by Barbara Sanner, Brand Development, Cox eLearning Consultants
May 16, 2012
I love my TiVO. I love skipping through the commercials by using the fast forward button. I love being able to watch a 60-minute program in only 40 minutes. As a professional marketeer (no, not “Mouseketeer”), this could almost be considered blasphemy. Yet, I do it all the time.
There are some occasions when I watch “live” TV, like a Diamondbacks baseball game, or the Stanley Cup Playoffs. While watching one of these games the other night, my husband noticed that the same ads were shown over and over and over again. My husband, who is a software engineer and not a marketeer, got a bit frustrated. OK, he was really getting mad.
So we got to talking… why do advertisers run the same ads on TV over and over again? Any conscious adult in the U.S. knows about products like Coca-Cola or Chevrolet. Yet, there the ads are, hour after hour, sometimes the same ones within an hour. Frustrating? Yes. You might even ask yourself, “Do I really need to be reminded every day that Coca-Cola tastes refreshing, or that Chevrolet has cars and trucks for sale?”
The answer is YES, you do. Why? Because of reach and frequency.
It’s not enough that you walk past the soda aisle in the grocery store and know that Coca-Cola is down that aisle, available and waiting for you to buy it. It’s also not enough that you drive by the Chevy dealership every day on your way home from work. You see the cars and trucks, but you’re not in the market for one right now. You’re thinking about having a refreshing Coke when you get home. You’re not paying attention.
That’s what reach and frequency do – get you to pay attention. Those megabrands wouldn’t be what they are today without reach and frequency. Reach is number of people you are reaching with your marketing messages – whether it’s a TV ad, web ad, or email campaign. Frequency is the number of times you are reaching those people with your marketing messages. Success is when people pay attention to your messages and contact you to get more information.
On average, a person needs to see a message 8 times before they start to pay attention to it. Then, they need to see it 6 more times before they take action on it! WOW.
This is why it’s so important to develop a mid- to long-term communications strategy:
1. Identify the audience you want to reach.
It can be a small audience or a large one, but it must be relevant to your message and solution offering. Selecting the right demographics for your contacts list is critical, because that’s where the leads will come from. No sales will result from sending your “Coca-Cola” message to people interested in buying a “Chevrolet.” Although thinking through and identifying those demographics can be somewhat tedious, it’s a critical step in the process to identify that key audience.
2. Send frequent email messages – once each month, for 6 or 12 months.
It’s not enough to send a message in one month and another message 3 months later. It needs to be consistent and with regularity. The content can change every few months – or even every month, if you like – but getting your name and overall message to them regularly is key.
3. Integrate that same messaging into other communications media.
Use the email message content as a basis for your online blog, web ad or e-newsletter. Mention the same content in a Twitter posting. Add a “call-out” box or bubble on your website’s home page that reinforces the message. Put it into your e-signature on every email you send. Get it out there.
By following these principles of strong and regular marketing communications, your message will reach the right audience and the right audience will start to pay attention to you. That results in potential clients sending a message to you: Tell me more about what you do…