Picture yourself pushing a shopping cart down the aisles of your favorite grocery store. Perhaps you have a shopping list, perhaps you don’t.

As you are pushing the shopping cart there are various factors at work that impact your buying decisions. Pricing is a strong factor. Brand preference of your spouse always counts. There is Junior, who can be pacified by the cereal box with the latest action figure on it. If purchasing a certain product gives you a great feeling, you’ll be a repeat buyer.

There is also advertising. How much does advertising influence your buying decisions?

Advertising is a very powerful tool in motivating customers. There are many reasons why advertising drives people to purchase products and services. Two of the more important reasons are frequency and reach.

Frequency deals with how many times your target market sees and/or hears your advertising message. It is estimated that each of us is impacted with various advertising messages 3,000 times a day.

To be sure, there is an expensive and massive war being waged for the consumer’s mind. Establishing a psychological beach head in the customer’s brain requires frequency of your advertising message.

Many buying decisions are based upon top of the mind awareness. When the moment comes to make a purchase, to satisfy their wants and needs, will the consumer remember your advertising message?

If you answered yes, it is because your message made an indelible imprint in the buyer’s mind because of frequency.

What products or services do you associate these advertising slogans with? “You deserve a break today at…We love to fly and it shows…The King of Beers…Just do it.” Even though some of these haven’t aired or been in print in years did you remember McDonalds, Delta Airlines, Budweiser and Nike?

One last point, even though these products are well known, why are millions of dollars still being spent on advertising them? If you stop advertising with frequency you will be forgotten like yesterday’s weather.

The second part of this equation is reach. Specifically, who are the people that you want to reach with your advertising message?

The most compelling reason to target a particular market segment is economics. Advertising is expensive. Consequently, pick the media that best reaches your customers.

Regardless of whether you opt for radio, newspaper, television, outdoor, specialty or the internet, all of these media have strengths and weaknesses. Determine which strengths will be best for your needs.

If you were pressed to describe your customers, to give a demographic profile, could you do so? Start spending time learning who your customers are. Develop a profile of these important people. Then, use frequency and reach in your advertising messages.

(Source: J.C. Smith)