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What are Target Rating Points?

Target rating points (TRP) are similar to gross rating points (GRP). While GRP measures potential impact for the general audience, TRP focuses on gauging performance for a specific targeted audience.

Like gross rating points, TRPs are used in media planning and buying, where it serves as a convenient way to:

  • Gauge the potential effectiveness of an ad campaign,
  • Track the efficiency of ad budget spending, or
  • compare the viability of different advertising channels.

How Do TRPs Work?

Since they’re essentially gauging the same thing but with different degrees of audience filtration, the GRP equation forms your base for computing TRP.

You start by coming up with your GRP: how much of the total population your campaign can expect to reach. For more information on calculating GRP, you can check out our glossary entry here. [link to GRP glossary entry]

Once you have your GRP value, you bring in a crucial component: what percentage of your campaign’s total audience is made up of your targeted individuals? That’s the number that you then use to find your TRP.

Let’s say you’re running an ad alongside a TV show, and you want to reach millennials (18-34). The ad will run 5 times. When it comes to your audience, there might be 25 million households who typically tune into that TV show, out of the 118.4 million TV-watching households in the US.

As our GRP glossary example tells you, that gives you a GRP of 105.5. However, GRP encompasses all of that TV show’s typical audience — not just millennials.

To zero in on your particular audience targets, you need further data. Nielsen or your own market studies might tell you that, of that show’s 25 million household viewers, 10% are millennials. You multiply that ratio by your GRP:

105.5 x 0.10 = 10.55

Your campaign’s TRP is 10.55. You can repeat the process using data from other TV shows, giving you a solid number to use for comparisons if or when you have to choose which show to use for your campaign.

TV is just one example, though. Given the right data, you can perform similar TRP calculations for digital video publishing platforms, websites, and so on.


Why Does TRP Matter?


TRP is a useful preliminary metric for measuring the impact of your campaign. You can take it into account when judging the effectiveness of one ad buy or media channel over another, giving you a quick way to optimize your ad spending.

Bear in mind, though, that TRP is a coarse metric at best. It’s not sophisticated enough to weigh factors like publisher credibility or perceived reliability, for example; you could have an outlet that has a high TRP but relatively less clout, which could blunt the impact of your ad.

Additionally, both TRP and GRP are projections, with no guarantees that the estimated audience coverage pans out as expected for the actual campaign. Neither TRP nor GRP can certify, for example, that the viewers you expect to reach will actually see or pay attention to your ad.