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Patience in Marketing

Take a reality check to determine how clearly you understand what your
prospects are thinking each time they look at your advertisement.

The owner of a small business takes a leap of faith and contracts to run
a weekly ad in the local newspaper with a frequency of once a week for a
full year. After five weeks, the results displease him so much that he
cancels his contract.

Five ads in five weeks seems like a lot of frequency in marketing. Five
exposures do, indeed, establish some momentum. But they don't even come
close to create enough desire to motivate a sale. To truly comprehend
how much frequency is enough to spark that sale, you've got to know just
what your prospects think from each exposure. Here is exactly what each
one thinks as he or she looks at the ad you've run:

1. The first time a man looks at an advertisement, he does not see
2. The second time, he does not notice it.
3. The third time, he is conscious of its existence.
4. The fourth time, he faintly remembers having seen it before.
5. The fifth time, he reads it.
6. The sixth time, he turns up his nose at it.
7. The seventh time, he reads it through and says, "Oh brother!"
8. The eighth time, he says, "Here's that confounded thing again!"
9. The ninth time, he wonders if it amounts to anything.
10. The tenth time, he asks his neighbor if he has tried it.
11. The eleventh time, he wonders how the advertiser makes it pay.
12. The twelfth time, he thinks it must be a good thing.
13. The thirteenth time, he thinks perhaps it might be worth
14. The fourteenth time, he remembers wanting such a thing a long
15. The fifteenth time, he is tantalized because he cannot afford to
buy it.
16. The sixteenth time, he thinks he will buy it some day.
17. The seventeenth time, he makes a memorandum to buy it.
18. The eighteenth time, he swears at his poverty.
19. The nineteenth time, he counts his money carefully.
20. The twentieth time he sees the ad, he buys what it is offering.

The list you've just read was written by Thomas Smith of London in l885.

So how much of that list is valid right now, today? The answer is all of

Guerrillas know that the single most important element of superb
marketing is commitment to a focused plan. Do you think commitment is
easy to maintain after an ad has run nineteen times and nobody is
buying? It's not easy. But marketing guerrillas have the coolness to
hang in there because they know how to get into a prospect's
unconsciousness, where most purchase decisions are made. They know it
takes repetition. This knowledge fuels their commitment. Anyhow, they
never thought it was going to be easy.

As real estate is location location location, marketing is frequency
frequency frequency.

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Jay Conrad Levinson is the author of the best-selling marketing series in history, "Guerrilla Marketing," plus 30 other books. His books have sold 14 million copies worldwide. His guerrilla concepts have influenced marketing so much that today his books appear in 41 languages and are required reading in many MBA programs worldwide.
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