Invest in High Reach Media, If Your Budget Allows It

Invest in High Reach Media, If Your Budget Allows It
Photo by Bruna Araujo / Unsplash

Invest in Mass Media or High Reach Media, or Media that everyone is talking about; invest in Famous Media channels; it’s the best way to get your brand known.

Given that any category buyer is a potential buyer of your brand, big reach should be your #1 Media target.

Reach, reach, reach … but can I afford it?

During the Mad Men era and shortly after, Don Draper recommended investing in mass media advertising. That’s how they build the brands we all know today. Using good old TV.

These days, startup brands that made it to the status of scale brands (like Blue Buffalo, Kind, or Dollar Shave) share the same pattern. They grow exponentially in their first growth stage by overusing direct-to-consumer channels. Their growth then plateaus, forcing them to tap into mass advertising channels to scale up. That is why the constant decline in Mass Media audiences and fragmentation of Media channels should be a worrying trend for any advertiser who wants to build brands to scale, not just make the next sale.

A maze of multi-formats and solutions with varying degrees of quality and measurability is now available to offset this mass-reach decline. You better equip yourself with a lot of patience, media budgets, and detective skills to navigate this complex digital labyrinth.

In a digital world built on the promise to understand consumers better, it might seem archaic to praise the role of mass media. Yet here I am doing precisely that, with a twist. I am simply saying that mass reach opportunities are what we all should be hunting for; the only limit is the budget we are playing our game.

But what precisely is Mass Reach? A higher share of voice compared to your market share?

The focus on Share of Voice as a primary metric for the ideal level of your media investment always puzzled me. Let’s face it. It could be one way to set your media budget, but seems simplistic to me. There are less complex ways to say more investment is better than less; compare this year’s numbers with the previous year.

I have to confess: not a fan of SOV.

But why I don’t believe in SOV?

There is a big difference between correlation and causation. Share of Voice and Share of Market (or growth of the latter one) are at best correlated, but there is not always a causation between the two. A simple proof: in every category where Private Labels are growing at the expense of brands that advertise, the relationship between SOV and SOM goes the opposite way.

“Good old” brands are spending media money to grow their penetration, but sometimes, the benefits are also collected by private labels at the point of sale. And that’s because advertising drives category growth on top of brand growth.

In categories where brands dictate the share game, with a +50% market share, they would have to spend enormous budgets to keep up with the brands eroding their share.

Do you think SOV is the right way forward?