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My name's Joel Kelly and I live in Halifax, NS.

I'm a 20something guy doing digital and social media strategy for a Halifax-based marketing agency.

I'm a vegan nerd and marketing asshole.

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Contact me about whatever (like, say, your marketing questions) at

Monday, May 26, 2008

Reach ain't everything - Tip #1

My last post on web marketing threw out an example of something that I sometimes need to explain to clients when preparing online campaigns for them: Reach vs. % Comp UV.

Reach ain't everything. Just because a certain site might hit a huge percentage of your audience (Yahoo!'s network of properties, for instance, reaches about 100% of internet users in Canada), that doesn't mean those sites are sufficient on your buy, or even the best way to spend your money.

Sites with huge reach often have prices to match. While Hotmail may have more impressions than they know what to do with and can therefore offer a low CPM (cost per thousand impressions), most sites with huge reach charge a big price for their valuable impressions.

So what do you do with a small budget, or a client extremely concerned with efficiencies? That's where % Comp UV comes in. It's the percentage of a site's unique visitors that are composed of your target demo.

So one site, say, Facebook, might hit 90% of your target demo, but their % Comp UV may only be 3%. However, a smaller, more targeted site might only reach about 5% of your demo, but it could be composed almost entirely of people in your demo. Find enough of those smaller sites with huge % Comp UV and you might be able to spend less over a bunch of sites and hit all the same people without having to dump all your money on one or two sites with huge reach.

Of course, if you're breaking your buy up into smaller chunks like that you'll want to make sure you're not hitting the exact same people over and over again on those sites.

Agencies use tools to measure reach, % Comp UV, and duplication, among many other metrics, but a good eye and intuition (and carefully worded questions to the people running the sites you're interested in) can still get you a long way. I can't really talk about specific tools I use at my day job, or go into detail about how we construct buys, but hopefully the little bit of information I've given will create a bit of awareness of what goes into buying media online.


Jeff White said...

There is some great information here, Joel. This is a side of the industry I don't know much about.

What does % Comp UV stand for?

Joel Kelly said...

Glad you liked it Jeff!

It stands for the Percent Composition of Unique Visitors. The percentage of the site's Unique Visitors that are in your target demo.