By: Courtney Love
As a marketer, the Rule of 7 has been ingrained in my brain for as long as I can remember, even as far back as my high school advertising class (Proud DECA member here who placed in a state-wide marketing competition … nbd). The rule states that it takes an average of seven interactions with a potential customer before they’re ready to buy, but should we really be blindly following a blanket concept that can’t possibly apply to every situation?
Throughout my 25-year marketing career, the Rule of 7 has followed me everywhere, but in my experience I’ve learned that there’s simply no such thing as a hard-and-fast rule. In fact, I tend to think that seven interactions is the bare minimum – it’s probably more like 15-20 when it comes to B2B, especially in an industry like promo with so many similar products competing in one marketplace.
So I say let’s forget the Rule of 7 and focus more on ongoing brand consistency. Consider this:
When you close your eyes and think of Nike, one of the world’s most recognizable brands, you can only think of one thing – their iconic swoosh. You see it on TV, in print ads, online, in emails, on social … everywhere. Even though everyone already knows who they are, they still advertise their brand message and products across multiple platforms. Why? Because they understand that this consistent, communicative approach is what launched them to the top of their industry, and now they need to work to stay there.
When you create your own marketing strategy, you need to consider what your pain points are. Figure out how to successfully communicate the value of your product or service to influence purchasing decisions, and know that you can’t just throw something out there on one channel and expect it to bring in customers overnight. With a successful marketing roadmap that includes your own version of the Rule of 7 (or 15, or 30), you can increase your chances of converting potential customers using various touchpoints along the decision-marker’s journey.
Remember, marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.
So, how can you keep your brand and product(s) top of mind? Here are a few tips to get you started:
Final thoughts: Even if your brand is an up-and-comer in the industry or your product is the next fidget spinner, if no one knows about you, you won’t attract buyers. Using the Rule of 7 as a loose guideline rather than the letter of the law will help you think about consistent, reliable communication that will give you the momentum and notoriety you’re looking for.