Thomas Smith, in his book “Successful Advertising,” makes the following reflection on effective frequency:
The 1st time,
people look at ad, they don’t see it.

The 2nd time,
they don’t notice it.

The 3rd time,
they are aware that it is there.

The 4th time,
they have a fleeting sense that they’ve seen it before.

The 5th time,
they actually read the ad.

The 6th time,
they thumb their nose at it.

The 7th time,
they get a little irritated with it.

The 8th time,
they think, “Here’s that confounded ad again.”

The 9th time,
they wonder if they’re missing out on something.

The 10th time,
they ask their friends or neighbors if they’ve tried it.

The 11th time,
they wonder how the company is paying for all these ads.

The 12th time,
they start to think that it must be a good product.

The 13th time,
they start to feel the product has value.

The 14th time,
they start to feel like they’ve wanted a product like this for a long time.

The 15th time,
they start to yearn for it because they can’t afford to buy it.

The 16th time,
they accept the fact that they will buy it sometime in the future.

The 17th time,
they make a commitment to buy the product.

The 18th time,
they curse their poverty because they can’t buy this terrific product.

The 19th time,
they count their money very carefully.

The 20th time,
prospects see the ad, they buy what it is offering.

Now consider this: Mr. Smith penned this witty insight back in 1885 — over 129 years ago! Advertising was still in its infancy, but savvy marketers like Smith quickly figured out that “more frequency = more effective.”

So you still want to know how many times do you need to run your next home loan ad? The truth is: there is no single “right” answer.

“’Effective frequency’ might mean that a single advertising exposure is able to influence the purchase of a brand,” says John Philip Jones, a noted author on advertising and marketing. “But the phrase was really coined to communicate the idea that there must be enough concentration of media weight to cross a certain threshold — that there has to be enough of it before the consumer buy a product to influence their choice.”

There is one thing everyone generally agrees on though: messages are more effective when repeated.

And they are more believable, too.