As a business coach and teacher, I find myself repeatedly telling my clients, students and audiences that I speak to that marketing is a marathon NOT a sprint. I recently pulled Jay Conrad Levinson’s classic Guerrilla Marketing off my bookshelf and came across an excerpt that I want to share with you.
In Chapter 3, The Sixteen Monumental Secrets of Guerrilla Marketing, Levinson explains that once you develop a marketing plan, you must be patient and committed to the long-run execution of the plan. For illustrative purposes, he uses the following list, written by Thomas Smith in London in 1885, to give you a sense of what it sometimes takes to get your customers’ attention.
- The first time a man looks at an advertisement, he doesn’t see it.
- The second time, he doesn’t notice it.
- The third time, he is conscious of its existence.
- The fourth time, he faintly remembers having seen it.
- The fifth time, he reads the ad.
- The sixth time, he turns up his nose at it.
- The seventh time, he reads it through and says, “Oh brother!”
- The eighth time, he says, “Here’s that confounded thing again!”
- The ninth time, he wonders whether it amounts to anything.
- The tenth time, he will ask his neighbor if he has tried it.
- The eleventh time, he wonders how the advertiser makes it pay.
- The twelfth time, he thinks it must be a good thing.
- The thirteenth time, he thinks it might be worth something.
- The fourteenth time, he remembers that he wanted such a thing for a long time.
- The fifteenth time, he is tantalized because he cannot afford to buy it.
- The sixteenth time, he thinks he will buy it someday.
- The seventeenth time, he makes a memorandum of it.
- The eighteenth time, he swears at his poverty.
- The nineteenth time, he counts his money carefully.
- The twentieth time he sees the ad, he buys the article or instructs his wife to do so.
How committed are you to your marketing plan? Are you in it for the long-term or looking to hit home runs?