The Baader-Meinhof phenomenon

Also known as ‘frequency illusion’, the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon occurs when something that you recently noticed or heard about suddenly seems to appear everywhere.

For example, imagine the receptionist at a hotel you’re staying at recommends a gift voucher for a spa weekend. Previously, you weren’t aware that you could book an inclusive spa package for a whole weekend.

You like the idea.

Following the conversation, you hear about a spa weekend on the radio, see one advertised on a billboard and notice pictures of one on your Facebook news feed. You’re not crazy, you tell yourself, but this recommendation came out of nowhere and is suddenly all around you!

The repeated appearance of the spa weekend confirms the idea that you should probably go ahead and buy that gift today.

There is an explanation, of course. In this information-rich age, it is unsurprising to see the same thing many times. However, when you learn something new that catches your interest, selective attention kicks in. Even when you are not actively thinking about a spa weekend, your brain is looking out for it so that it can confirm what you initially heard.

So what does that mean for you as a business owner or marketing manager?

This is certainly food for thought when it comes to promoting your gift vouchers. Marketing your vouchers through multiple channels really pays off. A simple conversation, flyer, social media post and email could create the Baader-Meinhof effect and then lead to a sale.

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