Before switching to Business/Marketing, I began my college journey as a chemistry major. One of the first things you learn in science is that there are hypotheses, theories and laws. The same is true in the world of small business marketing. There are educated guesses (theories), ideas that seem to work more often than not (hypotheses) and there are concepts that do not change for any reason (laws).

Before trying your hand at being an über-fancy advertiser, it’s important to establish a foundation on these fundamental marketing "laws." There are three core laws that serve as the catalyst for any successful marketing push— they are "the creative," medium and frequency.

It is important to understand that these specific laws have absolutely no impact apart from one another.  See them as a three-legged table – all must work in tandem in order to realize benefits.

Let’s briefly unpack each of these laws:

The Creative

Definition:"the creative" (used as a noun in our industry) is the ad that your audience sees or hears

Law:successful creative must command attention

Application:Think of your creative as a candidate running for public office; its job is to convince the audience to pause long enough to hear details about your business. So, whether your creative be a TV or radio spot, brochure, flash banner, social media post, email or billboard, you must make the case why consumers should be listening to your message rather than the thousands of other ads. 

Medium
Definition:medium refers to the delivery system for your creative.

Law:the medium you choose must carry your creative (ad) to the appropriate audience

Application:I had a client that was totally enamored with a particular station – so much so, he wanted to advertise there. He was even more excited after learning this particular broadcaster was number one in town. However, I did not share in his enthusiasm for this medium. Why? The station was number one for teens, not 40-something males (a contingent of consumers that actually kept his business afloat). Be sure to properly indentify the medium/media where your target audience can be found.

Frequency
Definition:frequency deals with how many people you are reaching and how often. 

Law:audience members are more apt to respond after hearing from you a minimum of three times

Application:When going over this principle with clients, some start to believe that if they’d run three ads, they would be golden.  Not quite. Imagine that you want to reach of the 300,000 people in the city where you live. Is everyone in town viewing the same program in which your ad is featured? Of course not; hence, you’d actually have to run your ads a number of times in order for each person in your audience to hear from you at least three times. Always remember that decent frequency can only be achieved by a long-term commitment to advertise.

Walter Dailey is a marketing speaker and proven creative professional. He’s the lead consultant and executive producer for Dailey Sound Vector Media, a creative services organization that specializes in commercial, jingle and marketing campaign development for small businesses throughout the US.  Ask Walter your questions at walter@dsvmedia.com