Does Repetition Really Work or Are You Just Trying to Get Me to Buy More?

‐ January 30, 2014


The answer to both of these questions is YES.

The reason repetitive advertising is effective is because of two reasons: market timing and familiarity.

The fact is it is almost impossible to time the market, which is exactly what you are doing when you “try” some form of advertising to see if it works. The reason is that the market place is made up of individual people and these individuals have different needs at different times. There is no way to tell exactly how many people who are in the market today for what you sell. But over the course of several weeks and months, there will be a lot more people who will come into the market for what you sell. So a one-shot, “let’s try it” approach usually is like playing roulette.

By being in front of prospects regularly and often you increase your chances to get that customer when he is ready to buy. Why?  Familiarity.

Familiarity simply means that people buy from companies that they are familiar with. If you are the new guy trying to get the prospect’s business and this is the first time the prospect has ever heard of you may or may not get a call.  The more familiar people are with your business the more likely you are to get the sale.

The ONLY way for a prospect to become familiar with your business is by continuous and repetitious advertising. The more he sees and hears your message, the more confidence he has in your company.

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The reason most businesses give up on a course of marketing is one-word “anxiety”. Because they have not sat down and calculated the worth of a customer, they come up with unrealistic advertising response goals. When the response falls short of what they expected they give up and move on to something else. Do this often enough and you end up a disillusioned advertiser with no customers and no money.

What is a customer worth to your business? We have a simple formula you can use to identify exactly what a customer is worth. Knowing what a customer is worth will help you to better plan your advertising and more importantly determine the returns you need to make your advertising worthwhile.

Direct mail marketing provides a higher return-on-investment (ROI) than most other means of advertising. But if direct mail works so well, why is it that so many small business owners tell me “I tried direct mail once… it didn’t work!” Well, the answer is in the word “once”. Direct mail like any other type of marketing/advertising takes repetition. The answer is because they tried it once, and more to the point,  they tried to time the market and lost.

Put yourself in the shoes of the customer. If you got one postcard at one point in your life, would it impact you a whole lot? In fact, after you put it down, would you even remember the companies name after an hour? Chances are you wouldn’t, especially if the company was one you’d never heard of before. Repetition is the name of the game with postcards or any type of direct mail marketing. It typically takes 3-5 postcard mailings to the same mailing list before the response rate ramps up fully.

Take this as an example: let’s say your lawnmower broke. It is nearing the end of the summer and you don’t really want to buy a new mower because you will really only have to mow once or twice in the fall. So you start looking at ads for lawn mowing services when…you remember this postcard that you’ve been getting in the mail every three weeks that describes this awesome lawn mowing service right in town!

Now, this is the power of direct mail repetition. Had the company only sent one or two postcards it probably wouldn’t have made enough of an impact, but because they sent them every two to three weeks, the person probably even had one kicking around.

So the answer to the question is yes repetition works and yes I am trying to get you to buy more.  Not because I want your money, but because I don’t want you to waste your money with a hit and miss advertising approach.

The secret to effective advertising is to zero in on exactly who your target audience is, find out what they need and want, offer that need/want, then promote, promote, promote, promote and finally promote to them what you do.

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