Effective Frequency



The concept of effective frequency rests on the assumption that for an advertisement or campaign to achieve an appreciable effect, it must attain a certain number of exposures to an individual within the specified time period. Specifically, effective frequency is defined as the number of times a certain advertisement must be exposed to a particular individual in a given period to produce a desired response.[1]


The purpose of the “effective frequency” metric is to determine optimal exposure levels for an advertisement or campaign, trading the risk of overspending against the risk of failing to achieve the desired impact. Many marketers believe their messages require repetition to "sink in." Advertisers, like parents and politicians, therefore repeat themselves. But this repetition must be monitored for effectiveness. Toward that end, marketers apply the concepts of effective frequency and effective reach. The assumptions behind these concepts run as follows: The first few times people are exposed to an ad, it may have little effect. It is only when more exposures are achieved that the message begins to influence its audience. With this in mind, in planning and executing a campaign, an advertiser must determine the number of times that a message must be repeated in order to be useful. This number is the effective frequency.


      Effective frequency (#) = The number of times an individual must see an advertisement in order to register the message.

A campaign’s effective frequency will depend on many factors, including market circumstances, media used, type of ad, and campaign. As a rule of thumb, however, an estimate of three exposures per purchase cycle is used surprisingly often.

See also


  1. ^ Farris, Paul W.; Neil T. Bendle; Phillip E. Pfeifer; and David J. Reibstein (2010). Marketing Metrics: The Definitive Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance (Second Edition). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc. <http://www.amazon.com/Marketing-Metrics-Definitive-Measuring-Performance/dp/0137058292>

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