Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Reach, Frequency, and Impact

Mock VC Panel has just given a small publishing house $2.1 million to help the publisher continue to grow. The managers/owners decide they need to spend about $500,000 on getting the word out about the company. JoAnn remembers from a marketing class she took in college something about “reach, frequency, and impact” when it comes to choosing your media for a promotional effort. She asks you, a friend, if you remember these words and what they might mean for how she chooses to spend her promotional budget. Respond to JoAnn’s question by explaining what these terms mean, but also help her to understand what trade-offs there might be when considering these media elements.  Which is more important for a given objective?  
Chapter 16.

JoAnn. As  a friend, I’d take about $15,000 of that and see if I could find someone who could do some marketing consulting part time. Someone who has some experience.  I think I have some people on my LinkedIn that could help you. But,  I’m in the middle of taking my final for my marketing class. Why are you even asking me now? You know this is a bad time for me. I swear, it’s like sometimes you’re no friend at all.

But since you asked, here goes. Half a million dollars may sound like a lot, but once you’re writing those big checks, it will go fast. That’s why you have to be conscious of your media selection. As you may have some idea of, different media has different levels of exposure to the audience. They key is finding the most cost-effective for your goals and budgets. Marketers define these three terms as so: “Reach” is the number of households exposed to your message in a certain time frame; “frequency” is the number of times an average household is exposed to your message; finally “impact” is the qualitative value of an exposure through  a given medium.

What was that?

Oh, “Qualitative?” That just means that it can’t be measured like on a ruler. That’s what they call “quantified”. You can count the number of times you have frequence and you reach a household, but this is more subjective. I guess it’s like this. If you’re selling ammo, you advertise in Guns and Ammo, not Better Homes and Gardens.

They’re magazines, you know, they were special interest publications that are sent out at a set schedule to people who have paid for them.

Yeah, like printed blogs.  I forget how young you are sometimes.

Anyways, different media has a different mix of reach, frequency and impact you can get for a given amount of money. I’m sure someone has made up some sort of chart or graph that tries to quantify it per dollar spent. If not, that would be a good graph.  Basically there are trade-offs. You want reach right now because your Press is growing, but you also want frequency so that people don’t forget you. And you have a limited budget. I’d focus on internet, radio, and newspapers because they both have reach and frequency at a lower cost. There is an urge to go big with a television spot, but that limits your frequency.  You’d more or less be one and done, when you want to get the word out you need to hammer your message in as many times as possible because there are so many other small presses and you want them to think of you along the lines of Greywolf Press, or New Directions.