Human beings are fickle beings. We can see what we choose to see in one minute, and by the time we want to change, we immediately move on to the next. In this episode, Ken Courtright takes us into the concept of reticular activation and applies it to business growth. Placing it particularly in the context of advertising, Ken teaches us the value of getting your message out there that will hit a greater percentage of people across time.
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This is sponsored by our Digital Footprint Event. We hold them on the East Coast in the spring and on the West Coast in the fall. Some of you know they sell out very quickly. This year, we’re a can’t-miss, must-attend business conference by both Forbes and Inc. magazine. If you want to see that, check out the pressroom on IncomeStore.com. Our events are pretty awesome. You pay your couple of few hundred bucks for your ticket. We pay all the meals, even the booze, the entertainment. You’ve just got to get there. Get there and get a hotel. We’ll blow your hair back for three days. It’s pretty powerful.
I want to make special mention that the middle package comes with a Mini iPad with our Next Step Tool embedded on it. We sell this tool for $8,200. It’s just a piece of software so it doesn’t cost me anything to edit to an iPad. It’s awesome. It’s called the Next Step Tool. You put your website in there and hit run. It prints out a 20 to 200-page report. What’s broken? What needs fixing? What’s the proper code to fix it? What words do you need to rank on to grow? How much money will you make if you use our techniques and grow your site X different ways? Ninety days after you make all the changes, you run it again. It tells you what competitors you’ve passed, what’s strong and what’s weak. It’s awesome.
This episode is called Reticular Activation. What car do you drive? What is your daily driver? What do you get in the morning, drive to work if you don’t work from home? What do you get back in and drive home to? Let’s say you drive a Camaro. Isn’t it interesting that if you drive a Camaro, you instantly recognize every other Camaro, especially the ones that are in the same exact year? You can see them from two blocks away. Let’s say you trade your Camaro in for a brand new Mustang. Within two weeks, you are going to notice every brand new Mustang out there. It’s amazing. Within six to twelve weeks, you will no longer recognize the Camaros like they’re sticking out like sore thumbs. This is called reticular activation. There are two similar definitions.
We see what we are in at the moment. We see everywhere what we are into. Let’s say you’re into fishing. If you’re a real die-hard fisherman, you see the fishing boats everywhere on the highway. You could see it from a mile away. Every fishing bumper sticker jumps out and grabs you. You see fishing gears and fishing paraphernalia everywhere. If you’re into golf, you don’t recognize any boats on the road. They’re almost invisible to you unless somebody put you under hypnosis. You would swear you did not drive by any boats, but you probably drove by 100 boats on trailers. Reticular activation is a subconscious mechanism that we have control over. You see what you’re into at the moment. If you’re driving a Camaro, you’re into your Camaro. You get in it every day. You’re physically in it. You’re into it. You see them everywhere. Remember back what car did you have, not the car before this car but the car before that. Do you even notice those cars on the road anymore? You don’t. How does this relate to business growth?
Let’s say I had $100,000 to spend on radio. Would it be better for me to put $100,000 in one week across three different cities and just smash it? Crush the airwaves, three different radio stations, three different cities? Should I spend $2,000 a week, spread through those stations, spread through those cities? The answer is $2,000 a week, it’s probably not for the reasons you were thinking. People have to get used to your jingle. They’ve got to hear it enough to start to trust you. It has nothing to do with it. Here’s how this works. If I spend $100,000 on three stations in one week, it is an immense amount of radio dollars. I’m going to make sure I hit every single person listening to those stations. They’re going to hear it.
Let’s say I invented a brand new cutting-edge piece of exercise equipment. That’s my business. I got $100,000 to spend advertising this very cool, cutting-edge, state-of-the-art piece of exercise equipment. At any one moment in time, 5% of people are hardcore thinking about taking their body to the next level. What is the next diet for them? What next piece of equipment are they going to buy? They’re in the zone. They are into exercising. They are into fitness. It’s one out of twenty people at any given moment. If I spend the $100,000, I’m going to hit that 5% that week that is in it. They’re going to not only hear my commercial but also be able to spot my commercial by the third time it plays. They’re going to hear it everywhere. If I spend $2,000 a week, statistically I’m still going to hit some of that 5% that are into it. However, if I do $2,000 a week for 50 weeks, isn’t it a fair bet that ten weeks from now, twenty weeks from now, 30 weeks from now, isn’t there a great chance that it’s going to be a different 5% that are tuned into fitness at the time?We see what we are in at the moment. We see everywhere what we are into. Click To Tweet
Maybe it’s January now. Maybe in May, somebody gets bad news like they’re pre-diabetic, they’ve got to lose some weight or they get a bad result from their checkup. All of a sudden, they’re forced to be into fitness. Maybe they get a divorce and they want to get thin again because they know they’ve got to start dating. The reason doesn’t matter. Here’s what I know to be a fact. Over a year’s time, the people that are into my product, the people that are into your product, your service change over the course of a year. If you have a budget and you want to do a shock and awe and blast radio and a newspaper ad, that’s fine. It will work. It does work. However, if you have a budget and patience, meaning you don’t need immediate growth right now but you’d rather have consistent, steady and ever-growing growth, you are always going to be better spreading your advertising message over time. You’re going to hit a greater percentage of people that will hear your message. Your message is only heard by those that are into your message and those that are into your message via reticular activation changes over the year.
I recommend that everybody finds a tiny budget, something small that you can do every week. Maybe it’s paying for Facebook ads, buying radio time, doing small newspaper ads and doing small direct mail campaigns. It doesn’t matter. Start and do something consistently. Stephen Covey’s famous line is, “What one thing, if done consistently and superbly well, will get you everything you’ve always wanted and take away all your pain?” If you can find an advertising budget using and understanding your potential clients’ reticular activation could be the one piece of consistency that you want to tap into. I hope this helps.