Marketing repetition

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Repetition builds continuity - continuity builds history - and history builds identity.” -Roshan Samtani


So, I‘m down here in Louisville, Kentucky, getting ready for the mammoth Mid America Trucking Show. All the suppliers to the trucking industry - from manufacturers of big rigs, trailers, and engines, down to the smallest of components and pieces of chrome - are going to be lined up to show of their wares. It‘s one of the biggest and boldest marketing performances these companies - large and small - put on every year, so it‘s worth thinking about how to get the most bang for the marketing buck spent on such efforts.


For some insight on this topic, I am going to turn (yet again!) to Professor Jerry Osteryoung with the college of Business at Florida State University. He‘s got some pretty interesting thoughts about how “repetition” is the key to building band identity in the marketplace - something suppliers and trucking firms themselves could put to good use. Professor Osteryoung, the floor is yours:


“We were working with an entrepreneur who owned a professional service business. He was trying to increase his revenues, which had been flat for the last three years, and his profits were falling as well. He had tried numerous ways of bringing in new customers, from targeted direct mail with post cards to TV advertising.


However, none of these methods had any effect. His sales remained flat and even began to decrease as he was harvesting very few new customers. When I asked him about his marketing plan, he said that he was trying to spend around 3% of his revenues. He said he did not have a marketing or advertising plan. Rather, he was looking for that one advertising medium that would produce the results he was looking for and turn his revenues and profits around. However, when it came to waiting for these results, he was very impatient. He was constantly switching from one form of advertising to another, looking for one that would bring in many new customers or the magic bullet.


It is very reasonable to expect results from advertising dollars; however, it takes repetition of a marketing message to get a potential customer to act based on the advertisement. In our busy, multi-tasking life, we are bombarded with information daily. Information overload is so common, and it is showing no sign of slowing down. Customers just will not act on any advertisement unless it is both unique and repetitive.


I know that when I get regular mail every day, I look for bills and personal notes and just trash most of the rest. I just do not have the time or the inclination to look at anything else, unless it grabs me at first sight.


Okay, so what does all this mean in relation to spending money on advertising? In order for advertising to produce results, a customer must see the ad five to seven times. Potential customers need to be frequently reminded about your firm and products. Just look at Nike and how they put their “swoosh” symbol everywhere, especially at athletic venues.


Repetition and unique advertising generates what I call “top of mind awareness.” It is this “top of mind awareness” that brings in new customers. If I am a plumber, I want my company‘s name to be the first one a potential new customer thinks of. That way, they will call me when they need service. The only way to accomplish this “top of mind awareness” is through repetition of ads.

It always surprises me how many relatively small companies spend so much to advertise for thirty seconds during the Super Bowl, but are never seen advertising again. It would make so much more marketing sense for these firms to advertise more frequently with their unique message.


That‘s the key: making sure that your advertising is both repetitive and unique, and that in turn, you are getting the maximum out of every advertising dollar.”


As always, you can reach Professor Osteryoung by e-mail at jostery@comcast.net or by phone at 850-644-3372. All of Dr. Osteryoung‘s articles, by the way, can be found in a searchable form at www.cob.fsu.edu/jmi.

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