What Frequency Are You Operating At?

By Luke Weigel, lweigel@lessitermedia.com
Marketing Manager, Lessiter Media

In past Lessiter Marketing Minute emails, we've talked about creative ways to expand your reach, whether in print, digital or a combination of the two. And while reach is an extremely important aspect of any marketing campaign, there is an equally important topic that sometimes gets overlooked, and that's frequency.

In a perfect world, our marketing budgets would be unlimited and every customer would respond to our efforts. But in reality, marketing spend is constantly under the microscope — especially in times of a global pandemic — and we need to be smart about how we spend. That is where the reach vs. frequency conversation begins.

Say for example you live in a town of 20,000 people and your marketing budget allows for one effort to everyone or several efforts to a smaller subset of that group. If you are the local grocery store that everyone comes to, then it might make sense to deploy that one effort to everyone. There is a good chance you will see a return on that investment.

But if you run a smaller company whose products would only be relevant to 1,000 of your town's population, wouldn't you be better off using your budget to nurture them with multiple touch points? Sure, you could head into your next company meeting boasting about how you reached 20,000 people, but it won't take long for others to realize 19,000 of those were dead-ends and you've burned through your budget.

Many studies I've come across state that it takes at least 3 impressions before a customer takes action on a purchase, a number that can certainly vary based on circumstances, but an important reminder that it will typically take more than one effort to truly reach and influence your potential customers, and for most of us, one far-reaching effort isn't your best bet.

Below is an infographic based off an analogy from Seth Godwin's book, Permission Marketing, to help further illustrate reach vs frequency. This example uses seeds and water to explain why frequency is such an important part of your marketing strategy.

Want to make the most of your marketing dollars? Shoot me a note and we'd be happy to discuss our variety of print and digital marketing options, many with frequency discounts, that can help target your specific customer base.