During Google’s Marketing Next conference in San Francisco, the search giant unveiled a new measurement tool called Unique Reach which will allow marketers to know the exact number of times a person has been exposed to an ad in Google Adwords.

Online advertising is often based on the interests of users who get the ads delivered to them or those who are targeted through various tracking methods. Google wants to help advertisers measure the usage of their user behavior accurately, and who better than Google – a company which makes most of its fortune from advertising revenues

Unique Reach, now available through an AdWords update, will allow advertisers to measure campaign time or view how many times a person has seen an add across all devices, campaigns and formats.

If you search for a particular product online, you’re guaranteed to be bombarded by countless ads offering similar products. At first, such targeted ads might seem informative, but soon their repetitive nature emerges. The duplication is not only considered highly annoying by users, but it’s also wasteful for marketers. With Unique Reach, advertisers will be able to know how many times a person has seen an ad, as well as the number of unique users, in addition to average impressions per unique user.

The new AdWords tool unveiled by Google this week is similar to Facebook’s “exact reach” metric which is used to show the number of plays per user and number of unique views. A feature like Unique Reach was long overdue.

Google is betting on allowing marketers to deliver less duplicate ads and offer more variety. But this goes against an older advertising school which rests on the principle of “effective frequency”. This term is used to describe the number of times a consumer has to be exposed to an ad or advertising message before the advertiser can get the desired response. According to this philosophy to evoke the desired reaction, the customer has to be exposed to such an ad at least five times.

Thomas Smith highlights this principle in his book “Successful Advertising” by breaking down the exact number of steps needed to get a message across to consumers:

  • The 1st time people look at an ad, they don’t see it.
  • The 2nd time, they don’t notice it.
  • The 3rd time, they are aware that it is there.
  • The 4th time, they have a fleeting sense that they’ve seen it before.
  • The 5th time, they actually read the ad.

In an age where time spent online has increased dramatically, there is also the growing need to be constantly exposed to something new. That’s why Google’s Unique Reach tool could make a lot of sense for advertisers trying their best not to bore customers with their ads.

In addition to Unique Reach, Google also introduced a new metric that is meant to capture viewing time of advertising videos. The new tool is designed to offer more marketers an insight into what exactly holds the viewers’ attention.