Tom Elgar's Passle (below) got me thinking about something we've learnt here about repeating ourselves. It's an oft-cited mantra from our Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) implementer that you have to repeat something seven times before it is heard for the first time.
Tom highlights the Latin phrase for "repetition is the mother of all learning" that, in part, hints at the provenance of the long-held idea that frequent reiteration of an idea or concept is thought to be beneficial to the retention of it.
And it was Greek philosopher, Aristotle, who also commended to us the importance of repetition in learning when he stated “it is frequent repetition that produces a natural tendency”.
According to Ken DeWitt, writing for the EOS Worldwide blog, without rehearsal or reiteration people are likely to forget what they've heard within 30 seconds. Thus, leaders following an EOS approach are encouraged to repeat core messages around cultural values, vision and core targets up to seven times to ensure staff are fully aware and engaged with the path the business is taking and their role in achieving its ambitions.
Similarly in marketing, the "rule of 7" principle suggests that your potential buyers need to see your offer seven times before they will truly notice and decide to act upon it.
Based again on the psychology of repetition, providing your prospects with messaging that is discernibly yours and offering them a sense of the familiar will - thanks to what is described by some as the "mere-exposure effect" - cause them to take note and develop a preference for your now recognisable offer.
Content creators too echo the wisdom of restatement: Seth Godin has long advocated his "drip, drip" approach to writing marketing content. Describing why this strategy works so well for him in terms of writing, he says: “The dripping matters because that’s how people learn. Not in one hour chunks, but one little idea at a time. Do it for five years or more, every single day (as I’ve done on my blog) and you build trust and credibility and a body of work."
So, at the risk of repeating myself, it's OK to say the same thing a number of times. Sure, there is some skill to getting the balance right between usefully reaffirming your purpose and belabouring a point. But, with careful handling, the right amount of restatement and consistency will garner the interest and confidence of your audience.
Or as we chant at Passle Towers (while doing burpees): "Repetitio mater studiorum est!" Nonsense aside, it is not a new observation that people learn by repetition, be it knowledge or action. It is why schools use cyclical learning. You do a bit of geometry one day, and a bit more next week. And then repeat the whole thing in more depth next year. And why you practice an instrument for 10 minutes a day. The buyers in high-level B2B transactions need to educate themselves before they can purchase. If they do not understand the problem, they cannot buy the solution.