Is it Okay to be Redundant and do the Same Thing Twice?

Sep 18, 2014 | Marketing

Laptop facing typewriter

As a writer, I’m naturally biased against redundancy. Almost by definition, it’s the act of saying something that doesn’t really need to be said. In marketing, though, redundancy isn’t quite a black and white issue. Sometimes, it can actually be helpful.

So how do you know when it’s okay to be redundant?

Redundancy in business is a safe practice. It helps ensure that if plan A fails, plan B will keep things from collapsing. This can be useful in basically any aspect of any industry.

Redundancy can be useful in two areas of marketing in particular:

1. Behind-the-Scenes Strategy

Marketing is messy. For example, you can’t rely on only one source of website traffic. You need traffic coming from organic searches, direct visits, social media, email marketing, and third-party referrals. In marketing, a holistic approach is usually more viable than putting all your eggs in one basket.

2. Communication with Customers

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last ten years, you’ve heard GEICO’s “15 minutes could save you 15 percent or more on car insurance” slogan. In fact, a recent series of commercials from the company brilliantly pokes fun at this redundancy while keeping it going. Sometimes, different wouldn’t be any better—it would just be different.

Here are three areas in which redundancy can be a good policy:

Brand Standards

Sure, it’s been redundant for Coca-Cola to use the same logo for more than 100 years, but it’s now one of the most recognizable in the world. Compare this to Pepsi, which changed its logo many times over the same period, and whose brand value is much lower.

Marketing Communication

It pains me to admit, but anytime you need to promote something, redundancy is the way to go. That doesn’t mean you should repeat yourself to the point of annoyance. But, your audience is constantly subjected to a hailstorm of messages from many different entities. No matter how great your message is, there’s a good chance it didn’t stick the first time—or the second.

Industry Commentary

Everyone wants to be considered an industry thought leader. Unfortunately, it can feel like everybody’s saying the same thing on social media. This might be especially true of marketers—we like shiny buzzwords. Remember that you have a unique perspective to offer. Don’t be afraid to talk about whatever is trending on Twitter.

Do you practice redundancy in your business? Let us know in the comments!

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