12 May 2023 by Richard Parsons

The 95-5 Rule of Advertising

The 95-5 Rule of Advertising* states that 95% of your potential buyers are not ready to buy today. These 95% are “out-market” today, but will be “in-market” sometime in the future.

This is especially important to understand given the long-lasting impression brand advertising makes. The best ads drive sales over the longest periods of time by building memories that still have the power to influence our buying decisions years later.

For example, let's say you see an ad for Outsource IT Services. You may not be in the market for such services, but you'll likely remember the ad when you do become in the market (perhaps years later).

This is why it's so important to invest in brand advertising, even if you're not seeing immediate results. By reaching out to out-market buyers, you're building brand awareness and creating memories that will pay off in the long run.

Of course, you don't want to just reach out to out-market buyers with any old ad. Your ads need to be relevant and engaging, and they need to resonate with your target audience. If you can do that, you'll be well on your way to building a strong brand that will generate future sales.

Here are a few tips for creating effective brand advertising:

Focus on your target audience. Whom are you trying to reach with your ad? What are their needs and interests? Once you understand your target audience, you can tailor your ad to speak directly to them.

Use strong visuals. People are more likely to remember an ad that is visually appealing. Invest in high-end production and craft to make your ad stand out.

Tell a story. People are more likely to connect with an ad that tells a story. Find a way to weave a compelling story into your ad that will resonate with your target audience.

Use humour. It’s a great way to grab attention and make your ad more memorable. Just be sure to use humour that is appropriate for your target audience and your brand. But don’t be afraid to stand out. The worse thing to do is play it safe with the tone of voice.

The 95% will not necessarily want to ‘click-through’ to your call to action. Don’t force them. Allow the ad to sit with them in the most important place – their heads.

By following these tips, you can create effective brand advertising that will reach out-market buyers and generate future sales.



  1. B2B Institute and Ehrenberg Bass Institute