For too many people the first thing that comes to mind is the market is constantly changing, and companies like Google reviews our websites seeking new copy and changes, therefore we need to constantly be marketing to remain relevant in this modern digital age.
Well yes, this is true, however there is a simpler more logical reason why we as businesses need to be continually marketing and building our brand.
It called the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve. In 1885, Hermann Ebbinghass hypothesized a phenomenon called ‘the forgetting curve’, which showed how our brain forgets information over a period of time, if we do not revisit or establish a connection with it.
The study was replicated again in 2015 by Murre and Dros and found to still remain accurate in today’s world.
Simply put – Information is quickly forgotten:
65% of what we are told is forgotten in one hour
66% in 24 hours
75% after 6 days unless we revisit it and reconnect with it.
This is why educators give students homework – to reinforce, reconnect and build learning processes related to critical information.
So where does Hermann Ebbinghaus rest in our marketing and branding world.
We pump information out to our market about who and what we are, what can do for them, why they should deal with us and how they can deal with us.
We get excited, business builds, our profile increases, more likes on social media (hopefully also more sales as a result). But then we back off, we get distracted and we concentrate on our increased profile and very quickly the results start to fall.
In other words, ‘the forgetting curve’ starts to kick in and we start to fall out of the memory of our market.
To best illustrate this in marketing terms: many businesses follow this pattern.
The entire process is reactive, no strategy and definitely no regard for the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve.
Obviously when the marketing ceases, the members of the public will very quickly forget the key information you want them to always retain:
Who you are
What you do
Why people should deal with you
How people can access your products and services
This form of marketing is often referred to as helicopter marketing, up and down like a helicopter. The business takes off like a helicopter when we market, but soon comes down quickly when we turn the marketing tap off.
A week later over 75% of what we told our potential customers is quickly forgotten, and replaced with other information from other advertisers.
It’s not a very rosy outlook for our customers. So what can we do to ensure we are constantly in the minds of our market? What can we do as businesses to ensure we minimise the effect of Ebbinghaus’ Forgetting Curve?
When we are advertising the results are there, awareness for our business lifts, but once the tap is turned off the awareness returns to almost 0% due to the effect of Ebbinghaus’ Forgetting Curve.
What’s the solution? Find a suitable vehicle that allows for ongoing affordable branding of a business. This might be:
- Mainstream media (budget permitting),
- Social and digital platforms
- Direct marketing methods,
- Loyalty programs,
The options available are numerous. But it is critical to always be in the market, building the brand, reinforcing the value propositions of your business and minimising the effect of the Forgetting Curve.
Consider this now. If we can minimise the effect of the Forgetting Curve on our businesses, and lift the understanding in the market of what we bring to the table as a business, when it’s time to stage a promotion, either seasonal or reactive, the results can be greater, as we already have a percentage of the market aware and comfortable with our value proposition and understanding why they need to deal with us. Better results from the same budget as previously, or reduce the budget because you have already done most of the work building your brand and value proposition over a prolonged period of time.
Brand base marketing will allow us to create greater awareness, increased results, or even reduce our advertising / marketing budgets whilst achieving better results.
We launch our call to action / reactive campaigns / season campaigns from a higher level of awareness.
Benefits of brand based marketing:
- Greater all year round revenues – less up and down
- Market protection – a stronger position for your business can discourage competitors
- Greater and faster results from any seasonal / call to action campaign
- Improved cashflow
- Ability to insulate your business from external impacts – economic factors
The key to success is planning, sitting down and pulling your business apart to see the trends, seasons and the market and competitor trends.
Then we need to put in place a 12 month strategy and plan, preparing all the material required and the promotions well in advance. Planning is essential – a business doesn’t plan to fail, they fail to plan.
This is where an external marketing strategist can assist and small business. Solution Based Marketing can work closely with your business, reviewing the patterns, analysing the market and competitors and recommending a strategy as well as executing that strategy.
Step one is to start to say wait to every offer that comes through the door from every well intentioned media sales representative.
The answer is wait, not NO! But wait. Ask an independent media strategist to review your business, the opportunities and also the offers. Sometimes what is offered is great for the company making the offer, but not ideal for your business.
For more information speak to Solution Based Marketing.