You see a lot of ads each day. More than likely, just by reading this post, you’ve seen four or five different banner ads—even if you didn’t notice it.
The average person sees upwards of 5,000 different advertising messages daily. And brands keep getting more creative, finding ways to fill every blank space that surrounds us with targeted advertising and each year, companies spend billions upon billions of dollars with the hopes of opening your wallet.
But is it working?
Unfortunately, for many entrepreneurs, the answer is no. Why? They don’t know the most important rule in marketing.
The Rule of 27
You truly see only one out of every three ads put in front of you. And you take action only after you’ve seen a brand’s marketing nine times. So, it takes at least 27 impressions of a brand before a prospect even responds.
Think about that for a second. Are your prospective customers getting all 27 hits? If not, you’re basically pouring your marketing dollars down the drain. It’d be more effective to use them to light a big bonfire in front of your office or store. At least that would be different and people would notice.
Getting to 27
The way most big brands get their 27 is to spend hundreds of millions dollars on big media placement. Through multiple commercials, print ads and more, they expose their audience over and over again to their brand.
You probably don’t have that kind of cash. So, how do you keep up? You certainly can’t do it by copying the big guys (though that’s what most entrepreneurs try to do). Rather, you need to start thinking outside the box. Through some creative marketing efforts, you can get your 27 in a way that’s inexpensive and extremely effective. Let me share an example of what I mean.
Twenty years ago, I was recruiting College Pro Painters franchisees at Queen’s University, and I decided to hammer them with 27 hits in 48 hours to really drive as much awareness of the company as possible and get potential candidates in the door fast.
So, five of us hit the campus like a tidal wave: We parked our Big Bird van near the student union; we placed over one hundred lawn signs around campus; we handed out flyers at meal lines in the cafeterias; we put the same flyers under doors in dorms. (Sometimes we were asked to leave, which to us meant, “Leave this floor and go to the next one.”) While we did all this, we were each wearing a huge College Pro Painters logo on our winter coat, of course.
The onslaught continued the next day. We went into classrooms and put flyers on desks and chairs, and we set up tables in the main buildings where we’d hand out flyers to students. We even telephoned each student who lived on campus and whose parents’ home address was in a city where we needed franchisees.
At the end of two days, there wasn’t anyone we cared about who didn’t know we wanted franchisees. We easily hit our marketing goals with these guerrilla marketing efforts.
What did our competitors do? They ran an ad in the paper.
If you want to beat out your competitors and capture your 27, you need to do something different than either they or the big guys are doing. It may seem like more work at first, but I guarantee it’s more fun too—especially when the business starts really rolling in.
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