Under another hat, I publish local community magazines and here’s something I hear regularly:

“I just want to place an advert for one month to see how it goes”.

I have one of two responses:

“It might not ‘go’ at all.”


“It might be just the thing people are looking for but they are not ready to ‘go’ with you yet”

I follow this with:

“Really you should be looking at a minimum of 6 months advertising”

*Cue shrieks and subliminal suggestions that I am only saying that to get someone to spend more money.*

If you’ve met me then you’ll realise that I am not a hardcore sales person. I am not going to turn up on your doorstep with my sleeping bag and wait it out until you sign up for a year’s worth of advertising. But there is a reason for my insistence that you book for a minimum of 6 months; they are:

Whether you like it or not advertising is necessary for 99.9% of businesses.
You cannot get relevant statistics from too short an ad run i.e. you can’t really see if it’s working.

You don’t need to have the budget of Coca Cola to advertise but you do need to be consistent.

Let me just repeat that last one:

You don’t need to have the budget of Coca Cola to advertise but you do need to be consistent.

For example, with no money you can:

  • blog about what you do and then send out links to prospects
  • sign up for Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and link with people through social media

With a small amount of money you can:

  • place a print advert
  • get someone to run up and down the high street all day with cymbals between their knees sporting an A-board with your contact details written on it

The thing you absolutely do need to do is be consistent. And here’s why.

The 4 R’s: Recognise | Read | React | Repetition

Recognise: When someone first spots your advert it flags you up in their sights. They see you, take a quick look, have a quick sniff and then move on. I know that’s not very warm and fuzzy. But warm and fuzzy is what cats and dogs are here for. Which is why I have two cats; I need a lot of that.

Read: The second time someone spots you they pay more attention – they read your copy they buy into you a bit more. They like what you’ve got to offer, BUT (there’s usually a “but”) the timing’s not right. They have other priorities to attend to – a boiler to replace, or Great Uncle Ray’s 100th birthday present to buy. But they’ve made a mental note because someday soon they are going have the pennies to spend with you.

React: Generally, when someone spots your advert for the third time they get a bit of a head rush “Oh yes, I remember them from last month – they have a really groovy product. I really like what they’ve got and so glad they’ve appeared again because that’s reminded me how much I do want to party with them”. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they will just yet.

Repetition: This is the key to your marketing success. While your marketing communications are important to you, this often isn’t so with your prospects even if they requested them. They may lose or misplace them, throw them away, accidently delete them or have spilt their coffee rendering it obsolete. In addition to the fact that they haven’t yet realised just HOW marvellous the benefits are that you offer them are, there may also be the slim possibility that you haven’t encouraged them to take immediate action.

Your marketing communications are in competition with so much other stuff that to convert those that don’t respond immediately to your offers into buyers, you need to keep in touch with them, repeatedly, before they will finally be motivated to act.

So remember, however you market your business, consistency is the name of the game. Repetition builds familiarity which in turn helps build credibility. Gradually people will experience that warm and fuzzy feeling when they see your name and start doing business with you.