The planner translates objectives into a media strategy-to say how the plan will accomplish these goals.


This is not the plan, but a statement of what types of media will be used, when they will run, where and how often.


The place to start is, understanding media language. Some terms apply to all media; some apply only to broadcast or print.





It is the cost to reach 1,000 things, whether households or women or left-handed dog owners. CPM reduces a variety of different audiences, costs and delivery to one common denominator. Always ask “Cost per thousand what?”


If a television spot costs Rs.20,00,000 and reaches 2 lac homes, the cost per thousand homes is Rs. 100 (Rs.20,00,000 divided by 2,00,000)





 It is the number of times a home (or individual) is exposed to a message-on average.


If six of your messages are seen in four homes, the frequency is expressed as 1.5.


(The time period measured for reach and frequency must always be the same, since they are tied together. It is usually four weeks.)



In the press

The question of how frequently the advertisement should be put before the target market is for most media the critical one (in the case of outdoors the question, happily does not arise). In the Press there are conventionally two considerations. Firstly the frequency of publication, and secondly the frequency of purchase of the product. Clearly it is not possible to have more than twelve insertions in a monthly publications in the course of a year, and similar limits apply to frequencies of other publications. How many insertions should one have? Unfortunately there are no rules. Practice tends to be rather inconsistent. For example, most of the planners would not consider nine insertions in a monthly magazine to be a fairly high frequency, but would not consider nine insertions in either a daily, or a Sunday, to be adequate for a 12 month campaign. There is no magic either in the ratio of 9 to 12. In a Sunday newspaper 39 insertions would normally be regarded as excessive, and to have insertions in 3 out of 4 issues of a daily unthinkable.


Planners frequently time insertions in sympathy with the buying frequency of the product. That is to say, they will seek, if they can afford it, weekly insertions for a product, which is bought weekly and will be content with monthly insertions for a product, which is bought monthly. Of course, the budget plays an important part here. There are some products, cigarettes for instance, where the product is bought daily. No budget is large enough for daily insertions in many media (in the space sizes usually used). On the other hand, with a durable product such as refrigerator, probably bought not more frequently than once in five years, the budget will probably allow for monthly frequency, so monthly frequency is used. The rationale of linking frequency of insertion with frequency of purchase is clearly suspect. It is true that a brand decision is made every time that a purchase is made and, therefore, the more opportunities we have for influencing the brand decision, the better chance we stand. In spite of this, it is certain that the effect of advertising is generally a long term one and linked inextricably with the product experience. At this point of purchase the consumer brings into play, however unconsciously, all that he, or she, has learnt about the brand and its competitors over his, or her, total buying experience of the product field. For this reason it is almost certainly better to plan insertions so as to obtain the maximum over-all effect, rather that slavishly attempt to match a pattern of purchase. In any case, different consumers have very different patterns of purchasing and what one is talking about is merely mean frequency.

In Television

In this case frequency is usually felt to be of paramount importance. Most television advertisers feel uncomfortable if a considerable proportion of their target market do not have the opportunity of seeing their commercial at least 4 times during a 4 week period. In order to achieve such a frequency it is necessary to have 2 to 3 peak spots, or an equivalent amount of rating points in other segments, each week. In order to achieve such a frequency, it is necessary to curtail advertising to fairly short periods. How far one can take this curtailment, or conversely for how long one can afford to be without any advertising at all, is very much a matter of judgment. At least one advertiser has built brand leadership in a competitive field by advertising on television at the frequency for two nine-week periods during the course of the year. On the other hand, some years ago Phyllosan achieved a spectacular sales growth by transmitting one 60-second commercial once a fortnight over a 6-month period.

In other media

In radio the frequency argument is carried still further. The first reason for this is that audiences to any particular programme are very low and therefore to build cumulative coverage it is necessary to have spots in many programmes. Secondly, most people listen to radio whilst doing a number of other things. Attention values are therefore low, and it is again felt that repetition helps to overcome this problem. Again, the cost of radio is extremely low, and a high frequency of insertion can be afforded. ‘High’ in this context will probably mean at least 5 spots per week, and these all be grouped on a single night. It could mean more than this. Some advertisers have used 30 to 50 spots during the course of a week over a continuing campaign.


The frequency in the cinema medium is largely dictated by the pattern of usage. One buys a week’s campaign in a given cinema and during the course of that, one’s commercial is transmitted, as many times as there are programmes. (This varies around an average of 13 from 7 to 20.) The most common purchases of cinema are either in continuous weekly patterns, i.e. the same cinema is booked continuously for however many weeks the campaign is going to run, or in alternative weeks, which may be, for instance, 13 out of 26. In general, because of the low frequency of attendance at cinema, it is best to have as continuous a pattern as is possible on the budget in order to reach the maximum number of people.


Frequency in direct mail is a particularly vexed question. Many advertisers when using direct mail think of it as a one shot medium. There is some justification for this when it is being used to do a specific job, such as a mailing to retailers to advise them of the introduction of a new campaign. On the other hand, if direct mail is being used as a straight forward advertising medium, then there is no reason to believe that frequency is any less important here than elsewhere.


It is an analysis of how the average frequency actually distributes over the population, since no home really sees 1.5 messages.

Some homes receive one message, some two, etc. The maximum is always the total number of advertisements run


They represent the total number of messages delivered by a media plan, whatever the media used-the number of people who see a message multiplied by the number of times they see it.

5.      REACH

 It is the number of different homes (or individuals) exposed to atleast one message over a period of time.


If your media plan gets to four out of five homes, it has a reach of 80.


In practice:     Programme     Rating             Unduplicated                        Cumulative

                                                                        reach                                       reach

Friends            32                    32                                            32

Dynasty           21                    11                                            43

Movie              18                    9                                              52

Sport               24                    7                                              59

News               15                    4                                              63

110 GRP’s      63%                                         63%


According to the latest surveys(1997-98) the media reach is as reflected in the following tables:




No. of cities


1. Mega metros 4 Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta and Chennai
2. Mini metros 8 Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune, Nagpur, Jaipur, Kanpur and Lucknow
3. Other metros 11 Ludhiana, Varanasi, Patna, Indore, Bhopal, Surat, Baroda, Madurai, Coimbatore, Vishakhapatanam and Cochi




The media reach in the above cities is as under.


Media Reach In Metros


  All Media



Cable and Satellite(C&S)


4 mega metros 93.8 67.2 85.6 35.2 30.1
8 Mini metros 93.2 67.6 85.1 32.6 18.5
11 Other metros 91.9 67.6 81.8 37.7 20.4
23 Metros (overall) 93.3 67.4 93.3 34.8 24.9



Overall Media Reach


  TV Press TV (C&S) Radio
All India 45 34 21 12
Urban 76 59 23 31
Rural 33 24 20 05


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