For a firefly, frequency is irrelevant. (Getty Images)

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Fireflies are fascinating.

They fly around in backyards and signal their mates with a flashing light. They signal until one specific response is returned from the ground. I wonder if the little insect counts how many times he must light up to find his special someone. Frequency is irrelevant. Finding his mate is all that matters.

Questions about how much frequency is enough still echo throughout marketing departments.

The questions imply that there is message exposure count that is "enough."   What is the least we can do and still sell our product or service?

I'm all for expense control and agree that marketing results are difficult to measure. But marketing messages matter over a time continuum rather than a media schedule.

How long has your message been in the marketplace?  Let's make this easier. How long have you been sending your message to a target market?

As we develop a target market, we must look at whom we allow our marketing to reach. We need to be picky about this.

Send marketing messages to fewer people, more often.

Identify the common characteristics of people who have interacted with your message. Find people with similar characteristics. There is a common denominator. Keep searching for it.

Resist the temptation to broadcast your message to a mass audience. The bigger the audience, the larger the waste of media dollars. We become better stewards of our marketing dollars when we cut the size of our target audience.

Here's a simple example. If you have a message and a product designed to help women with a felt need, try not to send messages to men. Select media that offer an audience of women. You can further reduce the size of your target by further defining the lifestyle of women you wish to reach. Continue to reduce your target until the audience composition matches your buyer profile.

It's much more productive to develop effective frequency with a small target audience. It's affordable. It's controllable, and brand evangelists emerge from small circles.

Think about message frequency over decades, not days.

Stop counting how many times the firefly must signal.

Did Jesus count how many times He suggested, "Follow Me"?

Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.

Leaders, Dr. Greene wants to help you understand the spiritual connection between relationships and productivity. Read his new blog, Love Leads.

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