The Most Common Mistakes in Advertising: No 2

2. Attempting to Reach More People Than the Budget Will Allow

Advertising schedules should be proposed and considered according to their reach and frequency. That’s how advertising works!

Reach (the total number of people who will hear your message)
Frequency (the number of times they hear it)

Think about it this way: Would you rather reach 100% of the people and convince them 10% of the way of them, or reach 10% of the people and convince all of them all the way? The advertising cost is the same.

Most advertisers reach too many people with too little repetition. If they would only reach fewer people with sufficient repetition. How much repetition is sufficient?

The average message must be received by the identical individual 3 times in 7 nights sleep.

If you cannot afford sufficient repetition during prime time, buy off-prime. Why? Because sleep erases advertising. Reach fewer people, but reach them more often.

How many people can I afford to reach?

There are two critical ratios here....
(1) How many dollars do you have to spend?
(2) What is the cost of advertising in your marketplace?

Am I willing to give you a rule of thumb? Yes, but it’s a dangerous rule of thumb.

The average business owner who is focused, and has a long-term plan, can reach a person for about 1 to 2 dollars, 3 times a week, 52 weeks a year. One to Two dollars per person, per year.
If you have a $40,000 ad budget, you can dominate about 20,000 to 40,000 people. That’s whether you’re in a town of 40,000 or a town of 4 million. Don’t try to reach 100,000 people.

Most advertisers are reaching too many people with too little repetition. As a result, the only people they’re reaching effectively are the people that just accidentally happen to be in the market for this product right now. They don’t have enough repetition to build ongoing brand awareness.

If you’re going to try to win the heart of the customer before they need what you sell, you have to reach them repetitiously and patiently wait for them to be in the market for what you sell.

What is “word-of-mouth” advertising? It is the result of somebody having been impressed deeply. How are people impressed deeply? You’re good at what you do and they actually experienced it -OR- you said something very memorable - something that surprised the hell out of Broca. Saliency is what neurologists call it - you probably know it better as Relevancy. If the saliency or relevancy was high in the message, it was memorable. And they heard it enough times to go from short-term electrical memory to long-term, or chemical, memory. But you still need the frequency because of SLEEP, the great eraser of advertising that MUST BE DEFEATED.

Successful advertising is the result of good writing and strong frequency.

Are you buying too much reach and too little frequency with your ad budget? Have you bought into the myth of “media mix”? Are your ads underproducing due to fragmented placement and poor scheduling?

By simply rearranging your current media schedules, you could dramatically increase the effectiveness of your ad budget.

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