The headline for this blog post came from a recent meeting I had with a client to develop a new marketing plan for his business. What worked a few years ago to generate new business wasn’t working and he needs a new direction and new strategies. During the meeting the client asked me “How long will it take this to work?” and I was stuck for an answer.
So after a few internet searches I realized no one else knows either. With respect to advertising some say an ad has to be seen 3 times; another expert says 7 and there is even the Rule of 27 that claims it takes 27 impressions for an ad to stick.
The success of a marketing plan is measured differently than an advertisement would be, but the most important thing is to have objective and subjective goals and a way of measuring the success of the marketing plan. As for how long will it take to work? I think the fact someone recognizes something is broken and they need to fix it, things are only going to get better immediately.
During my research I came across this interesting list written in 1885 by Thomas Smith called Successful Advertising. I think this applies as much today as it did 127 years ago.
- The first time people look at any given ad, they don’t even see it.
- The second time, they don’t notice it.
- The third time, they are aware that it is there.
- The fourth time, they have a fleeting sense that they’ve seen it somewhere before.
- The fifth time, they actually read the ad.
- The sixth time they thumb their nose at it.
- The seventh time, they start to get a little irritated with it.
- The eighth time, they start to think, “Here’s that confounded ad again.”
- The ninth time, they start to wonder if they’re missing out on something.
- The tenth time, they ask their friends and neighbors if they’ve tried it.
- The eleventh time, they wonder how the company is paying for all these ads.
- The twelfth time, they start to think that it must be a good product.
- The thirteenth time, they start to feel the product has value.
- The fourteenth time, they start to remember wanting a product exactly like this for a long time.
- The fifteenth time, they start to yearn for it because they can’t afford to buy it.
- The sixteenth time, they accept the fact that they will buy it sometime in the future.
- The seventeenth time, they make a note to buy the product.
- The eighteenth time, they curse their poverty for not allowing them to buy this terrific product.
- The nineteenth time, they count their money very carefully.
- The twentieth time prospects see the ad, they buy what is offering.
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