Do You Have Enough Frequency in Your Campaign?


(By Marc Greenspan) We all know that radio is a great medium for reach, yet it’s also perfect for building ad FREQUENCY. To the advertiser, frequency reflects the average number of times someone will be exposed to their message. Stations with high Time Spent Listening (TSL), or Average Weekly Time Exposed (AWTE) depending on the market, typically grow frequency faster than stations with low TSL/AWTE.

You can use AQH persons when building a schedule to determine which dayparts will provide a higher frequency for your ad campaign. To ensure high frequency, select the dayparts with the highest AQH persons and load up spots in these dayparts. 

Another way to build higher frequency is to use duplication. When building reach, look for stations with low duplication. To build frequency, you want to look for stations with high duplication. Since frequency is reflected in your AQH audience, you will want to select dayparts when your station has high duplication.

This means there is a high percentage of that audience that listens during different dayparts. If you are pitching several stations in your cluster, then selecting the stations that have the highest duplication will yield a schedule with higher frequency.

What is the right frequency level for a radio campaign? Traditionally, most advertising schedules targeted a frequency of three or higher. This was based on a model from the 1960s when we were all exposed to far fewer ads in any given day. With the influx of new media and additional radio stations, you may want a minimum frequency of five to seven. It is best to discuss this with the advertiser as desired frequency will vary based on their advertising goals.

Make sure to include frequency in addition to Net Reach on your sample ad schedule. By showing advertisers both reach and frequency, you show radio as a whole, and your station, in the best light to deliver their target consumer! 

This column is part of a series titled “Growing the Radio Pie.” To view past articles, visit The Ratings Experts at Research Director, Inc. online here.

Marc Greenspan is the CEO and founding partner of Research Director, Inc. He can be reached at 410-295-6619 x11 or by email at [email protected]. Research Director, Inc. offers consulting services to media companies to help them grow their audience, ratings, and revenue. Read Marc’s Radio Ink archives here.


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