December 31st 6:43 PM
It’s a process everyone goes through, whether it’s a friend, a business proposition, or a new lover.
When I’m asked when a new ad campaign will start working, my answer is always December 31st, 6:43 PM.
Your campaign is born.
New customers are getting to know you. You aren’t strangers, but you aren’t going out for coffee either.
Of the customers who are getting to know you, about 31% are finding you somewhat interesting. You just might have what they need.
Congratulations. You’ve made it onto a customer’s mental list. You are now an option. Not the only option, but you’ve got a shot.
You’ve got this customer convinced that your product/service is the right one when the time comes.
December 31st, 6:43 PM
Your advertising campaign is starting to work.
Your dates may vary. If yours is a product or service needed infrequently (plumbing, banking, mattresses, attorneys), this will likely take longer. But, it never happens sooner. Your ad campaign is like a waltz: A polite introduction. Shy flirting. Awkward steps. If you pass that test, you may get a second date. Hopefully a 7th. It’s a process everyone goes through, whether it’s a friend, a business proposition, or a new lover. Nobody ever goes from “nice to meet ya” and jumps straight to “how about a weekend in Lake Tahoe?”
Your ad campaign will take a similar path, and there are some other dates you need to be aware of:
Unexpected competitor opens a new location
New legislation has changed how people buy your product
Your key employee passes away
You will get bumped and bruised along the way. But, the longer you stay with it, and the more focused you are, it gets better and easier. After 4 or 5 years of this, you can’t wait for the next round of new people to discover you. You understand that they will also go through the steps of getting to know you. Plant the seeds and wait.
Is there a quicker way to do this? Sure. It’s just not very pretty. You have to sacrifice your profits, principles, and pride. You’ll need to bark as loud as possible, and rent an inflatable wiggly arm guy. You’ll need to work twice as hard for half the margin. That will get you through January. Then you’ll need to do it again in February. And March. And twice in April. And three times in May.
Be steady. Be deliberate. Be remarkable. Be patient. Be brave.