Last week's Super Bowl hoopla reminds me of how is great marketing works like football.
does a quarterback run the field for a touchdown on the first play.
Though it can happen, coaches know that success is earned one play
after another, with a yard or two gained with each play. You wouldn't
bet on a football game if a team had only one play to win. But this is
exactly what inexperienced marketers do. They run one ad or do one
mailing and expect the phone to ring off the wall. Sure, it can happen.
But, like a lucky run, it's not the norm.
Why Advertising Fails
works as a series of plays, making a little progress at a time.
Campaigns with multiple impressions and touchpoints work best.
Campaigns are a series of plays designed to score several touchdowns
and win the game.
Advertising fails when marketers
run single ads instead of campaigns. As in football, momentum is gained
with consistent forward motion. Advertisers who start, stop, and start
again are losing momentum. You make the most progress when you hang on
to the ball.
matter what kind of advertising you are doing — print ads, e-mail
marketing, direct mail — you need lots of repetition. The average
person needs to "catch" the message three or more times before they
take action. And just because you send an e-mail or run an ad three
times doesn't mean someone caught your message three times. It can take
a lot of throws to get one completed pass.
live busy lives, and, to get their attention, repetition is critical.
Marketing pros understand this, which is why you see or hear many
commercials over and over again.
Throwing My Money Away
who run one single ad in the Super Bowl are usually disappointed in the
results, though it's a big ego booster. It's a great place to be seen,
but a message has to be reinforced over and over before people will
I once ran a single ad in an
auction-house magazine, which was horribly expensive. Instinctively, I
knew we should have repeated the ad several times before expecting any
results, but we only ran it once. For us, it was like that Super Bowl
ad, which is all about ego. Foolishly, I blew thousands of dollars and
received no results.
The greatest marketers are like
the teams that make it to the Super Bowl. There are many disciplines
they follow, and that's what makes them great. I have coached thousands
of advertisers in my career, and, if the message is well crafted, those
who follow the model of consistent repetition always win big. Are you
expecting a touchdown with your first play? Or are you in it to win the