The goal of the media planner is to extend media coverage to as many of the members of the target audience as possible while minimizing the amount of waste coverage. The situation usually involves trade-offs. Sometimes one has to live with less coverage than desired; other times, the most effective media expose people not sought. In this instance, waste coverage is justified because the media employed are likely to be the most effective means of delivery available and the cost of the waste coverage is exceeded by the value gained from their use.

When watching football games on TV, you may have noticed commercials for stock brokerage firms such as Charles Schwab, Merrill Lynch, and E Trade. Not all viewers are candidates for stock market services, but a very high percentage of potential customers can be reached with this strategy. So football programs are considered a good media buy because the ability to generate market coverage outweighs the disadvantages of high waste coverage.

Figure 10-15 shows how information provided by Simmons can be used to match media to target markets. It profiles magazines read and TV shows watched by people who do aerobics. (You can practice using index numbers here.) From Figure 10-15, you can see that Shape, Self, and Seventeen magazines would likely be wise selections for aerobics ads, whereas Road and Track, or Sports Afield, would be less likely to lead to the desired exposures.

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