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There’s a statistic commonly referenced in general marketing circles that it takes at least seven impressions or ‘touches’ for a marketing message to be remembered. However, as Mark Twain famously repeated, ‘there are three kinds of lies: Lies, damn lies, and statistics,’ so I like to look at that number as a guideline, not a hard and fast rule. And, while it can take multiple touches for someone to respond to your marketing invitation, in today’s time-starved, hyper-connected world, making the right impression at the right time can be just as important as how many times you trot out your message in front of your target market.
I often hear from people who complain that folks haven’t responded to their marketing, or that participants aren’t signing up for an event until the last minute. Determining why folks aren’t responding can be complicated, requiring that you re-think everything from the message to the delivery method. It’s also necessary to analyze the message timing, and ask yourself is it enough of a ‘wow‘ to break through the daily information overload to grab someone’s attention?
Here’s an example of something that got attention and great response…a small direct-mail project I did for a client earlier this year:
The challenge: It was the first time this business was attending a particular tradeshow. They needed to get in front of buyers and retailers in a way that would draw traffic to their booth…without breaking the bank.
The solution: A well-written direct mail letter addressed to each individual person, in a distinctive envelope, with a ‘wow’ offer and an explanation of how this business understood the recipient’s business challenges and what they were doing to help. It was mailed to arrive just in time for packing the envelope with each attendee’s tradeshow materials.
Because this was a client project, I can’t share all the details with you. However, you, too, can use the same process to think through how to make your impressions memorable.
- What’s going to cause your ideal target customer to say ‘whoa!’ and stop to absorb your message rather than say ‘I’ll read it later’?
- What’s your target customer’s problem or challenge, and how can you help solve it?
- What’s the ideal timing for delivery of the message?
- Is there an opportunity for action or connection?
There are a lot of things you also need to think through for what happens after that memorable impression has prompted a target prospect to contact you, but that’s a story for another time. In the meantime, put on your ‘THINK BIG’ creative hat and ‘never mind the budget’ to come up with ‘wow’ concepts. You can always scale down later, but it’s awfully hard to scale an idea UP.
Dedicated to Steve Jobs (1955-2011), who not only came up with ‘wow’ products that influenced our world, but also thought through how to deliver his messages memorably. We’ll miss you, and thanks.
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