GRP & TRP in Advertising: Definition & Calculation

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Gross rating points (GRP) and target rating points (TRP) are both terms used in advertising to talk about the rating point system used in television. Learn how GRP's households reached and TRP's target audiences correlate to provide meaningful data. Updated: 01/04/2022

Measuring Your Marketing Reach

Joe is thinking of starting to advertise on television, a complement to his existing marketing efforts, but he wants to be sure his investment makes sense and that he's reaching a large quantity of viewers with his message.

The rating point metric can tell you how many people you

Tracking his reach with a rating point system is one tool he could use. A rating point metric tells you the size of the audience you're reaching with your message through a specific media platform. A couple of specific rating point measurements might help Joe as he continues looking for new ways to reach his audience.

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  • 0:00 Measuring Your Marketing Reach
  • 0:37 What Is GRP?
  • 3:24 What Is TRP?
  • 4:37 Lesson Summary
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What Is GRP?

One type of rating point system is the gross rating points, or GRP, which tells you the number of households your message can reach as a percentage of the total population of television viewers. Essentially, GRP is a cumulative measure of the impressions your campaign is earning.

Expressed as a percentage, the GRP calculation looks something like this:

Audience Reached x Frequency of Advertisement = Gross Rating Points

The reach is the number of households or individuals who saw one of your advertisements over a specified time period. Frequency tells you how many times those households or individuals were exposed to your advertisement during that same time period.

A single rating point is equal to 1% of total participants. According to Nielsen, a firm that measures media audiences, there were an estimated 116.4 million television homes in the United States for the 2015-2016 viewing season. That means one rating point is equal to 1,164,000 households. The more rating points you earn, the more viewers there are who can potentially see your message, meaning a high GRP is important! It means more people are seeing your advertisement.

GRPs (and TRPs, which we'll discuss momentarily) are most frequently seen in television advertising, but can appear in other forms of media advertising. Let's look at a fictional television ad campaign for Joe's business from the beginning of our lesson. Let's say that Joe's advertisement is running during a television schedule reaching 43% of homes, 3 times over a one-week period. That means that Joe's advertising schedule would create 129 gross rating points for that time period (43 x 3 = 129).

Because GRPs relate to the strength of a media schedule, they can also dictate how cheap or expensive it will be for you to run an ad during that schedule. Programming with a higher GRP will have increased exposure, but likely also increased cost. Keep in mind that while a high GRP can deliver your message to many people, that does not mean guaranteed sales. You need to be certain your message is done well and is relevant while reaching your intended audience.

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