Regional Companies Should Eye Media Balance Before Reach & Frequency
Updated: Jul 26, 2023
Understanding how to achieve the best reach and frequency through micro-market media buying.
Normally, companies know who their target audiences are but may be unsure how often they need to touch them to make an impact. In many instances when media is being purchased, reach and frequency are the yardstick used to determine which advertising should be purchased to ensure the message is adequately received.
For a regional company, with smaller budgets and a smaller footprint than the national companies, ensuring that the message is properly placed may be significantly more important than solely relying on reach and frequency numbers.
For a mid- market regional company evaluating reach and frequency is far different than a national one. When a company runs a national campaign, the entire nation is one market from South, North, East and West borders. I’ll use men 21 – 44 for example. There are a finite number of males 21 – 44 in this country, therefore everything nationally purchased will be able to deliver a reach and frequency number of that audience even if that number is not evenly distributed throughout the country. (Example; NYC may have many more males 21 – 44 that Ocala Florida.) But a total reach and frequency is measured against that entire measurable audience for the entire country.
This method doesn’t work for a multi-market regional company because the measurements are based on smaller markets that may not be contiguous footprints and certainly will have different demographic numbers. And to compound the problem often the geographical size of the market for one medium is different than the size for another. Geographically, conventional TV is the largest, radio is second and outdoor is third. Digital is nearly impossible to calculate until the flight is completed.
So, even securing a truly accurate reach and frequency from a single market using multiple mediums can be tricky and only a best guess.
For a mid-market company, keeping their eye on the eventual “best guess” is important but shouldn’t be the only factor determining which mediums are purchased for several reasons. First, in every market opportunities needs to be researched and dissected for costs and efficiencies. They will surely vary market to market. Secondly, there may exists tremendous opportunities in one market that don’t exist in another. If these opportunities are not evaluated on a market by market basis then the validity of making the best buy in each market may be lost. Which, in the end, will create the best buy no matter what the reach and frequency.
It makes more sense for a mid-market regional company to evaluate each market through a micro-market buy and calculate the final investment on a standard measurable metric such as a CPM. This will allow the weighting of each market to be done based on the priority market order of the client and still deliver cost metrics capable of being tracked and analyzed.