In Byron Sharp's book How Brands Grow, his first rule for brand growth is: "Continuously reach all buyers of the Category (communication + distribution) – don't ever be silent."
There is a lot which underpins this rule but often it is unrealistic nor does it take into account consumer fatigue. However, Sharp does make several well recognised points in marketing:
Most brands within a category have a similar base of consumers regardless of their brand positioning, so you should aim to reach all category buyers.
Growing a brand is like filling up a leaky bucket. You will always hemorrhage consumers, therefore the key factor for growth is whether your rate of acquisition is higher or lower than the rate of loss.
Longer gaps between advertising bursts mean you lose more consumers, and memory structures are weakened, reducing the impact of future ads.
In The Long and the Short of It, Les Binet and Peter Field's research demonstrates two key points:
1. that campaigns focused on immediate activation of consumers drive short-term sales only; and
2. that longer-term brand-building campaigns drive long-term profit growth.
Binet and Field concluded that both are needed, but the balance should be in favour of brand building (the research suggests that 60/40 is the average split among the most effective campaigns).
Finally, in their more recent research Marketing Effectiveness in a Changing Media Landscape, Binet and Field discuss the roles of earned, owned and paid media. They determined that earned and owned media are of minimal value without paid; however, to maximise the value of paid, you need both owned and earned media.
(Source: WARC - Charlie Clinton)