Why Frequency Matters When It Comes To Making Sales

by The Salmat Team
02 April 2014
Why Frequency Matters When It Comes To Making Sales
Repeat, repeat, repeat. Frequency is essential in the success of any advertising campaign. But how many times do you need to promote your message to get it to stick? And how can you avoid the dreaded “marketing fatigue”? 

The importance of frequency

Frequency is the average number of times that a person within the target audience has the opportunity to see an advertisement over the campaign period. Effective frequency, on the other hand, is the minimum number of times a communication must be exposed to a potential customer in order to positively impact that consumers’ buying behaviour.

Intrigued? The concept of effective frequency was developed by Lever’s Michael Naples. He was a pretty exact kind of guy and said effective frequency for any product communication is three times. This is now known in the business as 3+frequency. The first time is to get the consumer’s attention, the second is for them to recognise the communication, and the third is for acceptance or familiarity.

But in reality it’s not that simple. (Sorry). The magic frequency number that will get people to buy depends on the campaign, the message and the target audience. Sometimes three might be the perfect number, other times it might take one more.

So forget about the number. Let’s focus on the importance of frequency itself – the power of repetition.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

In our own experience as consumers and human beings we know that the more times we hear or see something, the more likely we are to remember it. Think about learning your times tables when you were a kid, and catchy jingles. Cast your mind back, if you will:
We're happy little Vegemites, as bright as bright can be
Remember the melody? How about the next line
We all enjoy our Vegemite for breakfast, lunch and tea.

All too often, small business owners will try something once, expect immediate results, and draw the conclusion after a couple days that it was or wasn’t effective. Building a brand and strong reputation is a journey. It doesn’t happen overnight. Vegemite didn’t use the jingle once and expect people to remember it. “But what about my budget?!” we hear you cry. True, true, advertising week after week in a glossy magazine, on television and radio can get costly. It might even price you out altogether. But by choosing a cost-effective marketing channel such as letterbox advertising, you can still get the frequency you need without breaking the bank.

Harness multiple channels

In addition to a letterbox drop, you need to create multiple touch points so your message reaches your target audience from a combination of mediums. Approach your customer from different angles. So while you’re repeating the same message, you’re using a variety of channels – direct mail, print, packaging, outdoor, in-store, email, social media, radio, PR and so on.

Let’s say you have a special offer to promote. Your target consumers might first receive a teaser direct mail flyer from your business. Later that night as they jump on Facebook they notice your promoted post for the same offer, with a link to more information. They receive another flyer in their letterbox the next week reminding them the offer is now on. The next time they are in your area they notice a new sign in front of your store or restaurant and walks in to check it out. It doesn’t matter which one of these activities is the final push to getting them to buy – the result is a combination of the whole.

All said and done, we cannot emphasise enough the importance of proper targeting and relevance in your marketing. This is a sure-fire way to avoid what’s known as marketing fatigue. In other words, the constant stream of advertising messages consumers face today. The best way to avoid marketing fatigue is not to send relentless ads that are irrelevant to people’s needs. Relevant offers don’t fatigue consumers, so target your potential customers well. We’ll repeat that because it’s important – target your potential customers well.

We’re often telling you that your message and positioning need to be compelling, you need an attractive call to action, and timing is key to the success of a marketing campaign. And we stand by that. But this all works over time. Repeat, repeat, repeat and your message will stick and be top of mind at the time of need.

At Salmat, we’re your one-stop-shop for design, print and distribution of letterbox advertising, providing a simple end-to-end marketing solution for your business. To save you time and effort, we can also take wave bookings, meaning you only have to book with us once to have your advertising material distributed to your target areas over a period of time, such as three distributions over two months. Give our friendly team of letterbox advertising experts a call on 1300 725 628 to find out more! 
About the author
The Salmat Team

Salmat is a leading Australian marketing services provider. We help clients connect with their customers, week-in, week-out. Salmat's unique combination of targeted letterbox and online marketing channels enables clients to Reach, Convert and Serve their customers. We also provide a wide range of back office solutions, through our Philippines-based Managed Services business.

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