Take a reality check to determine how clearly you understand what your prospects are thinking each time they look at your advertisement.
You take a leap of faith and contract to run a weekly ad in the local newspaper with a frequency of once a week for a full year. After five weeks, the results displease you so much that you cancel the contract.
Five ads in five weeks seems like a lot of frequency in marketing. Five exposures do, indeed, establish some momentum. But they don't even come close to create enough desire to motivate a sale. To truly comprehend how much frequency is enough to spark that sale, you've got to know just what your prospects think from each exposure. Here is exactly what each one thinks as he or she looks at the ad you've run:
1. The first time a man looks at an advertisement, he does not see it.
2. The second time, he does not notice it.
3. The third time, he is conscious of its existence.
4. The fourth time, he faintly remembers having seen it before.
5. The fifth time, he reads it.
6. The sixth time, he turns up his nose at it.
7. The seventh time, he reads it through and says, "Oh brother!"
8. The eighth time, he says, "Here's that confounded thing again!"
9. The ninth time, he wonders if it amounts to anything.
10. The tenth time, he asks his neighbor if he has tried it.
11. The eleventh time, he wonders how the advertiser makes it pay.
12. The twelfth time, he thinks it must be a good thing.
13. The thirteenth time, he thinks perhaps it might be worth something.
14. The fourteenth time, he remembers wanting such a thing a long time.
15. The fifteenth time, he is tantalized because he cannot afford to buy it.
16. The sixteenth time, he thinks he will buy it some day.
17. The seventeenth time, he makes a memorandum to buy it.
18. The eighteenth time, he swears at his poverty.
19. The nineteenth time, he counts his money carefully.
20. The twentieth time he sees the ad, he buys what it is offering.
The list you've just read was written by Thomas Smith of London in l885.
But here we are beginning a new millennium, so how much of that list is valid right now, today? The answer is all of it.
Savvy business owners know that the single most important element of superb marketing is commitment to a focused plan. Do you think commitment is easy to maintain after an ad has run nineteen times and nobody is buying? It's not easy. But smart marketers have the coolness to hang in there because they know how to get into a prospect's unconsciousness, where most purchase decisions are made. They know it takes repetition. This knowledge fuels their commitment. Anyhow, they never thought it was going to be easy.