Reach and Frequency
When it comes to marketing, advertising or branding the only two things that matter are “Reach” and “Frequency”.
Reach; means “reaching” the right people, or getting to a large enough audience that will contain the right people. While “Frequency” refers to the number of times you get in front of people. Hopefully these two elements align and you reach the right people.
Which of these is most important? Neither, they work in partnership to get your message across. We have in previous blogs/podcast discussed making your message as simple as possible. But even the world’s most simple message needs to be heard to take effect. An unheard marketing message is like an unpublished novel, just a collection of words.
Reach & frequency by themselves are not guarantees of success. They have to work with the most important aspect of your marketing “Targeting”. In this discussion targeting is a consideration only. We’ll assume you have hit the target with your marketing.
So why does frequency have an impact if the overlap between reach and audience appear to be so important? You need frequency so you make contact with the overlap when they are in the mood to hear you message. Would you take any notice of a special on Christmas trees in June? Would you take any notice of a lawn mowing service in winter? The message has to hit the audience when they are likely to need the solution you are providing. Since it is impossible to know when a particular person is going to need your solution, you have to send your message repeatedly to try and synchronise with their need.
There is a second effect that comes from repeating a message, that is awareness. If your message is seen repeated times people will develop a familiarity with it. This familiarity means that you own a piece of their memory. They will (hopefully) recall you when the need arises for your solution.
Even after getting your reach, frequency and targeting right, advertising can still be a huge waste of money unless it has some form of direct action attached to it. Brand development advertising is too expensive for small business to do and should be avoided. Brand awareness should be a side effect of advertising that focuses on generating sales.
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Craig is the host of the "Making Business and Sale Work" podcast. Craig has experience in many online and offline business as well as working for many years as a criminal analyst.