Reach + Frequency = Success
does it take to drive action through messaging on the radio? If you answered “reach,
frequency and creative,clear energy,” then give yourself a round of
let’s see if you can get this one: During a 6 a.m.–midnight rotation, how many
spots must you air on your radio station in five days in order to reach more
than 90 percent of your audience at least three times?
In order to figure out the answer, you don’t
need to do any complex math equations. You just need a little catch-up in the
people who are on top of current trends are using ratings information and
scheduling software to create appropriate schedules for clients. However, many program
directors have never touched this latest software, which even rookie sales
people know how to use, and don’t know the basics of reach and frequency.
a PD doesn’t know how many promos to schedule, and at which times during one week,
he or she can’t possibly orchestrate the promotional campaigns for that week
effectively. It’s obvious that the more listeners you can reach, the better. Not
so obvious is that frequency is a key element in convincing listeners to act. The more they hear the message, the
greater the chance they will act on it.
go back to our challenge of the day. If a PD discovers — through reach and
frequency research — that it takes 45 promo spots between 6 a.m. and midnight,
Monday through Friday, to reach more than 90 percent of the audience at least
three times, then he can determine how many campaigns he can air in one week
using all of the station’s allotted promotional inventory.
that the station schedules two promos per hour, 18 hours a day. That’s 36 slots
a day and 180 slots a week. And now that the PD has a goal in mind, he or she has
the ability to schedule four different promotional campaigns. If he or she schedules
one more campaign on top of that, there is a risk of none of them being
a choice, I would much rather air more promos and one less campaign in order to
increase the frequency and reach.
admit, this can be a tough decision because great stations have a lot going on,
all of which deserves promotion.
the algorithm is in place, it’s imperative to spend quality time on the
creative. Whether recorded or live, a promo must not only grab attention, but also
communicate an action. And don’t just take it for granted your audience knows
what you’re trying to get them to do, especially when it comes to highly-produced
promos with lots of sound effects, puns, jokes, etc.
you may not have time to present every recorded promo to a focus group first,
you should take the time to try out anything you’re unsure of to a few people
around the office who don’t already know the material.
playing the promo to some random people, ask them to tell you what it meant. If
after three or so people cannot explain it back to you spontaneously, you
likely have a great-sounding promo that not everybody is going to “get.”
This can be a
problem when live copy is crafted poorly, so be sure that all of your messaging
it possible to burn out a promotional announcement by airing it too much? I
have never seen any research that supports the contention. However, I can
guarantee that when stations do not air spots with enough frequency and reach,
they waste time, squander energy and limit potential success.
Mark Lapidus can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.