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Creating engaging content that speaks to a brand’s audience is time-consuming and costly. A 2014 report from The CMO Survey revealed that smaller companies with revenues of less than $25 million directed 12.7 percent of their budgets into marketing. In addition, a 2016 report from Content Marketing Institute indicates that B2B marketers allocate 28 percent of their annual budgets to content marketing. With every company searching for the magic formula for marketing success, it’s essential to make the most of assets that have proven effective, particularly in the rapidly expanding digital arena.

On average, 60 percent of a marketer’s time is devoted to digital marketing activities, and more than a third of chief marketing officers said that digital marketing would account for 75 percent or more of their spending within the next five years, according to statistics published by CMO Council in November 2015.

Considering the time and money invested in online marketing, it’s hardly surprising that marketers are looking to maximize bang for their buck by reusing their best content. If they’ve spent a fortune creating a piece of compelling advertising, it’s cost-effective to repurpose it to push the brand message. However, as noted in a March 2016 report from Curata, only 29 percent of those who reuse marketing content do so systematically, indicating there’s a large percentage that doesn’t have any particular strategy in place when it comes to reusing and repurposing content.

There is strong evidence to suggest repetition aids memory, serving as a powerful tool in the marketer’s arsenal, and there have been several important studies on how repetitive advertising impacts the viewer on a psychological level. In his research in the 1970s, Professor Berlyne of the University of Toronto established the two-factor theory, which proposes a wear-in phase, in which repetition increases positive habituation by reducing negative responses, and a wear-out phase, in which viewer fatigue sets in. During this wear-out phase, the viewer experiences a sense of tedium, and the power of the brand message diminishes. This helps to explain why 60 percent of marketers reuse content only two to five times and not typically more, according to statistics from LookBookHQ.

A research paper by Margaret C. Campbell and Kevin Lane Keller, published in 2003 by the Journal of Consumer Research, also proposes a connection between brand familiarity and the importance of repetition. In studies, repetition wear-out was postponed for established brands, enabling an extended period in which it was possible to reuse assets while maintaining the strength of the message.

This all suggests that, when companies want to make an indelible mark with their marketing, they have to remind themselves — intentionally — that repetition is key. Except, of course, when it isn’t. If they really want their campaigns to be successful, knowing when to stop is a good place to start.

The numbers:

  • Companies with revenues of less than $25 million direct 12.7 percent of their budgets into marketing
  • 60 percent of marketers’ time is devoted to digital marketing
  • Over a third of chief marketing officers say digital marketing will account for 75 percent of spending over the next five years
  • 60 percent of marketers reuse content two to five times
  • 29 percent of marketers intentionally reuse content
  • B2B marketers allocate 28 percent of their budgets to content marketing creation