Tuesday 2¢ – Time to be Bored?

This Tuesday 2¢, maybe it’s time to let your marketing do its thing. You might be bored by it, but is your audience?

As marketers, we are always looking for the next thing.

We’ve been working on the same brand activation for a year and a half, this year’s marketing programs, and this quarter’s campaigns, and we quickly tire of them and want to move on.

To a certain extent this is a good thing, this has always been the beating agile heart of marketing, we try something, put it into market, test and move on.

However, our audience does not move like that. You are bored of it as this is the hundredth time you’ve seen it today. Even if you had the creative in the market for a year, maybe this is the first time your next customer has seen it at all.

More likely, having seen it a few times, this could be the first time your next customer paused on your message, something they had breezed past a dozen times before and this time it fired some synapsis, and they said, “Huh!”.

You’ve probably come across the rule of 7 that states that “a potential customer should encounter a brand’s marketing messages at least seven times before making a purchase decision” (source: University of Maryland).

I wonder what would be considered an “encounter,” as this rule comes from an era of TV ads, looking at billboards, bored waiting for a train, and magazine ads you read in the doctor’s office, barbers, or hairdressers. This is not the same as the briefest of swipey social media encounters folks have with our brands today.

So, maybe 7 is the wrong number.

In B2B, there is plenty of data that points to the number of content items buyers interact with before making the purchase. Those ‘rule of 7’ encounters are probably just the tip of the funnel. If you don’t mind me messing with my metaphors.

These are the things that get the prospective customer’s attention, so they lean toward the other dozen or so touches that Forrester tells us need to happen.

However many it is, I think we can agree; it is many.

In B2C, there are lots of examples of products, creatives, and visuals that are repeated so often that they’ve embedded themselves into our culture and consciousness. We are not bored with them.

I am often drawn to the topic of “the long and short of it” in B2B marketing, and this suggests that we need to decide what’s long, what’s short, and how long is long.

But stopping because we are bored (or our executives are) and keen to move on to the next shiny thing is definitely not a good metric.

It’s time to be bored.

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