One of the most common questions churches and ministry organizations ask me is “How often should I change my advertising?” That questions includes everything from local print ads, TV commercials, social media promotion, digital advertising, and more. It’s an important question because you want to make sure your message gets out there, without driving people nuts with too much repetition. Here’s my advice:
1. Marketing guru Seth Godin says, “Repetition builds trust.” Seth knows that in a distracted world, people are taking in so much information that if we don’t repeat our advertising regularly, it simply won’t sink in. So start by knowing that repetition is a good thing.
2. Don’t stop a campaign because you get tired of it. Remember that you’re on the inside, so you’re seeing it constantly. It’s the same with a weekly television program or commercial. You saw it shot in the studio, edited, and finally released, so by release date you’ve already seen it 10-20+ times. But keep in mind that about the time you’re getting sick of seeing it, it’s only beginning to get on the radar of the public. So don’t let how many times you and your team have seen a commercial, ad, or promo, determine how quickly you pull it.
3. Also understand that we need to hear or see a new advertisement at least 2 or 3 times before it begins to affect us – even when we already about the product or advertiser. So it’s not even registering in people’s mind until they’ve seen it multiple times.
4. How’s it doing? The best method to determine how long to run an ad is how well it’s doing. Particularly if it’s a direct response (DR) ad or spot, if people are hitting the website, calling on the phone, texting, or emailing, then keep it going.
5. Finally, my general rule is to promote a product or event for at least 30-60 days at a minimum. Keeping all the other principles above in mind, I suggest you plan to run the campaign for at least 1-2 months before you consider pulling it. Of course if it’s doing well, keep it working for you, but if sales are dropping off, then it’s time to move on.
What about you? Do you have other suggestions for knowing how long to run an advertising campaign?