Learn About Market Reach and Why It's Important

How to use market reach to make smart marketing choices

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Creating a marketing campaign requires creative thinking and risk-taking. But to create an effective marketing campaign, you have to quantify, measure, and analyze your choices and your results.

Market reach is one advertising metric that can help you make informed, profitable marketing decisions.

What Market Reach Is

Market reach is the estimated number of potential consumers who could see your specific campaign or advertising medium. This helps you determine whether the cost of a marketing campaign is worth the new customers it could attract. 

For example, if you want to buy a commercial spot on television, the market reach is the number of people who might watch that channel when your ad airs. If you're advertising in a magazine, the market reach is the number of people who will buy the magazine.

What Market Reach Is Not

It's important to remember that market reach does not tell you how many people will see your advertisement. Television viewers could leave the room during commercials. Magazine subscribers might toss an issue in the recycling before they have the chance to read it.

Market reach tells you your potential audience, a portion of which has the opportunity to turn into new customers.

Why Is Market Reach Important?

Measuring market reach allows you to make informed marketing decisions and use your resources effectively.

  • You can minimize risks. Knowing how many customers you might reach allows you to make smarter decisions about where you spend your money. This minimizes the risks of overspending on ineffective marketing and helps you create campaigns that have a profitable return on investment (ROI).
  • You can plan ahead. If you know how many potential new customers you'll reach, you can ensure that you have enough products available for purchase or manpower to provide services. Knowing how the market reach changes over the course of a year can also help you plan seasonal ad campaigns.
  • You can fine-tune your messaging. When you know exactly who you are speaking to and hoping to attract, you can adjust your language and tone to appeal to them directly. This allows you to create more effective marketing than trying to create generic advertising that appeals to everyone.

How to Use Market Reach Strategically 

Measuring elements of your marketing campaign is the first step. Once you have numbers available, you have to use them strategically.

Using market reach effectively starts with knowing your target market. Are you appealing to parents or students? What is their income? Where do they live? As tempting as it can be to try to appeal to everyone, you'll have better success creating a strong marketing campaign by understanding who is actually in need of your product or service—as well as who can afford to buy it.

Once you have a clear picture of who you are trying to communicate with, look at where they consume advertising.

  • Are your target customers on social media or checking their mail?
  • Do they read blogs or newspapers? Which ones?
  • How, where, and when do they watch TV?

When you know where your target market can be found, the market reach of each medium will tell you how many potential customers could see your advertising. Knowing this can guide you toward creating advertising with the greatest possible potential for converting new customers.

Keep in mind that market reach is only one of the numbers you need to consider when crafting effective advertising. Cost, how much customers trust a medium, and how likely they are to convert from viewers to consumers should all be factors that influence your decision.

But when combined with your target market profile, market reach is a strong starting point for creating a marketing campaign that will help your business grow.