“Eighty percent of success is showing up.”

-Woody Allen

Reluctantly I once ran an ad in a publication, which I was not convinced, was a complete fit for my target but I took a shot at advertising in it. I was not thrilled by the results because I did not receive any phone calls. But being true to what I preach about marketing I continued to advertise because I know advertising is not an event it’s a cumulative effect. My rule is that if I advertise somewhere I need to commit for at least a year because the audience does not know my product, has not yet developed trust, and needs to get comfortable before they buy from me.

I’m often so close to my product that I think everyone knows about it, yet I am reminded how wrong I am anytime I advertise to a new audience thinking I’ll get instant results. According to marketing author Roy Williams showing up consistently is one of the hidden secrets of advertising success and advantage is gained by understanding this. While your competitors try something a time or two with a new audience and back down due to lack of “success” they do not understand the process that is quietly happening in the minds of readers who see your ads. Meanwhile you’re building a reputation with an entirely new group of people which leads to new business.

My ad in this new publication was “showing up.” The resulting presence did not net immediate response yet the long term effect was powerful. One never knows the impacts which cannot be measured, which in this case opened new doors to new deals I would have never had otherwise. I also benefited from awareness which opened doors down the road, which would not have opened had they not seen my ad continuously.

Advertisers have been trained to seek response yet the world’s largest advertisers don’t focus on response. Unlike the guy with the colorful sweater and his infomercials, which are designed to make you pick up the phone and buy a pasta maker, most advertisers are establishing trust and awareness while building a brand. Your brand is critical to your success. If seeking affluent art buyers they want to buy from trusted, credible and quality dealers. Would you buy from a dealer you were unaware of previously or one who did not appear to represent high quality? Some people will but most will not. The response trap will prevent critical brand awareness which results in trust building. Sometimes building a brand is 80% showing up.