The definition of the reach

In the application of statistics to advertising and media analysis, reach refers to the total number of different people or households exposed, at least once, to a medium during a given period of time. Reach should not be confused with the number of people who will actually be exposed to and consume the advertising, though. It is just the number of people who are exposed to the medium and therefore have an opportunity to see or hear the ad or commercial. Reach may be stated either as an absolute number, or as a fraction of a given population (for instance 'TV households', 'men' or 'those aged 25-35'). At other words, it is the number of people, households and businesss in a target audience exposed to a media vehicle at message schedule at least once during a given time period. A time period is normally 4 weeks.

Since reach is a time-dependent summary of aggregate audience behavior, reach figures are meaningless without a period associated with them: an example of a valid reach figure would be to state that had a one-day reach of 1565 per million on 21 March 2004(though unique users, an equivalent measure, would be a more typical metric for a website).Reach of television channels is often expressed in the form of "x minute weekly reach" - that is, the number (or percentage) of viewers who watched the channel for at least x minutes in a given week. For example, in the UK​, BARB ​defines the reach of a television channel as the percentage of the population in private households who view a channel for more than 3 minutes in a given day or week . Similarly, for radio, RAJAR defines the weekly reach of a radio station as the number of people who tune into a radio station for at least 5 minutes (within at least one 15min period) in a given week.

  • The first aspect of advantages is the World Wide Web opens up new communication possibilities for personalized messages to be delivered to targeted individuals
  • It has the capability to reach a global audience at a fast rate.
  • Marketers undertaking new possibilities to perform traditional marketing strategies in electronic environments push higher chances to create synergy.

The problems:
  • measurement problems
  • audience characteristics
  • potential for deception
  • limited production quality
  • poor reach and lack of Intrusiveness

The relationship between Reach and Frequency.
Reach is an important measure for many big advertising and televise companies, which is funded by a mandatory licence fee. It seeks to maximise its reach to ensure all licence fee payers are receiving value. Reach and frequency of exposure are also two of the most important statistics used in advertising management. When reach is multiplied by average frequency a composite measure called Gross Rating Points (GRPs) is obtained. Reach can be calculated indirectly as: reach = GRPs / average frequency.

Sometimes, reach and frequency are terms generally used when planning advertising campaigns. However, the concept of reach and frequency applies to any promotional activity you undertake: direct mail, direct selling, and even networking. For example, an air conditioning repair service who has decided to do a direct mail piece has to decide whether to mail the entire Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex once or to mail a quarter of the Metroplex four times. An attorney who receives many of her clients through networking may have to decide whether to attend one weekly networking meeting or four different monthly meetings.
When faced with decisions of reach vs. frequency remember this rule of thumb: Reach without Frequency = Wasted Money

Marketing is the process of building a business relationship with potential customers. Have you ever established a lifelong friendship with someone you had contact with only once? Probably not. Generally friendships (and all relationships for that matter) grow as a result of frequent contact over time. Even when the potential to form a great friendship is there at the first encounter, it is unlikely it will grow without nurturing.

Seth Godin in his book Permission Marketing uses an analogy of seeds and water to demonstrate the importance of assuring adequate frequency in your promotional campaigns. If you were given 100 seeds with enough water to water each seed once would you plant all 100 seeds and water each one once or would you be more successful if you planted 25 seeds and used all of the water on those 25 seeds?

While intuitively and even conceptually we understand the importance of frequency to successful promotional and sales campaigns, somehow when it comes to actually implementing the campaign, we opt to sacrifice frequency for reach. And then we complain about the ineffectiveness of our promotional efforts. Undoubtedly one of the biggest wastes of marketing dollars is promotional activities that are implemented without adequate frequency.

When faced with the decision of mailing one direct mail piece to 10,000 people or mailing to 2,500 people four times think about the fate of those 100 seeds you can water only once. Unless you have water rights and can obtain additional water, opt for less reach and more frequency.

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