Broadcast television is still the number one medium for reach, reaching more than 92% of Australian adults every week.
Given the broadcast nature of the medium and the predictable consumption habits of viewers, it is relatively straightforward and cost-efficient to run a television burst of activity which takes maximum advantage of television's potential. However, it is worth noting that this is partly dependent on your target: the younger your target market skews, the less reliant on television your brand can be.
Social media also has extensive reach. In the Australia, it is second only to television, reaching nearly 77% of the adult population on a weekly basis. Additionally, social media's strength complements television's weakness, with its highest penetration being among 18 to 29 year-olds. However, there is a key challenge inherent in maximising this potential reach, which needs to be considered.
For consumers, social media is a conversational space. While this may be less true for brands, we have to acknowledge that consumers feel this way, and that they do in fact have the ability to 'switch us off' if they so choose. To use a common example: if you wanted to sell to people in a bar, you wouldn't walk in and start shouting at the whole room and expect to be greeted warmly by all. Chances are, most of them would ignore you or you would be kicked out. On the other hand, neither would you just pick one group who seemed most likely to buy, talk to them, and then leave. Doing this goes too far the other way, and would exclude a range of potential consumers. Instead, if you wanted to effectively reach everyone in the proverbial bar, you'd need to deliver a tailored pitch to each of the different groups. An approach like this could be called generating 'sophisticated mass reach'.
In terms of what this means for our ecosystem, television is an obvious primary reach channel for most brands. However, if you consider the relative demographic strengths and apply the concept of sophisticated mass reach when determining channel roles, you could focus television on older audiences, and social media on the younger. This would maximise the strengths of the two channels while minimising the weaknesses, potentially resulting in a more efficient use of budget.