Clobbered By My Own Advice


The Power Of Repetition 


My kids desperately want a dog, but their mother and I have mixed feelings about taking care of their animal once the kids go off to college in three years. But at every turn, when we ask them a question of any kind … like, “What do you want for dinner?” or, “What do you want to do this weekend?” the answer is always, “I want to go get a dog.”

Just yesterday my wife saw twin dogs online that are available for adoption. Suddenly the kids went into sales mode to convince us to get one of those dogs.

Last night as I walked into my studio there was an 8” x 10” glossy of the dog on my easel. When I went to bed, there was one on my pillow. When I got up this morning, there was one at the breakfast bar. And today when I came to work, there was one on my keyboard.

Though I’ve been pretty opposed to a dog for all the practical reasons, I have to admit, each time I see the picture, it melts my heart a little more and I get a little closer to saying yes. In fact, I’ve already gone from a firm “no” to a “maybe,” and I’ve even agreed to go visit and meet the twins this weekend.

Of course my kids have clobbered me with the advice I’ve given them about marketing. Repetition is powerful. The more people see something, the more it warms them up.

Back in the dark ages when I first learned marketing, the average marketer needed four repetitions to sell something. Then it went up to seven. Now, with all the noise in media, some experts say the number has doubled to about 15 impressions.

Ever wonder why you see things on television or hear things on radio over and over again?

The first reason is that it takes a certain number of impressions to sell someone. For discussion, let’s say it takes 10 impressions. Does that mean you only run 10 ads? Nope, it means the ad needs to reach an individual 10 times. If you ran 10 ads and the prospect happened to see only five of them, then it’s not enough. The prospect needs X number of impressions to be sold.

The other reason frequency is important is that circumstances change and moods change. For instance, a dealer once told me about a man who kept coming into his gallery for years but never bought anything. Then one day he came in and dropped a half million bucks. When questioned, the man said, “I had kids in college and no extra cash. Plus, I just sold my business for a lot of money, so now I can afford to collect.”

You see, tire companies or car dealers repeat constantly on television because they know you may not be in the market today, but if you blow out your tires, or decide you want a new car tomorrow, they need to be there when you begin to move into shopping mode. Most of us ignore all those ads until we decide we’re in the market, then we start paying attention.

One more reason for repetition is what is called top-of-mind awareness. You may not need tires now, but the goal is to hammer a message into your brain so that when you do need tires, you know exactly where to go. (But just in case you don’t, you’ll always find tire ads in the sports section of the local paper or on your local station.)

I believe people go through a few stages to get to a purchase. The first is attention — you have to get noticed. Then they move into the interest stage. They may think, “Hmm, maybe this is for me. I’ll have to pay closer attention next time.” Then they move to the desire stage. “Yes, this is for me. I should do something about it someday.” Of course, some then move into the purchase stage. “I’m going to buy this one day.”

Most marketers blow it because they forget that everyone has their own timing, and therefore you need to be there all the time for those who are coming into the market.

For example, let’s say you have an article coming out about your art in an art magazine like Fine Art Connoisseur. It’s not uncommon for a gallery or the artist to advertise in an issue with an article. But you’re assuming instant action. People don’t work that way. They may be thinking, “I’ll keep an eye on this artist,” but then your ads are not in the next issue, or the next, and there’s nothing to remind them of you or your work.

I once talked to a collector who told me he saw an article on an artist and decided he wanted to buy one of the paintings in the article. He set the magazine down, fully intending to go back to it, call, and inquire about the painting. But later, he couldn’t find the magazine and he didn’t remember the name of the artist or the gallery that advertised. He never did find the name of that artist.

Yet if that same artist had repeated her ad in the following couple of issues, she would have increased her chances of reaching and reminding this collector, and others. The ad could have even said, “As featured in the April issue of Fine Art Connoisseur.”

Why is repetition important?

Every person needs a certain number of impressions to take them through the levels of attention, interest, desire, and purchase.

People are always in and out of the market. One day they have no money, the next day they have money from a bonus, an inheritance, or some other event.

Moods change. A person can feel poor the day they have to replace their roof and feel rich the following week because their business made a big sale. Also, if they happen to see your ad on a day when they are in a bad mood, you need to make sure it keeps being seen so they see it in a different mood. That’s why I like to re-send direct mail campaigns.

You’re creating top-of-mind awareness so they think of you when they have money burning a hole in their pocket or a house that needs some paintings.

Branding. Building your brand takes repetition over years so that people will hold you in higher esteem, which will make you the choice if they are deciding between two paintings, will sell you as a status item (sorry, but it’s true), and will help you get higher prices because you’re well known. It will also drive people to you for events and shows, which then builds on your brand.

I’ll let you know the outcome of the puppy campaign, but my gut tells me I’ve already lost that battle. Certainly, repetition has softened me up.

By |2017-03-31T11:42:03+00:00March 31st, 2017|Branding|18 Comments

About the Author:


  1. Peggy March 31, 2017 at 11:01 pm - Reply

    I think you are about to have twins. Repetition definitely works!

  2. Marcia Ballowe April 9, 2017 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    I think you have lost the battle. Wait until they tell you that the dogs live longer when they have another dog around as a playmate. They stay more active and are not lonely when the kids are at school. My son has 5 dogs now because his girls know every sales pitch.

  3. Terri Littlejohn April 9, 2017 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    You can’t break up a set! If one is good, two is better. Repetition–you said it.

  4. Doris April 9, 2017 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    They need a dog, Eric. It’s good for them and good for you guys when the nest is empty. I strongly do not suggest two, though. It changes the game totally. We did that with our last dog, got her a buddy. Loved him dearly but now that he’s passed, never again. Just my two cents worth. Great article, by the way!

  5. Rhonda Hancock April 9, 2017 at 6:07 pm - Reply

    Enjoy your new dogs.

  6. Janet Triplett April 9, 2017 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    Get both! It’s a job when they are puppies but later it’s a bonus for all! Have always had two of varying ages but lost two within 4 months so went crazy and got twins. So glad I did! They are now four and great together and with us!
    Enjoy! Laugh! Love!

  7. Monica Dahl April 9, 2017 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    And if you need an oil or graphite portrait, I can help!
    (I have four dogs!They also help keep you healthy).
    Wishing you lots of joy!

  8. Ruth Soller April 9, 2017 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    We adopted a puppy that looked like the photo you showed us, a mixed terrier/miniature Schnauser. Our sons loved her and she became my walking companion for nearly thirteen years. She endeared herself by copying our language. When we returned from shopping, she asked “weere were wou?”. When she wanted a treat, “wy want won”. Six years after her passing, we still miss her. Yes, we did soon adopt another dog and began an entirely new adventure!

  9. Carolyn April 9, 2017 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    No one ever visited a puppy-up-for-adoption and came home empty handed. You are done. Just admit you are getting a dog and use your energy negotiating care responsibilities. The only question now is whether it’s one dog or two and what you call it or them. Enjoy!

  10. charlene lane April 9, 2017 at 8:24 pm - Reply

    After loosing my Airedale my sister repetitively told me to get another dog for my other Airedale etc. She said we would all be happier. In fact she never stopped saying it!!!! With out much enthusiasm I caved in. Lots more noise and fun in the house now. Yes repetition did it! Enjoy the pups.

  11. Sharon April 9, 2017 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    If you’re going to SEE the twins in person, you’ve already lost that battle and the new battle will become “How can we separate them? We should be BOTH.”
    Looking forward to seeing puppy pix! You should name him or her Ditto. or Percy – for Perseverence.

  12. Gina Murrow April 10, 2017 at 12:32 am - Reply

    I just finished a trade show this weekend where I had a booth for my art business. Many people told me things like “I see your ad on Facebook” or “I see your art van around town and I’ve been meaning to sign up for your art experience” (we have a wrapped van). I’m beginning to understand what you mean by repetition.

  13. corinne a garrett April 10, 2017 at 9:00 am - Reply

    EVERY kid needs a dog. Nuff said.

  14. Marion Howard April 10, 2017 at 9:39 am - Reply

    I think you are going to take both dogs home. You can’t separate the twins.
    Your triplets won’t let you do that. Enjoy. See you at the convention.

  15. Eric Rhoads April 10, 2017 at 10:17 am - Reply

    update… we want d to adopt both but they wanted to break th m up, which we though was a bad idea. ,And there were people when got on the list ahead of us… so we will keep looking.

  16. Jane Coleman April 10, 2017 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    Dogs are so wonderful and it sounds like your children are up to the task of caring for and loving a dog which should be a special member of the family and treated like your best friend or how you want to be loved and treated. Dogs like love, play interacting with you and scheduled feeding times, walk or exercise times and bed and wake-up times. Hope it works out well for you and your children, but mostly for your new canine family member.

  17. Lorraine Davis April 11, 2017 at 12:05 am - Reply

    My yellow lab had three puppies… They were to go to at least two other families. It was vary hard to part with any of them . We finally relinquished one to a friend and kept the other two. We have mom and her babies and have loved every minute. Four boys three dogs! Life is good… And hairy!?

  18. Carolyn April 13, 2017 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    Just realized I put my comment in the reply rather than comment, sorry. Just a cautionary word or two, Dogs are the best, we have 3. But don’t delude yourself. The kids will spend time with the dog but the dog will be yours and your wife’s. The triplets go off to college in 3 years (and if you are lucky won’t come home after!) the dog will live to be about 18…do the math. And as you said how many summers do we have left. Now if you want to share your life with a dog, that is great and very rewarding, just so you know this is not just about the kids and what they want. This will be your responsibility for most of it’s life. And once you take the dog it is yours.

Leave A Comment