I read an interesting article recently about the possibly damaging effects of events that are low risk, but high frequency. One example was as straightforward as your daily shower. Each individual shower probably poses no major risk. But because it is done so frequently, the risk of hurting yourself, especially for the elderly, is much higher than for something that occurs rarely, even if that occasional event is seemingly more dangerous.
Sort of like being hit by lightning is not a good thing, but since it is such a rare occurrence, we aren’t too concerned about it.
That got me thinking about marketing, as many seemingly unrelated things so often do. Let’s say you have the choice of doing a bunch of ads, or, with the same budget, doing one big bang. I think the creative temptation, if you do a collection of high frequency insertions, is to err toward the safe, with the expectation that the sheer volume of exposure will work its selling magic. As opposed to saving your (many) pennies and betting it all on something like a Super Bowl commercial, with the potential for an outsized payoff.
In the best of all possible worlds you would do clever and frequent. But it rarely works out that way. The tendency is to work especially hard on the big, splashy effort, with the enormous budget.
But why not go for high frequency, and if not high, then at least elevated risk? It may be a tough choice between the two, but that’s where I would put my money.
Got the idea?