Media planning for frequency versus reach

Media plans should reach the right people, the right amount of times.

When that isn’t always possible, there’s one question to ask: Should your media plan deliver reach or frequency?

There are plenty of variables that need to be taken into consideration when creating the best possible media plan. From the budget assigned to the campaign to the target audience and the (always) unique goals of the organisation for whom the media plan is being created. Even within a single brand, goals change from campaign to campaign – ergo no two plans are the same.

The goals are of special interest to us as media planners and buyers because they have such a large impact on the way the plan will end up being written and then put into action.

In a perfect world, every media plan would reach a large number of people in the target demographic, a large number of times – achieving great reach and great frequency. But in reality, budget constraints mean prioritisation is the name of the game.

Should your media plan prioritise reach or frequency?

Of course, as media planners and buyers, we often include elements of both, by including different formats (part of the ‘media mix’) that are better suited to frequency or reach in a single plan. But it is still worth a look at some of the broad outcomes from different goals.

Media that achieves greater reach suits:

  • Messages that are easily comprehended
  • Brands looking to generate awareness and/or target new audiences
  • Brands/products with a broad potential appeal

Media that achieves greater frequency suits:

  • Messages that are not so easily understood and require comprehension
  • Brands/products looking at retention
  • Brands with a narrower target audience
  • Brands whose competition uses high-frequency media

Our job is to work with a brand to determine the goals and recommend media channels that would best suit its needs.

As noted above, more often than not it is a balance, a matter of fine-tuning the goals into the (almost) perfect plan.

We love this stuff (possibly a bit too much it has to be said). If you want to discuss whether your media plan should deliver reach or frequency and how it could impact your next campaign, say Hello today.

Frequency? Reach? Both?

Not sure if you should be planning for frequency, reach or somewhere in-between? Say Hello today and we'll help you decide.

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