I recently had the opportunity to speak at a workshop for SCORE Lincoln, and I covered some main points of “traditional” marketing. One of these points was consistency—which means continuing to advertise even when the market is hot and demand is high. So often, I hear of companies pulling their advertising efforts or reallocating their marketing dollars because they are getting “too much business”—construction companies, pool/spa companies, real estate firms, etc.—the market will slow down again and you don’t want to wind up being out of sight, out of mind. Consistent marketing keeps your name and your brand top-of-mind for clients, employees, and potenital employees. According to an online blog titled 5 Reasons Brand Consistency Matters (localiq.com), “Brand consistency is at the root of your business’s identity. It encompasses all aspects of your marketing—from messaging to design, how you communicate, and everything in between!”

So why does it matter? The “Rule of Seven” comes to mind: people need to see, hear, or read something at least seven times before recalling it. So, repetition and consistency make your company memorable. If you’re going to stop marketing yourself just because the market is hot in your industry at the time, you’re creating inconsistency and leaving the door wide open for another company to enter and catch the attention of your audience, which can have long-term negative effects on the growth of your business.

I believe some businesses make the mistake of viewing marketing and sales as the same thing. If your company is thriving and you don’t want to take on more work because you’d hate to over-commit and under-deliver, that’s respectable. You can and should make that decision if you are faced with it, but don’t stop your messaging—raise your prices and increase your margins, just don’t stop advertising. Phil Robinson, Founder of Back9 Creative, said that “We need to stop seeing advertising and sales, which is about getting more work through the door, as the most important part of the business. Marketing, which is about bringing a brands story to life and educating customers about their options, is just as important if not more important these days.”

At Strictly Business, we tell our clients all the time, consistency is key. You can’t expect to run one ad and get a bunch of calls the next day. That’s not how it works. Overtime, though, more people are going to think of your company first and visit your website when they’re looking for a product or service you provide. Or they’ll think to recommend your company!

According to Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman, 95% of purchasing decisions are subconscious, showing that purchasing is more of an emotional decision than a practical one. If you ask a new client how they heard about your business, they might not cite Strictly Business directly, but if they’ve been reading your story, seeing your face, and noticing your brand for the past couple of years in the magazine, where do you think it came from? They more than likely went to Google when the need for your service popped up, but how did they think to search for you? Or even if they just did a generic search, why did they select your company over the 10 others that showed up on the results? (We see a many of our clients’ content rank on page one of Google because Google tracks our content.) It’s because brand consistency builds trust. I’m proud to say that Strictly Business excels in helping local businesses build this kind of trust with their audience, and we’ve been doing this for a long time. In fact, our Strictly Business Omaha edition is celebrating 16 years this month! So now that we can legally drive a car…let us drive your credibility up in the marketplace by providing a platform for you to tell your story, in print, online, and on social media!

Really though, I am very humbled to be hitting the 16-year mark. Every new year brings new highs, new clients, new events, new opportunities—I’m grateful for it all. I’m the most appreciative of my staff for the hard work they put in each month to craft together two professional publications and keep all of our amazing clients happy. It’s hard work, but our clients and readers make it all worth it. If I had to pinpoint my biggest goal for our Omaha publication, it would be establishing more of a physical presence by hosting events in partnership with our clients. We do a very good job of this in Lincoln, and I’d love to see us mirror those efforts in Omaha. We’ve already started this and there will be more Omaha events to come, so stay tuned!