McLellan: Consistency and repetition
Friday, April 19, 2013 7:00 AM
I was in an airport this past weekend, and they had the TV tuned to ESPN. The big story was how Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant had torn his Achilles tendon. As I waited for my flight, I noticed how often they used the same piece of footage as they told and retold the story. Over the course of an hour, I watched Kobe slowly limping off the court at least six times.
Each time they showed the clip, they were adding more to the story, whether it be a doctor’s take on the injury or the team’s reaction. But that didn’t keep them from repeating the core facts of the story or showing the same pieces of footage.
The shot of Kobe leaving the court was their anchor image, summing up the entire story in a single moment. So it made sense to keep reinforcing it through repeated use. They didn’t worry if people had already seen it; they used it because it told the story.
It occurred to me that there’s a parallel between the news story and an organization’s marketing. One of the marketing tenets that businesses seem to struggle with is the idea of frequency. There seems to be this annoying itch to change things up all the time, as opposed to recognizing the importance of repetition.
The one-two punch of consistency and repetition actually packs quite a wallop. Here are some areas where you really cannot repeat yourself too often.
Core benefit of working with you: In our marketing, we often get wrapped up in all the features of what we do/sell. We feel the need to explain how we work or all the options we offer. But we rarely circle back around to answer the “what’s in it for me” question for our prospects. You can’t remind them of this core benefit enough.
Some specific ways to share this over and over: unique URLs, tagline or headline, or case studies.
Thank you: Gratitude is never over-expressed. Be sure your best customers know how much you value their trust and loyalty. Go out of your way to thank new customers for giving you a try. And don’t forget your employees. They make it possible for your business to exist and thrive.
Some specific ways to share this over and over: handwritten note, best-customer-only deals/sales, phone call to just say thanks or take them to lunch.
Point of difference: Odds are, other companies sell what you sell. What makes you different? Why should they buy from you over one of your competitors? Whatever the answer is (you do know the answer, right?) should be front and center in your marketing efforts. Regularly.
Some specific ways to share this over and over: tagline or positioning statement, customer testimonials or social media updates.
Guarantee or promise of quality: Buying something is, in essence, making a commitment. Depending on the cost of what you sell, it can be a hefty commitment. If you offer something like a guarantee to ease someone’s trepidation about making that commitment, you should shout it loud and often.
Some specific ways to share this over and over: A standard footer that outlines your promise, or a call out by the price or order link online.
Don’t assume that if you’ve said it once or twice, everyone has heard it and will be annoyed if you say it again. You need to harness the power of repetition to make sure the elements that truly matter most are front and center on a regular basis.
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