Date: February 16, 1999
Re: AMS-Forum advertising

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Ref. Paul Lopez' asking why I feel "a good, thought out commercial, which could be watched by millions of viewers, could not be good media strategy?":

The content of the commerical itself has nothing to do with media strategy; that's CREATIVE strategy. The most on-target creative message ever devised will fail if it isn't coupled with an effective and efficient MEDIA strategy.

Media strategy has three dimensions: reach, frequency and impact. Reach is the raw number of prospects exposed to a message once; frequency is the average number of times each of those prospects is "reached"; and impact is the degree to which the message is received by the prospect, and how quickly.

If you posit that there is a window of approximately three months within which the prospect of finding a mover is significant to a prospect, and if you accept the statistic that 1 in 5 relocations involve a professional mover, and that 1 in 7 households moves each year, and if you through in the fact that we cannot affect consumer demand for our product, then at any given time about 1 in 140 (1/4 X 1/5 Z 1/7) households is a reasonable prospect. Therefore, the cost of reach--which is the stock in trade of mass media and, apparently, the characteristic that appeals to Paul--is exorbitant for our industry.

The key to successful advertising for our industry is a combination of reach and impact in highly vertical media, specifically those connected with the real estate industry.

Mass media usage as a solution to every business' marketing problems IS the 60s way of thinking, Paul. Today, we all have to think in terms of pin-pointing our market as closely as possible because the cost of media, and of making a media mistake, is just too high.

At the risk of starting a "range war", I have to say that the use of mass media by some of my larger competitors is more a demonstration of superior funding than superior strategy.

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