J CURVE

Break Through the Clutter and Assist the Pull

The J curve is a graphical image used in many industries to show effects and outcomes over time. The curve is useful in describing the time necessary for advertising and various media to impact consumer learning.

Assume that the X-axis represents time. Time passes as we move to the right on the x-axis. Also assume the Y-axis represents “learning about product benefits.”

The bottom of the J curve indicates that learning remains flat, or non-existent for a period of time.
Learning does not occur for a variety of reasons but clutter, poor copy and weak targeting are the major reasons the bottom of the “J” doesn’t move much.

The J Curve

The J Curve

Old school media theory taught that 3 to 7 exposures to a commercial were necessary before a message could break out of the clutter of other messages. Today, the clutter wall is higher and stronger. A media schedule frequency of 20 may be necessary for an advertisement to even be noticed.

After an ad breaks-out (if ever) of the clutter, learning can occur at a high slope. (The leg of the “J”) Each subsequent advertisement adds an increasing amount of learning about product benefits.

I believe something else happens on the trip up the “J”.
As interest grows for the product and a stimulus effect is occurring (a consumer begins to consider the purchase)…a new step in the buying process occurs.

As stimulus grows, today’s consumer reaches for a second or third screen to “pull” information about the product.
A referral network can be accessed from websites (second screen) and “Googled” from a smart-phone (3rd screen.)

It seems certain in todays marketplace that consumers require confirming information prior to almost any purchase.

Pull marketing is necessary to impact the J Curve and the cash register.

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