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What is reach in advertising?

Reach refers to the number of people in a target audience that are exposed to a single ad served. The reach does not increase with subsequent exposures to the same viewer, which is instead referred to as frequency. Reach at its core does not consider the effectiveness of the ad on the consumer – it is a simple formula for measuring – and putting a number or percentage on – audience exposure. This helps quantify the range of an ad campaign.

Colloquially, reach in advertising often refers to effective reach: intentionally targeting viewers most likely to convert into customers, who want to engage or take action. In this sense, advertisers are trying to deduce the quality of the ad campaign, but reach measurement refers to pure quantity of reach.

How to calculate reach in advertising is simple: Reach = Impressions/Frequency. It is an average of the gross reach over the course of the life of an ad campaign.

Some sage advice when considering reach:

  1. Aim to expand or improve the quality of reach before investing ad dollars in frequency. As a priority, quality should precede quantity when considering how to allocate your ad budget.
  2. It’s common to look first at demographics when mapping a target audience. But previous behavior is equally as useful information. What impact have your ads had on the user so far? The quality of impact, or level of engagement with your brand, is a key indicator of where you’ll find success.
  3. Avoid layering multiple audience targets on-top of one another, which can greatly restrict your reach and reduce the viability that an ad will be seen by enough viewers to gain considerable feedback about success and profitability.

In 2020, Simulmedia stepped up to solve a problem in the advertising industry of how to reach audiences with precision throughout a television campaign’s lifecycle. This was resolved with our invention of a new, patented technology that allows advertisers to target audience reach with greater precision, granularity and timeliness.

As part of our TV+® planning, buying and measurement platform, Simulmedia’s proprietary software and methodology allows advertisers to select media placements from a wide range of inventory and achieve a more cost-efficient audience reach, delivering a return-on-investment and clear attribution from new prospect to converted customer. First, the TV+ platform gathers information on a brand’s TV audience targeting. It then “disaggregates” the audience, so that each individual person in that target audience is targeted in a unique fashion. From there, using historical data, the platform gives a probability rating for viewing likelihood to each individual, and for how long they will watch, allowing the advertiser to allocate their ad dollars very specifically across a reach-based campaign.

Simulmedia’s technology runs through its algorithm all the possible combinations of the ad dollars against target audiences and across network inventory, and finds the most cost-efficient plan for execution. In addition, the campaign can be tweaked along the way, adjusting to results as they roll in.Running a reach-focused ad campaign is arguably the most effective advertising strategy for attribution and converting new prospects to customers. By taking a data-centric, addressable approach, Simulmedia measures various audience targeting strategies against one another, so you can take calculated risks with confidence in allocating your ad dollars, and pivot when necessary.