More than half a million people have read the book, seen the video, or attended the seminar in which I say, “Involuntary long-term memory, or 'branding,' is dependent upon saliency (relevance of ad copy) and the ratio of ad repetition to listener sleep. Sleep erases advertising. A message of average saliency needs to be encountered by the same individual approximately 3 times within 7 nights sleep, every 7 nights for at least a year, if you plan to call it a branding campaign.” Then I go on to say, “The second most common cause of advertising failure is TRYING TO REACH MORE PEOPLE THAN YOUR BUDGET WILL ALLOW.” Attentive businesspeople immediately begin writing on notepads in front of them as they instinctively grasp the wisdom in reaching 10 percent of the people and convincing them 100 percent of the way rather than reaching 100 percent of the people and convincing them 10 percent of the way. Hearing pencils on paper, I always wait expectantly for someone to finish writing, raise a hand and say, “But how can I know how many people my budget can reasonably reach?”
Believe it or not, that question has never once been asked.
For those who are curious, the short answer is that you can correctly reach about the same number of people in a year as you have dollars in your ad budget; hence, “a dollar a person a year.” But like most short answers, this one is not to be fully trusted. Here are the areas where you've got to be careful: (1.) We're talking about reaching the exact same person approximately 156 times within 52 weeks for a dollar. Nothing less will do unless your ads carry an impact quotient that significantly exceeds the average, because (2.) An increase in the saliency of your message reduces your need for repetition. (3.) You've got to count everyone you reach. We're not talking about reaching a tightly targeted demographic 156 times for a dollar a person a year. (4.) When made aware of this “dollar a person a year” guideline, most sellers of advertising will crunch the numbers and immediately tell you that it's impossible. These people are wrong. (5.) Never agree to purchase a broad rotator (6A-11P, etc.) in television or radio. In calculating your reach and repetition, the computer will always assume much more advantageous scheduling than you're actually going to receive. In my experience, when you rerun the analysis based on actual, not theoretical, scheduling, you're reaching between 1/4 and 1/3 as many people as you were promised.
Even though this “dollar a person a year” guideline is my own invention and I trust it implicitly, any mathematical analysis of the human mind always reminds me a bit of what Terry Pratchett had to say about height, width, depth and time – “It is now known to science that there are many more dimensions than the classical four. Scientists say that these don't normally impinge on the world because the extra dimensions are very small and curve in on themselves, and that since reality is fractal most of it is tucked inside itself. This means either that the universe is more full of wonders than we can hope to understand or, more probably, that scientists make things up as they go along.” Pratchett goes on to say, “But the multiverse is full of little dimensionettes, playstreets of creation where creatures of the imagination can romp without being knocked down by serious actuality.”
I hope you're finding plenty of those playstreets of creation this summer.
Roy H. Williams
PS – Each year, there is one session of Wizard Academy that is lightly attended; a session whose lucky students receive a lot more personal instruction than is usually possible. It looks like that session, this year, will be the July 24-26 session of Magical Worlds. (The August, September and October sessions are already filling up.) For more information on the possibility of a special deal in July, call Juan at (800) 425-4769 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org