The Impact of Reach and Frequency in Advertising

The use of to promote or sell a product or service dates back to ancient times.  Egyptians used papyrus to make flyers and posters, and commercial messages have been found on walls in the ruins of Pompeii.  Today advertising has evolved and success becomes more challenging when managing multiple mediums, but the formula for an effective campaign has changed very little.  Reach times Frequency plus a Compelling Message is still the indisputable formula for every campaign regardless of the medium.

The goal of course is to reach the ideal frequency for your message to influence a decision, however the ideal frequency for a message can vary based on both medium and the consumer’s place in the purchase cycle.  However, no matter where someone is in the sales cycle or the medium, the campaign message must be seen more than one time.  Historical evidence aside, I’m fairly certain that the Egyptians created more than one papyrus flyer, and that the ruins in Pompeii had the same message on more than one wall.

The lesson here is to develop a plan focused on delivering a consistent message over time across multiple mediums and most importantly, to stick with it for more than a single month.  There is no magic campaign in any medium that influences a purchase after a single view.

Next week, we’ll continue by exploring the individual elements of the basic formula for success in advertising and discuss “Reach” in greater detail.