In this digital age, the basics still apply

In Bookkeeping, despite all the modern technology on our phones, in the Cloud etc, the basics still apply. Assets – Liabilities = Proprietorship (although they might not call it “Proprietorship” these days).

In the world of advertising, the basic formula is: Reach + Frequency + Impact = $ Cost/Investment/Price.

One of our favorite and most effective training tools for assisting small businesses planning an advertising campaign is giving them an understanding of Reach, Frequency and Impact.

Reach will usually to equate to the measurement for the medium used. So, Circulation and/or Readership for a newspaper, Viewers for a TV program or station, the number of flyers you need printed to be delivered to the number of letterboxes in your area etc.

Likewise, Frequency is tied directly to the medium, so weekly – usually – for a local community newspaper, the number of TV spots in a program/hour/day for TV and so on.

Impact, in its raw form usually meant the size of the newspaper ad or the length of the TV ad. It can also mean the quality of the artwork or copy (so, the cost of the Impact includes the fee for the copywriter or graphic designer) It’s more difficult to measure and more complicated, because a well-executed newspaper advertising campaign might have 4 x quarter page ads, running on 4 consecutive right hand pages, with great design and copy – for the same cost of a full page ad that, once the page is turned, loses its impact. (*Remember this example for later, OK?)

When working with small businesses and limited budgets, the first question we ask is: “Who are your customers and where do they live?” Assuming we know that, we need to Reach them, ideally in their homes, where they are more likely to make a decision to buy.

Frequency? How often do you need to repeat your message to get it seen and absorbed by those customers? This is often trial and error and experience is gained from a number of sources – including your business’ previous advertising and what your competitors are doing.

Impact will depend on the medium you choose, but good copywriting is essential for any medium.

Here’s the thing – all of these elements come at a cost. Remember the example of the 4 ads Vs one full page ad? A really clever way to increase Impact, without a large increase in cost.

Generally, an increase in Reach, Frequency or Impact will mean an increase in cost, so the secret is to find a way to maximise each element without a proportional increase in cost.

Easy, huh?

If you’re a small business, or even a sole trader and you would like to have chat about your plans to advertise you business, send a message on our Contact Us form or give me a call. If we can’t help directly, I’m sure we can introduce you to someone who can.