you describe.

Wednesday, May 02, 2001 #4354
I noticed in the media strengths sections you don't include Internet Advertising. Why is that? Also, have you seen any best practices in how media people compare tradtional advertising with Internet advertising. For example, how can a media planner compare reach frequency in broadcast with impressions and unique audience in Internet? Any insight would be helpful. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, May 02, 2001 ):
The actual reason is that the media strengths page goes back to AMIC's earliest days, late 1994 / early 1995, before the internet was being taken seriously as a medium. But the Guru will now add the following to that page:


Capture audience in the act of shopping (Search engines)
Narrowly select target by site appeal
Instant interaction / order taking
Instant copy change
Customer relationship building
Target customer / deliver ad variant based on customer profile or past action
Powerful environment for computer-related advertising
Streaming allows TV-like audio video within above advantages

Regarding comparing to other media, the differences are no greater than between Radio and outdoor or TV and newspaper. If you compare numbers, it's a clean comparison. If you need to explain communications impact and other differences, it's more complex, but merely a matter of choosing the right words.

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, April 27, 2001 #4347
What incremental level of brand awareness can feasibly be generated by a TV and Internet buy as opposed to a TV only buy?. i.e. will adding an online component to media buy help to build better brand awareness?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 29, 2001 ):
It depends, among other things,
  • On the current level of brand awareness
  • On the level of awareness among internet users
  • On the levels of the media used
  • On the reach obtained in each medium

In short, this question needs to be very much more specific to answer usefully. But key facts are that TV has reach potential better than 95% and internet only about 50%. Thus with no budget limits, TV could add enough awareness so that any added benefit of internet might well be immeasurable. At some budgets, internet contribution could be significant.

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

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

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

Tuesday, April 24, 2001 #4340
What is the Best advertsing method for the country of Irland? I need information on Irland's advertising expenditures thank you

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, April 27, 2001 ):
There is no one best advertising method anywhere where ther are tow methods. It always depends on goals. One medium might have the best reach, another the best efficiency and still another some required format or flexibility.

MediaMonitoring offers ad expenditure info.

Monday, April 23, 2001 #4336
Hi GURU. On what target group should I focus my online store in special spices spices from all over the world? And how can I reach them with a low marketing budget? Thanks in advance! Greetings, Ruud.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, April 25, 2001 ):
Use MRI or Simmons to learn who cooks from scratch as a target.

Depending on how small your budget is, you can consider small space ads in cooking magazines or on cooking-related sites.

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.

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, April 11, 2001 #4323
Dear Media Guru, my client is a massive audience tabloid newspaper that needs to sell advertisement. Up to now, it´s 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, April 01, 2001 #4303
If a TV prg. were measured for 52 weeks consecutively what would the shape of the reach curve for that program probably look like

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 01, 2001 ):
Generally, it would start at the program's rating, rise through 4 or 5 or so episodes to perhaps double, and be nearly flat from there on. Strip programming rises less, weekly movies or other variable appeal programming rises more.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, March 20, 2001 #4273
Dear Guru, Can you guess at an estimated reach for a 4-week radio schedule at 150 TRP/WK (W2554)? Also, do you happen to know the formula for manually figuring reach/frequency? Thanks for your help!

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 20, 2001 ):
The formulas for radio reach are enormously complex and must take into account number of stations, daypart mix, average rating and other variables.

Your 600 GRP schedule might generate (roughly) from 35 to 70 reach, depending on these variables.

Click here to see past Guru responses abourt calculating reach.

Monday, March 19, 2001 #4266
What is the best way to do a spot cable radio analysis?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 20, 2001 ):
Compare the facts you want to compare: geographic coverage, rating, cpm, cpp, reach, impact, etc.

Monday, March 19, 2001 #4262
Hi there I am a media planner from India and would like to know the various mass media options to reach Non-Resident Indians in the UK Where would I find information of this nature ? Thanks Regards Desperately Seeking NRIs

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 20, 2001 ):
This seems a rather difficult target. Try contacting travel services in India dealing with the UK for suggestions.

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 15, 2001 #4255
Hello - We are trying to reach- on a national basis - people who have recently been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, or the loved ones/caregivers of these people. Do you have any suggestions for media in hospitals, pharmacies, treatment centers, etc - that would be available to purchase on a national basis? Thank you for your attention.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 15, 2001 ):
Try PubList

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

0.8 x 75
+ 0.2 x 60 =

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.

Wednesday, March 07, 2001 #4243
Media guru, hopefully you can help me. I am trying to obtain definitions for the following. These phrases get thrown around so often here, but I am not completely sure what they mean; 1) Media strategy? 2) Communications strategy - how does it differ from media strategy? 3) Brand communications as opposed to advertising? Appreciate the help.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 13, 2001 ):
You are right that these phrases get thrown around loosely. Part of the problem is that they have common English meanings and another is that, like many advertising terms, they have different meanings in various English speaking countries.

Looking "from the top down" may help understanding. First of all, generally "strategies" are courses of action designed to meet objectives.

  • Marketing objectives are big overall goals like increasing sales 10% per year.
  • A marketing strategy aimed at meeting this objective this objective might be to use consumer advertising.
  • An advertising objective within this marketing strategy could be to increase trial of the brand.
  • An advertising strategy within this could be a budget for consumer media.
  • A media objective under this strategy could call for building awareness among a new target segment.
  • Media strategies to achieve this objective might include a communications strategy of achieving X% reach in each four week period at a minium of Y average frequency

Brand communications is a broad concept including all messages delivered to consumers and trade via advertising, promotion, public relations, etc.

Tuesday, March 06, 2001 #4235
Dear Guru, Is there any rational for using the long-duration ads (media-wise) other than it can convey full message? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 06, 2001 ):
Perhaps message retention is better, but most quantitative arguments -- reach, frequency, impressions, etc. -- would be against longer forms.

Saturday, February 24, 2001 #4204
what is and how do you use television optimization

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, February 25, 2001 ):
TV optimization is a process by which the best schedule of possible spots to acheive a specific goal is selected. It may be best reach against the target or other measured aspects of TV audience.

The process is executed by proprietary, multivariate computer models.

One example is Telmar's TRANSMIT.

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.

Monday, February 19, 2001 #4194
Dear Guru, what is "cost per aquisition" and what do you believe is the most acceptable way to count the effectiveness of a web site? Impressions or unique visitors? This is a huge problem in Greece right now. Every site has it's own general overview of it's performance and visitor's behavior so things are confused. Thanks in advance

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 19, 2001 ):
"Cost per acquistion" may refer to the marketing spending required to bring a new visitor to a site, ot the cost of generating a subscriber, or the cost of making whatever sale a site aime at.

Sites have different goals, missions and standards of success. A site might be designed to sell retail products such as books, vdeos, muic, food, cars, etc. These sites may need repeat customers, who buy music every month or more often. A site selling automobiles will probably not see the saem customer more than once in three years once sale is made.

Other sites generate revenue via advertising, still others from subscriptions, and some by conveying information to support corporate image, with a one-time message. If you are evaluating sites as advertising vehicles, and seeking reach, then unique vistors will be the key. >"Brand Visibilty Index" is not a standardized media term. It might be a term invented by one agency or advertsing school to indicate a specific concept they use in describing some situation. It might be an index of Brand GRP versus category average GRP. Or it might be something else based on awareness, clutter, etc.

What may seem important to a site, like building impressions so that it has ad inventory to sell, may be relatively meaningless to an advertiser. Sites with a million unique visitors may be able to sell you as many unique visitors as a site with 10 million, because your needs only call for 200,000 unique audience. Evaluate according to your plan's needs, not the site's claims of success.

Friday, February 16, 2001 #4187
Dear GURU.... I am in the process of developing a business plan for a start-up internet company. I have reached a bit of a wall... I am trying to find a way to put together an est. budget for on-line advertising as a liability and also as a source of revenue... Any ideas where I can get some ideas? Or do you have any numbers in mind... what is costs to advertise, and what to expect to earn. Thank you, Joe R.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 19, 2001 ):
Visit Ad Resource

Wednesday, February 14, 2001 #4180
Hi! Dear Guru thank you for your last ansewrs! How do You think is it possible to estimate budget/GRP limit with wich there is no sence to advertise on TV (ad. cmp. will be lost in ad.clutter). Or there is no any limits at all? For instance could 10 spots placed in prime-time on national channel(with av. rating 10%)give some results? Spasibo!(means thank you in russian).

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 14, 2001 ):
Any advertising has some effect. There is a threshhold of awareness where a noticable difference in consumer response occurs.

Some say those exposed more than three times respond noticably more. Others speculate that once the three exposure threshold is past, continuous exposure wit a reach of 30+ per week is the key to sales.

Your 100 GRP schedule is a good starting point.

Monday, February 12, 2001 #4174
Dear Guru. I was wondering who I should build up frequncy and reach, for a company in the financial sector, were the target is both, individuals and businesses. Should I plan for a week, or a month? What would be the minimum GRP needed..or maximum? Is TV the primary media?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 14, 2001 ):
Not enough information given to say TV should be primary. Generally, TV will not be efficient for a business target. Some financial cable may be efficient but won't meet the entire reach goal.

There are numerous considerations in setting levels. Click here to see past Guru responses about establishing levels.

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.

Tuesday, February 06, 2001 #4161
Dear Guru: Where could I find a complete explanation about the Sainsbury Method? Thanks in advance

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, February 06, 2001 ):
Sainsbury was a media researcher in England. The "Sainsbury method" you refer to was probably his adjustment to TV reach to acount for understatement of duplication between TV dayparts in the basic statistical procedure used 30 years ago.

More detail should be available from The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

Monday, February 05, 2001 #4156
Dear Guru, We are preparing for launch to a Parking Meter project, and i need to know which are the best medium to use in the media plan to (People takes a ticket from it and park their cars where the meter is installed. Its a new project in our country and people never saw such a thing so we need to educate them and announce that there will be a number of parking meters installed in specific areas, and who doesn't have a ticket and parked the car next to the parking meter will take a fine). There are no competitives as it is the first company who is doing this. Appreciating your reply A.S.A.P Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, February 06, 2001 ):
"Best media" in your case will depend on what media are consumed by your target people in your country. Unfortunately the Guru is not very familair with media audiences in your country (Jordan).

You should define who is most likely to be the driver parking in the geographic area where the meters will be located and then find media which efficiently reach that sort of person.

Friday, February 02, 2001 #4153
Dear Guru- What is the best way to Geo target online? The client wants to do a test in two markets, and he wants it to be translatable nationally. He does not want to buy any local or newspaper sites. Geo-targeting through doubleclick seems to have problems becasue of the AOL situation. Do you have any suggestions? Are there any other web-based ways I can reach a specific market (e.g., advertising in downloaded software geo-targeting by product registration?) Thanks for your help as always.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, February 03, 2001 ):
Broadly, there are only two web-based ways to geo-target.

1. The site somehow detects the location of the visitor, for example by registration records or IP address. Or

2. You advertise on sites with a local appeal.

You have acknowledged the problem with #1, and ruled out #2. Your though about advertising in downloaded software (PKZip, Eudora, or Infogate perhaps?) would possibly have too small an audience.

The AOL problem is that sites' servers don't recognize the specific user's geography for AOL's Virginia-based internet entry points. So you would miss out on advertising to the many AOL users. But the Guru believes that AOL can sell you advertising to their userswithin their system, based on user geography. This would fill your AOL user gap.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, January 27, 2001 #4129
Dear Guru, I'm looking for information concerning Fair Share in television. Is there any other way to tell how much % one should invest in a television channel? Since the Fair Share formula is taking the amount of breaks one channel has into account, the more breaks a channel has the more % of the media budget will go to this channel. So even if a channel has let's say 30% of bad breaks (not viewed by the audience) this channel will score good in terms of Fair Share. What's your opinion on this? Thanks in advance!

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, January 28, 2001 ):
The Guru does not support buying based on stations' share of viewing. This practice undercuts the point of negotiation. If a station sales person thinks he/she is entitled to "X" share of your budget, then the incentive is to keep unit prices high.

It is even less logical to reward a station for having more inventory, which is a disincentive to viewing.

Share might be a starting point. Efficiency, reach/rating and composition should be essential adjuctments from there, and number of breaks of little or no impact.

Friday, January 26, 2001 #4126
Have you heard of the term a "Media Metrix" online buy that basically defines a driving traffic/unique user strategy so that the site rises in the ranks of its Media Metrix number? Please advise. Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 26, 2001 ):
There's nothing unique about a site's advertising being aimed at attracting traffic. If the site wants more unique visitors it would presumably buy for the greatest reach dispersion instead of merely big boxcar impressions. The Guru has not heard the specific term "Media Metrix buy."

Wednesday, January 24, 2001 #4123
Hello. Hoping you are able to answer this sooner than later. . . I am trying to generate a ratio that compared the CPP (across Dayparts in Tampa and Orlando) among total people compared to a CPP among the just the Hispanic population. I do not work for an agency or have the $ or consistent need for a service like SQAD. Hoping that you are aware of some "rule of thumb" that gets at an average difference between the two populations in terms of what it costs to reach them at different intervals of the day (ON TELEVISION). Thank you very much!

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 26, 2001 ):
There is no rule of thumb here. The markets you're looking at do not have Hispanic audience measurement, so GRP can't be calculatd hence CPP won't exist. If you are thinking about the Hispanic audience of the General Market TV stations, than a rule of thumb could exist if there were measurement. But if you are thinking of comparing CPP of Hispanic TV to General Market TV, these are two independent media and no specific, predictive relationship would exist, even if there were measurement. If there were then buying experience or SQAD could offer ratios from past buys.

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.

Thursday, January 18, 2001 #4107
Dear Guru, I am writing from Istanbul,Turkey.I have two questions. 1. Would it be a good idea to place tv commercials on Monday, Wednesday and Friday one week, and Tuesday, Thursday and Friday next week. And repeating this cycle for three months. Since the product is a FMCG, I want to keep Fridays continiously so that just before weekend shoping our ads will continiously be in front of the consumers. Is this a wise use of alternating technique? This way I am hoping to have more effective frequency on three days of a week but leaving the four other days "empty". What's your opinion and guggestion? 2. As we all know, GRP =FREQUENCY X RATING. Therefore, it doesn't take the length or size of the ad into account. In other words, the GRP for a 10" commercial is considered equal to the GRP of a 45" commercial, which is not fair. There must be a way that doesn't ignore the length or size of the ad and reflects it , one way or the other to the final GRP figure. What do you think about this problem? Do you know any solution? Thank you very much for your kind assistance. Muammer Oztat

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 18, 2001 ):
Concentrating on Fridays may be beneficial, but the Guru thinks the other alternation is insignificant.

Regarding GRPs, "fairness" is not a media concept. In some calculations, such as reach, they are a way of counting people, not impact, and GRPs are simply headcounts. In other situations it is common for planners to make adjustment to GRPs for schedule comparisons. These adjustments may be based on commerical length, daypart attentiveness or other factors.

Wednesday, January 17, 2001 #4103
When was the last time the reach & Frequency Curve was updated? And what is the significance of that?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, January 17, 2001 ):
reach, as we use it, is a mathematical calculation, based on average performance of actual schedules similar to the ones for which we are trying to estimate audience accumulation for a plan. A large number of actual schedules are evaluated from survey research such as Nielsen. Because reach is a factor of duplication, as a schedule grow in size, the reach added by each increment is less and less. When reach is graphed against an axis of GRP or insertions or dollars, an asymptotic "curve" like the one below, is drawn. The actual formula which descibes this graphic curve is what is in reach evaluation software. Typically it is a regression of the frequencies vs GRP levels, because frequency, too, is linear.

The Guru imagines you are thinking of TV reach, but could be referring to radio, magazines, or internet, etc. There are different "curves" for any given medium / daypart / demographic / mix situation. If you use Nielsen actual data, the "curves" are -- in effect -- continuously updated. If you use other media software like Telmar or its competitors, you need to ask your representative how recent their update of formulae is. Curves based on reach vs GRP are not very variable over time unless there is a major change in the medium.

For example, Telemundo's Hispanic TV reach system "STRETCH2," was updated in 1998 (by running new Nielsen actual schedules), 5 years after its introduction . There was no significant change in reaches.

But looking at general TV reach curves from the days before cable was significant, versus today's would show big differences.

Tuesday, January 16, 2001 #4101
Dear Guru, I am a print planner trying to evaluate national network radio proposals. Other than CPM, what other criteria can I use to compare various proposals? Any advice you can give me about evaluating and negotiating this buy will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, January 17, 2001 ):
All the same standards as you would use in print can apply:

Coverage, composition, reach contribution, content/environment, value added/merchandising, etc.

Monday, January 08, 2001 #4087
Guru, First off, just wanted to let you know that I find this to be one of the most usefull sites on the web - as a management consultant in need of a crash course on media planning, the information found in these pages has proven invaluable...Now, on to my question: I am working on the launch of a branded consumer services play (auto related), and am trying to build a marketing budget from the bottom up, rather than as a strict % of sales. I have modeled an overly simplified media plan, and am looking for guidance on placeholders to use for weights (TRP) for TV and Radio, # of weekly inserts for newspaper, and showing level for outdoor. I know there are numerous factors and considerations I am leaving out (I know the GURU doesn't like sweeping generalizations), but I need a place to start. Goal: generate "substantial awareness" (think Midas, Maaco). Thanks for your insights.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 11, 2001 ):
The Guru thanks you for the compliments.

Keep in mind that while "substantial awareness" may be a snappy phrase for discussion of plans, you need to quantify such a term in order to quantify the building blocks of getting there.

Let's suppose we decide the goal is 80% ad awareness among the target within a given campaign period. Therefore, your advertising must reach at least 80% of the target in that period, with enough frequency for the message to penetrate and stick, let's say at least three times.

Now, you can calculate that generating that reach in TV will call for a certain number of TRP (you can use the media software at eTelmar for calculations). Or you can examine getting that reach with radio or a combination of TV and radio.

Outdoor will generate high reach more efficiently than either, with a #25 showing, but outdoor's necessary simplicity of message may not stand alone in filling your needs.

Newspaper has its own contribution and you need to judge from a marketing perspective whther you need a small store-locator ad every day, a full page branding message once a week, or some other approach, if any.

Wednesday, December 27, 2000 #4068
Hi Guru I want to know if there is a software in the market that you can proyect awarness based on your grp goals? Last month I saw something like that but I do not know were can I have. I will appreciate your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, December 29, 2000 ):
There may be software purporting to do this. The Guru would expect reach to be more relevant than GRP. The Guru would be quite dubious of any such simple, all purpose, solution.

Saturday, December 23, 2000 #4063
Dear Guru, I am a very new media planner so I have a very basic question. What is the difference between average Frequency and average OTS and what is the formula for their calculation. Thanking you in advace.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, December 23, 2000 ):
"OTS" or "opportunities to see" is used differently by various practitioners. One meaning is equivalent to impressions, or the number of exposures of a campaign to individual members ot the target demographic; a summing of the audiences of all the advertsing occasions of a campaign. In this sense, "average" is not an appropriate modifier.

Average frequency is the average number of exposures experienced by the members of the target who have been exposed to the campaign (net reach) over a measured time period such as 4 weeks.

Gross impressions ÷ net reach
GRPs ÷ percent reach.

Wednesday, December 20, 2000 #4058
What is net reach?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, December 21, 2000 ):
Net reach is the number of different people exposed to the advertising.

I.e. Your first commercial may have a target rating of 10, which means it reaches 10% of the target. The second commercial might have a rating of 8, reaching 8% of the target. But some of the people reached by the second commercial will duplicate some of those reached by the first. If half of the 8% in the second commercial duplicate people reached by the first, then the net reach is 14%; the first 10% plus the unduplicated 4% in the second.

Thursday, December 14, 2000 #4044
Hi Guru, it's the media buyer w/ little broadcast resources again (other than you). Can you tell me how to find out cable providers in a specific market and the percentage of HHs they reach? As always, thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, December 18, 2000 ):
Again, try Katz Media Group or perhaps the Cable TV Ad Bureau

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 01, 2000 #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 #3993
A client has asked for information pertaining to the level of advertising required to increase awareness and positively affect the perception of their company on an on-going basis. Is there a source for information regarding required grp levels for radio and television to maximize awareness. Our client is based in Phoenix, Arizona, with an interest in statewide coverage?

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

Click here to see past Guru responses about awareness and levels

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

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.

Monday, November 27, 2000 #3988
Hi, I am working on a toothpaste brand in India which is a national brand and has limited market share . It faces competition from Levers and Colgate Palmolive who spend many times more. The sensitivity analysis says that for 1% increase in trial, there is a 4% increase in volume. Need to know if u could advice me some models on GRPs to awareness and awareness to trial correlations Many many thanks

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

Click here to see past Guru responses about awareness and GRP

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

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

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

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

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 #3974
Guru- I posted a question on Tuesday, October 24, 2000 #3907 about Cable advertising and you told me to: "Make sure you buy the cable outlets which duplicate least with your broadcast buys." What do you mean by this? Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, November 19, 2000 ):
In that query, you asked about justifying buying cable because of the concern that the broadcast networks undedelivered cable HH. So presumably your desire is to assure that your advertising schedule covers the cable homes which are not reached or exposed to adeqate message frequency through broadcast. Some cable networks tend to be more viewed by ("duplicate with") the same homes which are heavy viewers of broadcast tv and others attract viewers more different ("less duplicated") from the broadcast network viewer. These latter cable outlets better serve your purposes in considering cable.

When going from a plan to a buy, you move from the general (broadcast underdelivers) to the specific (cable network "A" or "B" delivers) to accomplish your goals.

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 ):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 09, 2000 #3958
What is the definition of dispersion and what is the formula? We are looking at various demos, their indexes across two programs to find out how stongly the shows are affiliated demographicaly. Is it a valid method to achieve such an objective.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, November 12, 2000 ):
You haven't stated an objective. "Dispersion" refers to the degree of difference in media outlet selection in your schedule. In TV it ususally refers to the number of different programs, in radio to the number of different stations, but may mean different dayparts. The usual basis for specifiying dispersion is how the reach models were constructed.

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 01, 2000 #3935
Where do I find information on weekly GRP levels to use in radio for a service that is constant throughout the year, with no seasonality?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 06, 2000 ):
  • Determine GRP from desired reach and or frequency
  • Determine desired reach / frequency from awareness or sales goals; you can only sell to people who are aware of the service.

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

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

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

Weekly Freq.

Cumulative reach

Cumulative Frequency

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

Tuesday, October 24, 2000 #3903
hi guru I have two questions 1)Is a rating for one telecast of a TV program equvilant to a one-telecast reach 2) If a TV program were measured for 52 programs (consecutively) what would the shape of the reach curve for the program look like Thanx Sarwar Khan (Lintas:Pakistan)

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 25, 2000 ):
1. Yes

2. Like all reach curves, it would rise rapidly at first and then flatten. Depending on the rating size and program type, the point of flattening will vary. Five-day-a-week programs tend to have loyal viewers and quickly flatyening curves. Once a week movies have more variable audience and flatten later. At 52 episodes, any single program is likely to have ceased any significant addition of new reach.

Thursday, October 19, 2000 #3897
Dear Guru: My events department asked my how to estimate the "media value" of a product metion during the lead story of a primetime show like entertainment tonight. I told them that this was a very broad question, and it would vary depending on who the target was, what the ratings were, and what value really meant (i.e, dollars? contirbution to product sales? % contribution to frequency of a campaign, etc. They didn't know. Can you confirm how to go about this? What info do I really need? Am I on the right track? Do you have any math formulas to estimate this? Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, October 19, 2000 ):
Your thinking is exactly right. The Guru kows you as a regular and recognizes that you have followed his thinking from replies to past queries.

In terms of "media value" you would best stick to media metrics, like dollars, reach, frequency, etc. In considering dollars, you can relate the length of the metion --full context, not just brand name mention -- to price of commercials.

If thinking about impact, the Guru believes such a mention, is worth twice as much as advertising because of its implied indorsement. This of course assumes it's a positive mention, not something like "the strangler's weapon was a pair of Donna Karan pantyhose."

Friday, October 06, 2000 #3873
Hi Guru. Do you have any information about "Decay reach" or "Decayed reach"? My client asked me about it. I know "Decay GRP" but I've never heard of "Decay reach". Does reach decay? Is it a popular concept?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, October 08, 2000 ):
This is not a familiar term to the Guru. It might refer to awareness decline after consumers are reached.

Tuesday, October 03, 2000 #3859
Of the approx 230 billion dollars spent by advertisers in the U.S., how much of that amount is spent to reach the teen market?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, October 08, 2000 ):
It is not really possible to identify advertising targeted to teens other than ads placed in teen-specific media, like certain magazines.

Thursday, September 28, 2000 #3851
Oh great and powerful guru... I've just read a series of responses concerning GRPs and wearout. Most questions seem to be based on X # of GRPs but no mention of reach or frequency. The real answer may lie in average frequency. If your GRP of 1000 is 1000 reached 1 time wearout is not a factor. If the GRP is 50 frequency for 20 reach, it's time to change spots. Am I'm living on a different planet or am I close to understanding something?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, September 29, 2000 ):
You are quite correct; the key audience metric in examining wearout is frequency.

But media people use boxcar GRP numbers as a general reference for schedule magnitude. Any reasonable TV mix of 1000 or more GRP will deliver about 85 - 95 reach for a typical demographic, making the average frequency about 11. The range in this discussion is therefore pretty narrow.

Some set a wearout standard according to frequency in the next-to-highest quintile, something like "when the next-to-highest quintile has a frequency of 20+." Even this kind of standard doesn't give greatly varying results across reasonable mixes of high numbers of GRP.

Thursday, September 28, 2000 #3848
Do you know what is the most powerful radio signal in America?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, September 29, 2000 ):
Numerous AM stations radiate 50 KW. Because stations are assigned to markets, there are limits on power. No commerical station is intended to reach the entire country (except late at night with a good headwind).

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, September 27, 2000 #3843
Do you know if there is some other web-based reach/frequency analysis tool for creating media plans . . . in Latinamerica?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, September 28, 2000 ):
eTelmar has the tools, but the audience measures for Latin America based sites are up to you to bring along.

Monday, September 25, 2000 #3837
newspaper unduplicated reach

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, September 26, 2000 ):
The Newspaper Advertising Association

Monday, September 25, 2000 #3836
I have been asked to conduct Media 101 Camp. This camp is so the AEs have a better understanding of media, the time it takes to plan and buy, and its importance to the overall adverising objectives. (Yes I need to explain this. Can you refer to me a place where I can find a general workbook to use that would include examples?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, September 26, 2000 ):
You would be better off to think through what your specific AE's need to know. Workbooks for this purpose probably all tend to be like the one at The Small Business Administration, out of date, and full of ill-informed media thinking, without concepts like reach taken into consideration.

Thursday, September 21, 2000 #3821
Guru, what are your thoughts regarding optimum flighting for a low interest, non seasonal product (household insurance) that is purchased only once to twice per year ? Burst or continuity ? Thanks for your service - itz great.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, September 23, 2000 ):
When there is no seasonality, there is no justification for bursts. There may be a break-through minimum threshold of awareness such as 30% reach per week. Beyond that, having a presence whenever a purchase decision might be made is probably most productive.

Wednesday, September 20, 2000 #3811
According to Ephron, reach is most important for a brand. If this is true, should a major packaged goods company target A18+ rather than women? In their case, 70% of purchases are still made by women. However, we know men are a very strong influencer for this particular category. It seems to make sense, since we could achieve higher overall reach with an A18+ target, especially since tv cpp's for A18+ are lower. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, September 23, 2000 ):
You are confusing three different concepts.

The point about reach is that it is discussed with some target being implied. Theoretically, some demographic groups are much better prospects than others for sales, and it is more valuable to reach these.

Imagine a population of 1,000,000 A18+, including 400,000 women 35+ who have a 150 index of usage for a product and the remainder of A18+ average a 67 index. So, W35+ are more than 2x as likely to use the product.

Now, you might be able to buy a W35+ GRP at $100 cpp and reach 4000 W35+. If A18+ CPP is $80, you can buy 25% more of those GRP for your money, but each untargeted A18+ GRP only produces 30 W35+ GRP.

The key is this, when you "targeted" W35+, every GRP you bought also came with cosniderable audience among the remainder of A18+. The idea of targeting is to focus on the best prospect. Thinking you get more reach by buying a cheaper GRP target is merely an illusory of improvement. Keep buying W35+ but count A18+, if you want to feel you've reached more people.

There is a simple technique for comparing two such buys. Add all the impressions (or net impression) of each and weight the segemnts acccording to their index of usage. The buy with the most weighted impressions, no matter how you bought it, has the advantage. (That is, an 80 GRP W35+ buy might have more value weighted impressions or net people reached than a 100 GRP A18+ buy).

Tuesday, September 19, 2000 #3810
What do you think the minimal amount of market coverage a business should have to consider advertising in a market? For examply, in the retail business, how many retail outlets do I need to have in a market before it makes sense to advertise with broad reach mediums (radio, outdoor)? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, September 23, 2000 ):
It's not simply a matter of number of outlets, it also involves competiton and desirability. For example there may be only one BWM or Hatteras Yacht dealer in a metro area, becasue the number of sales, while high-ticket are few and people will travel some distance for a unique product. If you have a restaurant or hardware stoer where choices are many, then it's more about dispersion across the market than pure numer of outlets. You need to decide how far people will go for what you're selling and compare that to coverage of the media considered. IN some parts of the country, people will drive 2 hours for dinner.

Keep in mind that there's a big difference between 'broad coverage" media and big reach media. For example, outdoor can be readily purchased to have a very high reach of a small area, like a single store's 3-mile trading circle. In some situations, local suburban radio can match a single store's trading area as well.

Friday, September 15, 2000 #3799
Hi Guru - Hope you are well. I am taking on a side project and would love to get your input on how to go about it. A prosthetic parts manufacturing company is looking to increase sales. They primarily sell direct to doctors who then sell to patients and the bills are paid by insurance. The market is very small, and to date they have gotten their awareness from trade shows and trade journals. Do you have any ideas on how to develop a marketing strategy for a product like this? WOuld looking a prescription drug advertising help give me some direction? Do you think there is an opportunity to reach customers after surgery in hospitals? Any input you have would be helpful. Do you know of any research shources for this type of thing? Market size, etc.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, September 18, 2000 ):
Why not create a "gift pack" for post surgical patients, like those typically given to post natal patients? It could include care instructions, dressing changes, antibiotic cream samples, etc.

Contact the maternity gift pack distibutors.

Thursday, September 14, 2000 #3796
Is there a metric for evaluating the performance of online advertising (Internet), print, radio and tv advertising?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, September 18, 2000 ):
The absolute metric is sales. Short of that there is ad awareness or recall. Otherwise there are audience measures; impressions, or reach.

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

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

Tuesday, September 05, 2000 #3776
hi guru...what are the best months to target new home buyers with direct mail. thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, September 09, 2000 ):
The big months for moving to new homes are the summer months, so as not to interrupt kids' school years. Judge your mail months depending on whether you want to reach home shoppers or new move-ins.

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

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

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

You should think about:

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

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

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.

Wednesday, August 23, 2000 #3739
Guru -- How can I establish an Internet budget as part of an overall media mix? Lets say for the sake of argument that the plan in question is for a traditional package goods advertiser who wants to reach A18-49.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, August 28, 2000 ):
In the Guru's opinion, reach goals against mass targets can't justify internet budgets for package goods. Virtually all traditional media do a better and more efficient job of reaching such targets.

The internet budget might be justified by a need for an interactive plan element, such as data collection, offering recipes, coupons or other inducements, etc.

Wednesday, August 23, 2000 #3737
I am trying to figure out the wearout for print. My target is African Americans 12-24 and 18-49. All I have is the FY reach, freg and TRPs. What would be my next steps?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, August 28, 2000 ):
There are no accepted standard formulas for wear-out. By the nature of print, which tends to yield high reach adn low frequency, there is generally less concern about wear-out than in broadcast.

Some of the broadcast rules-of-thumb for wear out include "over 20 frequency in the second highest quintile" or "2000 GRP.

Niether of these are likely to occur in print. Custom research may be the only real way to evaluate this. Start with Starch.

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.

Tuesday, August 15, 2000 #3705
A retail client of mine is planning a short media campaign to support a 4-day event (Thu-Sun). I'd like to show a reach curve or the like to illustrate the reach built by a 7-day media support (Mon-Sun) and a 4 1/2 day support (Wed - Sun Noon). Vehicles will be radio, TV, and newspaper. How can I do this?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, August 18, 2000 ):
In total, there is not likely to be much demonstrable difference between identical quantities of media delivered over a Monday-Sunday period.

If you want to illustrate reach accumulation day by day, then you can calculate the reach of the schedule that runs on the first day of the campaign in each case, the schedule that runs on the first two days of each campagn, etc. Then you can plot the two curves, with reach on the Y axis and days on the X axis, using the charting tools of Excel, Powerpoint, Corel, or whatever you might have.

It might look something like the chart below (not actual reach data).

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

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

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

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.

Thursday, August 03, 2000 #3673
Dear Guru, I'm trying to find ways to reach the travel trade on-line. I've checked with most of the travel agent magazine web sites, but most do not offer any advertising at this time. I've also checked web sites that are "tools" for the travel agent, but those sites do not allow on line advertising unless you are an agent. Is there anywhere I can look to try to reach the travel trade on line? Your help would be appreciated.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, August 06, 2000 ):
If all the travel agent magazines and "tools" sites that traget travel agents are unavailable, the next best idea would be to buy keyword on search engines. The trick will be to imagine keyowrds that are specific to travel agents versus other users, such as travelers. Presumably that is your area of expertise.

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.

Saturday, July 29, 2000 #3663
Dear Media Guru I am a media planner from Pakistan.I need to ask what are the possible comparison tools that we can use while planning for different programs on television.At the moment while planning i calculate cost index, rating index, efficiency index, Avg GRP's, Maximum reach, and avg.viewing miniutes for each time slot. Normally i advertise in time slots with high effeciency index, is this a good comparrison tool for planning or not. Normally the decay factor that i take is 10% is this OK or not. What are the different possible ways to break the adverising clutter on television and increase the possibility of high ad exposure. Thax in anticipation Sarwar Khan Media Manager R-Lintas (Pvt.)ltd. Lahore Pakistan

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 29, 2000 ):
It always fascinates the Guru that countries sharing a common language can use it quite differently when applying it to the jargon of a particular business or interest.

What you are describing as "planning" seems to the Guru to be what he would regard as a buyer's selecting a schedule after a plan has been approved. You haven't mentioned what goals you are pursuing with your schedules. Selecting spots with the best efficiency index (audience versus cost) will get you the greatest total number of impressions, but possibly not the greatest net reach. The best rating is more often likely to lead to high reach, but perhaps not without due regard to efficiency and duplication.

"Decay factor" is an unfamiliar term to the Guru. "Maximum reach" and "average viewing minutes" don't seem relevant to assessing individual spots as the Guru understands the terms.

Overall, the Guru believes you should be comparing possible schedules, rather than individual spots to accomplish planning goals.

Optimizers serve this purpose, but running reach analyses of several schedules can get you there, as well.

Wednesday, July 26, 2000 #3654
Please provide formula to manually calculate reach & Frequency for press. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 29, 2000 ):
This calculation is very complicated. If you don't have detailed tables of duplication factors between different publications and between various numbers of multiple issues of the same publication, only fairly crude formulae are available.

Click here to see past Guru responses about reach calculation formulae.

Tuesday, July 25, 2000 #3650
I'm working on a business-to-business media schedule for a client. To build awareness, is it best to buy two books (that reach the same people) 6 x each in a year or buy one book heavy (12x/year). And if you buy the two books, how much duplication would you be getting?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, July 25, 2000 ):
Awareness is usually analogous to reach, thus using two books would build awareness better than multiple insertions in one, because there is greater duplication between any two issues of the same title than between any two different titles.

The specific duplication between two different titles can vary considerably.

Monday, July 24, 2000 #3647
Whatis the correct mix between on -line and aff-line for a vertical internet site, particularly in the start-up phase.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 29, 2000 ):
There is no such thing as a "correct mix" for all occasions. Considerations include

  • Is your target currently more reachable online or offline?
  • Are the best sites to reach your target mostly competive verticals which wouldn't take your advertising?
  • To whay extent does your budget allow for completely free choice of (typically) far less efficient online opportunities?

Monday, July 24, 2000 #3642
What are the advantage/disadvantages for local websites vs. national websites? Ex: vs.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, July 24, 2000 ):
If you are advertising a locally-oriented product or service, then a connection with local media can be beneficial. If you are merely targeting in people in a certain geography, large websites can usually select visitors by their location, leaving the comparison the usual one of reach, efficiency, positioning, etc.

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'.

Tuesday, July 18, 2000 #3625
Can you please explain what "Optimizers" do in media planning? Is it a separate program from media planning software or part of the package (e.g. Tapscan, SmartPlus, etc.)? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, July 23, 2000 ):
Generally, an optimizer is a buyers' analysis tool using respondent-level data, to select a media list which has the greatest reach within a budget or achieves a reach goal most efficiently.

There can be considerable detail specified as to target, reach at "X" level of frequency, etc. The current use of "optimizer" most often specifically refers to network TV analyzers using Nielsen data tapes as input and examining "actual" versus modeled reaches.

Media planning packages generally don't include such optimizers. Optimizers typically cost more on their own than media planning software suites and also require purchase of relatively expensive Nielsen tapes. Similar buyers' analyses of print schedules, are typically built into these planning suites but rely on users' possession of Simmons or MRI data.

Friday, July 14, 2000 #3619
Hi Guru, I'm writing from India.One of our clients related to the travel industry is interested in advertising to Indians in the US and UK.The client feels that print is a good option to get conversions.The client wants to use ethnic publications targetted towards Indians in US & UK. Could you please let me know which are the publications one could use along with reach numbers if possible? Thanx in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 21, 2000 ):
Some U.S. Indian publications are listed at Abbott Wool's Market Segment Resource Locator. One source in the U.K. might be the Indian embassy.

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

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

The Guru has been told that some people are quite comfortable citing the
"AMIC Media Guru,"
as an information source.

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

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

Monday, July 10, 2000 #3611
Are you aware of any research studies that have tried to estimate the average or typical reach of general market media across multiple ethnic groups (Asians, Latinos & Blacks)?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, July 10, 2000 ):
Many studies have done this. Nielsen for TV, Arbitron for radio, Simmons for print and mutlimedia. Often such studies address one group at a time, particularly when language is part of the defintion of the group.

Monday, July 10, 2000 #3608
hi where can i find researches or information about drugs advertising? which media have the best influence on patients? t.v? press? Radio? which reach & frequency levels are recommended ? thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, July 10, 2000 ):
The answers will vary depending on typical media planning / marketing issues.
  • Who is the target?
  • What is the competitive situation?
  • What are the legal restrictions
For example, in the U.S., there is one set of rules that applies when you are marketing prescription drugs and another set for "over the counter" pharmaceuticals.

For prescription drugs, you can mention a drug name without discussing the problems it treats or its results, or you can mention a problem to treat without mentioning a drug name. In these cases there are fewer rules to observe. When you mention a drug along with its disease or results, you must also provide the "patient information" (PI) which is all the side effects warnings, counterindications, etc. This typically means broadcast advertising must be accompanied by print to carry the PI. Or that print must devote a portion of space to this detailed information.

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.

Wednesday, June 21, 2000 #3566
Dear Guru, I've heard about buying space on Fruit Labels - bananas, apples etc. What company sells this? I'd like to contact them. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 25, 2000 ):
From a Yahoo search:

Fruit label advertising was created in 1997 by Tarzana, Calif.-based The Fruit Label Company. According to Irv Weinhaus, chief executive officer of The Fruit Label Company, this innovative medium provides a two-fold service. ``The labels work for the advertiser who is looking for a unique and informative way to reach consumers, and the PLU (price look-up) labels are used by the retailer to accurately charge for the produce. Our labels eliminate the need for two individual stickers, one of which has to be on the fruit regardless if there is advertising on the fruit or not.''

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?

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

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

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

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

Sunday, June 04, 2000 #3528
Do you know where I could find some media statistics about online usage and habits? I am looking for any research, studies, etc. that can provide how consumers are using this medium, specifically how Corporate Management is using the interenet. After exhausting the "usual" sources (i.e. syndicated studies MRI, IQ, etc) I have reached a dead end. Please if possible, could you provide some insight to this area? thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 08, 2000 ):
You haven't mentioned MediaMetrix and Nielsen//Netratings, which are probably your best syndicated resources.

Beyond that, The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230. will have a compilation of assorted material.

Sunday, June 04, 2000 #3527
Hi Guru,What will be the right measure to evaluate niche media channels : reach,GRP's or Share.This keeping in mind that the niche channels are traditionally viewed and used as frequency channels and are traditionally decided after the mainline reach channels are selected.Regds RKB

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 08, 2000 ):
The right measure will depend on your goals in a given plan. If you are considering niche channels to extend reach among that niche, then the reach added by the potential schedule is the standard. Note that this means how much reach you can add for the dollars available for niche channel investment, and not the total reach of the niche channel itself. It is a common miustake, in the Guru's opinion, to compare media based on an abstraction of their total performance rather than what they can realistically contribute to a specific plan.

By the same token, if the niche channels are to be used as frequency vehicles, then efficiency is probably your best comparison. Share will rarely be most pertinent metric in any case.

Thursday, June 01, 2000 #3517
What is the general rule of thumb (in terms of number of :60 radio spots per week) in a non-metered market? The goal of the advertising campaign is awareness over a 7 month period (no weekly promotion to talk about - just letting people know about our business). In the past we have been running anywhere from 14 to 16 spots per week.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 01, 2000 ):
The "overkill" level of frequency will depend on continuity among other things.

In a market too small to measure, the Guru imagines that there are relatively few radio stations, perhaps 12 or fewer, and average ratings might be 5 or better. So suppose 16 spots is about 100 GRP. FOr reach you would still want to use more than one station, at least 12 times each.

Are you sure your market isn't measured, perhaps as part of a larger market as defined by Arbitron? Even tiny Lima, Ohio, the 201st of the 210 DMAs making up the entire country has ratings twice yearly. Check out Radio & Records.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

Thursday, May 18, 2000 #3486
Hi. I writing a media plan for a B2B .com The target is small businesses and the marketing objective is "to build the brand". Should I use reach as the primary media objective or frequency? For example, the online portion, should I use larger banners and sponsorships on fewer networks and single sites or smaller banners on more nets and sites? Also do you know of any research that details the crossover among magazine hard copy readers and that same magazine's online newsletter? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 21, 2000 ):
Some research has shown that banner ads wear out very quickly, at least insofar as generating clicks. So reach would seem a more useful benefit of online ads. If your goal is branding, one presumes you have significant information content in the banners themselves, rather than relying on clicks.

Cahners has posted some research on crossover in a B2B context.

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.

Sunday, May 14, 2000 #3470
Question: Would you please advise how audience accumulation builds over time? For: (A) Weekly Consumer Magazine (B) Monthly Consumer Magazine (C) Business Publications (D) Out of Home Media. I suppose that based upon the type of media -- daily newspaper versus monthly magazine, that audience accumulation will vary quite differently. But from the standpoint of audience accumulation over the course of time from Week 1 to Week 2 to Week 3, etc., because of duplication, the accumulation figure will decrease --- with reach maxing out. Could you please provide a run down by media type (A, B, C, D) as to how accumulation figures build over time?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 14, 2000 ):
To really evaluate this you need the specific respondent-level data from individual media, such as that provided by MRI or Simmons.

Generally, in any print medium, the audience builds quickly at first, within the medium's cycle. For instance, a weekly builds the vast majority of its audience within the week following issue, and virtually all of its reach within 3 weeks. A monthly has a similar shape to its "reach curve" over time, but the 3 week time line extends to perhaps 2 months. Business publications would probably compare similarly for weekly versus monthly.

Out-of-home media are quite a different story. Since they are not media with content, and are incicentally encountered in life as opposed to the audeince seeking it out, there is no aging content to affect readership. Because out-of-home, at least in the case of outdoor posters, is bought at enormous GRP levels ( usually 25 to 100 GRP per day), reach accumulates very quickly, reaching 85 to 95% of an audience in the first month. The medium itself does not get measured, the campaign does.

Wednesday, May 10, 2000 #3456
I would like to ask three questions: First, is there a website that provides guidelines for advertising on the Internet. Our company only provides services in certain areas and want to evaluate how we can reach these areas using the internet. Secondly, are there any other alternative ways to get messages across besides traditional TV, radio, print and outdoor? Thirdly, is there a website or service that reports spending on ad circulars (for instance, DirecTV in a Best Buy ad)? Thanks,

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, May 13, 2000 ):
  1. The Guru doesn't believe there is any website specifically providing an unbiased guide to internet advertising. Many of your questions might be answered by looking up past Guru queries and responses in the Guru Archives Search Engine. Use your various topics as your search terms.

    The Internet Advertising Bureau and C.A.S.I.E. (The Coalition for Advertising Supported Interactive Entertainment) are sites with good, general information.

    If your key issue is advertising to a specific geographic area, you can advertise on sites providing local information, which today exist for most localities, or you can buy geographically specifc impressions from most major, commerical, consumer-oriented sites.

  2. There are always new, unique non-traditional media, such as skywriting and cross promotion. But since the new ones are new they are not generally known until you stumble across them or unless their sellers find you.
  3. The Guru also doesn't believe there is a service which tracks specific products within stores retail ads. In some cases, where these represent co-op deals there may be some record, but generally, not.

Tuesday, May 09, 2000 #3454
What are the essentials of media buying? How can one plan an optimum media buying (all media) ?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, May 13, 2000 ):
Of course, this can take years to learn this fully or everyone would be doing it for themselves. At its most simple, the "essentials of media buying" are getting the right media at the right price.

The right media involves considerations of

  • Target coverage
  • Target composition
  • Environment
  • Positioning
  • Timing
  • Scheduling
  • reach / duplication
  • Gross audience
  • Etc.
The right price is more than just the lowest price when all the above have been considered. Too low a price may lead to preemptions. Too low a total investment with one vendor may let you miss out on advantageous packages and merchandising.

Monday, May 08, 2000 #3453
Which TV programs have the largest number of male viewers 18-34? Which Cable station reaches the largest number of viewers in this demo?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 08, 2000 ):
These questions can be answered best by Nielsen.

Monday, May 08, 2000 #3452
hi i am a media planner in pakistan working for R-Lintas the problem that i face while planning is the clitter and how to deal with specially in TV we have tried different solutions but none worked so i need your in this regard .

When i mentioned clutter i ment the overload of advertising on television where your message is lost. in Pakistan few years back we just had one government owned TV channel so it was easier to attract big chuncks of audiences through advertising but in the past few years the media scene in Pakistan has changed alot now we have three TV channels (24 hour), cable and satellite channels are also very popular so now it has become really difficult to attract same big chuncks of audiences now every individual dwells in his or her own domain of interest and the question now arises 1-How to reach these people who are no more receptive and has more options. 2-How to get maximum mileage out of the limited resources(advertising budget) that we normally have. 3-How to increase the reach and break the advertising clutter 4-How can we make consumers sit and watch our ads?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 09, 2000 ):
Part of the answer will depend on how advertisng is delivered. If one minute of programming alternates with one minute of commercial time, the Guru would say it's hopeless. If your TV commercials run in pods, that is, 2 or 3 minute blocks of commercials after every ten or fifteen minutes of programming, then there are a few tricks:

  • Buy multiple commercials in a program
  • Buy the opening and closing position of every pod in a program
  • "Sponsor" a program to get opening and closing and pod-bumper billboards.
  • One technique to increase audience 'chunks' is "roadblocking" which means buying at the exact same time across multiple channels.

Making the consumers 'sit and watch your ads' though, is not a media issue. At best it's a creative question.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, April 24, 2000 #3417
Dear Guru: When buying radio, do buyers get better rates just by selecting all Adults 18-54 vs. selecting a more specific demo? Does specifying the demo drive rates up? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, April 25, 2000 ):
Stations typically set their basic prices by the cpm acheived against a broad demographic which buyers often want, such as Adult 18-54.

A station with great competitive strength in a specific and hard-to-reach demographic might raise its pricing if a buyer asked for a proposal on that demographic. Conversely, a buyer might get better prices by asking for a proposal on a demographic where the station is less competitive.

Monday, April 24, 2000 #3413
Which medium (TV, radio, print, direct mail)does the Internet have the highest duplication with in terms of usage?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, April 24, 2000 ):
This question isn't really answerable as stated. TV, Radio, Print and (in theory) direct mail reach everyone, including all internet users. So, with this broad question, all media are tied at 100% duplication.

Specific schedules of traditional media , specific DM lists and specific web sites will have different duplication rates, and different frequency distributions. Or, you could determine something like "webusers are less likely to be heavy viewers of TV than heavy readers of magazines."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, April 16, 2000 #3399
dear guru, iam developing a marketing plan for a india based travel portal.this portal is designed to serve the needs of indian tourists as well as foriegners visiting do i identify and best reach my target audience namely,people around the world who travel or have strong intentions to travel and are on the net? thanking you in advance,maverickrr

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 16, 2000 ):
Travel-oriented sites and cultural sites featuring India are the obvious choices. In various countries, local, syndicated, product usage studies, such as MRI or TGI might allow you to cross-tabulate travel and online behavior.

Wednesday, April 12, 2000 #3396
What is the Saisbury method?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 16, 2000 ):
Sainsbury was a media researcher in England. The "Sainsbury method" you refer to was probably his adjustment to TV reach to acount for understatement of duplication between TV dayparts in the basic statistical procedure used 30 years ago.

Wednesday, April 12, 2000 #3393
What is the radio industry standard for a denominator such as CPM in print media. The C/RP is fine for comparisons in the same DMA, but what about cross-DMA comparisons?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, April 12, 2000 ):
CPM works in radio, too, and it's the right metric to use across markets. Arbitron reports thousands as well as rating, so it's always available. To get a rough estimate of CPM, divide CPP by 1% of the target universe expressed in thousands; Cost Per Point is the cost of reaching one percent (one rating points' worth) of the universe.

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.

Monday, April 03, 2000 #3365
how can i evaluate sponsorship of tv and radio programmes and what's the best way to present it to the client. thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 09, 2000 ):
The basis way to evaluate any media opportunity is to compare it to your goals and strategies. This may be about reach or impact or targeting a specific audience.

Click here to see past Guru responses about evaluating sponsorships.

Friday, March 31, 2000 #3362
Can we accurately measure branding online in the current marketplace?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, March 31, 2000 ):
Branding is a long-term concept, and perhaps on-line media are too young or too quickly changing for valid measurement today.

The Guru dosen't believe on-line is the best branding medium, because it doesn't deliver it's full message to a significant percent of the already small reach potential on on-line. On-line can enhance branding for well established brands, with a logical connection to possibel on-line environments, like Microsoft, or IBM. Click here to see past Guru responses about branding on-line.

Tuesday, March 28, 2000 #3349
Dear Media Guru: I am the publisher of a very niche oriented magazine called International Longboarder. We are a year old and the magazine is found in surf, skate and snowboard shops throughout the world. We appeal to men 18-34. Here is my question: what would be three inexpensive ways to let media buyers know about us - specifically those buyers who are looking to reach this demographic? thank you michael brooke

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 28, 2000 ):
"Inexpensive" is a matter of opinion. The least expensive (free) is a listing in Standard Rate and Data Service (SRDS). Next might be an ad in SRDS. Next, an ad on a media planner's website, like AMIC .

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, March 22, 2000 #3334
Challenge: How do we reach recent movers/home buyers? What media vehicles are available that would reach this target audience? Direct mail, magazines, etc.? Any information you have would be very helpful in my media planning. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, March 22, 2000 ):
Direct marketing through resources such as Welcome Wagon are a starting point.

Many telephone companies have special packages with new telephone book deliveries. Other utilities, such as gas, electric, cable, etc are also potential partners.

Tuesday, March 21, 2000 #3330
what are the parameters to consider when we evalaute the internet as an advertising medium? we want to develop a model for this so we need some help. and if you know of studies done in this area, could you please let us know. thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, March 24, 2000 ):
If you are evaluating the internet against other media to use in a plan, use the same parameters as any other medium: cost, efficiency, reach, environment. As a supplemental medium, does it add reach you couldn't get through some other medium?

When you are planning within the internet the principals are the same, but you will need to deal with impressions, visits, visitors, and duplication.

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

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

Here's an easy one:

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


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

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

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

Saturday, March 11, 2000 #3308
This is a follow-up to my question of yesterday, regarding cost per web visitor for the major media. The data to which you referred me were very useful, and I thank you for that reference. As you note, however, nothing is provided there (or anywhere else I have searched) to determine the rate at which such CPM actually results in a web visit. Any thoughts on sources, or a means of reaching an educated guess, on that all-important information? Thanks again and best.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 11, 2000 ):
t was not clear that you were asking about other media being used to drive web traffic. The Guru thought you were considering these media as competition.

Keep in mind that the ad itself may be more important than the media vehicle. On January 2, 2000, the NY Times ran an article on ecommerce giving a comparison of web visits versus traditional ad impressions, thought these were not identified by media type except for TV. The range was enormous, from one visitor for every 2.7 TV impressions at to one per every 2977.3 at Of course, the number of impressions in other media is not considered in this ratio.

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 I´D 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...I´ll 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.

Monday, March 06, 2000 #3285
I am considering becoming an internet consultant for an established media-buying agency who currently does no Internet/banner advertising work, but wants to start. I have many years experience in Internet, web site production, and marketing, but I know little about media buying. Where would be a good place to start? I will be attending Thuner Lizard Web Advertising 2000 conference in Ny in April.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 06, 2000 ):
The Guru is quite opinionated on this concept. His opinions include:

  • It is far easier for a media professional who knows buying to learn about the internet than for an internet / web site production person to learn about media buying

    Conferences like the one mentioned are likley to offer an experienced person a few new insights, but not likely to confer job skills.

  • There are far too many people currently selling web media who toss around web jargon but have no idea of the meaning of key media concepts, like reach, frequency, duplication, efficiency

Your best hope is that the company you are joining, if they are hiring internet specialists from outside the media buying world, is putting on some sort of training / mentoring program, where you can learn by doing.

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

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

Thursday, 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."

Thursday, March 02, 2000 #3274
What are the criteria that a media planner has to consider when planning for advertising on the internet?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 04, 2000 ):
The criteria are the same as in any media planning: reach, environment, composition, consumer response, etc.

In the internet there are merely different sources, standards, and formulas in dealing with these elements and thousands more options.

A couple of the most important differences are

  • One "page" of a web site gets only a fraction of the audience of the total site, as compared to a page of a magazine, which is treated as if it had the same audience as the entire issue
  • Audience ranking is much less relevant for the same reason: If Yahoo reaches half of all web users, but your banner is only exposed to one million of those unique visitors, how is that different than you banner being seen by one million uniques visitors to a web site which only gets one percent of all web users?

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.

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

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

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

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

Thursday, February 10, 2000 #3203
Dear Guru Could you tell me how to set reach objectives if I have sales objective in terms of no. of SKU and average purchase frequency.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, February 13, 2000 ):
If "average purchase frequency" means you know how many purchases are made by some percent of your target, then one approach might be to think that for every member of the target exposed (the effective frequency) number of times in a purchase cycle's length of time, you will make a sale to the same percentage of those exposed as the percent of the target group which is expected to to purchase in the time frame.

Of course this assumes that advertising is the only cause of sales or of incremental sales, but it should give you a framework upon which to build.

Friday, February 04, 2000 #3189
guru, we are an export firm and deal with granites(floor decors) we have our presence in france and are interested to spread our promotions through out this connection i wish to have the media options available in europe for my product...i in fact used the international media guide and found it useless....if u can give me some statistics country wise regarding media reach and visibility and rates you will be doing us a big favour

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 07, 2000 ):
The Guru is puzzled about what you want. The International Media Guides list print media rates and circulation for Eurpoean media, which should be most of your information need. In most of Europe, commercial broadcast media, such as Independent Television are few and easy to track down.

TDI can help with outdoor media.

Wednesday, February 02, 2000 #3181
what are the different media options available in europe and what is the reach individually/country wise??

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 02, 2000 ):
For the media of Europe, see International Media Guide. reach will depend on the media and schedules used. IN any country, the total of all media is likely to reach 99%+.

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

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

Sunday, January 30, 2000 #3173
what is the best form of advertising to college students?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, January 30, 2000 ):
Click here to see past Guru responses about reaching college students

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

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

Thursday, January 27, 2000 #3166
Our Internet marketing company uses metrics such as Are you aware of any studies or "rules of thumb" that suggest how many banner impressions one must buy in order reach specific number of people?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 29, 2000 ):
The differences between various sites and schedules in reach building are extreme, so there are no safe rules of thumb; see the Guru's reply to query #3167

Wednesday, January 26, 2000 #3154
Where can I obtain a ranker for magazine readership among Adults 18-34 living in Japan? Also, I am looking for a list of the top 50 websites to reach Adults 18-34 in Japan. Thanks much.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 29, 2000 ):
In a case like this the Guru would make contact with a media seller who can present a competitive picture. Start looking at the Japanese Magazine Publishers Association

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.

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

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

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

Friday, January 21, 2000 #3142
I am trying to target two diverse groups. One would be CEOs/Managers of retail, e-commerce companies and the other would be the people in those organizations responsible for selecting shipping/mailing services (these being the core decision maker I am trying to reach) however, the CEOs/Managers would ultimately make the decision. I can't seem to locate a business to business publication that would reach the secondary target. Do you have any ideas?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, January 23, 2000 ):
Your target will be found in standard business publications, which are too broad to be efficient against the target.There are numerous publications edited for ecommerce managers and related internet management, including The Industry Standard and Internet Week among others.

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 #3139
Dear Guru- I was wondering what you thought of the AOL-Time Warner merger, and how you think it will affect the way we buy and plan media in the future. I also wanted to know what you think of the government's anti-drug deal with the networks, and what you think about them having any say in programming content.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 22, 2000 ):
The Guru believes that the AOL / Time Warner deal was much bigger as business news than media news. AOL adds no media property to Time Warner except AOL itself, already a top internet property. If there are some new or better merchandising deals only media buys which place merchandising ahead of reach, environment, efficiency etc will change. Time Warner already had another leading (if not profitable) web arena for all its media in

The Government already had that much "say" in programming, by requiring that some time be devoted to public service announcments. It merely gives some PSA credit for entertainment programming with a strong enough anti drug message. The Guru is not troubled by this, as far as it goes, in this specific case.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Thursday, January 13, 2000 #3119
Media Guru, I'm an advertising student and will be going out into the working world of advertising on a media buying internship in two weeks. I have one question which i would much like your input on. The question is as follows; Junior media buyers are routinely asked to book millions of dollars worth of advertising. But do they know enough about the vast complexities of media to do the job right? sincerly, intern student

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, January 19, 2000 ):
No, they don't. But then again they aren't actually asked to do this. You have a somewhat oversimplified view of the roles, the Guru believes.

Junior buys operate within tighly defined limits on their authority to make spending decisions.

Over the course of a year a "junior buyer" at a large agency might book millions of dollars, a few tens of thousands at a time. Each time, in a properly run agency, there should be a set of buying parameters from a olanner which specifies the target group, amount of media weight, (GRP or impressions) type of programming or environment, minimum audience size of an ad unit, cpm/cpp range, and perhasp even reach of the schedule.

With all these parameters properly set, there is little room fro a junior buyer to make a significant error. The job is to find the right media according to clearly set, mostly numerical, standards and then to negotiate the best possible price.

Additionally, there should be review of a junior buyers proposed buy by a supervisor.

If you find yourself in a situation without these controls, then you are not observing a professional media operation.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, January 05, 2000 #3096
Oh Great Guru -- I need to calculate GRPs, but I don't have reach or frequency on some tv buys. I do have CPM, total impressions and impressions/week and the total population of the demographic. Can you supply a formula for calculating GRP based on what I have?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, January 05, 2000 ):
(Impressions divided by population) x 100 = GRP.

For example,
if impressions are 2 million and population is 1 million, GRPs = 200.

Friday, December 31, 1999 #3083
Can you help me out in the following areas: 1. How can an online agency offer an advertiser pre campaign creative testing of ad banners? What are the variables involved and can you suggest links to sites that do offer such solutions? 2. Can you provide an online plan for any hypothetical advertiser? What is the step by step approach taken? I know one will have to proceed looking at marketing objectives, setting impression levels and then buying impressions based on the campaign objective and target audience. Do you have a ready framework for a full online plan that you could share with us?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 01, 2000 ):
1. There are companies which do such testing, including IPSOS. C.A.S.I.E. (The Coalition for Advertising Supported Interactive Entertainment) will have a list of such vendors.

2.There are no standards for how an on-line plan should look, other than those for any media plan. Because the focus will be on selecting specific sites, the overall style will probably resemble a magazine plan more than any other specific type. One plan might focus on advertisng envorinment more than another which is more aimed at raw impresions, and both may differ greatly from a third based on click-rates or revenue generation. Analysis might focus on cpm or reach or availability of relevant pages or keywords. Creativity is more the rule than following a format.

Thursday, December 30, 1999 #3082
Data / studies on the Indian internet Market

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 01, 2000 ):
The Guru has not seen much on the topic.

A loyal reader of the Guru's reponses has been kind enough to pass along a link to a useful study at MICA-India.

There is some data at Global reach, and there may be more at NUA Internet Surveys, The Industry Standard and CyberAtlas.

Thursday, December 30, 1999 #3081
Has there been any studies that have been done to analyze the synergies between Print and internet Media ?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 01, 2000 ):
"Synergies" is an extremely vague term. There are studies to show how well print advertising brings traffic to web sites. There are studies of net reach of the two media.

If you can make your query more specific, you may find relevant research at The Magazine Publishers' Association, Cahner's or Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

Wednesday, December 29, 1999 #3079
How would you identify and reach “gatekeepers” in charge of web development for fortune 5000 businesses? I’m assuming most of these would be CIO or upper-level IT Personnel.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 29, 1999 ):
The Guru would rather hope that such a key marketing function would be managed by marketing management. You want to distinguis control of content and function from control of process and infrastructure. Not everything that relies on computers belongs in the control of computer operators. In any case, The Standard Directories of Advertising Agencies and Advertisers ('The Redbook') can generate lists of people by title/by comapny category.

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 21, 1999 #3067
Is there any standard way of setting reach & Frequency benchmarks for the Consumer durable category such as Motorcycles, Television, Tyres etc.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, December 21, 1999 ):
"Consumer durables" is much too broad to generalize. Purchase cycle, seasonality and budget are the key components for setting communications goals.

Target, media choices and geography might also contribute to level setting.

Thursday, December 16, 1999 #3058
In India everybody seems to be hyping up the interactive medium, as THE future media vehicle to reach the upper class, literates. I am a practicing media director in an ad agency. Wondering whether in the near future, internet will become so important as a media vehicle. If so, I intend coming up to speed by learning more about the medium in question to enable me evaluate and recommend or otherwise, internet as a media option. What is your opinion?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 19, 1999 ):
The interent will always be a very fragmented medium, and reach will be slow to build. For example, see the Top 10 advertisers of the month list at Nielsen//Netratings.

Many believe internet use will not penetrate more than 60% of the poulation, but it will be skewed upscale.

It may never be the dominant medium, but any media professional today needs to be familiar with its capabilities and limits.

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.

Thursday, December 09, 1999 #3043
Oh wonderful Guru...I am a female voice over artist and do voice for radio and tv production, industrial films and now web sites. I want to reach as many agencies, companies etc. as I can to introduce my service to them. Web site voice over is new....any ideas on marketing?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, December 09, 1999 ):
This isn't a media question, but the Guru will offer a few thoughts.

The Guru doesn't see why marketing a voice for web use should be any different than for radio, tv or films if your target is agencies and production companies.

If you want to market directly to web publishers, they will read different trade publications like The Industry Standard or those from Ziff-Davis and CMP.

Thursday, December 09, 1999 #3039
dear guru how can i estimate reach precentages? is their any model that i can study from? i ask you before about raech and you answered that its a judgement decision. i am trying to estimate how many people will wxposed once , twice, and more to my ads on t.v ( old brand, the first time to adverise , direct competitores are not using advertise at all the largest share of voice, the target audience: main shopper with children ) is it enough to compare my case to other t.v campaign which had some close goals( target, budgets, adverisment environment, and so on) or may you has any other way to guide me? please try to help me many thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, December 09, 1999 ):
There are many parameters to consider for various media and dayparts. Computer models seem to be the only sensible way to deal with all of today's options. AMIC's sister company, Telmar, which has offices in your country (Israel), is the leading worldwide provider of this type of software.

Statistical texts can give you information about some of the basic reach estimating formulas, such as the Beta Bi-modal function.

Tuesday, December 07, 1999 #3034
Great Guru, As part of our consumer print advertising for our local convention and visitors bureau we run in a couple of in-flight publications. They have been chosen on the basis on the highest numbers of deplanements at our airport and the fact that they provide service in our region (the western United States). It is our assumption that many people have a loyalty to an airline, and we can entice regional travelers to our locale. (Although we do consider ourselves a national destination, our budget only allows us to advertise regionally.) What is your opinion on our reasoning...are we "preaching to the choir?" What considerations do you take into account when evaluating in-flights (within the category and also against other consumer print)? Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, December 09, 1999 ):
A very complex question. To break down the answers into managable pieces:
  • Airline loyalty seems a questionable basis for selection. While people may be loyal to an airline when it serves their destination, the Guru doubts that people decide where to vacation based on whether or not they can get there on the airline which they like best
  • If you were promoting one casino versus others, then advertising on the airline with the most traffic to Las Vegas would be a strong choice, but once the travelers are on a Las Vegas-bound plane, you can stop selling the city. And it doesn't make sense that a traveler presently headed to Phoenix or Ontario, CA is necessarily a better prospect for Las Vegas than a traveller headed to San Antonio or Kansas City
  • If budget is only enouogh for regional coverage, better to concentrate on the region where most visitors come from than the local region, if there is a difference.
    Preaching to the choir might be a good description of your plan.
  • Choosing among in-flights, in your case, is probably better based on ones which have travellers who like to gamble on vacation, if that's your selling point. Certainly there are media which will have a higher readership index on gambling or the other entertainments of your town than do the in-flights.

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.

Tuesday, December 07, 1999 #3032
i am seeking an extended list of caribbean media vehicles (tv, radio, magazines, and newspaper) reaching caribbeans living within the us. can you tell me of any names or places where i can find this information? In addition, do you have any recent information pertaining to which us markets they are living in along with population figures. the only information i was able to find was '90 census data. thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 08, 1999 ):
The Guru will asume that you are referring to "West Indians" also referred to as Caribbean Black, and not to Caribbean Hispanics. In either case these marfket segements are primarily found along the U.S.' East Coast. About 75% of the U.S. Caribbean Black population is found in the N.Y. and Miami DMA's; within NY, primarily in Brooklyn and Queens counties.

There are print, radio programs and syndicated TV programs for this market segment. Once you find one, they can probably guide you to others. For example, New York's WLIB-AM offers some Caribbean programming.

MultiCultural Target Source produces a directory of media for many ethnic and cultural segments.

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

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

Monday, December 06, 1999 #3028
what is the best media to reach college students?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 08, 1999 ):
"Best" is a matter of setting goals.

Most targeted are probably the campus newspapers and "wall" media sold by CASS Communications and American Passage.

Best reach for the price and reasonably targeted would be carefully selected radio and possibly cable programming.

Thursday, December 02, 1999 #3014
I am a student of Communication Science Faculty, Padjadjaran University, Bandung, Indonesia. Now I am doing my Project about " WEB AS ADVERTISING MEDIA FOR Small Entreupreners". On my project, I write about : 1. web as interactif media, analize aplication system that used on the web. I devided the interactivity on the web bye users on two : a. interactivity with web site, such as search fasility, form online,etc. b. interactivity with other users, such as mailing list, IRC, provide e-mail, etc 2. Ability of web gets global market, 3. Culture on the web, I believe that the Net has a unique culture. The users have their own language, custom, netiqiutte, and comunity ties. If you don't mind, i want to know your opinion about what I told. And I hope you give me more explanation about that.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, December 03, 1999 ):
1) Yes, the web is interactive, that is it's greatest distinction from other media.

2) Yes, the web is inherently global, but language still separates many sites from many uses. See Global reach.

3) The Guru does not think there is really a net culture. There is a fanatical core of webheads, perhaps with there own jargon. Customs and netiquette vary from group to group, more people not observing them than observing.

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.

Sunday, November 21, 1999 #2993
guru-what are the major benefits to advertising online versus other forms of media?(tv,print, ect.)thank you guru

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, November 28, 1999 ):
The biggest advantage, if that's your target, is the high composition of computer users.

Another is the potential for instant, interactive response.

Another is the possibility of segmenting the audience with almost infintite specificity, by virtue of selecting pages by topic or placement based on keywords.

Internet advertising also conveys something of an up-to-date, with-it image, if that is an issue for an advertiser.

More quantitative advantages, based on efficiency or reach must be compared on a case by case basis. Sometimes on-line has an advantage, other times not. One should never lose sight of the fact that only about half of the population uses the net today.

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.


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

Message / Creative

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


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

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

Tuesday, November 09, 1999 #2945
I have chosen to do my thesis( post graduation in communications) on exposure distrbution models in print and television media. I am really keen on finding out more about the following topics: Beta Binomial Distribution Sequential Aggregation Distribution Dirichlet Multinomial Distribution Hofmans Beta Binomial Distribution Conditional Beta Distribution I have been through " reach/Frequency Estimation for the -the Internet World Wide Web" by Jongpil Hong . I do have access to journals on campus but am facing a problem gathering information on conditional beta distribution ( Kim Heejin,1994) and sequential aggregation distribution (Lee, Hae Kap, 1988). On surfing the net i also visited -, checked out the demo on frequency distributions. To further my study in this area i would be grateful if you could guide me as to how to access these doctoral dissertations.Also any help and guidance on other information sources will be deeply appreciated.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, November 09, 1999 ):
The Guru would expect to find doctoral dissertations available at the universities where they were delivered.

Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230. has the best compilation of advertising research studies.

The New York Public Library's Science, Industry and Business Library also has a great deal of this material.

There is also a dissertation abstract and search service at UMI

Friday, November 05, 1999 #2939
Dear Guru: I am trying to find a way to reach CEOs/Presidents and other top-level management at computer companies, such as Gateway, Dell, Compaq, and Apple. The "computer" and "business" sections of SRDS have so many listings --is there an easy way to go through anis information? Is any syndicated research available to provide direction for reaching this type of audience? Is there a better way to narrow my focus other than SRDS? I know the standard business titles (e.g., Business Week, Fortune, Forbes) may reach this audience, but will also deliver many more who are not in my audience. Your help is greatly appreciated!

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 10, 1999 ):
The major business books may have demographic editions for the computer andinformation industries.

The computer books may have demographic editions for CEOs etc.

Either one or other sources might sell a mailing list of computer industry yop executives.

Friday, November 05, 1999 #2938
I'm hoping develop a reach curve for a client to shhow how audience accumuluates with increased dollar spending in the market. I have a table that shows % reached by GRPs per 4 weeks and wondered where I could get published tables and surveys realting to increased share of voice in realtion to share of market spending. Is there are projection formula that could be used?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 10, 1999 ):
Share of voice usually means share of GRPs. Developing a Cost Per GRP index would give you a simple conversion. The shortcoming of share of voice is that it ignores impact differences between various media and copy units, unless comlex formulae to equate GRPs are created.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The bottom line is that

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

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

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

Click here to see past Guru responses

Monday, November 01, 1999 #2923
I am new to online sales but realize it's much different from regular media sales. I've been trying to find information on the types of questions I might be asked, etc. but am not having much luck- can you help?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 01, 1999 ):
Most of the reasonable questions are parallel to traditional media sales questions:
  • What is your audience size? - a difference here is that you typically sell "units" of a month's duration, but "unit" impressions are different than unit reach
  • What are your audience demographics?
  • What is your price structure?
  • How do you compare to your competition?

Other questions will be unique, whether because of the nature of the medium or because the buyers are new to this as well:

  • "Is that net or gross?"
  • What is your site's audience and what percent of it is my buy?
  • What ad units do you offer?
  • What keywords are available? (for search / portal sites)

Friday, October 29, 1999 #2919
Hi Guru! I'm trying to calculate magazine CPMs. Should I use the ABC Audited numbers, or the total audience numbers (some magazines have high "hand-off" rates)?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 29, 1999 ):
Consumer magazine CPMs are ususally compared based on total audience. High pass-along readership is good up to a point. You're most likley trying to reach people not necessarily owners of copies of magazines.

Thursday, October 28, 1999 #2916
Hi Guru, How is the CPM rate calculated by the web publishers?. what are the criteria adapted by them to arrive on their CPM rate?(say $30 or $40 for every 1000 impression).

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, October 28, 1999 ):
The CPM = Ad Cost ÷ Ad impressions. Many sites quote ad rates in terms of CPM. That is you can order the number of impression you want your banner to receive, and get exactly that number priced at "x" CPM.

Several issues are taken into consideration in setting CPM prices:

  • Competitive pricing - a site can't successfully charge double the CPM of another with similar audience and content.
  • Traffic - up to a point, more size is considered to have a premium value. Then there will be econimies o scale
  • Unique audience- hard to reach demographics are more valuable

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.

Monday, October 25, 1999 #2903
Are CPMs higher on sites that have high frequency of use (ex. email sites)?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 27, 1999 ):
There is no reason they should be. On the one hand, traffic is traffic. On the other, reach is often valued above frequency.

Thursday, October 21, 1999 #2897
What are some of the best software programs for getting national cable reach/frequencies (e.g. I know of IMS and Telmar, any others?) Which would you recommend?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, October 24, 1999 ):
Obviously the Guru feels that Telmar is the best source. AMIC is a member of the Telmar Group of Companies which provides support for the Guru!

Tuesday, October 19, 1999 #2880
Guru, I’m trying to put together a print ”insert” plan for a magazine and I have a little problem with calculating the duplication for the plan. The magzine circulation is 100.000 ex, target audience reach 40% (1 insert), target selectivity/profile 80%. By adding a second ”round” of inserts in the same magazine the total reach ad up to 48% (same selectivity). How do I calculate the no ”extra” inserts distributed by the second ”round” of inserts? BR CD

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, October 19, 1999 ):
If you reach 40% of your target with one insertion and a net of 48% of your target with two, then the duplication is 32% of the target:

Two insertions has a gross exposure of 80% (40 + 40) and if the net is 48, the duplicated is 80 - 48.

Friday, October 15, 1999 #2876
Can you explain the difference in "awareness curves" and "reach curves"

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, October 17, 1999 ):
The "curve" reference in both cases simply means that both of these metrics can be comapared on a simple x/y graph and the result, whether reach or awareness (the dependent variables) charted against total exposures or toal spending (the independent variables), creates a line that is a curve. In other words. each increment of input yields somewaht less gain in reach or awareness than the prior increment.

But reach is a simple, process, it merely counts the different people exposed to advertising. Awareness measures retention of message or recallable knowledge of product or advertising. Awareness may be seen to decline when messages cease to eb delivered, but once someone has been reached, they've been reached. The curves are different. reach can even be the independent variable in plotting awareness.

Wednesday, October 13, 1999 #2870
Guru, I'm looking for some research to put together in an effort to show a plan to interested investors. Some of the metrics I am looking for seem basic but I am having trouble finding a good site. I worry about paying for information from a website because they may not have the information I am looking for. If I'm going to pay, I want my exact requirements filled without missing anything. I'm looking to find out the following: 1) the amount of spending of online advertising in 1995 and 2003/2004 2) the growth of online advertising v traditional offline advertising (1995-2003/4) 3) the growth of e-commerce sites from 1995-2003/4 4) number of people buying online in 1999 and 2003/4 5) graph of e-commerce audience reach from 1995-2003/4 6) demographics of e-commerce audience Thank you for your guidance

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, October 13, 1999 ):
Nobody knows any of these answers. Good estimates might be free at The Industry Standard.

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.

Wednesday, October 06, 1999 #2854
What are the advantages/disadvantages of advertising during sweeps? We have a client who is TOTALLY hung up on advertising during sweeps. Isn't there a lot of self-promotion going on in TV? The client is a newspaper. Also, I've heard that political advertising during the fourth quarter 2000 is projected to be phenomenal. Do you have any information on how advertisers are reacting? Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, October 07, 1999 ):
It is true that ratings are higher during sweeps, because programming is selected to increase audiences when they are being measured. And yes, there is a lot more self promotion in these periods.

But, assuming your client is going to buy "X" GRPs, they will get them with fewer announcements in a sweep than otherwise. If it takes 20 announcements to get 100 GRP in October but only 15 to get 100 GRP in November, the difference to the advertiser should be infinitesimal in terms of more impact. If any measurable effects are seen, there would be a hair more reach and a speck less frequency in the sweeps scenario. The cost per point might be higher.

Political advertising surges during every presidential election. Advertisers will not be visibly reacting today, since Fourth Quarter is sold as the first quarter of a network's year. When Q4 2000 selling starts to move next May, the upfront advertisers will secure their time comfortably. Some advertisers who don't usually buy upfront will. As the year goes on, some money which would have been spent in some places will go elswhere, network to spot, TV to radio, broadcast to print.

It happens every four years and used to be worse when both summer and winter Olympics fell in these same presidential election years.

Monday, October 04, 1999 #2844
What is the best way to reach Adults 18-24 with out using television?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, October 04, 1999 ):
Most efficient? Selected out-of-home.

Most targeted? Some magazines or college newspapers.

Broadest reach in a single medium? Probably radio.

Best total reach? A combination of the above.

Other qualifications of "best" might yield additional answers.

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 don´t 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 29, 1999 #2833
What is the number of adults reached if the rating is 8.7 on a national level? What does one rating point represent in numbers of people reached?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 29, 1999 ):
One rating point equals one percent of the specified population. The U.S. adult population is roughly 203 million so an 8.7 Adult rating equals 17.7 million persons.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, September 14, 1999 #2797
I am looking for software that figures "reach and frequency" for newspaper media plans. Do you know of any and if so, which has the most current, up-to-date data?

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

Tuesday, September 14, 1999 #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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 .

Tuesday, August 24, 1999 #2739
Do you have a list of current MEDIA OPTIONS available?

I'm asking for non-traditional, new media vehicles that reach a demographically and geographically targeted audience.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, August 24, 1999 ):
So the Guru assumes website banners are already on your list. There are several web-based enhancements and variations:

Animated banners
Interactive Banners with pull-down menus
Mini-sites (multipage, fully interactive, full motion ads/brochures)
Other multimedia web options.

Multi media cd-rom magazines seem to have had their day and passed

Essentially, "new media" are new ways to engage the senses and add new dimensions: Print engaged vision only, then radio engaged hearing, then TV did vision and hearing plus motion. Cable merely fractionalized TV and the internet added activity to sight, sound and motion.

What might be next? Cinema advertising has been very big in Europe for years and seems to be growing here. Advertising delivered on the telephone, to pay for long distance calling is underway in at least two formats:
1: listen to some ads to build a credit of long distance minutes and
2: calls interupted by ads.

In the same vein, we see another new trend, free computers which continuously display ads in a part of the screen and free internet services (ISPs) which do the same.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Thursday, August 05, 1999 #2690
Dear Guru, I am a media planner in India. We have a research agency which provides us data on television viewership. The data is collected by a peoplemeter which has a picture matching technology. The problem I am facing is that the TRPs Or TVRs as they call them are calculated on the basis of the sample on that particular day, whereas reach for a programme/ spot is calculated based on the sample on the sunday of the last week of your analysis. To give an example, if I have a spot on the 1st of June and I select my period of analysis as 31/5/99 (Monday) to 13/6/99 (Sunday)a period of 2 weeks. The TRP for my spot would be calculated based on the sample of the 1st of June, but reach would be calculated on the basis of the sample on the 13th of June. This gives me two major problems. The 1st being that my TRP and reach figures have little relation. The 2nd being that the reach figure given for the given spot on the 1st of June would vary depending on the last week of my analysis. This is a problem that manifests itself when I try to plot reach curves. If I state that my brand has achieved 50% reach by June, I could be in trouble the next month where the reach figure might actually drop purely because of a change in sample size. I would like to ask you if you face the same problem in your country. Or is there a better system to report data. My research agency says that this is the best method, I refuse to agree. Please do enlighten me. Regards Ajay

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, August 08, 1999 ):
The system you describe does not make any sense to the Guru. Ratings and reach should be based on the projection to the population represented by the sample, so changes in daily sample size would not be a factor in the base. Usually, samples across days can be added to increas the sample for a period of time.

Wednesday, August 04, 1999 #2688
What % of a budget should be allocated to on-line advertising vs. off-line (radio, billboards, events) for a Men 18-34 target. It is a retail store chain launching a web-site.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, August 08, 1999 ):
There are no simple answers here. If your budget is low, perhaps 0% or 100% for on-line.

reaching a large portion of internet users can be incredibly expensive in on-line media. If you can find relevant and targeted sites, start with them, but the traditional media used to shop for the goods you web store will sell may be far more productive per dollar spent.

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

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

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

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

Monday, August 02, 1999 #2678
Hi. Are there any clear rules for calculating the level of spending increase needed to achieve an X% increase in brand awareness? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, August 05, 1999 ):
Certainly, no "clear" rules. For one thing, it changes depending on the current level. I.e. a 100% increase in awarenes, from 10% to 20% requires a different spending change than a 50% increase from 60% to 90%.

The choice of added media and base media are also key factors.

The Guru speculates that the closest you can get, to calculating a percent increase in awareness through advertising spending is to calculate the cost of making the same increase in reach, sustained over a time frame comaprable to the base period.

Thursday, July 29, 1999 #2669
What is the role and job definition of a media planner in a creative agency v/s that of an AOR agency ? Does the creative agency media planner need to give detailed plan schedules which include channelwise grps in order to justify reach/freq objectives to the AOR agency?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 31, 1999 ):
"AOR," or Agency of Record is a buying function and there is no inherent reason for a planner's role to be different. The planner should not need to "justify" anything to an AOR, assuming plans are approved by the client before buying instructions are communicated to the AOR.

Of course, there can be situations where specific rules have been set up going beyond the typical AOR role.

Thursday, July 29, 1999 #2668
What is book-ending, road blocking and stripping ?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, July 31, 1999 ):
These are descriptions of commercial or program scheduling techniques.

Bookending places the same commercial in the first and last positions of commercial pods.

Road blocking airs commercials at the same moment on multiple channels, to maximize reach by avoiding duplication. The idea goes back to the days when just three networks had virtually all the viewing audience at a point in time, and not only was duplication avoided, but virtually all viewers at the moment, a 90+ share of viewing were reached with just three commercials. Today, when most viewers have over 30 program choices at any time, road blocks are impractical and practically impossible.

Stripping refers to programs, typically of the sort broadcast in daytime or fringe time at the same time each day Monday-Friday. Buying a one-a-day commercial schedule in such a program is also sometimes called stripping.

Thursday, July 22, 1999 #2653
Dear guru, can we use "cost per reach" to judge or evaluate 2 different TV bursts in a same on-air period. If yes, how to do?? And any restriction or consideration in this case?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 28, 1999 ):
The Guru has discussed cost per reach previously.

Lower cost per reach is better than higher cost per reach.

Tuesday, July 20, 1999 #2649
Dear Guru, Could you please explain the formula for calculating median age for a TV Network based on AA(000). Also would looking at the Median age based on reach(000), make sense. Thanks,

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 23, 1999 ):
The median of anything is the number that falls in the middle when everything is arranged in order. So to find median age, ideally you need to find out how many viewers are two years old, how many are three, etc up to 99+. If you can't get it by single year, get the smallest brackets possible. Then you find the age which has an equal number of people older than that agaand an equal number younger, this is the median age. If you are working with age goups instead of single years, you may have to assume that the median is the mid-point of the median age group, weighted according to the number older and younger.

For example, suppose there are 10 million viewers, and there are:
2 million age 2-11 years
2 million 12-17
3 million 18-24
1 million 25-34
1 million 35-49
1 million 50+.

With 10 million viewers you need to find the person who has 5 million people older than he or she in the audience and 5 million younger.

This person must be somewhere in the 18-24 group, because we can tell there are 4 million younger than this group and 3 million older.

Rather than just pick the mid-point of 18-24, you should interpolate according to the other numbers: the mid-point age should be 4/7 along the span 18-24, toward the younger end, or 20 years old.

What would the median age of the reach do for you? It's dependent on the viewing frequency of the network which may not correspond to the ad placements of your schedule.

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.

Wednesday, July 14, 1999 #2629
Dear Guru, Could you please tell me what is "cost per reach"? Is it just to divide the spending by net reach? Do you have standard to evaluate "cost per reach"?? Thank you very much.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 14, 1999 ):
Cost per reach can be cost per reach point which is like cost per point and is spending divided by percent reach OR c.p.m. reach, which is spending divided by thousands reached.

Like cost per point, it doesn't depend on a standard, but is used as a comparison in planning. It varies across media, media types and countries, of course.

For example, in the U.S., the scenario might be, Prime time evening television is the best generator of reach for X number of GRPs. But, daytime TV might deliver more reach per dollar invested at first, until the daytime reach curve flattens. Or the first 50 reach points in Prime might have X cost per reach and the next 10 reach points added in prime might have 2X cost per reach.

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

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

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

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

Monday, July 12, 1999 #2622
Dear Guru! Our client would like to spend $ 100000 on advertising on one of the major TV channels. This budget allows us to buy approximately 50 insertions. The product is a tv set. The brand is not new at the market. The advertising campaign goal is to increase the brand awareness. We are doubtful whether to place all insertions in a 4 week period, or to use fligts and 1-week hiatus. Could you clear the problem. Thanks in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, July 12, 1999 ):
The Guru is not very familiar with TV in Russia (from where this question has been submitted).

But, assuming common ground: If a national commercial costs $2000, the Guru imagines it has to have a very small audience. Perhaps 1.0 rating, so you are talking about 100 or so GRP.

Ad Awareness is primarily a function of reach, while brand awareness nay have many drivers. 100 GRP of low rated commercials will not be likely to produce much reach, whether in four weeks or flighted. If brand awareness is the only goal and there are no promotional periods involved, the Guru would choose to spread the advertising over more time, to sustain the limited awareness which will be built.

Friday, July 09, 1999 #2619
Given some historic data on consumer awareness and media spends, how do i go about in modelling the same so as to enable me to make decisions on future media spends for a brand or new execution for a brand?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, July 11, 1999 ):
Like any model, the more data you can include, the better the result.

Obviously, it is too simplistic to assume a simple direct correlation of money spent to awareness.

Other factors could be unit ad/size/coloration; the same money spent in :60 TV would have a different effect than if spent in :15s. reach and frequenccy, daypart mix in the broadcast media and media mix are key factors within media data, but other factors outside media measures may be more significant, such as copy quality, brand maturity, proir awareness, share of voice, etc.

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

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

Thursday, July 08, 1999 #2616
Hello Guru! I would like to ask you what is a 30 sec equivalent GRP and why is that calculated if the spot length (as per some of your previous answers) do not influence yhe level of reach&frequency ? Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 08, 1999 ):
:30 equivalent is a buyer's convenience. Assuming the standard unit purchased is a :30, instead of dealing with different unit rates in the same program, a :15 is treated as if it had half the rating. It's strictly an efficiency/value issue and has no impact on reach or frequency. Remember that the ratings we have are actually the ratings of programs or time periods and not commercials; commercials are just assigned the rating of the time slot wherin they air, so commercial length is irrelevant to rating.

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

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

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

Monday, July 05, 1999 #2606
Would it make sense to place the same ad in several competing local newspapers reaching the same target audience?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, July 05, 1999 ):
Yes, if your goal is to maximize reach within that target, and depending upon the duplication among the papers.

Thursday, July 01, 1999 #2599
Any ideas on creative placement/positioning of :10 & :15 second TV & Cable spots? We have, of course, selected programs and networks that reach our target audience based on ratings and qualitative info; however, our challenge goes beyond that. We've reviewed book-ending, road blocking, double spotting, and stripping, but can't quit seem to get that "ooh-aah" factor going. Any thoughts???

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 02, 1999 ):
"Ooh-aah" is a lot to expect from commercial position alone. First in pod is a favorite. Roadblocking is meaningless today. It was powerful when TV audience share was 90+% for the big 3 networks in Prime time, during the 60's and 70's.

The best ooh-aah, the Guru recalls, was use of the program star, in character, in setting, to pitch the product. A specific example was Phil Silvers as Sgt. Bilko telling his corporals about the wonders of Luck Strike cigarettes. But this was in the day of full program sponsorship, when the advertiser owned the program. It might be possible today with a fully- or half- sponsored special.

Such "product integration" is still available today on the Spanish language networks, at least.

But of course :10s and :15s offere less flexibility than :30s and integration is really long-form.

Sunday, June 27, 1999 #2594
what are the various media publications and/or advertising venues to reach military personel and veterans who are potential prospects for VA mortgage loans?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 02, 1999 ):
CASS Communications is a sales representative for most miltary publications aimed at active duty, reserve and families of these personnel.

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

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

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

Wednesday, June 16, 1999 #2581
Hi Guru. The client has requested that we provide overall delivery in a single market. There are about 7 different campaigns that ran or are running, encompassing local and/or national multiple media vechicles, all with different targets per campaign and per medium. What is the best way to show overall reach in this one single market? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 20, 1999 ):
When different targets are in use, your choices are Housholds (if it's all TV), or the smallest, all encompassing age range such as Persons 2+, Persons 12+ or Adults 18+.

Tuesday, June 15, 1999 #2576
I'll launch a new 20" copy with a minimum Grp's level (70 reach A4W) during 13 weeks. The creative team is recommending a 10" lift for the fifth week. This, of course will give us more weight or more weeks on air (I must pay 15" instead of 10" because of the TV Network policies). In cuantitative basis I will win using shorter copies but I would like to know how to evaluate the qualitative part to make the best recommendation. Thanks in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, June 15, 1999 ):
If 10" costs the same as 15", why use 10's instead of 15's? 15's must have advantages over 10's.

The important factor is the relationship to the cost of a 20". Years ago, when 30's had become the accepted U.S. standard, 15's were introduced and extensively evaluated. The general finding was that 15's had roughly 75% of the value of a 30' at half the cost, so they were a very good buy

Defining "value" is the trick; is it recall, consumer motivation, sales effect? The archives of that old U.S. research will be available in the Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

However, since you are writing from Mexico, it must be kept in mind that consumer reactions might differ, depending on what typical advertising units and exposure are for your consumers.

Tuesday, June 15, 1999 #2575
Hi Guru.... I am a student studying in South Africa, and I have a huge interest in advertising and advertising media. I need help on something though. What I would like to know is how media companies price their space? How do television stations price their advertising space? Are there any sites which could help me price ad space? Also, how would one price an audience of 11 million people per month, being reached through video's/televisions? And 11 million people per month being reached through posters? Thanks for your time.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, June 15, 1999 ):
The elements of pricing include:
  • Unit size/ length
  • Competitive pricing- what is the price per audience member of other, similar media?
  • Premium for pure size-the largest media of a type can usually charge more per auidence member than others.
  • Premium for selectivity - are your audience members more desirable to advertiserts than the average for your medium?
So in essence it's the competitive climate and how space/time much you are selling that determines price

Sunday, June 13, 1999 #2573
I am in the planning stages of a branding campaign and i need specialized advice relating to homeowner direct items and launching national campaign to become a outsource infomediary to the new home builder/owners field, was recently in a national industry magaizine and I just don't know how to launch a focused campaign that will reach my audience? sorry for being so wordy.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, June 16, 1999 ):
Cutting through all the words you seem to want to find a list of new home builders/owners. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) should be able to guide you.

Friday, June 11, 1999 #2570
how do you figure out net impressions for newspaper. also, how do you show that you are delivering proportionate impressions to the populations of the different markets? would you show the population as a % of impressions? thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, June 15, 1999 ):
If you mean "net" literally, this is the reach of your plan expressed in numbers of consumers instead of percent. There are various newspaper reach methodologies. If you mean total impressions, newspapers you are buying should have detailed audience data, from resources such as Scarborough.

If by "proportionate" you mean to deliver impression in the same distibution of age and gender as the population, one wouldn't expect to deliver impressions proportionate to the market: different population segments have greatly different newspaper reading habits.

If you mean the total impressions distribution across a market list should parallel the population distribution between markets, then simply calculate the market-by-market population percent distribution and buy newspaper schedules to that proportion.

For information about newspaper planning and research tools, visit the newspaper media software page of AMIC's sister company, Telmar or for readers-per-copy averages and other research sources, see the The Newspaper Advertising Association site.

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.

Tuesday, June 08, 1999 #2562
I have an outdoor question. If showing size refers to the reach per day, i.e. 25# reaches 25% of a market per day, why aren't the estimated TRPs per month simply 25 x 28 = 700. Most studies I see quote a lower TRP level for a 25 showing. What gives?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, June 09, 1999 ):
The Guru has come across this problem and found the answers.

There are two answers, one sensible, one nonsense, but both real.

Sensible: The "25 showing" is a standard number of panels, based on 25% of adult population. So if your target is Women 18-34, there may be a different number of women 18-34 GRPs in a showing actually bought as 25 Adult 18% GRPs. This is perfectly sensible, and happens ain all media, but the sellers and buyers of other media are fully conversant with these facts.

Now for the nonsense answer, which is most likely the basis of the number you were given. Various research companies, such as MRI have measured outdoor as part of multimedia reports and these generalized reports are being used to estimate target reach for a marketpace showing. Often a completely different source for average frequency is used and these two factors are multiplied to calculate GRPs. It seems invariably to be much lower than the GRPs you would get by the realistic method first described, and so makes outdoor seem less efficient than it should.

The misused sources could, instead be used to provide relative exposure indices between demographics, allowing a simple conversion of GRPs. The Guru hopes the Outdoor industry improves in this area.

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.

Wednesday, June 02, 1999 #2555
I am attempting to establish an equitable % of target penetration for newspaper, for a group of retailers. Any advice on an acceptable % of penetration%

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 05, 1999 ):
The Guru isn't clear on what you mean by "equitable," but it used to be standard to buy to 60% coverage. The real issue is that "X%" coverage will deliver "Y%" reach for a given insertion frequency.

Tuesday, June 01, 1999 #2550
hi, just a query on tv scheduling. are there any specific examples of advertisers consciously taking into account the phenomenon of channel surfing when scheduling ads? or is it still too nascent for consideration?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, June 01, 1999 ):
The concept of "roadblocking," that is buying all channels at the same time goes back about 40 years, to when there were only three networks and the trick could assure reaching virtually everyone, but it wasn't really a reaction to channel switching.

But channel surfing as we now know it goes back a long way to the big surge in cable pepentration and networks. 30 channels or more have been the rule in most homes for at least 10 years.

Not that scheduling tricks to overcome surfing are really feasible, but it isn't nascent either.

The best trick would be to buy something with a big audience disinclined to surf, like the SuperBowl, but of course there are a lot of other considerations in making that media buy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, May 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 #2506
We have a client who always hears our radio spots (I believe that is a good thing) but thinks they are worn out due to the high exposure. We do not agree as we are running 200 GRPs/wk. for 40 weeks with five spots with a 20% rotation for each spot. We believe that wear out is difficult as frequency is one of the goals of radio and due to listening habits. Is there an industry standard to determine when a radio commercial is worn out? For example, I know packaged goods advertisers who use TV look at the reach at the heaviest viewing quintile. If reach exceeds 25% they considering replacing or resting the spot. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 16, 1999 ):
Wear-out is

1. Subjective 2. Variable depending on the quality and memorability of the copy.

Rules of thumb the Guru has seen include

  • "It's worn out when the client starts asking". . . or
  • 2000 GRP -- you're getting close on that one . . .or
  • 20 (or 25 or 30) frequency in the second highest quintile -- you're probably past that one, and have at least a 20 average frequency depending on your target and dispersion.
  • . . . and the one that really makes sense is tracking sales and making a change in the copy when the sales trend drops.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, May 05, 1999 #2491
We recently completed a 12 week radio campaign in a test market (79.2% reach & 12.5 frequency) for a client that sells a food product in grocery stores. The client experienced a 90% sales increase in this market at a time that other markets maintained only single-digit increases. The dilemma is that the post campaign research that was done showed only a 9% recall (aided 3%, unaided 6%) of the radio advertising. Do you have any information that will help us to support the case tht although the radio ads had a huge influence on sales, radio advertising is not generally recalled easily by consumers? Another concern is that these ads were tagged with grocery store names. Could this have caused the respondents to be confused as to who the advertiser was and in turn result in poor recall? We realize this is a long question, but wanted to give you all of the details. Thank you for your help!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, May 06, 1999 ):
It is an interesting problem. More often you need to prove that a good recall result is good news, but here you have amazing sales results, and the Guru presumes that you can demonstrate the radio was the only variable.

Of course, it is possible that 9% recall in itself is such a big improvement that it can account for a 90% sales increase, especially if previous market share or penetration was very low.

It is also true that tagging the spots is likely to confuse the listener.

Great advertising generally only gets 25% or so day after recall. Did you have a pre test on recall to compare? Generally, the best repository of useful researc in this topic is the Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

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.

Tuesday, May 04, 1999 #2488
I am trying to reach college students (at schools with enrollments of at least 15,000 to 20,000 students) via local cable television. How can I find out which campuses are wired for cable tv, and if they are, how may students subscribe? I am talking about students on campus in dorms, and i am primarily interested in colleges located in DMA outside of the top 25.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 04, 1999 ):
Contact a cable sales rep, like National Cable Communications. They should be able to tell you which colleges are covered by cable systems.

Matching this list to colleges ranked by enrollment will probably be left up to you.

The Guru offers the following observations:

  • It doesn't seem likely that cable systems will allow you to direct commercials only to students or dorms. There will probably be much more waste coverage than if you bought campus newspapers, radio or wallboards.
  • The Guru doubts there will be records of student "subscribers." It is probably most common that the school wires a dorm for cable and students with TVs connect to the cable wiring in their room at will.

Monday, May 03, 1999 #2485
Hey Guru! Please can you help me to find information/research on wearout of magazine adverts. ie At what stage should the creative be changed and does duplication of readership play a role and if so, how?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 03, 1999 ):
Studies on the question might be at Newsweek Media Research Index and cerainly are in theAdvertising Research Foundation InfoCenter For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

Wear out will differ according to the power, memorabilty, etc, of each piece of copy, of course.

Naturally, duplication plays a role. It is frequency which causes wear out. Higher duplication is another way of saying quicker building of frequency among those reached.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    73% reach.

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

Monday, April 26, 1999 #2472
Dear Guru, Over the one year that I have been following the queries and discussions on this web sites, what strikes me is that while discussing a Media Plan,there is no mention of involvement as a factor when the consumer is watching television. Do media planners not take into account the involvement levels of the audiences while planning ? Why is it that we talk of reach/Frequencies etc and not about Involvement? Are there any publicly available studies on the same ? If not, is it legitimate to assume that agencies.. 1. Do not look at Involvement while planning 2. If they do, they do so based on certain assumptions and not on hard data. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, April 26, 1999 ):
In the early '80's, a service called TAA (Target Audience Assessment?) offered audience involvment ratings. The service didn't last long.

Long before that and since then, factors like audience attentiveness have been used to judgementally adjust media audiences in media planning.

The new "Optimizers" allow easy overlaying of these factors and other involvement indicators like audience loyalty, in planning and buying.

However, the Guru imagines that more plans (though perhaps not more money) ignore these factors than use them. They are abstractions of unproven value in judging the sales power of media.

The most likely publicly available source of such data would be Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

AMIC's Rates, Dates and Data area provides some of these attentivenss factors.

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, April 20, 1999 #2455
Dear Guru! We are to compare several advertising strategies as an independent expert. We are going to start with setting some criteria for comparison. For instance, such criteria could be: whether the strategy proposed fits the clients brief, whether it reaches the goals set by the client, whether efficiency evaluation is correct, whether information is presented in convenient form and so on. But at the same time we reckon that some weighting factors shold be applied to each criteria because their importance seems to be of different value. The question is: are there any standard criteria known and what are their weights? Probably, there is some literature on this subject. Many thanks, in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, April 20, 1999 ):
The Guru is wondering what expertise you are offering, in order to help you maintain this positioning.

The Guru has been known to say things like "media are not good or bad except in relation to how they answer the specific advertising goals."

The criteria suugest you are judging an academic excercise, in which case strategy meeting criteria of the brief and clarity of presentaton would be of greatest importance. If you are a real consultant helping an advertiser evaluate pitches, then accurate efficiency estimates rise in importance. In either case, considering whether the plan actually fits its own stated strategy is another consideration too often overlooked.

In any case, the Guru has not seen any standard weighting of the factors, and believes they should vary according to the specific situation.

Thursday, April 15, 1999 #2450
thanks for your answer about the reach per point from the 14/4/99 but how can i calculate it it it write to devide reach in trp for example if the reach is 50 and the trp is 100 so the reach per point will be 0.5

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 15, 1999 ):
Yes, divide reach by TRP to get reach per point.

Thursday, April 15, 1999 #2448
which are the television channels in USA targeting the South asian Population. which cable network are they vailable on and what is their respective reach interms of number of households that subscribe to them.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 15, 1999 ):
In this context, the words "channel" and "network" are synonymous. Though many cable networks use the word channel as part of their name, "Channel" is just a number on a tuner where the local cable sytem choses to deliver a network's programming.

That said, the major cable network carrying Asian language programming in the U.S. is I Channel.

For links to other media targeting Asian Americans, see the Asian page at AMIC's own Abbott Wool's Market Segment Resource Locator.

Wednesday, April 14, 1999 #2447
Dear Guru, I was wondering, is it possible for channels reach% to go down on a house hold base but have it increase in demographics of 2-11?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, April 14, 1999 ):
Certainly. Imagine that a channel changes programming from movies, which appeal to many demographic groups and draw a certain HH audience, to pure kids programming. The HH reach would shrink, (to only those HH with kids) and the Kid reach would be likley to grow.

Wednesday, April 14, 1999 #2445
i read an article about the optimizer program and they use there on the phrase reach PER POINT (RPP) what does it mean and how can i use it . (and i am not mean to cost per reach point) thanks a lot

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, April 14, 1999 ):
Without seeing the article, the Guru is only speculating, but he believes this refers to the varying reach accumulation rates of different media elements, programs and dayparts.

For example, a given demographic may generate 30 reach for a typical schedule of 100 Gross Rating Points in daytime and 50 reach for 100 GRP of Prime. They have a different reach per point (GRP). When coupled with the cost, it's the essence of optimizers.

Monday, April 12, 1999 #2440
Are there general guidelines or benchmarks for percentages of advetising budgets devoted to alternative media like the Internet relative to print media? If so, what are the usual ranges?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, April 13, 1999 ):
The Guru does not think there are such benchmarks nor does he believe there should be.

When such guidelines arise, they are ususally based on audience missing from a traditionally strong medium. Guidelines for investment in cable versus broadcast tv which arose 15 years ago are such an example. So are recent guidelines in use for investment in Hispanic media.

But there is no evidence that the web is taking audience from magazines. One such study put forward bu an agency has been pretty much debunked by the Magazine Publishers of America.

So, to create such a percentage guideline for yourself, you would need to estimate the portion of your target no longer available through print.

Otherwise, if your target group uses the web heavily and you believe the web can add reach more efficiently than more traditional media at some point of the budget, or that it can deliver a required, differnt message, then justify it plan by plan, not with an abstract "guideline."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, April 05, 1999 #2431
Dear Guru, I have a question regarding %US coverage with spot radio. An old boss of mine who has recently left the company had used DMA %ages rather than metro %ages when reflecting total US penetration on a spot radio buy we did. I am unsure as to why this was done. Can you provide a rationale for using DMA numbers here? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, April 05, 1999 ):
To some extent it represents TV thinking and to another, it's more realistic.

DMA's are really a TV-defined area. Every U.S.county is assigned to one DMA or another -- except for some oddities in Alaska. So the sum of all DMAs is 100% of the U.S. with no duplication. The definition is based on which TV market gets the bulk of a county's viewing. In each market, the central city VHF stations generally reach the whole DMA. Spot TV buys are usually planned on a DMA rating/GRP basis.

Radio, on the other hand, is usally planned on a metro point basis. Even the strongest radio stations, audience-wise, rarely reach the outer areas of DMA's. In each DMA there are one or more Metros. Because the population of the DMAs concentrates in the metros, buys in the metros are treated as if they covered whole DMAs, and indeed, radio coverage is gernerally wider than the metro.

In the U.S. there are roughly 10 times as many radio stations as TV sations, many surviving because they cover out-of-the way areas, but others simply because we will buy small, select audiences. Consider the New York DMA. Largest in population, one of the smallest in geography, but with about 50 reportable commercial radio stations and about 9 commercial TV stations.

Friday, April 02, 1999 #2427
My AE has asked me to determine how much of the clients budget should be allocated to media spending. I believe this should be the AE's decision. How can I determine what should be spent on media and/or how can I help the AE to decide? GRP's

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, April 02, 1999 ):
If you've been given communication goals, like "100 GRP per week for 26 weeks", or "60 reach at 3+ frequency when in, for 26 weeks of activity" then it is fair to ask you to determine a budget, but the Guru imagines your AE's question has been asked in total information vacuum.

You're quite right then, that this is a decision that should be made before media planning comes into play.

Regardless of who makes the decision, considerations must first allocate budget to PR vs Promotion vs Advertising, in the broadest strokes.

Within advertising there's production vs research vs media.

You need to ask for the client's overall marketing plan, as your AE should have, if it wasn't the AE's responsibilty to create one from client information.

Of course, you can look at this as an opportunity to demonstrate that you can do the AE's job, since you've been asked to.

Thursday, April 01, 1999 #2426
What are the appropriate rating point levels for introducing a new grocery product into the New York Metro?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 01, 1999 ):
The Guru has discussed this kind of question frequently.
Click here to see past Guru responses about advertising levels

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."

Tuesday, March 23, 1999 #2402
Dear Guru, while we know that for certain categories Multi-media advertising is better than single media, could you tell mewhere i could find research data on this. IN addition, i would like some qualitative comments from you on the issue. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, March 23, 1999 ):
Research for such questions are best found at Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter, Newsweek Media Research Index and possibly The Newspaper Advertising Association or MPA (Magazine Publishers of America) where there is a recent study "The Advertising Impact of Magazines in Conjunction with Television." As for the Guru's comments on the concept:

It is easy to oversimplify and say that when budget is adequate, multimedia advertising is always better.

The Guru doesn't think multimedia is a category issue. Mixing media might be done to broaden reach, manipulate frequency distribution or because of what specific media can contribute when the primary job is done by a single medium.

For example, magazines plus TV will deliver a broader reach than all TV, typically. But a plan might be 90% TV all year and have a brief print wave to distribute coupons, publish contest rules in detail or deliver other detail oriented messages.

Without going into great depth of analysis, the situation seems more brand specific or marketing situatiuon specific than category related.

In some categories, like soft drinks and beer, budgets are so large and camaigns so multi-dimensional that it takes more than one medium to cope.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, March 16, 1999 #2397
How do I get information on websites that reach principle officers in technology, healthcare, and energy (oil and petroleum) industries whose companies have recently gone public?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 20, 1999 ):
Ther Guru believes that your specification is too narrow for there to be any website aimed specifically at the audience you mention. Depending on your definitons of "principal" (Chairman / CEO / COO / President?) and "recent" (past 3 months?), the Guru wonders if there 1000 such people in the world. There is also not likely to be any standardized audience tracking that addresses so narrow a defintion of an audience member (industry / position / date of change of company structure). Even the detail of a print business publication's BPA statement wouldn't go this deep.

The best bet would be to look for sites which address issues relevant to the position-holder you want or industries you want and see if they can offer any insight as to visits from the specific, newly-public companies you can list.

Thursday, March 11, 1999 #2383
What are the main and more important media changes that you see in Europe for the next 10 years ?In termes of social, structural and economy. And what are the conditions to reach those evolutions ? (i.e : Mass media in an one to one way of consumption ,internet, push media vs pull media, dominant media vs media dominated by the viewers or readers, need to receive more information without using most of them,...)

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, March 12, 1999 ):
One could spend a year thinking this through and hundreds of pages giving just a top line answer, but the Guru will venture a few thoughts:

It is too soon to tell how much the currently floundering Euro and European Union will do to truly unify Europe and lead to pan-European media which could have a really big consumer impact. Such a development could lead to shaking out of weak, single nation brands. However , the trends seem to be toward media fragmentation, so perhaps multinational, low-reach media shape the future.

The Guru believes that the "push / pull" debate is over. What little push media will survive will be very narrow-cast, serving very specific interests.

Though the internet is a growing consumer information souorce, its penetration, as currently structured, might never reach 60% of population. The limits won't be merely socio-economic.

However, the world wide web having shown the way, some other, similar communication technology, probably based on convergence (a la Web TV), may become the dominant shopping / communications infrastructure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, February 25, 1999 #2356
Dear Guru, I am currently planning a campaign for a yoghurt brand. Client is obssessed with going outdoor, but my recommendation would be print - environment being key. His primary objective is TO SELL MORE!! Surely outdoor is not the best medium for this and how should I go about proving this to him. We have very little research available on outdoor.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 25, 1999 ):
Your problem seems to be in proving to the client that in fact "environment is key." Magazines provide environment and outdoor rarely has a controllable environment.

Outdoor will deliver more reach and more frequency than magazines can, albeit with much shorter messages and message exposure although greater visual impact is possible.

On the other hand, "environmentally" it is possible to select outdoor locations close to supermarkets and other retail yogurt outlets; this might have a powerful sales effect, too.

Tuesday, February 23, 1999 #2354
I am a student working on a media plan for a new product in the fast food industry. The restaurant is well established and my target is 18-34 males. I am in the Lexington, KY market and wondering what would be a good reach estimate.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 25, 1999 ):
This question lacks most of the necessary information. First, the Guru must assume that you want to know what would be a suitable reach Goal. Establishing communication goals in a scenario like the one you describe will depend mostly on the competitive climate: what levels are being acheived by the other advertisers seeking the same target for similar products?

At times the standard can be based upon levels that the same advertiser has found to be successful in prior launches, but that too should depend on judging whether the competitive climate this launch faces is comparable to what was faced by the prior successful launch.

Thursday, February 18, 1999 #2349
How are the effects of advertising in a magazine different from that of television ?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 18, 1999 ):
Ignoring whatever differences might be due to the copy itself; generally speaking:

  • Relative to TV, magazine campaigns build reach while amassing relatively little freqeuency.
    (You can easily advertise on 20 or more tv channels every 15 minutes while, even if you found 20 appropriate magazines, they would only be available one per week or per month)
  • On the other hand, magazine can offer a environment perceived as authoritative within certain product categories, to support your advertising. This effect is only likely with a few highly targeted / small audience cable options in TV.

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.

Tuesday, February 16, 1999 #2337
I have specialised in Account Management.But have got a job with Business Standard(newspaper in India).What media fundamentals do you think are important for me to learn before i join the firm in their 'Special Projects Marketing Department'

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, February 16, 1999 ):
It's a bit difficult to judge without knowing your job responsibilities, but basically. . .

Learn all media terms relevant to print sales, e.g.

  • circulation
  • reach
  • coverage
  • composition
  • cpm
  • duplication
  • etc.
Learn the meanings and the application of the concepts.

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.

Thursday, January 28, 1999 #2296
Guru, I need to do research and media planning to target VERY BUSY upscale professionals in urban areas. (Men 25-45, HHI $75K+). Beside the usual methods, do you have any bright strategies/ideas for how to identify and reach very busy people? Really the busy lifestyle is what differentiates this target audience. Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 04, 1999 ):
Assuming you mean people who are busy with more than just their jobs, think whether their other demands have some common ground. Do they research investments? Do they go to the gym? Something in your definition of "very busy" ought to suggest media or locations where adverting might reach these folks.

Thursday, January 28, 1999 #2293
While trying to decide the future potential of DTH as a medium/entertainment option, I came across this view that the USP of DTH being the abundance of choice it offers to the consumer, it will face obsolescence at the hands of cable-delivered internet/web TV. How likely do you think this is? What are the possible ways in which DTH can hold its own ?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 04, 1999 ):
There is another important DTH advantage: it can reach homes not "passed" by cable, though these are relatively few.

True, cable should soon be able to deliver as many choices as satellite, making the competition essentially price-based. A big disadvantage to satellite is the failure of the systems which the Guru has seen to offer any savings for connecting additional sets in the home, while cable typically discounts added hook-ups.

Adding commercial-free channels might help DTH penetration, but that doesn't help the media planner.

Tuesday, January 26, 1999 #2290
Hi Guru! I have a new advertising venue I'd like to jump-start (March air date)and looking for suggestions. I have 1 minute spots available on a major airline in-flight programming for International flights only featuring "The Best of the Web". Looking for a few quick sponsors to jump start this. As an alternative to having our salesperson call all over the place, because of the near term of the air date, I'm looking for the best direct way to expose the inflight venue.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, January 26, 1999 ):
The answer will have to be advertising, of course. To reach media decision makers quickly, one option would be a web site devoted to media professionals, like AMIC. Otherwise, if you have a list of potential advertisers (in-flight magazine advertisers, perhaps?) and their agencies and can get e-mail addresses of the relevant media people, that would be a quick approach, but might get a negative reaction as "Spam."

Since you have ruled out telemarketing, the only other option would seem to be the advertising news section of newspapers in major ad markets like NY, LA, Chicago, Atlanta, etc., or the weekly ad trade press like Advertising Age and AdWeek. Of course, these last few are less focused on media planners and buyers.

Monday, January 25, 1999 #2288
Under the new measurement system in India, we do not get Ratings. We get TVRs (about which I mailed you earlier) which are not equal to reach . To find reach, I have to do a separate analysis.

My original query was that why is TVR being used at all in the first phase. What advantage does a TVR have over the Ratings that it has replaced as a system of measurement ?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, January 25, 1999 ):
What you call "TVR," a time specific audience, is equivalent to the U.S. term "Rating."

What you call "Rating" is equivalent to a little-used U.S. term, "Total Audience Rating, or the accumulated net audience over the duration of a program episode, or the "reach" of that episode.

The advantage of TVR is that it gives an audience that relates to the commercial aired in the time period. U.S. reach systems are keyed to working from TVR style commercial audiences.

The total audience of a program (your "Rating") does not relate to commercials' audience, which is what a media planner is focused on.

Except in the (rare) case of full program sponsorship, the Guru sees little use to a media planner in what you term "Rating."

Wednesday, January 20, 1999 #2280
For a national product launch, what are "typical" TRP weight levels for network tv, say for a launch that is scheduled for 8 weeks?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, January 20, 1999 ):
No such thing. It's a classic case of "it depends".

  • What is the category?
  • Who is the target?
  • Is it a unique product or in a competitive field?
  • Will there be any other media / PR / other marketing communications?
  • What is consumer awareness of the category?
  • Is it a high-involvement or low-interest category?
  • Is it from a well regarded parent company or an unknown?

With a new product, you want to drive reach as high as possible with adequate supporting frequency. As a rule of thumb, few would start lower than 100 TRP / week.

Thursday, January 07, 1999 #2254
What is the reasoning that the CPM for terrestrial TV is higher than that of cable channel? Theoreticallay, the cost to reach 1000 people via TV media should be the same.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 08, 1999 ):
The Guru wonders what theory you believe you are using? There can be no such theory or else all TV everywhere through all means other than cable would have the same cpm.

Differences which account for cpm variance include audience size, mechanical and manhour effort to deliver the programming, commercial load, commercial inventory, supply and demand and perceived program quality.

Obviously all but possibly the last one mentioned are vastly different for various forms of terrestrial (broadcast) TV and cable.

And, of course there are cases where cable has a lower cpm than some broadcast choices.

Thursday, January 07, 1999 #2249
Dear Guru! Are there any references or research done which support a recommendation for 2+ reach when tv advertising strategy is focused on frequency? (I happened to find only such that support a 3+ reach recommendation). Thank you for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 07, 1999 ):
In the Guru's opinion, 3+ became a popular base level because of classic research from 1883 by a physiologist examing learning of nonsense syllables. He found 3 repetitions to be the crucial level.

Many people have come to use 3+ as a rule of thumb and others using various analyses of competition, clutter, product interest, etc have judgementally justified levels from 2+ to 9+. It is essentially a judgment and selling excercise.

Thursday, December 24, 1998 #2236
Dear Guru, One of our clients is interested in "pricing guidelines" in the media according to a designated sought reach; He wants to change the pricing method he was working according to with the tv franchises, and seeks for a way that media prices will derive from the reach defenition. All his products are targeted to the same target audience so he believes he can convince franchises to determine prices accordind to a basic monthly reach he will undertake to accumulate every month. Since this is totally new to us, we will be grateful if you can help us. Are there any case studies we can learn from?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, December 24, 1998 ):
The Guru thinks this is simpler than it may seem. In television, generally reach is quite easy to estimate from GRPs when schedule parameters are known. Therefore, either the agency or the station can look at the reach goal, know the GRPs required, and use established cost per GRP to express cost for achieving the reach goal.

You should keep in mind that in cases where multiple stations are used, the overall reach is a matter of a combination of their schedules.

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 16, 1998 #2223
dear guru- what is the best way to analyze magazines once proposals come in? Obviosly we want to evaluate comp, cov, cpm, positioning, added value, etc. do you recommend an excel spreadsheet with weighted averages? Is there one already set up on the site to download? Just looking to do this the smartest possible way. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 20, 1998 ):
All these factors, as well as some others, like added reach, and authoritative editorial are possible considerations. One can even consider the degree of the match of the magazines total impressions demographic distribution with the overall distribution of the purchaser.

It is extremely simple to build a spread sheet, making magazines the rows and making the specific factors the columns. Weighting ought to be set up as changeable so that it can be different from one advertiser's plan to the next, depending on goals. It will even be interesting to consider how magazine rankings change, when different factors get differing weightings within the same objectives. For example when reach is more important than frequency, is the magazine list very different than when these factors' importance is reversed?

Of course, the best approach is to independently compute the data using a syndicated data base (such as MRI, SMRB, MMR, TGI, PMB, etc.) and software such as Telmar's (AMIC's sister company) which handles all of the above data as well as many additional capabilities such as reach/frequency analysis and optimization.

Monday, December 14, 1998 #2221
What is the value of adding TV to an all-print media plan?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, December 20, 1998 ):
Adding any medium to a single medium plan will add reach and equalize distribution of impressions among those reached.

TV of course has sound and motion to allow different kinds of messages.

For advantages of different media, see the Guru's "Advertising Media Strengths".

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 07, 1998 #2205
I work with network radio and have a client that only wants to advertise 3 :30s a week (M-F / 6am-12midnite) for 12 weeks. Would you recommend us scheduling consecutive days each week using the same days every week? Is there a model to follow with these type of schedule? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, December 07, 1998 ):
In the Guru's opinion, such an insignificant schedule will not be much affected by any scheduling techniques. 3 spots per week for 12 weeks, or 36 total spots would be a erasonable 2 or three week schedule if you were buying three or four networks' similar schedules each week.

Assuming you are on some a very good network, averaging 2 target rating. Perhaps you'll get a 5% reach per week at 1.2 average frequency (and 25% over the 12 weeks, with an average frequency of 3).

With this minor weekly audience impact, scheduling alternate days, consecutive days, different days or same days in different weeks cannot have much effect.

Directionally, in theory, the more different element to your schedule, in day-of-week or time of day, the better reach you will achieve. BUt in your case, one or two reach points will be a big change.

If by some miracle, you have such an exciting product and impactful commercial that one exposure makes the sale every time, then do go for the most disperse possible schedule.

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 #2193
Dear Guru! We were asked to prepare a presentation for one of our clients about media planning, since he works with several agencies and wants to concentrate the media planning in one of the agencies' hands. I visited the "parts of a Media Plan" which I found very helpful. Do you have some other tips? Specifically, we were asked to present a formula for a benchmark acocrding to we recommend to define what reach is needed for a campaign. Basically, we define it according to various factors such as competitors' share of voice, share of market goals etc. but we don't know any formula. We should be grateful if you supply any guidelined in this matter.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 02, 1998 ):
You just need to formularize the thinking you are already doing.

For example, you could say that your formula to set reach for a campaign to equal competitor's share is:

Competitor's reach times an index calculated by comparing the goal share to your current share. (i.e. to increase share 25%, exceed competitor's reach by 25%).

The Guru is not recommneding this particular formula, just illustrating how to turn philosophy into something apparently quantifiable.

Another approach is to build a matrix of your factors and set a 5 point scale for each; for example competitor's share: 0 point if it's equal to yours 1 point if it's 10% better, 5 points if it's 50% better, etc. Suppose you have 8 factors based on the sort of considerations you mentioned. Suppose further that you set a minumum for all campaigns of 50 reach (reaching the majority of the target). Now add a reach point for every point in the matrix. You have a maximum of 40 added points (90 reach), and an apparently highly logical "formula" for getting there.

The cleverness will be in setting up each 5 point scale. Or perhaps youy will have fewer factore and more possible point on each scale.

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.

Tuesday, December 01, 1998 #2190
Guru- Can you please explain Gross Weekly reach Points (also refered to as levels)? How are they determined? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 02, 1998 ):
The Guru believes you mean "Gross Weekly Rating Points," a term often used to mean "levels." "reach" is a term referring to the net, or unduplicated, audience.

Gross Rating Points are the sum of all the ratings of all the announcements or insertions of the campaign, or the sum of all the impressions of the announcements, divided by the population for the relevant target demographic.

An "impression" is created every time an audience member is exposed to one advertisement.

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 24, 1998 #2172
what is the standard response rate and should response be figured on GRPs or reach?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, November 24, 1998 ):
There isn't a "standard." The Guru has to guess that you are talking about TV infomercials. Obviously, price, product interest and quality of the infomercial can have great impact on response.

One or two percent is probably a very high response. The Guru would use reach as the base, because GRP will progressively accumulate fewer and fewer exposures among those who might buy but have not yet.

Contact the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) for more information.

Monday, November 23, 1998 #2170
Dear Guru! Since there are several media planning softwares in the market I wanted to ask: are there any guidelines for measuring the gap between the prediction and the actual results. What I mean is: Is there a "normal" gap, for example: 20% gap between the predicted reach\Grps (pre campaign)to the results (post campaign). Thank you!Irene Kol.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 23, 1998 ):
This is a two part question:

1- The "gap" in GRPs will not be due to the software, it is based on your buyers' estimating ability and the accuracy of post analysis as well as the reliability of your audience research.

2- Since reach is derived from models based on averages, there can be variance. Variance will also depend on the medium you are considering and how it is measured.

For example, if your magazine audience research is conducted once a year when you plan a quarter's campaaign of 1 insertion in each of 5 magazines and then buy exactly that, how will you ever know if the reach was different than you planned?

On the other hand, suppose you plan radio based on a specific number of GRP on a specific number of stations, in a specific daypart mix, and you buy exactly that. How would you judge that the reach goal wasn't met, unless the buy did not deliver as planned, whether because of poor estimating, station failing to schedule properly or a new ratings book?

In no case are you dealing with the accuracy of the planning software.

Many agencies and clients agree to a +/- 10% range in delivery of broadcast GRPs. Other standards are often agreed as well.

Friday, November 20, 1998 #2167
For a national radio campaign, can media be bought by format only if I wanted to reach Generation X only?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 20, 1998 ):
Like other age demographics, there is no one format that covers everyone. You will need to examine the appeal of several formats and, if reach is an issue, buy something of a spectrum.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 30, 1998 #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.

Thursday, October 29, 1998 #2116
Dear Guru, I am the Media Relations Coordibnator in Indian Institute Of Management, Lucknow, India. On request of some students, I have to deliver a lecture on quality parameters of media planning. Could you enlighten me with inputs about some research which has been made in this area or some other resources. Ashish

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 02, 1998 ):
Quality is in the eye of the beholder. To some (but not the Guru) quality is simply a large audience. Others look to measures such as attentiveness, audience involvement, time-spent-with, etc.

Still others will look for supportive environment, authoritative content, positioning or other factors. Each concept has its adherents and valid arguments to be offered in support of the standards.

In still other cases, nothing matters but tonnage, or reach, or other statistical / arithmetic factors.

Your presentation would best cover all these issues.

Thursday, October 15, 1998 #2098
I'm back again for advice and direction. I just read about a new advertising vehicle called "ad sticks". It's the bar that separates your groceries at the supermarket...and I think a great place to put an advertisers message that wants a specific geographic area and wants to reach women. The only problem is that the article didn't mention an outlet who handles this business. Do you know of any? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 16, 1998 ):
The Guru remembers seeing ads on these things years ago. He would guess that the advertisers (often cigarettes) had them made and distributed them to the supermarket chains. If someone is making a medium of these it is probably the people who do "shelf talkers" like LinPak or shelf couponers and shopping cart advertising, like ActMedia <(203) 845-6000> or the cash register couponing folks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 12, 1998 #2090
Dear Guru, We are intending to shift to Awareness led planning where we set media weights according to the Awareness benchmarks . I would like to know if there re any clear cut guidelines to foollow. Are there any experiences that can be shared .. Thank You

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, October 12, 1998 ):
The Guru's only sure guidelines are that ad awareness will never be greater than reach, and that awareness declines during any advertising hiatus.

Otherwise, the best resource for published research, as always, is the library of the Advertising Research Foundation.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, September 29, 1998 #2059
I'm back again for guidance. What is your advice regarding print advertising for an auto dealer. I know it's imperative to have a presence in newspaper, but what can we do to set our client apart amongst all the clutter? Also, is there a trend in lessening amount of print and putting money in web or cable?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, September 29, 1998 ):
Within newspaper, there are two options:
  • Sections which have car advertising


  • sections which do not have car advertising

The Guru feels that newspaper car advertising is mostly retail oriented and therefore prospects "shop" the car ads. In this scenario, it is best to be where the car ads are. If the ad is aimed at brand image building, other positioning may be appropriate, but you are interested in dealer ads. The Guru has seen such ads made to stand out in creative ways. Many years ago, at a presentation by the old Newspaper Advertising Bureau, the Guru was quite impressed by how a small space car dealer ad seemed to jump off the page merely by using a lot of white space. Most other dealer ads where full of junky-looking star bursts and balloons plus reverse type.

Depending on your time frame, of course newspaper money would be seen to have moved to cable. The move to the web will probably happen more slowly, due to the web sites' lower reach in any local area.

Why not see what help the The Newspaper Advertising Association can offer today?

Thursday, September 24, 1998 #2053
First of all, thank you...I enjoy and use your site often. Question...We are looking for innovative ways to reach a local market for the purposes of branding and image for a client. Someone asked if cash machines in convenience stores and other locations accept advertising. I didn't know but said I could ask the guru. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, September 24, 1998 ):
The Guru is not familiar with specific ATM advertising programs. With so many non-bank ATMs around there may be a company prepared to offer advertising positions.

The Guru's first thought is coupons or ads on the back of the ATM receipt. Why not contact one of the cash register tape couponing companies, such as Seven Oaks

A Guru fan has suggested "Barry Caylor at EFT Promotions, 800-981-0404". The Guru himself is not familiar with this company .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, September 08, 1998 #2031
Dear Guru, I'm new in the Advertising field. I would like to know how to calculate the Target Market reach1+, reach2+, abd the Average Frequency. TIA. -- SKY

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, September 09, 1998 ):
The answer depends upon what data you are starting with. At its most simple, "1+" reach is the same as just saying "reach". If you know the GRPs, and the reach, then the average frequency is calculated by dividing reach into GRPs.

At bottom however, in each medium, TV, radio, print, etc. reach was actually measured at some point, rather than calculated . That is, using respondent level measurement, such as Nielsen or MRI or Simmons, actual schedules advertiser were evaluated for gross audience accumulated and the net reach accumulated, as well as how many people saw exactly one advertisement in the schedule, how many saw 2, how many saw three, and so on. As the Guru stated above, reach is defined as those who saw one or more (1+) advertisements. 2+ or 3+, etc, is determined by adding those exposed to each discreet number of ads.

Taking the results of many of these schedules as a scatter graph, a classic reach curve may be plotted. Or, by arraying GRPs and frequencies in a table, a formula equivalent to the curve can be determined statistically. This formula then becomes a "model" for calculating reaches of other schedules in similar media. Formulae for 2+, 3+ frequencies can also be calculated. There are no simple formulas for doing this. "Beta Bimodal" is one statistical function frquently used. These functions and models are usually built into large computer media planning systems like Telmar's.

Friday, September 04, 1998 #2028
I am currently pulling together information for one of my clients on national cable advertising. I have spoken with different network reps and have been told that they can not provide reach, frequency, or TRP's. They have said that they are not measured this way. Is this true? The network reps have provided gross impressions (in thousands). Is there a minimum threshold for this measurement?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, September 05, 1998 ):
Everything which has its impressions measured in national tv has TRPs, which is merely a calculation: the division of impressions by the relevant population base, either in the cable network's coverage area or the total U.S.

Any metered measurement can produce the data for calculation of reach of schedules or the production of formulae which will allow estimation of reach.

The Guru would guess you are dealing with smaller networks whose ratings and reach would be unimpressive and therefore are not a part of the sales effort.

A 0.1 rating is the usual threshold for reporting in a printed report. There may be a requirement to earn this rating over a specified time span before even this level is reported. On the other hand, networks with ratings normally below this level are likely to be bought strictly for their content/environment, not their audience delivery.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, August 16, 1998 #1998
i am just learning how to prepare a print media schedule, is there a standard formatt that you could supply me with. kind regards russell

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, August 16, 1998 ):
It isn't clear to the Guru whether you are referring to a presentation format or a decision making procedure.

But the simplest way to thisnk about the whole process is to present the plan in a way that shows how the decision making process produced the recommended schedule.

For example, your plan may call for

  • using magazines that are most authoritative in the topical area relevant to your product category
  • achieving a particular reach each month or in total
  • selecting magazines to accomplish the above based on greatest target audience coverage or
  • audience compostion or
  • audience efficency

You would then select candidate magizines to consider under each of the above and list them based on how well they ranked on these criteria. Finally, the schedule is assembled by trying various numbers of insertions in various numbers of titles to evaluate for overall reach or impressions delivery.

The schedule is presented by stating each of the above rules pertaining to selection, the ranking of the titles on each criterion and a comparison of the recommended schedule with others considered.

Friday, August 07, 1998 #1996
What is the difference between a vertical and a horizontal television roadblock? And could a "heavy" cable schedule on on several targeted cable networks on a given day be "technically" considered a roadblock?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, August 08, 1998 ):
"Technically" a roadblock is a concept that goes back to the days when the 3 big broadcast networks owned 95% of the TV audience (20 or so years ago).

The idea was that by scheduling your commercial to run at the same moment on all three, e.g. first commercial in the first pod of the 9:00 program, you reached the entire viewing audience, unduplicated, as if you had bought a single program with a rating as big as the three put together.

With half the audience now spread over numerous independents and cable networks, some without advertising, roadblocks are no longer realistic goals.

The "vertical roadblock" concept doesn't seem to make any sense in this context.

Friday, August 07, 1998 #1995
Hi media GURU, I have a question for you: What is the best way to evaluate an sponsorhip activity against a normal 30 second commercial? For sponsorship I mean, billboard on the stadium and/or on screen advertising during the games (sport), etc. Thank you for your advice.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, August 08, 1998 ):
The simplest comparison is time and audience. If your :30 commercial reaches 1 million people for :30 seconds and a stadium sign reaches an average of (for example) 20,000 people for an average of 90 minutes for 100 games. . . well, "you do the math."

In addition there's the chance of tv exposure of a stadium sign, which can be factored in the same way.

The premium value of sponsorship involvement with the team and sport is a judgement call.

Monday, August 03, 1998 #1989
Is there a televison network where I can reach single people.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, August 04, 1998 ):
Nielsen doesn't report marital status. Simmons and MRI do. Off hand, the Guru would expect a network with a young adult skew like MTV to have a high proportion of single viewers.

If you can't get access to Simmons or MRI, but are a potential buyer of MTV, they would probably be happy to provide you with a singles compostion analysis of various networks and programs.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, July 22, 1998 #1968
I am trying to study the factors related to unaided recall of TVCs. In your experience, is the prevalence of potential buyers connected to recall? In particular I have in mind several campaigns to baby products. Providing that all have the same reach and GRP, and that X% of mothers intend to buy Y product and 2X% intent to buy product Z. How should this effect the results? Irene Kol Israel

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 22, 1998 ):
The Guru would expect consumers in the market for the product to have better commercial recall. Also that people with specific brand intentions might recall that brand's commecial better.

But the actual content of the commercial should be the major factor. If intenders of product Y see a product Z commercial with important information about that product it may greatly enhance their recall, especially over a schedule as you posit the question.

Surely at least part of a commercial's intent is to convert users from one brand to another. At any point in time, those still intending to buy Y will probably have better recall of Y, and vice versa.

Monday, July 20, 1998 #1965
What is the bare minimum frequency you think is necessary to create an impact in a monthly? Bi-monthly? And a weekly? I am in planning for a client that has done all consumer advertising in the past, and they just informed us that our next FY budget is going to be half AND they want to start doing trade advertising. Obviously, either books have to be cut or insertions. What are your thought?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 22, 1998 ):
"Impact" is the most abused term in media.

First, you must decide the importance of reach versus frequency in your plan. More titles means more reach and more insertions per title means more frequency. It is common to find "rules of thumb" that dictate a minimum of 4 times in a monthly, 12 times in a weekly, etc. The Guru believes these are mostly the theories of media salespeople.

In some cases you will find it important that your product is specifically identified with a book. In others, when the availability or efficiency of purchase of your target audience is the key element of choice in selecting a book, it won't matter whether the average target person reached sees three ads in three different books or three times in the same book.

In other words, is it more important that the consumer remembers seeing your ad or remembers where it was seen?

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.

Friday, July 17, 1998 #1960
I live in a state in which it has a lot of rural communities and I am finding out that a lot of people are buying satellite dishes. How do I find more info on advertising on the programs being broadcasted on satellite or is it all national advertising? I understand that in order to get local news or programming people have to switch over to their regular tvs or cable, but how do I reach the audience that is watching, for instance CNN on their dishes? And is their a way to track or get ratings for this audience?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 17, 1998 ):
Just like local cable, the system operators have times open for their commerical insertion, and other slots where they must leave the national advertising in place.

Just like any other TV transmission, Nielsen will report a rating if the audience is large enough to meet reporting standards. Whether local market satellite audiences are big enough to report separately varies by market.

The Guru doubts any satellite's "footprint" can be so finely focused that it can deliver different commercials on a market-by-market basis.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, July 01, 1998 #1931
I work for an editorial company, we publish three different magazines about informatic technologies for computer distributors, financial sector and the goverment. I want to know what kind of media can I use to improve the magazine's advertising Thankyou

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 01, 1998 ):
Since you haven't told the Guru what kind of media you are using already, any suggested improvements are guesswork.

The Guru also wonders whether you are advertising to potential readers, to increase circulation, or to potential advertisers.

If the former, you may need to rule out your competition as the other media most likely to reach your target reader and find other media with a different editorial focus, addressed to the same people. (Since you are writing from Mexico, the Guru doesn't have any specific recommendations.

If the latter, the Guru would imagine you are using print ad trade media and would next look to on-line opportunies in either ad trade media, like AMIC , itself, or other business media aimed at your prospects.

Monday, June 29, 1998 #1929
We are producing a 90-second radio vignette for our client. It will include :30 for their commercial and :60 of new entertaining content that relates to thier product. When scheduling this vignette to air on network radio once each day for 26 or 52 weeks, is it better to get a fixed time or an ROS type schedule? Thanks for your help!

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, June 29, 1998 ):
There are pros and cons to either. An ROS schedule should cost less per spot and per GRP. It should also develop better reach. A fixed time lets you pick your environment, but you may not have any particular prefernces, so that can be an illusory advantage. Over the course of an ROS schedule, ROS should get the network's average rating as the schedule's average rating, or a better one if that's what you negotiate. Picking fixed positions will not likely give any advantage over that.

The greatest remaining benefit of fixed positions is being able to tell the client to listen for his spot at a specific time. However, even with an ROS schedule, the network should be able to give you a scheduled times a day or two before they air.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

People not reached by TV would be 0.55 of the target

People not reached by press would be 0.63 of target

Total people NOT reached are 0.55 x 0.63 or

0.35 of target.

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

so reach is 65

Monday, June 01, 1998 #1879
Dear Guru, I have a local client who is looking at gradually expanding into the US / European business markets. They are looking to gradually start generating awareness in these areas. The target market is businesses / individuals interested in doing business in Africa. We have been asked to compile a report onthe following: a) Media choices - TV vs. Print etc b) Broadcast sponsorship opportunities (Sport, business programming etc.) c) Advertising Costs and potential reach, frequency for campaigns in these markets. Which medium / combination of media should they be looking at initially, and why? Where do I source information on global rates, audiences, trends? Thanks for a great service!

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, June 02, 1998 ):
You may refer to Standard Rate and Data Service (SRDS) for the U.S. media lists and Intrernational Media Guide for Europe.

You may find that trends are best assessed by reviewing the archives of each country's ad trade media, such as Ad Age in the U.S. or Campaign in the U.K. If you can get the media factbooks compiled by major international agencies like Saatchi (Cordiant) or Young & Rubicam, there will be convenient trend data presented.

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.

Thursday, May 28, 1998 #1610
1.Please, where can I find "Archives" by topic? 2.I have seen a table showing Awareness Level correlat ed to Target GRPs.Could you, please, tell me how they estimate Awareness Level? 3. I also have seen a table showing Audience engagement in various activities when average commercial is aired. Would you, please, tell me how the information is obtain ed? Is it from a national panel? If yes, does this panel also provide audience data? Thank you, Inocima.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, June 02, 1998 ):
1) The Guru Archives may be accessed from their link on the Media Guru Page. In the next few days, we will be adding a search engine to allow you to find all all past Guru answers on the topics of your choice.

2) The Guru isn't familiar with the table you have seen. Since you are writing from Brazil, it could be based on research totally unfamiliar to the Guru. The proper way for such a table to have been created would use just estimates of awareness, but actual survey results. An advertiser or agency which has conducted many awareness studies and correlated them with actual GRP's of the plans running in synchronization with the studies could create such a table.

In fact, just a few actual measurements could be the basis of a table if it is assumed that the awareness / GRP relationship follows some sort of curve as does the reach / GRP relationship. The Guru is familiar with one formula for predicting awareness based on GRP, which came from analyzing several plans and surveys. In essence, it predicted that when there was any significant starting awareness, awareness declined in any week where there were less than 100 GRP.

3) Again, Brazil's audience engagement data is not familiar to the Guru. In the U.S. such data usually comes from secondary sources such as our Simmons or MRI, which ask these questions but are primarily print audience and product usage studies.

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.

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

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

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

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

Thursday, May 14, 1998 #1591
we are in the process of recommending to a new client a media strategy that will help him sell more olives and cucumbers (both products in either can and glass containers). The client has a large marketshare, about 42%. Neither this client nor competitors have ever advertised their products. In this respect the category has been rather dormant. What guidelines can you provide regarding a 3 year plan. Since the company name is very well known, does it make sense, for example, to 'fortify' TV advertising with radio? Providing that radio has very good reach, is there a synergetic effect with TV or is the money better spent in one media? Thank you Irene Kol

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, May 14, 1998 ):
Modern thinking for such products emphasizes reach over frequency. It is more important to have some presence at any time that a purchaser might be making a purchase decision, than to drive reach to high levels (with more frequency) over a short campaign.

One guideline tha comes from this is to make a media mix more valuable, since a secondary medium almost always adds more reach than additional investment in the base medium.

Assuming then that you can afford an acceptable minimum continuous level of TV, addding radio will be wise.

No matter your client's awareness and market share, the first entry into advertising in this category will probably change the picture.

Monday, May 11, 1998 #1587
Is there a correlation between GRP levels and awareness? If so, what GRP levels are recommended to significantly effect awareness? The category I'm looking at (long term care insurance) has low consumer awareness, and a high avoidance factor.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 11, 1998 ):
In its simplest terms, there is a correlation. Obviously, the more GRPs delivered, the more awareness is created. Creating new awareness will take more GRPs than sustaining existing awareness.

A safe minimum guideline is to continuously reach more people than the existing level of awareness.

It is also important to remember that awareness alone doesn't make a sale. The message must be persuasive, not merely one of which the prospects are aware.

Thursday, May 07, 1998 #1584 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 #1547