Frequency vs. Reach

One of our clients, a professional services provider, was considering spending a lot of money on an ad in a special supplement to a widely read publication. The amount in question far exceeded what they normally spent on any kind of marketing.   We advised our client not to “put all their marketing eggs in the same basket,” but rather invest that same amount in a consistent marketing program throughout the year. Why? The answer lies “frequency vs. reach.”

When you are evaluating where to spend your advertising dollars,  you usually look at frequency vs. reach—i.e., how often your target market will see your ad vs. how many people will see it. In this case, our client’s ad could potentially reach a large number of people, but they would see it only once, if that.  (i.e., no frequency).

Frequency in advertising is analogous to consistency in marketing.  Small but regular “touches” is what makes for effective marketing.

And, speaking of consistency, I met with a prospective client who told me that, yes, his firm does send out e-newsletters to clients, prospective clients and referral sources. When I asked how often, he said about once each year. A marketing activity on an annual basis is consistent, but in this instance, greater frequency would improve its effectiveness.

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