Impact Requires Effective Reach: Beyond the Basics

Written by Chris Werner. Posted in Shark News

Everyone in media knows the standard definition of “reach” – (the portion of the audience seeing an ad message at least once during a campaign) but is this level of achievement enough to make your campaign be successful? We think not.

We believe that campaigns must be measured by the ‘effective reach’ of the effort defined as follows:

“Effective reach measures the percent of the target audience reached a sufficient number of times so that the ad is noticed by the target audience.“

So ‘effective reach’ requires a frequency component. What is that number? Ahh , that is the six million dollar question.

We know that ‘once is not enough’ – the Super Bowl proves that each year, but what is the proper number? There are several variables including ad complexity, which media channels chosen and the clutter on those channels, and the subject matter of the ad. The old model set the frequency number at 3, but that was when there were only three networks on tv and cable did not exist. So now is the number 5, 7, 10? No one knows for sure. With political ads (generally speaking) the number is upwards of 10 as these ads are the most avoided by the viewing public.

So since there is no clear answer, set the goal in conjunction with your media team and look for measures of those reached 4+, 5+ 6+ etc. You should even go so far as to track different creative offerings separately testing what might be the appropriate threshold.

Don’t settle for simple measures. Make your media team deliver information that can help you make decisions not just spend money.


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