For every hour of television, we are bombarded with at least 15-20 minutes of advertising. In that time, advertisers are scrambling for our attention with 10-30 second advertisements – thats about 20-50 advertisements every hour of TV. In the days of Doordarshan and remote-less TVs, the viewer had no option but to watch your ad and hence, we still remember several iconic ads from the early 90s. However, with the advent of satellite television and more than 200 channels vying for our attention (and the TRP), it is much more difficult today to get a viewer to remember your ad the next day.
To tackle this, some companies come up with new ads every now and then while some increase the frequency with which their ads are shown. The phenomenon increases when cricket matches are on. I have found myself, on several occasions, annoyed with the same ad repeating 2-3 times during a cricket tournament.
Ads are a way to forcefully get your attention and while they seem to work for big corporations or certain kinds of products, unfortunately many businesses fall in this trap and try to join the so called big league of TV advertisers at any cost.
Jay Conrad Levinson, the author of Guerrilla Marketing, says you need to show an ad at least 21 times to a person before he decides to make a purchase.
So, unless you have a new product, frequently changing the message you are sending across to your audience does not make sense. One brand that comes to my mind that has been pretty successful at persisting with the message and the messenger is Kent – the purifier company.
Yes, the ads may be a little annoying but even for a boring product like a water purifier, the fact that they stuck with Hema Malini for years and kept saying just one line – “Kent de sabse shuddh paani” – made sure that almost everyone has seen the ad, is aware of the brand and will certainly be including Kent as an option the next time they are going to buy one.
Every marketeer has a very important lesson to learn here. Instead of trying too many things, the idea is to stick to the basics and be consistent. Consistency is something that every human being cherishes – in others as well as in oneself.
What consistency does for Kent, and every other brand or person who is consistent, is that it brings familiarity. Familiarity, in turn, leads to liking, which plays a role in decisions about all sorts of things. Here’s the set of questions one needs to answer to establish if their marketing strategy is on the right track:
- Is your message to your customers consistent?
- Is the consistency leading to familiarity?
- Is the familiarity leading to a liking for your brand?
- Is that liking influencing customer behavior in your favor?
If you can answer all the above four questions with a yes, you are certainly moving in the right direction.
In the next post, I would be discussing how solo practitioners and law firms can achieve consistency in their message to their existing and prospective clients.