The Business of 18 Months

How many times – and over what time period – does someone have to meet you before they’re comfortable with you?

… the Trump administration is making contingency plans for a pandemic that could stretch up to “18 months or longer” …
Lauren Fox, CNN

To penetrate the buyer’s consciousness and make significant penetration in a given market, you have to contact the prospect a minimum of seven times within an 18-month period
Dr. Jeffrey Lant, author, historian, and marketing theorist

Dr. Jeffrey Lant is an unusual marketing theorist, holding a Ph.D. in history and having published 67 books on quite a few topics beyond business and marketing.

But the quote above comes from his book, “No More Cold Calling”, another gem of a marketing book that is buried on Amazon – it ranks #1596 under “Advertising”. The reason it ranks so low is that Lant may not understand Amazon book marketing ((FYI, no one knows more about book Amazon book marketing than Mark Dawson No More Cold Calls jumps around a lot and can hard to follow but it’s worth reading. I still recommend it to you if you want interesting marketing ideas from a book that relatively few others have read((In Norwegian Wood (The Murakami book, not the song), Nagasawa says, “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking” )) over the next, say, 18 months.

To be clear, I have no idea how long the present conditions will last. And I don’t even think 18 months is a significant time period, necessarily. I’m more of a 5 to 10 years guy.

But even if the pandemic isn’t an issue in 18 months, we and our customers will still be here.

That’s why I wrote yesterday about a type of long-term medium-term marketing that is under-utilized by independent tech firms: retargeting. (Also, I wrote about this because ads are cheap right now).

Why is retargeting, aka remarketing, under-utilized? Firstly, It’s hard to learn it for yourself. Yet it’s also hard to find the right person to do it for you. There’s friction here that is only overcome with chutzpah or big budgets.

Secondly, it’s more of a helper-tactic than a standalone marketing tactic. By definition, it doesn’t work by itself.

How it works If you visit the products and services page of my website, and you fit the right demographic and psychographic profile, you may at some point be reminded of those products and services as you are surfing the web, thanks to a “pixel”, a tracking cookie.

But without visiting my site? You see nothing. That’s pretty much the idea. 

Now think about the ways someone get to my site. You might click on a link that’s buried into my content marketing (eg. this newsletter), or an outreach email, a message on LinkedIn or Upwork, or you might just do a web search for something like, “complex services firm”, in which case you are also likely to end up on my site about that subject – SEO is a form of content marketing that works with retargeting too.

That’s the logistics of how it works, at least.

The psychology of how it works is better explained by Dr. Lant. Or you can just take his word for it and try to get your brand into the mind of your ideal customers 7 times over the next 18 months.

Be well,