While dated 2014 (which in today’s market seems outdated), note the crux of this Media Dynamics, Inc. study. Over time (70 years!), despite a dramatic increase in exposure to media, the amount of ad retention remains relatively static. Remember, too, that in 1945, there were significantly fewer advertisements in the media space. It appears that there is a cognitive ceiling to the retention of a traditional ad unit, like a television commercial or periodical display ad.
As far-fetched as it seems, we know that with the right audience targeting and frequency, new messages can be learned, retained, and converted to action. Some more than others, but in truth, we do recall the tag line, website, or brand. Knowing that there is a retention ceiling for media users, it is even more important to find the right person to receive your message at the right time. Without someone primed to retain your message, it becomes wallpaper, falling on deaf ears – an audience that simply isn’t prepared to take action.
This regression, from thousands of messages to just 12 brand engagements illustrates one point clearly: the value of an engagement far exceeds the value of a broad-stroke branding message. If, those engaging are the influence-able few that can be driven to conversion (whether that conversion is a sale, website visit, or entry into an organization’s CRM), then they are the few that must be reached.