Create a stack of impressions

Stacks Who gets tired of your marketing messages first?

You do. 

Long before your target audience has completely absorbed your key messages, you are so sick of them you just have to freshen them up.  Right?

Don't.

Your target needs to hear the same message 8-13 times before it even registers with them.

How high do you let messages stack up before you get distracted/bored and change things up? 

How close were you to the magic 8-13 times and maybe your first sale when you changed gears?  When in doubt….leave it alone.

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10 comments on “Create a stack of impressions

  1. Francis says:

    I agree with the spirit of this post, but I think its a huge generalization to peg optimum frequency of exposure at 8-13. This varies tremendously by program.

  2. Lewis Green says:

    Drew,

    To Francis’s point, I don’t think you said 8 – 13 was optimim but minimum. Generally, that’s true but we know that with advertising, the minimum in B2B can be fewer than 8 impressions. However, you are on target with the advice.

    This may or may not surprise you, but our marketing messages never change. We may dress them up differently but the messages remain the same. This was also true at Starbucks when I was there and at GTE when I was with them in the late ’80s and early ’90s.

    Changing key messages sends a bad message. When we do so not only do the messages struggle to register but they confuse and frustrate customers.

  3. Frances,

    Thanks for jumping into the conversation. I would hope the fact that I used a range like 8-13 would suggest to readers that this is an approximation, not an absolute.

    Of course it varies not only by program but audience, industry, noise level and even the time of year.

    My point is that most people stop short and need to get over their own boredom and do what’s right to achieve their marketing goals.

    Drew

  4. Lewis,

    Again I agree, the 8-13 was to suggest more than a few times, not as an absolute.

    Most companies don’t know their key messages so they just point the gun and shoot. And if you don’t hit anything, they point in a new direction and shoot. Not a very effective way to get where you want to go.

    Drew

  5. This explains why it takes quite a few visits for someone to actually make a purchase at a website. I’ve learned at least after 10 times of hearing a message, people start to respond.

    -Terra
    http://www.BetterForBusiness.com

  6. Mark says:

    I was just having this conversation with one of account people today. She had gotten the client call we’ve all received, “I’m not sure we have to stay with that campaign imagery in everything?!?! We might want to look at some other looks.” So, just to add to your point, it’s not just the VERBAL marketing message that should maintain staying power, but also the VISUAL messages. Thanks for offering some hard numbers to the point, too.

  7. Hi Drew,

    It’s a short and simple article, but a good one nonetheless. Helping small business owners to hit that number of exposures can be difficult, so it’s always good to find simple and concrete reasons to give them.

    I just wrote an article earlier today about consistency in marketing (I linked to one of your other posts). I think that the more we can explain the importance of consistency and repetition, the better.

    Thanks for the post,

    – Mason

  8. Terra,

    You are very right — it takes multiple impressions before someone is ready to buy. The bigger the purchase, the bigger the number of impressions needed for them to trust the decision.

    The exact number isn’t critical to the lesson which is — be very mindful of stacking those impressions and don’t walk away from a tactic until you have really exhausted it.

    Drew

  9. Mark,

    Boy, have I had those conversations! It’s frustrating because you know the client is just bored with the execution. But that’s when the people they are trying to reach are actually starting to pay attention.

    So I feel your pain!

    Drew

  10. Mason,

    I think one of the realities that some marketers forget is that we need to spend a lot of time educating our clients. We can’t expect them to know everything we know.

    It’s our responsibility to help them learn so they can make better choices, in my opinion.

    Drew

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