Steady Marketing Builds Trust

One of the most common — and frustrating — conversations that advertising/marketing professionals have with their clients is the one where the client just wants to advertise when they have a special event, or at “peak” times of the year.

  • The jeweler who only advertises at Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Christmas
  • The car dealer who’s off the air for six months and then does a blitz for a weekend
  • The piano dealer who does a big newspaper campaign when they have a sale, and then goes quiet until the next one.

Those of us who’ve been at this for a while know the value of consistency — of getting into the customer’s head over time. The big sale campaign is so much more effective when the potential customers are already familiar with the merchant. And some businesses (The Shane Company is an example that comes to mind — love him or hate him, you know Tom Shane and why you should come to his store) are so successful at this that they never have to do a big sale.

Sometimes we win the argument, and sometimes we lose. Our most successful clients “get it”, stay in front of their customers, and reap the benefits. We do the best we can with the rest.

In an effort to win more of those arguments, I’m going to be borrowing the words of Seth Godin, who has a very powerful post on his blog this morning. The money quote, for me, is this:

The best time to look for a job next year is right now. The best time to plan for a sale in three years is right now. The mistake so many marketers make is that they conjoin the urgency of making another sale with the timing to earn the right to make that sale. In other words, you must build trust before you need it. Building trust right when you want to make a sale is just too late.


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