Digital Marketing Question Series: Is SOV based on Impressions or on Unique Users?

Hi Friends. Very recently I came across some interesting questions which required knowledge of offline or Traditional media as well as Digital media. One example being, will priciple of Optimal Frequency hold good for a campaign(digital) wherein the Objective is SOV? I had put this question on my Facebook and few of my friends in the industry replied to my question. I am thankful to them for putting forward their interesting views. Following is the discussion that happened on my Facebook. Hope you will find it intriguing & useful. Do shoot your feedback/queries/questions.

Question Was: Is SOV based on Impressions or on Unique Users?

Ajay Gupte                                                                                    

Impressions. SOV (share of voice) is the share of the noise made and not share of the users reached.

 MP Singh

Is it possible in traditional space to figure out how many unique users can be reached at an SOV of, let’s say, 30%?

 Bharat Wadhwa

I think it’s important to know SOV in UU as well because you may not want to show your ad again and again to same individual. MP it depends on your goal what do you want to achieve.


@bharat: need more explanation on your last line? 

Ajay Gupte:

@MP. No… The 30% SOV can only tell you the number of impressions generated.. That is if you know the total impressions generated by the competitive set… Once you have the number of impressions, you can find out UU if you know the average number of times (AOTS/Avg.Freq.) the ad has been seen. Impressions/Freq=UU


@ajay sir: In online, Freq is under my control. So I can figure out optimum noise I need to make based on UUs.
Also, I was wondering if “Optimum Frequency” principle holds good when objective is SOV?

Ajay Gupte:

@MP: See SOV is dependent on 2 things

The noise you make and the noise everyone else in the category makes. Noise is equal to GRP or Impressions

GRP is nothing but impressions expressed in percentage terms of the size of the Target audience.  An SOV target is based on how much you believe you should be heard in relation to your competition.  Therefore in real terms you are not talking UU here. Here u are more concerned that your impressions are more than that of competition of course you will optimize these impressions of yours in a way that you get optimal UU (reach) and Frequency.

So therefore take an example your category is doing 10 million impressions a month. You want to have at least 50% SOV. so you need 5 million impressions.  Now suppose your target audience is 5 million people.  You may now say that i will achieve 5 million impressions by getting everyone to see the ad once. So you fix the max number of impressions at 1 and keep waiting till the 5 million UU is achieved. Alternatively you can say that the max no. of times the ad should be seen is 5 and you keep serving till approx 1 million UU is achieved.


So Whats Your Take?


One thought on “Digital Marketing Question Series: Is SOV based on Impressions or on Unique Users?

  1. I completely agree with the views of Ajay, “for maximum SOV the focus should be more to out number the competition in terms of impressions”. In my opinion Sponsorship coupled with impressions/innovations is the best way to do that.

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