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Decoding 'Reach' in Marketing: A Must-Know Metric with Hidden Depths

Written by Gus Dantas

In the ever-evolving realm of advertising and marketing, data is our compass, and metrics are our guiding stars. They arm marketing and advertising professionals with invaluable insights, real-time updates, and actionable strategies to stay at the forefront of marketing analytics.

In this article, we embark on a journey into the heart of 'reach'—a fundamental metric with hidden intricacies that can make or break your marketing strategies.

At first glance, 'reach' may appear straightforward, but, as we'll soon discover, it possesses nuances that can reshape our decision-making process. So, let's unravel its mysteries and equip you with the tools to harness its full potential.

Reach vs. Impressions: What Sets Them Apart?

First things first, let's clarify what 'reach' really means.

Reach is the count of unique individuals who have laid eyes on your content. Think of it as distinguishing different faces in a crowded room.

On the flip side, 'Impressions' are all about how many times your content is displayed—meaning a single person might encounter the same piece of content multiple times.

Why Summing Up 'Reach' Can Get Dicey

Tallying up 'reach' from various platforms isn't as straightforward as it seems – and here’s why;

  1. Different rules for different platforms: Each platform has a unique approach to calculating reach. For instance, one might consider someone 'reached' if they've viewed your ad for 5 seconds, while another might have a different criterion altogether. This variability becomes especially tricky when juggling multi-channel media campaigns, encompassing online and offline channels. Check out this article about Measuring cross-channel reach across YouTube and Linear TV for more insights. ,

  2. Seeing double or seeking trouble: Picture an individual who stumbles upon your ad on Instagram, comes across it again during a Google search, and then encounters it once more on TV. If we simply add up the numbers, we inadvertently count that same person three times. Deduplicating reach is one of the most formidable data challenges in marketing analytics. (check out this article on it)

So, with the above in mind, how do you approach this during the number crunching?

Reporting 'Reach' the Right Way Here are some ways you can tackle these challenges head-on:

  1. Segmented Display: Instead of lumping everything into a single number, break it down and showcase each platform's data individually. This approach offers a more precise view of your reach and allows you to fine-tune your strategies for each platform, maximising impact.

  2. Use Precision Tools: Embrace tools designed to optimise accuracy, ensuring you count only unique views, not duplicates across different channels. Precision is the bedrock of actionable insights.

  3. Context Matters: Don't just present the numbers; attach insights to your metrics. For example, if you observe a high 'reach' paired with low engagement on a particular platform, it indicates visibility without substantial impact. This insight becomes the compass for adjusting your content and creative strategy for superior results.

'Reach' may seem like a straightforward concept on the surface, but it harbours nuances that can either elevate or undermine advertising and marketing strategies. By mastering these subtleties and collaborating effectively, you can fortify your approaches and drive more compelling results.

Want to know more? Reach out!

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