The 20 steps to advertising success

Admittedly, when you are looking for top tips for success you often find snappy solutions presented in three or five steps. So while it might sound like 20 is an awful lot of steps, the beauty of it is it is the same step every time!

With a tried and tested approach to advertising which has been around since the late 1800s, it is worthwhile investigating the benefits of frequent advertising if you are looking to increase sales and grow your business.

So what are the 20 steps to advertising success and how do they work? The brainchild of the 19th century economist Adam Smith illustrates a pragmatic, logical and even slightly humorous explanation of how the advertising process works and how it impacts on the consumer in progressive stages, which eventually lead to a sale.

What is interesting in the illustration is not just how it shows the cumulative effect of repeated exposure to an advert but it also highlights the dangers of cutting short your advertising campaign.

Step one asserts that the first time a consumer looks at a bus stop advert they fail to actually see it. On second sighting it still doesn’t register with them and it is only on the third exposure to it that they register an awareness.

However, it is proposed that it is not until the fifth sighting of the bus stop advert that they will actually read it. This should make any advertising campaign manager stop in their tracks and really assess whether their strategies allow sufficient duration on campaigns or repeated campaigns over time to ensure that their target customers will get sufficient viewings of the adverts to ever stop and read them.

Even if that is assured there are a further 15 steps to get past, involving every emotion from dismissal, irritation, intrigue, envy and desire, before the consumer is dead set on making that purchase.

This might sound like a lot of advertising budget is required to ensure the right exposure, however, there are ways of planning your campaigns to make sufficient impact without blowing the budget.


Consider outdoor advertising as a platform for your campaign

Firstly you need to research the areas available which have good traffic of your targeted customers. This might involve busy transport routes into a city centre, or specific walkways near office blocks or within shopping areas.

If your target market includes office workers then you would need your adverts positioned so that they were seen both on the way into and out from the place of work so they could be seen a minimum of twice per day – a bonus of four times if lunch breaks are used!

That would mean 10 times per week so you would only need one two week outdoor advertising campaign to reach the goal of 20. Similarly with online advertising, if you chose sites such as those which provide email services you could work around the average number of times per day that the average user logs into their emails and work out campaign durations that way. Whatever you opt for, make sure you research your chosen location( is it billboards, phone boxes, bus stops, etc) and vehicles and make sure you can track the impact.

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