Groundhog Day isn’t just the day Punxsutawney Phil tells us when Spring is coming. It’s also a great (in our opinion) 1993 comedy featuring Bill Murray as a weather reporter keeps reliving the same day over and over and over again until he gets things right.

When it comes to online advertising, sometimes brands can get stuck in Groundhog Day. Are you showing the same ad over and over again? Is your creative, ahem, creative? Or just really repetitive?

The Rule of Three

The old marketing “rule of three,” which said your paid media campaigns had to strive for a frequency of three to get results, is irrelevant online. Especially when using Programmatic Adverting and retargeting, online marketers have the opportunity to reach their prospects dozens if not hundreds of times. Online advertising (banners, video, social or mobile) is still an interruptive media. Your prospects are not actively looking for you, so you’ve got to grab their attention AND keep them interested. Showing the same creative (even if it’s engaging) over and over again will not only erode your sales/conversions, it’ll make your brand look stale.

The Rule of 15?

Reviewing 75 recent programmatic advertising campaigns (using a cross section of multiple industries), the average conversion happened between the 15th and 30th impression (using multiple pieces of creative) the user was served. If it’s going to take 15 to 30 impressions to drive conversion, you’d better have more than one thing to say to your prospect.

Develop Enough Creative to Convert

When we start a campaign the first thing we do after putting all of our measurement into place is look at how much creative we can develop. While there’s no magic amount, we know we need a variety for the campaign to be its most successful. The best campaigns include multiple themes based on the brand’s unique value to its prospects. Online ads also work best when targeted to different parts of the sale cycle including awareness, consideration, and purchase.

Creative should always be an iterative process. Even changing the color of a button or a photo from male to female can change the user’s experience, creating a whole new engagement with your brand. A/B test and shift weight to the creative that works the best.

So take a look at your online campaigns. Do you have enough creative, or are your users going through Groundhog Day? Unlike the movie, we may not have another chance to convert that user, so make sure to make each interaction unique!

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