July 24, 2014

Why Reach and Frequency Buying Doesn’t Matter for Small Brands

On July 10th, Facebook announced details around frequency and reach capping on the PMD group.  People have been clamoring for control over frequency and reach for years, and this is a step in the right direction.

As it stands, frequency and reach buying operate like traditional media buys.  You pay for the desired inventory based on reach and frequency in advance.  Facebook then guarantees X number of people see your ads Y number of times.  Reach and frequency buying only supports CPM bidding and you can’t use Facebook objectives.

This is great news for brand marketers like Coca-Cola and Brown-Forman who can blanket target and see results.  If you’re a brand that needs more nuanced targeting and optimizations, you are out of luck.  Facebook requires your campaigns to reach a minimum of 1 million users.

It is understandable why reach doesn’t work with oCPM bidding.  If they have a mandate on reach, there is no way they can be optimized to users who are more likely to convert.

Frequency doesn’t need these limitations. Ad burnout is one of the number one optimization problems brands face and result in a lot of waste.  With frequency capping, marketers can ensure that their ads don’t spiral out of control.

I understand the business logic.  Making it easier to throttle your campaigns costs Facebook money.  Less automation means less oversight, which equals more revenue for Facebook.