As in most consumption-based systems, Pareto’s Law applies to media as well. While you can probably reach 60-70% of your target market cost-effectively, after that, the cost per additional percentage point climbs astronomically. And reaching the last 10% of your market can consume 90% of your budget.
Over the years, working with clients who have smaller TV budgets, we have observed that by aiming at a smaller percentage of the total target market, even 30-40%, you will get a better return on your TV advertising investment. This is because you can afford to put your brand or retail message in front of them more often, with a frequency that results in sales.
Think of it like this: If you reach 100 people just once with your commercial, and 20 people five times, you will get more sales from the 20 than the 100.
This strategy shouldn’t be applied to Direct Response TV, however. With DRTV each 60, 90 or 120 second TV commercial is a self-contained selling machine. And with DRTV you don’t want to emphasize frequency, you want reach. In fact, you should only run a DRTV spot once per programme. DRTV is the subject of another blog post. You can read about DRTV and review a case history here.