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In 2017, Reach Was the Buzzword

Editor’s Note: Bob McCurdy, VP of Sales for the Beasley Media Group, provided a monthly review of the year, where “Reach” proved to be a continuing focus.

Here are five excerpts from his monthly notes:

At an ARF conference, Nielsen Catalina unveiled a study which concluded that reach was an important sales driver, accounting for 22% of sales growth; the only factor listed above it was ad creative, with 47%.

The article, Reach vs. Frequency in the ROI Stakes, suggested that heavy frequency reduces ROI, as the 4th, 5th, 10th exposure costs the same as the first, but the ROI from those additional exposures is considerably less. Commercials do have a lingering effect, so any repeat exposure within a short time frame is less efficient than reaching an entirely new potential customer.

At WARC’s How to Be a Smart Marketer session in Cannes, Ehrenberg-Bass Institute’s Professor Rachel Kennedy argued that targeting should prioritize the buyers a brand hasn’t reached before. Brands grow when they bring new people into their brand who have not bought from them in the past.

At an ANA conference, Clorox’s CMO, Eric Reynolds, called for new focus on building brands: “We were targeting the kinds of people who already loved us … and kept pushing our investments down to them. We sold stuff. The ROI went up. But guess what? We forgot the golden rule of brand building: Brands are built through penetration. There’s only so many bottles of Clorox our biggest fans will buy.”

In the article How to Grow Brands by Targeting the Masses, Gordon Euchler, Head of Planning at BBDO, noted, “Targeting people with a high propensity to purchase has a tendency of emptying the pool of people in the market without refilling it.”

Twenty-five years ago Erwin Ephron said, “Reaching many is better than preaching to a few.” It seems that advice still holds true.


McCurdy, B. (2018, January 8). In 2017, Reach was the BuzzwordRadio Ink.