Frequency or Reach – Deciding Based On Your Campaign’s Goals


Feb 20, 2017 | Programming & Outreach

Any time you set out to create and run a marketing, public relations, or media campaign, you likely have a big picture idea of what you want to accomplish. Increase your prospective customer base, boost your sales, increase visibility and strengthen customer loyalty are all worthwhile goals of any such campaign, and many well-executed campaigns will hit the mark in several of these areas.

Having just a rough idea, though, of what you want to accomplish isn’t the best way to run an effective campaign. “When it comes to creating and launching a good campaign, two big factors to be tracking, in order to assess the campaign’s effectiveness, are frequency and reach,” says Taigen Thorne, Director of Public Relations & Media at SageAge. “Understanding both of these metrics can help you create more powerful campaigns and better evaluate how those campaigns perform in the short- and long-term.”

Having a clear and defined picture of your campaign’s goals and tracking metrics can lead to more effective campaigns that actually accomplish what you set out to do. Too many marketers throw things at the wall to see what sticks, but if you’re armed with thoughtful planning and a way to measure success, you can not only be more successful, but you can grow your success through learning!

What do reach and frequency mean?

Before we can talk about how to set your campaign’s goals and tracking, we need to be clear on what these two figures actually mean. Put most simply, they are the following:

  • Reach is the number of people you touch with your message or the number of people who are exposed to your message via your campaign.

  • Frequency is the number of times you touch an individual person with that message.

In the ideal world, we’d be able to create campaigns that maximize both of these critical metrics. However, most of us live in the real world, with very real constraints on our budgets and manpower, so some critical decisions must be made regarding which of these is most important to prioritize.

Here’s an example to give you a clearer picture: One company may decide to run a direct mail campaign that could either 1. Cover an entire, huge metro area once, or 2. Cover a smaller, more targeted geographic area three times.

Which is more important?

As mentioned, both of these metrics are key parts of creating a successful campaign, but we all know that hitting “infinity” for both would require, well, “infinity” dollars, and none of us are that lucky!

A popular analogy for comparing reach and frequency draws upon gardening as inspiration. If you were given 100 seeds with enough water to water each of them once, would you plant all 100, water them once, and hope for the best? Or would you plant 25, water them all four times, and watch your garden grow?

In general, most marketers would agree that the latter makes sense, and as such, place emphasis on frequency over reach. Better to hit a targeted group of prospective customers several times, with a targeted message, than to “spray and pray” with a broad campaign.

How this applies to your campaign

One factor to consider when planning your campaigns for reach and frequency includes the amount of time you’ll have to run your campaign. When you are running a shorter campaign, you inherently are working with less time to get your message out, to make an impact. That means if you put up 5 signs in a 20 mile radius, there will be less time for your audience to see those signs, and shrinking your radius may be more impactful.

Conversely, if you have time and budget for a longer campaign, you have more time for your audience to see those signs, so you’d have more impact if you spread your signs out and used time to your advantage – meaning, the more time the signs are up, the more often your audience will see them.

Other factors to consider include the relationship you have with this audience already. Are they accustomed to hearing from you often, and will they know you upon first glance? Or, are you venturing into a new market, looking to make an impact with a new group of potential customers? The answers to those questions not only inform your decisions regarding reach and frequency, but also what messages you focus on and how to best share them.

Any seasoned marketer knows there are lots of metrics to consider when running a campaign, but two of the most critical ones are reach and frequency. In general, consider the effectiveness of “drip” style marketing, and focus on frequency in order to have a true impact on your audience over time.

Proven Sales and Marketing Expertise That Connects with Today’s Seniors

If you are managing a senior living community

and are in need of expertise in precisely profiling, targeting and connecting with your target markets, contact us for more information today. SageAge Strategies is a multiple award-winning, strategic growth and marketing organization that operates exclusively in the senior living industry. For more information, please call or email Adrienne Mansfield Straub at 570-601-1720 ext. 100 /

Contact Us Today!

What Are the Housing Restrictions for Facebook and PPC?

As we know, technology is always changing and adapting. It’s something many of those in the senior housing and marketing fields are used to. One of the most recent changes is making a larger impact on how we target ad audiences on Facebook and through pay-per-click...

The Rise of Senior Living Occupancy

As COVID-19 created a landscape of uncertainty in senior living facilities, experts knew there would be challenges and effects that lasted long after. Although the pandemic continues, many types of senior living communities and...

4 Ways TikTok Is Redefining Senior Living Social Media

Whether you’ve heard about it, tried it out, or use it regularly, TikTok is taking the world by storm. This social media platform, which focuses on short-form video, is seemingly on everyone’s mind in one sense or another, and more often than not, people are following...

The Benefits of Working at a Remote Company

Remote working offers many benefits to employees and businesses. Today, more people are working from home than ever before, offering many benefits to both businesses and employees. Remote positions offer employees flexible work schedules and autonomy while keeping...

The Future of Analytics: What Does Next Year’s GA4 Migration Mean?

Moving Forward with New Updates Whether customer needs, viewing habits or website journeys change – or a better reporting tool emerges – one thing is for certain: Technology is always changing, and the field must adapt as a whole. Among the most recent updates include...


Stories of a Lifetime Senior living residents have lived amazing lives. Now, SageAge is on a quest to share those stories with those in the senior housing and senior living industry, residents and their families, adult children and anyone who wants to be inspired....

The Moment We Have Been Waiting for Is Here

WE have been working hard on something new. Check out our new website today!

Pressing Play on New Possibilities | Seniors and YouTube

Putting You In Front-Row View Gone are the days when YouTube was simply for younger generations to view funny videos. In the era of rising senior social media usage and the high engagement of video content, YouTube is becoming one of the largest search engines and...

Seniors and YouTube | Let’s Get Rolling

Exploring the Possibilities of Pre-Rolls Almost 47% of older adults ages 70 and up use their smartphones for social media access, according to our most recent white paper on seniors and technology use. Which social media platforms are most used among the senior age...

Connecting with Seniors Through Facebook

Making an Impression, Enhancing Engagement For many of us, we’re no stranger to Facebook. From personal use and business to connecting with friends and family, Facebook is among the top social media platforms. In fact, did you know that there are 2.89 billion monthly...
Share This