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Repetition is key: Why frequency makes your marketing effective

Anyone who has struggled to remember someone’s name at a party knows that repetition is key to information recall.

It’s the same with marketing – frequency of messaging is the best way to ensure people remember your brand.

Here, we explore why repetition is so powerful and how frequency makes your marketing more effective.

1. The power of repetition

The more people see or hear something, the more they remember it.

Some of the most successful brands – regardless of the quality of the goods – have the most recognisable message.

From Coke to Nike to McDonalds, brands more frequently seen and heard become the most successful.

As a purely psychological function, familiarity breeds trust in a consumer – even if it is just knowing the name of the product.

Repetition is also how we learn that a brand is in the marketplace, so to speak, and forms a ‘top of mind awareness’ among consumers.

Such familiarity with a brand develops a level of trust – the more familiar people are with a brand, the more likely they are to purchase from that brand.

So, don’t be so quick to mix up your marketing message or start a new campaign. Focus on repetition and frequency for results.

2. The magic number seven

Studies have shown that people need to see a message at least seven times before it sinks in.

It supports the notion that people learn, and therefore remember, by repetition.

This same principal can be applied to marketing activity – the more messages that are out there, the more people are likely to recognise your brand’s presence, leading to trust and sales.

This is not a new piece of information – we often talk about the importance of having a marketing mix.

And in today’s digital environment, where multiple channels like your website, social media, video and online advertising can all work together to share the same message, makes it even easier for repetition to be part of your marketing strategy.

3. Frequency and time go hand in hand

Obviously, to get people to see or hear your marketing message multiple times, you can’t just put it out in the ether for a day or a week. You need to give your marketing time to work.

While repetition of your message is important, so too is the length of time it runs for. Combine the two and you might even, like the Got Milk? campaign, have your message remembered twenty years on.

Likewise, the phrase “Just Do It” immediately brings to mind the brand Nike – a campaign that is still running strong nearly thirty years after it launched.

And even though it was created before some of us were born, American Express: Don’t Leave Home Without It was one of the most successful marketing campaigns of all time (and we still remember the tagline). Why? Frequency and time have played a huge part in the campaign’s success.

These campaigns demonstrate how frequency paired with giving the campaign time has led to an effective marketing strategy.

So, the next time you post your message once or twice and move on because you haven’t seen results, give the ‘frequency + time’ formula a go. You may be pleasantly surprised.

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