Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Frequency in communication

Beeing a consumer today involves beeing overloaded with offers and deals of all sorts, in all channels and at any time of day. There are different views on whether marketing should be concentrated into high peak campaigns or whether messages should be distributed over time on a lower level of communication density. A new brand or product often need a boost in order to get into the minds, and the same goes if you are selling highly seasonial product such as Christmas Trees. But if you are not in the market for the product or service, chances are that your message is getting filtered out by the brain as beeing irrelevant information at the time, a principle known as cognitive dissonance. If you on the other hand is in an active search process in order to buy any item, chances are that even a minor campaign will be noticed as it corresponds to the interest from the potential buyer´s point of view.

In 1885, Thomas Smith, a successful businessman in London said it like this:

1. The first time a man looks at an advertisement, he does not see it.
2. The second time, he does not notice it.
3. The third time, he is conscious of its existence.
4. The fourth time, he faintly remembers having seen it before.
5. The fifth time, he reads it.
6. The sixth time, he turns up his nose at it.
7. The seventh time, he reads it through and says, “Oh brother!”
8. The eighth time, he says, “Here’s that confounded thing again!”
9. The ninth time, he wonders if it amounts to anything.
10. The tenth time, he asks his neighbor if he has tried it.
11. The eleventh time, he wonders how the advertiser makes it pay.
12. The twelfth time, he thinks it must be a good thing.
13. The thirteenth time, he thinks perhaps it might be worth something.
14. The fourteenth time, he remembers wanting such a thing a long time.
15. The fifteenth time, he is tantalized because he cannot afford to buy it.
16. The sixteenth time, he thinks he will buy it some day.
17. The seventeenth time, he makes a memorandum to buy it.
18. The eighteenth time, he swears at his poverty.
19. The nineteenth time, he counts his money carefully.
20. The twentieth time he sees the ad, he buys what it is offering.

Using frequency as a tool, ie beeing visible over time, ready to be at hand as consumers enters the market, does not excuse poor content. It only ensures that your marketing effort is beeing seen when people are ready to.o