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What is Reach?

It is rare for an advertising plan to only include a single order, or even several orders all of the same media type. Media Link places a high priority on evaluating a wide spread of options for our clients, so we can offer them more savings. One of the most important (but far from only) metrics we use to evaluate these options is called reach. In this article, we will cover some of the basics of just what this term means and why it is useful in analyzing a campaign.

Reach represents the group of people who have been, or are projected to be, exposed to an advertising campaign. It may be expressed as a raw number (ex: 176,000 people) or as a percentage (ex: 40% reach). Reach is distinct from another valuable metric called Gross Impressions, because each person can be reached multiple times.

Reach statistics exist in context. No advertising campaign has ever been directed at everyone, everywhere. Therefore, reach for businesses reflects information about only those people who would be the most likely to purchase their product or service. This group of people are often referred to as the target audience.  This target audience can include an age range, gender, geographic and psychographic characteristics.

It is more common to see reach reflected as a percentage with traditional media (i.e. radio, television, publications, outdoor). The reach is calculated based on the rating or the percentage of people experiencing an ad at a given time. We will go deeper into the specifics of the math in a future blog.

In the digital space it is more common to see reach reported as a number, because it is calculated within an environment where nothing can be done until after targeting has been established.

Why do we care?

Reach can be translated across different media types.  Media Link usually combines reach with a percentage. We believe this metric offers a clearer picture of progress toward our goals.  Reach does an excellent job of telling us how close we are toward building awareness of our message for a particular campaign.

However, if everyone were to see something only once it would not be effective at generating recall. This is why we must find a balance between reach and frequency. In our next blog, we will discuss what is frequency and how it is a useful tool when combined with reach for evaluating advertising budgets.

 

Media Link Software®, Made in Rock Island, Illinois

We invented and developed Media Link Software®, a patented media buying software system, and we have been using this system for 10 years now.  We market this product nationally to other advertising agencies and corporate media buyers which over time has made us a consultant to other marketing professionals.

According to Nielsen Media Research, our web-based software marks the first time an advertising firm created a user-designed platform for media buying.  Media Link Software® represents a cutting-edge change from the systems now leading the market and incorporates Nielsen TV and Radio subscriptions to more accurately project ratings and provide a more thorough and easier negotiation process.

Our technology is based on a process developed by our founder, Natalie Linville-Mass, who makes a science out of media-buying by removing much of the guess work. This platform allows you to compare different types of media options side by side and gives you a more thorough look at all the proposals in front of you for a given campaign. Media Link Software’s® ease-of-use and web-based functionality simplifies the process of tracking complex flights of media in multiple markets.  It is vital to buy the right mix of media to achieve your overall goals of reach, frequency, cost per point/cost per thousand, etc.

Complicated campaigns can also be cumbersome to track.  If this part of the process is not done properly, the result is a chance of missing commercials which did not run where you ordered them to run.  So, our system automates the process of planning, tracking and follow–through on media buys and makes post-buy analysis possible for all clients, regardless of their size.  This means significant savings to our clients and the assurance you will get exactly what you order.

Learn more about Media Link Software® here.