All in, or hedge your bets – how many promotion channels do you need?

Is it better to heavily promote your business via one channel (e.g. do loads of digital advertising on one platform) or is it better to spread your budget across a number of different channels?

To answer this question, we need to understand the psychology behind how people buy things. Specifically, we need to understand how people become convinced that a company or product is a legitimate option and worthy of consideration.

Convincer strategies

We all have different mental strategies for deciding whether something is “OK”. Some people don’t need much evidence to be convinced of something. Other people need a lot of evidence before they believe something is true.

If you’re only promoting yourself in one place then you will only attract those who only need one source of evidence. Anyone who needs more than one source will probably not be convinced to take action and you’ll miss out on a big chunk of your market.

On average, people need three sources of evidence before they’re convinced something is true. We see this evidenced in academia when research has to be replicated three times before it is accepted as true.

How do we apply this to marketing?
What this means for our marketing is that we need our customers to hear about us from at least three different sources. So for example you might undertake the following “awareness” driving activities:

    1. Advertise regularly in a publication your audience often reads
    2. Attend an exhibition that your audience attends
    3. Make sure you rank highly for the search terms your buyers typically use

Ideally you’d want to appear in more than three places because many people need more than three sources of evidence before they’re convinced. I usually recommend my clients aim for five.

How does ‘word of mouth’ work?

As a channel, word of mouth works a bit differently because hearing a recommendation from three different people may count as three different sources (from the buyer’s perspective).

Those people who need just one source of evidence may ask only one person for a recommendation for something they’re considering buying. People who need more sources of evidence will probably ask a few people and will only consider the options that have been recommended a few times.

If word of mouth is a big business generator for you then you need to make sure you stay front of mind with the people who are most likely to be asked for recommendations for your products or services.

Need more help?

If you’re not sure which channels you should be showing up in, perhaps I can help. Book in a free consultation. I look forward to hearing from you.


Ros Conkie


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