After years of working with businesses we’ve been able to gather valuable insights from our client’s marketing campaigns. These client’s range from small to large businesses, they have different products and services, and they have different views on marketing strategy. The “different views on marketing strategy” is our topic for today. A common question, that most of our new clients ask, “when do we advertise and how often do we do it”?
Our clients take one of two approaches to this question. They choose to be “drag racers” and run ads in short bursts, with large budgets, during different random times throughout the year, or they choose to be “road trippers” that run steady ad campaigns with smaller sized budgets every month.
So what works?
The Drag Race
Some clients go several months with very little marketing activity. Choosing to “time the market” and send out ads when they feel the time is right. With this model clients will use a good sized budget and run the campaign for 30 days or less. Choosing to advertise in bursts over the course of a year can generate traffic and produce leads. However, this method assumes that there are little to no opportunities available in the months they are not actively marketing. There is a fatal flaw in this thinking and it will ultimately cost the business potential opportunities. Data shows that businesses that maintain a consistent presence throughout the year create steady gains and still see spikes in ad engagement during peak times (with a smaller proportional budget to those that try to time the market).
The problem with running a drag race marketing strategy is that you are missing opportunities in the months you are missing in action. You are failing to maintain your brand presence in front of potential customers (brand recognition). Think of customers’ buying cycles, many potential clients may be plotters. A plotter takes a longer time to make a purchase. Whether they like to research, or maybe they simply have a busy life and like to take their time and plot their course.
One of these types of buyers (plotter) may see an ad from you in May and they may be interested in your product or service. However, their life is busy at the moment and they aren’t planning on pulling the trigger until August. If they see your ads in June and July (Road Trip marketing strategy) they will recall your brand (company name) and either act on the your next ad or simply google your name to reach out to you when the time comes for them to pull the trigger. If they don’t see your ads after that first encounter, and they can’t recall your name (because you are advertising in a Drag Race style) ,they will most likely act on a competitors ad when the time comes to buy. Now think of the fact that there are probably hundreds of potential customers that fall into this category
The Road Trip
Consistency in marketing is a golden rule. Your marketing strategy should be like a year long road trip. A year long drive visiting interesting places (places being new ad copy and promotions), always out there to be seen. With this approach you will build your brand with potential customers. These potential buyers will learn about you, your product or service, and get acquainted with your brand name and logo.
With constant exposure to your brand your audience will be able to recall your brand name when they think about your product/service. For example, we’ve seen our clients get new buyers through “word of mouth” even when the person referring the client never purchased from them. The person that referred them to the business did so because they recalled their ads and therefore their brand.
We’ve seen too many client’s get disappointed following the Drag Race method. Sometimes they time it correctly and sometimes they do not. Their brand never seems to take off. On the other hand, Road Trip clients don’t think of advertising as a timed event, more like a consistent and essential part of their overall journey. These clients keep their eye on the road and enjoy the benefits of creating a powerful, recognized, brand.
With a steady presence in the market you will build a powerful brand and be visible when the time comes for potential buyers to make a purchase.
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