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Marketing Rule of 7's

Effective Amount of Marketing

How much communication does it take for marketers to influence a potential customer? This is the question that has plagued marketing specialists since the advent of the very first advertisement in the early days of the Egyptians, where Egyptians used papyrus to make sales messages and wall posters.

So how much is enough? What’s the minimum effective amount? How much is too much and when do we start seeing the diminishing return on the investment?

We know that one message, one time will not effectively communicate a message.

Think about it…when was the last time you saw a TV commercial and immediately ran to the store (or e-store) to buy the product?

Even translating this over to social media, how many times have you seen an ad, been completely unaware of the product prior, and then clicked through to finish a transaction? My best guess would be rarely, if ever. Based on this principle alone, we know that it will take multiple messages, or frequency, in order to get the job done.


For more information on social media marketing and how it applies, CLICK HERE!


What Is The Marketing Rule Of 7?

The marketing rule of 7 is a marketing principle that states a potential customer must see a message at least 7 times before they'll be provoked to take an action.

The Principle

This marketing principle is a maxim that was developed in the 1930s by the movie industry, which found through research that a potential moviegoer had to see a movie poster at least seven times before they would go to the theatre to see a movie.

If the marketing rule of 7’s was relevant back in the 1930s when television and radio were limited, out-of-home advertising hadn’t developed to the technology age, there was less satiation and competition for consumers, how much is relevant to be effective?

7? 20? 40? 100?

Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of studies out there that pinpoint the minimum effective amount. However, from my time as a media buyer running commercials for Fortune 500 companies like AT&T, Arby's, Sleep Number, and more, I found that we want to shoot for at least 10-26 exposures to effectively communicate our message.

Why is that high?

In media buying, a commercial is considered played out when it hits about 2600 Gross Rating Points….or the average person in the market has seen the commercial about 20 times.

7 Tips To Take Advantage of The Marketing Rule of 7’s

1. Know Your Customer

This is the most important step when putting together a marketing plan. No matter what channel you decide to use, it has to be the appropriate message for the appropriate audience, or the campaign will fail before it even gets started.

As an example…would you put a golf club ad on the Hallmark channel during the middle of the day? Of course, you wouldn’t! The demographics don’t work and would reject it outright without even thinking twice. You might as well set your money on fire if you were planning to do this.

2. Get the Right Marketing Mix

When putting together any marketing plan, it becomes hard to get the appropriate reach and frequency on only one channel. Look at Coca-Cola…you can see their commercials on TV, hear them on radio, see them through pay-per-click advertising, and even see them on social media. Do you think they’re selling as much product if they tried to exclusively use radio? Probably not.

That’s the reason it’s so important to get this right. You need to be in as many places as possible where your target marketing is congregating.


Have questions about a marketing mix? Check out this blog post!


3. Stay Consistent with your Message

Consistency is the key in branding. The message needs to be focused. If you have too many messages, it’s impossible to get the proper amount of frequency in order to make it stick. Therefore, in order to take advantage of the short time that you have to capture your market’s attention, take advantage of consistent messaging.

4. Stay consistent with your brand

Your brand is an extremely important aspect of building your business. In order for the brand to start growing, potential prospects need to see it over and over again. The key is to make sure everything stays the same. The colors, the messaging, the tone, and the language.

5. Track usage to determine ROI

This part is extremely important. Every channel works differently for each company based on the vertical that it resides in. What works for a barber might not necessarily work for a restaurant. The messaging has to be different due to different motivations to purchase. This means that a restaurant might find a lot of success with social media image ads where the barber might find the most success with a video ad on YouTube. How do you know which is best?

Research with a bit of trial and error. The important thing here though…you continue to look at your metrics and adjust based on that data. If one channel appears to be working better than another, scale it up!

6. Allow enough time to be effective

Patience, Patience, Patience. I can’t tell you how many times over the years that I’ve spoken with a client after running for a week and they feel that the world should have shifted. They should be making 100x more sales, more money, and be local rock stars. Unfortunately, that’s not the way the world works. People have to be “programmed” to respond to ads. It takes time for the messaging to sink in and resonate. Consistency is the name of the game. It’s definitely a game of attrition…think on the long-term instead of the short-term. This is especially true with services like Search Engine Optimization. It takes time to work and patience is the key!

7. Follow up with engaged customers.

This one is absolutely key! It’s 9-10x easier to retain a customer than it is to earn a new one. There’s something magical that happens when someone spends money with you. They become emotionally connected. That’s why it’s so important that you continue to touch base with them. The 80/20 rule further proves this. It’s the principle that says 80 percent of your revenue is driven by 20 percent of you clients. Keep talking to your customers to make sure that you keep them as your customers.

Are you finding yourself more confused than ever by the marketing process? It's're not alone. Shoot us an email today to get started on the right path! The one where you can spend the time running your business instead of worrying about burning through your marketing dollars. 📧

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