Let’s say you’re an advertiser who has learned you have 65% penetration of your advertising message among your target audience. Great! That means nearly two-thirds of your potential buyers/clients can remember your message. You’ve reached your advertising goal, so you’re done!
Sticking to your message!
Any advertising person with some experience can tell you that long before an advertiser’s message “wears out” among the target audience, the marketing manager of the client company will get all antsy and order the message changed. At that point, if the ad agency (or advertising person) is honest with the marketing manager, the only honorable thing to do is to tell him or her to get the ants out of his or her pants and stick with the successful message.
Q: If you have determined that 65% of your target audience can remember your message, why in the heck would you change it?
A: You wouldn’t.
If you don’t stick to it, you’re wasting well-spent advertising dollars, and you risk losing the 65% penetration you’ve so carefully built. How smart is that?
Check this out: Over a certain period of time, you’ll probably find that only half the original percent of your “penetrated” audience remembers your message (about 32%). But wait a minute. You’ll also discover that while you’ve lost 32% of the original group, another new group of about 32% now remembers your message. New audience members have restored your original 65% penetration level.
Of course, we assume you have a great message, targeted correctly to the audience you want, and that you spend enough to get the word out widely. But here’s the point:
If you have a message that works, DON’T CHANGE IT, even if you get so bored with it you have to cover your eyes and ears and say “LALALALA!” to block it out every time it comes around. Remember, although you’re sick of it, a new audience is just now discovering it. And responding to it.
Caveat: That doesn’t mean that you can’t ever change the execution of your message. That initial ad featuring a penguin on roller skates may eventually get stale. So, though you may find different ways of delivering the same message to the same audience, if you stick to the USP, you should be okay. But you don’t want to tinker too much with success.
So what can you do to relieve your own boredom with your winning campaign?
• Try adding different media. If you’re in one women’s magazine, for example, try adding another one with a similar demographic.
• Try adding e-mail marketing, if you have a relevant list.
• Try adding direct mail to your target audience, if it’s appropriate. Unless you’re a national advertiser, this would be within a geographic area where you sell.
• Try a newspaper insert, preferably in a special issue devoted to a subject your target audience is interested in (example: health care, elder care, gardening, winter meals, sports).
• Try adding radio spots. As a radio producer, I recommend that you have them professionally written, voiced and produced. But if your budget is limited, generally, local stations will give you script, talent and production in exchange for your paid advertising time. Just be sure the station reaches the right target audience.
• Use your message on your Web site and your Facebook page, preferably accompanied by coupons, special offers, contests, or other ways to engage users with your product or service. Provide a way for interested users to sign up for email newsletters or offers.
To sum up, once your message reaches maximum penetration, keep on sending it. And change the messenger, if you like, but don’t shoot the message!