Consistency is a relevant concept in marketing.

Consistency is a relevant concept in marketing.

There’s a peculiar phenomenon that occurs once you start marketing your business. Once prospects and customers become acclimated to seeing your marketing, if you stop, a negative perception will creep into their minds. That is, if you abruptly reduce or stop your marketing, it can affect how consumers regard your business.

Nobody will miss you if you stop advertising in an industry journal, right?

Let’s examine a hypothetical. Maybe your company has always purchased the back cover space in an industry publication. But then you don’t. You simply drop out of the publication altogether. You advertised regularly and then you abruptly stopped. Your disappearance will plant the seeds of doubt. People will naturally wonder what happened to you; and gradually, concern will grow and fear will creep into the subconscious. Then, almost simultaneously, your audience will start to forget you, while they also look for someone to replace you.

Indoctrination equals expectation

Once your constituency is indoctrinated to your advertising, messaging, or brand there’s a subconscious expectation that appears. The result; your absence will be noticed, and be met with fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD).

Consider this… if Coke suddenly stopped all its advertising, what would be the natural speculation? What happened to Coke? Is something wrong? FUD would run rampant. It’s a bit of a reverse Catch-22. Once you start marketing you have to keep at it so those you’re marketing to don’t start to “worry” about you or worse – simply forget you.

Stopping isn’t the same as pivoting

If you stop marketing you’re inviting speculation about your business - even if only subconsciously. But that’s not the same as pivoting, provided you’re still in front of your audience. Media consumption has changed dramatically over the past decade. So marketers and advertisers know they have to go where the eyeballs are. So shifting your marketing spend so you’re seen by prospects and customers isn’t the same as simply stopping your activity. It’s the smart play.

Let’s return to our hypothetical where you’ve relinquished your prime back cover space. If you do nothing else you’ll have trouble. But if you’re smartly pivoting your marketing spend because the readership had dropped for that publication - and you’ve shifted those dollars to where your clients are going - then that’s OK, because you’ll still be getting noticed.

You could wisely reduce your print ad spend, switching from the back cover to an interior page or even smaller ad size (so you’re still seen during the transition) while you shift your buy to new media where your audience is waiting. Perhaps that means collaborating on joint email marketing to the publication’s subscriber list or creating sponsored content in the publication and/or on their website.

Or maybe it’s shifting to a new form of marketing altogether to better connect with your target audience. The key is to remain active and consistent or you’ll sow the seeds of doubt. Time and time again we encounter situations where in lean times marketing efforts are drastically reduced or stopped completely in order to save money. The end results are seldom good. The sudden marketing "disappearing act" only tends to exacerbate problems that led to the lean times.

So if you’re a new company or just starting to ramp up your marketing activities, make sure you’re ready to keep at it. Pivot your marketing smartly as necessary, but don’t ever go missing. Because once you disappear you may never be seen or noticed again.

Apr 09, 2015

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