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What Is Reach in Marketing?

When weighing options for engaging target audiences, marketing departments need to consider potential reach before determining which marketing channel or platform is the best one for their needs. But you may be asking yourself exactly what is reach in marketing? Reach in marketing is one way of quantifying the number of people who could see your advertisement, promotion, or social post. 

Let’s start with an example of reach in marketing. If you are considering taking out a newspaper advertisement, you’ll need to know the reach for that publication. If your local paper has an average readership of 10,000 people per day, that would be the reach of that newspaper ad.  

It’s important to point out that when you’re determining the reach for a particular medium, you might want to get more specific. In the case of this local paper, the weekday readership is lower than the weekend readership, so it’s worth ensuring you have a clear understanding of exact readership before placing an advertisement. Lack of transparency into the discrepancy between these numbers could mean a huge readership difference.  

It’s also critical that the marketing department understands that a reach of a certain number does not guarantee that a number of people will see your advertisement or social media post. Reach indicates how many people could see your ad, but a smaller percentage of people are likely to actually see the ad, read the copy, absorb the message, and follow through on your call to action. This is an important distinction to make when predicting the number of marketing leads that might result from placing an advertisement or paying for sponsored posts on social media. 

However, reach is still an important factor when considering which channel to use when communicating to potential customers. It should be weighed alongside other factors that will impact who sees and responds to your marketing advertisements. These other factors might include the marketing target audience, and any information you have on how they prefer to interact with media, their general engagement levels with media, and their willingness to heed calls to action through various channels. 

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