Let’s pretend you want to promote your business on the radio.

First you have to hire somebody like me to write the ad for you.

Then a voice-over actor has to record the copy.

Then you have to buy some ad spots from a radio station.

But here’s the thing: You can’t just buy one spot and see how it does. No, no. You would probably be forced to buy at least five.

Why five?

Most people think it’s the radio station’s way of getting as much money out of clients as possible. But that’s not the case.

By locking you into several spots, the radio station is actually ensuring that your ad will work.


Because they know their audience needs to hear a message at least five times before they take action. And they want you to get those results so you continue to do business with their station.

Thomas Smith said it best...

Back in 1885, a businessman named Thomas Smith wrote a book called Successful Advertising, in which he broke down the impact of repeated exposure to an ad.

Here’s his breakdown:

The first time people look at any given ad, they don’t even see it.
2nd: they don’t notice it.
3rd: they are aware that it is there.
4th: they have a fleeting sense that they’ve seen it somewhere before.
5th: they actually read the ad.
6th: they thumb their nose at it.
7th: they start to get a little irritated with it.
8th: they start to think, “Here’s that confounded ad again!”
9th: they start to wonder if they’re missing out on something.
10th: they ask their friends and neighbors if they tried it.
11th: they wonder how the company is paying for all these ads.
12th: they start to think that it must be a good product.
13th: they start to feel the product has value.
14th: they start to remember wanting a product exactly like this for a long time.
15th: they start to yearn for it because they can’t afford to buy it.
16th: they accept the fact that they will buy it sometime in the future.
17th: they make a note to buy the product.
18th: they curse their poverty for not allowing them to buy this terrific product.
19th: they count their money very carefully.
20th: they buy what it is offering.

I know what you’re thinking...

How did he come up with this series of ultra-specific reactions?

Honestly? He probably made it up based on what sounded right to him. After all, it was 1885...

But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t on to something. 

Think about it: How many times have you seen an ad for FanDuel, the fantasy gaming website, since football season started?

They’re everywhere: Commercials, Internet banners, billboards. The onslaught is relentless.

But it works.

It works. 

Since the beginning of the year, FanDuel managed to quadruple its revenue. Then it was injected with $275 million.

People might be complaining about the never-ending ad barrage, but there’s no question it’s ending in action -- and helping the company grow at a tremendous rate.

I know I signed up (after a month). And so did my girlfriend. And all of my friends eventually signed up, too.

Maybe you didn’t. But hey, maybe you don’t like football (i.e., you're not FanDuel's target audience).

In Sum:

Repetition is a powerful marketing tactic that gets results.

As Thomas Smith demonstrated, even when you have a valuable, benefits-rich message, it takes pressure and time to turn prospects into customers.

Pressure and time.

Pressure and time.

Pressure and time...