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When it works, keep doing it

We've all been there - you find a winning marketing formula that really resonates, but eventually you get the itch for something new and fresh.

I'm here to push back firmly against that instinct. When you stumble upon something that works, keep doing it until it stops working. Don't get bored and don't try to reinvent the wheel for novelty's sake.

This advice crystalized for me recently when someone commented that we do a lot of movie trailer parody videos at our B2B video ad agency. My knee-jerk reaction was "They're right, we probably overuse that concept." But then I realized the fundamental flaw in that thinking.

The whole purpose of marketing is delivering your message effectively to your audience. If you've cracked that code through an engaging, memorable approach, why would you deviate from it? Who cares if insiders perceive a pattern when your audience doesn't?

This reminds me of radio days, when we'd play the same 50 songs on repeat. To us, it became torturous hearing "Don't Fear the Reaper" ad nauseam. But the average listener tuning in for a few minutes didn't notice the repetition - they just heard beloved hits.

The same principle applies to marketing. Your team may get sick of delivering the same schtick, but each fresh set of audience eyes experiences it for the first time without burning cynicism.

Even with some audience overlap seeing it twice, who really cares? They'll likely enjoy it again or skip past - not a big deal either way. The bigger risk is deviating from what works and whiffing on an untested new gimmick.

Just look at Hollywood's cardinal rule: "When you have a hit, don't touch it because no one knows why it's a hit."

In marketing, breakthroughs are so rare that changing things up rashly is downright irresponsible. We don't have the luxury of squandering budgets and buyer attention just for novelty's sake. When you beat the odds and actually penetrate the noise, you milk that cash cow until interest fades.

So ignore the urge to hastily retire your greatest hits for the new hot single. Don't get bored or complacent with what's working. Just keep executing your proven hits until something even better emerges organically.

And if some critics nitpick you hitting the same notes, let them whine while you rake in results from the masses hearing it for the first time.

Listen to this article's companion podcast here:





Picture of Guy bauer, founder of umault

Guy has been making commercial videos for over 20 years and is the author of “Death to the Corporate Video: A Modern Approach that Works.” He started the agency in 2010 after a decade of working in TV, film and radio. He’s been losing hair and gaining weight ever since.

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