That Means Prep During Pandemic
OK … Phase 2 is underway to the return of Virginia businesses, workers and families to “normalcy”. What remains unclear is what the new-normal will look like.
What is crystal clear is the need for businesses, especially small businesses, to remain top of mind with customers, key prospects and referral partners. That means maintaining visibility during this down-time of the recovery. Your payoff … be memorable on the backside of this health and economic crisis.
In marketing, effective frequency is the number of times a person must be exposed to a promotional or educational message before there is a response generated and before additional frequency is perceived as annoying. In your reading of this article, please consider the frequency factor in promoting your brand.
So, repetition is necessary to maintain top of mind awareness and influence a buying or referral decision by your top-of-mind audiences. Once is never enough. How much is too much? You’re the best judge for your unique circumstances. To help with your decision, here are several “takes” on effective frequency.
How About an Even Dozen?
A recent study reveals that the average sale in America takes 12 “touches” to convert a suspect to a prospect and a prospect to a customer. That means a combination of a dozen times of calling, emailing, in-person visits and snail mail.
Committing to make the 12 contacts is your competitive advantage. Why? Because, all but 10% of businesses quit after only four!
The noted marketing guru, Seth Godin, addresses the need to be persistent. In his words, “The most indisputable truth of outbound marketing: Frequency improves compliance. If you promote something twice to one hundred people it will lead to more sales than if you promote it once to two hundred people. Frequency galvanizes attention and improves trust.” Click here for the full text.
So, frequency and persistency of contact with your key audiences … past and current customers, referral resources and key prospects … is vital to be the first brand to come to mind when a buying or referral decision is to be made for your product or service. But, at what point do your efforts at frequency backfire and position you as a pest rather than a trusted resource? And how do you avoid that kind of blowback?
It’s not hard to do. All you need to be conscious of is the same courtesies you learned as a child, “Don’t annoy the adults”. How, then, to stay in front of your audiences without being perceived as bothersome, pushy or overly aggressive?
- Be of help. Provide information that is valuable.
- Offer new information. Yes, you must be repetitious with your messaging, but compromise on your major theme by offering a variety of proof with each message.
- Be unique in how you communicate. For example, if you deliver every message via email – anticipate an overworked “delete” key at the recipients’ end. Alternatively, “pepper” your deliveries with a variety of media
Top-of-Mind Awareness – The 3 Rs
Repetitive. Relevant. Remarkable.
- Repetitive – Not a one-shot deal. Your poison is to be out-of-site, out-of-mind. Stay visible.
- Relevant – Share info and emotions that are valuable, smile-worthy and unique. Imagine generating a grin or a quizzical look on your audiences’ faces. You’ll find the material that will make that happen.
- Remarkable – That means memorable. A variety of delivery media will add to that.
Now, on a more positive note, your top-of-mind audiences have a set of expectations that include hearing from you and about you. That’s the emotional bonding that develops for your brand.
Case in Point
Two-thirds of customers that leave a vendor do so because they feel ignored or unappreciated. That emphasizes the opportunity for you to retain your customer base, differentiate your brand from the competition and profit from more referrals.
- Be in regular touch with your customers, prospects and referral partners in ways that are memorable. Some examples: Share topical information. Acknowledge success. Birthday wishes. Thank you for your business. Deliver a simple gift, keepsake, discount coupon.
- Be Different. Different is good. The emotional bond you will build with your customers is very powerful.
Committing to make the 12 contacts is your competitive advantage. Why?
Because, all but 10% of businesses quit after only four!
Two More Marketing Experts Chime in On Frequency – Between 3 & 20!
Thomas Smith wrote a guide called Successful Advertising in 1885. The saying he used is still being used by many marketers today.
The first time people look at any given ad, they don’t even see it.
The second time, they don’t notice it.
The third time, they are aware that it is there.
The fourth time, they have a fleeting sense that they’ve seen it somewhere before.
The fifth time, they actually read the ad.
The sixth time they thumb their nose at it.
The seventh time, they start to get a little irritated with it.
The eighth time, they start to think, “Here’s that confounded ad again.”
The ninth time, they start to wonder if they’re missing out on something.
The tenth time, they ask their friends and neighbors if they’ve tried it.
The eleventh time, they wonder how the company is paying for all these ads.
The twelfth time, they start to think that it must be a good product.
The thirteenth time, they start to feel the product has value.
The fourteenth time, they start to remember wanting a product exactly like this for a long time.
The fifteenth time, they start to yearn for it because they can’t afford to buy it.
The sixteenth time, they accept the fact that they will buy it sometime in the future.
The seventeenth time, they make a note to buy the product.
The eighteenth time, they curse their poverty for not allowing them to buy this terrific product.
The nineteenth time, they count their money very carefully.
The twentieth time prospects see the ad, they buy what is offering.
Herbert E. Krugman wrote “Why Three Exposures may be enough” while he was employed at General Electric. His theory has been adopted and widely use in the advertising arena. The following statement encapsulates his theory: “Let me try to explain the special qualities of one, two and three exposures. I stop at three because as you shall see there is no such thing as a fourth exposure psychologically; rather fours, fives, etc., are repeats of the third exposure effect.”
“Exposure No. 1 is…a “What is it?” type of… response. Anything new or novel, no matter how uninteresting, on second exposure has to elicit some response the first time…if only to discard the object as of no further interest…The second exposure…response…is “What of it?”…whether or not [the message] has personal relevance…
“By the third exposure the viewer knows he’s been through his “What is it’s?” and “What of it’s?,” and the third, then, becomes the true reminder . . . The importance of this view . . . is that it positions advertising as powerful only when the viewer…is interested in the (product message) …Secondly, it positions the viewer as…reacting to the commercial—very quickly…when the proper time comes round.
“There is a myth in the advertising world that viewers will forget your message if you don’t repeat your advertising often enough. It is this myth that supports many large advertising expenditures…I would rather say the public comes closer to forgetting nothing they have seen on TV. They just “put it out of their minds” until and unless it has some use . . . and [then] the response to the commercial continues.”
According to Krugman, there are only three levels of exposure in psychological terms: Curiosity, Recognition and Decision.
Be memorable and visible on the other side of the Coronavirus Panic Tunnel! Only you will accurately be able to gauge the effectiveness of your frequency factor.