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Marketing messages surround us.  But just how many are we exposed to in a day?

I was heading to Miamisburg for a meeting.  As I hit the on-ramp for Interstate 75, I noticed one of those LED billboards with the rotating message.  In just the few seconds it took me to pass the billboard, I saw three messages.  I decided to count the number of messages I was about to see during the 15 minutes it took me to reach my destination.

I was amazed.  Message after message after message.  Billboards, sure, but messages everywhere.  Signs, logos, truck wraps, freeway service signs, bumper stickers – everything but skywriting.  I hit the on-ramp at 2:33.  I delivered the DVD and headed back at 2:52 – that’s 19 minutes from the time I hit the freeway to the time I headed back.  How many messages do you think I saw?  I was shocked.

I counted 264 marketing messages in a mere 19 minutes.  That’s almost 14 messages per minute or a new one every 4.3 seconds.

Now it’s easy to get judgmental about that kind of bombardment, but there’s a practical point here for small businesses: How do you get your own message through to consumers in the middle of that kind of barrage?  How do you get your message to stick in the mind of a consumer if they are getting a new message every 4.3 seconds?

It’s a two-point answer:  Repetition and affinity.  First, you repeat your message, just like the big brands do.  On my little trip, I got multiple impressions from big brands like McDonalds and Ford.  Now there is no way you are going to go head to head with Ford or McDonald’s for space in that already crowded consumer’s mind – you just don’t have the budget.  That’s where the second point, affinity, comes in.  You need to repeat your message to the consumers who have the highest affinity for your brand and your message.  In other words, if you are going to spend your money to put your message in front of someone, make sure it is in front of someone who cares.

Internet marketing is perfect for that.  There are so many tools that help you put your money into getting your message to the people with the highest affinity and then being able to repeat that placement multiple times.  Social media, email marketing, video marketing – and so many more – offer small businesses the chance to fight back against this onslaught of marketing messages and get the attention of the consumers that matter the most.  That’s the beauty of using the internet to market your small business.

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