Advertising Frequency in marketing communication is the number of time you plan to communicate with your target audience or your audience get exposed to your communication in a campaign period.
Three level of advertising frequency exist in the marketing world:
- Minimum Frequency
- Maximum Frequency
- Optimum or Effective Frequency
Advertising frequency may very market to market, category to category, media to media, brand to brand.
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Minimum Frequency: Least number of time you want to communicate with your audience in a campaign period to expect minimum result.
When your budget is low or for a new business you are not sure about your optimum or effective frequency, you can start with minimum advertising Frequency to grow and understand your optimum or effective frequency.
Krugman’s theory says a communication is not effective below 3 frequency. In the 1st exposer you will get a response like “what is it?”. In the 2nd exposer the reaction is like “what of it’s?”. The 3rd exposer gives the true reminder for action. In current marketing, it is almost rule to follow. No campaign should run bellow 3 frequency. But this theory is more applicable for mass media, specifically tv. For one to one communication, even less than 3 frequency can be considered as minimum frequency.
Maximum Frequency: Highest number of time you want to communicate with your audience in a campaign period to get maximum return. Maximum advertising frequency is used in following cases-
Although perfect media planning do not suggest it, for high yield product some business go for maximum frequency.
if you are a established business and you want to bring a new product in your business but this category is not new in the market, some business go for maximum frequency for short period of time to create buzz in the market. This is usually a conscious call knowing that you are wasting for the time being to cash from it in later stage.
There is no such theory available for maximum frequency. Hence, there is no limit of maximum frequency. But in practice, more than 10 frequency is considered as maximum frequency.
Effective frequency: Number of time you need to communicate with your potential buyer (target audience) to expect a response to maximize return at minimum cost.
Think about the insurance representative or the credit card manager who doesn’t stop to poke you over and over until you buy the policy or card or he convinced that you are not going to purchase his policy or card. The number of time he poked you is his effective frequency.
In this competitive world, it is very unlikely that you are going to purchase a product or service in first exposer of communication. As we discussed earlier about Krugman’s theory where it is being suggested not to run any campaign bellow 3 frequency.
However, there are couple of tools and techniques available to identify the effective advertising frequency. One of the tool takes 3 kind if variable to identify effective frequency:
This technique says if your brand or product is new you need higher frequency. If your communication is new or complex, you need higher frequency. If your communication is developed based on popular story, you need lower frequency. If your media is highly cluttered, you need higher frequency. Bellow see the complete list of variable that this technique consider. However, if you feel any other parameter need to consider, you can add.
You can also find the effective frequency calculating correlation between different frequency level by month and trend of your sales or awareness. This is probable one of the best technique as effective frequency may differ for different brand or category or market. But you need the historical data for this analysis.
Your campaign’s effective frequency should be applied on total media mix, not on single media. However you can identify effective frequency by media doing similar kind of study.
A insurance representative or a credit card manager can not sell to 100% potential buyer although he/she applied similar communication with similar frequency. From his experience probably he/she knows his success rate is 10%. So he/she meets 100 people every month to meet his/her target of 10 buyer. Similar way, you need to find your success rate from historical data and set your effective reach based on your expected return.
Setting effective frequency is one of couple of important steps in developing communication plan. Here you will find five steps to develop effective marketing communication plan.