Using Reach/Frequency for Web Media Planning

Jongpil Hong and John D Leckenby

Reach and frequency estimation of media schedules for major media types has become the common method of operation for media directors and planners in advertising, agencies over the last 50 years or so. All indications point to an increasing trend in the usage of reach/frequency models for traditional media types as seen in studies of the practices of media directors in the top 200 advertising agencies in the United States. In 1982, of these agencies, 87.9% used estimation models for reach and 74.5% used them for the frequency distribution estimation. The corresponding figures for 1993 were 90.5% for reach and 87.3% for the frequency distribution (Leckenby and Kim, 1994). While these increases in 1993 are not dramatic, it is clear the mode of operation in media planning continues to rely upon reach/frequency estimation and the trend is upward rather than downward in usage. These estimations are conducted using probability as well as nonprobability models of proprietary and nonproprietary natures.