At First You Don’t Succeed… Try, Try Again

It’s a sorry and expensive fact that, for advertising to be effective, it takes multiple impressions over a period of time.  Results of survey after survey show that it takes six to ten “views” before the viewer is even aware of an advertiser’s existence, and unless the recipient is actively in the market and looking for the advertised product or service, it will take even more impressions to get them to be receptive to your offer.  

The average person is exposed to hundreds, even thousands of advertising messages every day and acts on a very, yet percentage, so most advertisers get discouraged if immediate results are not spectacular (or at least pretty darn good).  For advertising to be successful, one must consider their advertising to be a long-term investment and have the capability and the discipline to give an advertising campaign the time to work.

Before going further, it’s important to be aware of differences in media.  Each potential medium will have different factors for success. Social media, broadcast tv and radio, print advertising, direct mail, and billboards all have their advantages and disadvantages relative to costs, geographic reach, demographic selections, and lead time requirements.  Research is critical to success.

There is a four-step process for planning a successful campaign:

  1. Establish reasonable goals (example – the number of new customers or inquiries for an advertised product or service).
  2. Determine, using industry data or cash flow projections, how much of an advertising investment it will take to achieve the stated goals and whether that amount is reasonable and affordable for your business.
  3. Develop a small-budget “test” advertising campaign to see if the results indicate that a larger investment will meet the stated goals.
  4. If the “test” ads, after repeating them six to ten times, are not having the desired results, develop another offer.  If they do bring the desired results, expand the campaign into more markets and / or more media.

It is the testing of media selection, message, and offer against the goals that will establish a successful campaign.  Sure, you might get lucky and find success with your first test, but chances are you will need to try multiple tests to develop advertising that works.  If you approach advertising as a long-term commitment and budget for the long term, you will be minimizing risk and, when you hit upon the right message, reap the rewards of repetition.

Question or comment to Larry: