Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Small Press Month - Tip # 29

March 29 - Plan marketing with a full understanding of the relationship between Reach and Frequency. Let me start by giving an example. Have you ever noticed how an advertisement may seem familiar a few times, but it doesn't really capture your attention completely? You've seen it, sort of noticed it in parts here and there, and then all of the sudden (you've probably actually seen the ad eight or ten times) you put the whole message together in your mind ...and then WHAM! you realize the benefits of owning the thing advertised and buy one? That's the epitome of Reach and Frequency -- they identified a prospect (you) and then found vehicles to show you the message often enough to break through the noise of your busy life.

With previous careers in marketing, I've found that book marketing is one of the purest forms of niche marketing there is -- it should be just you (the author) and one person who is totally interested in your book (your reader's profile). Since "everyone" clearly is not your audience, and budgets are rarely unlimited, the terms Reach and Frequency are more than just two simple words -- they are critical concepts to know when planning your marketing.

Reach and Frequency apply to any promotional activity you undertake: broadcast or print, direct mail, direct selling, trade or bulk deals, special sales, and even in your social networking. Reach is the number of people exposed to your marketing message. Frequency is the number of times you touch each person with your message. The most important rule in these concepts is that Reach without Frequency is a pile of wasted cash.

While intuitively most business people really do understand the concept of Frequency for successful promotional and sales campaigns, when it comes to actual implementation of the campaign, most small businesses opt to sacrifice Frequency for Reach. Most often, this occurs because we are a culture of immediacy. If something doesn't have a return on the first ad, we assume it isn't working. Without question, the biggest waste of marketing dollars is when promotional activities are implemented without adequate frequency.

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