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Marketing Fundamentals: The Rule of 7

Whether you're an entrepreneur, a small business owner, or someone working for a Fortune 500 company, there's a fundamental marketing practice that you should never overlook: The Rule of 7! Through the use of various touchpoints throughout the buyer journey, this rule provides an excellent roadmap for advertisers to ensure their brand gains ample exposure to consumers.

Below, we'll delve into the basics behind the Rule of 7 and tackle questions about its relevance in today's rapidly-evolving marketing sector. The goal of multiple interactions is an essential one — and you'll be clued into tips and tricks that will make exposure a cinch! You’ll learn more about how this principle translates to the real world and why you need to be leveraging it today.

What is the Rule of 7?     

The Rule of 7 is one of the oldest principles in marketing! It’s fairly straightforward: experts at the time of the rule's inception believed that it took on average seven exposures to your marketing message before a prospect would make a purchase. This number isn't set in stone — realistically speaking, the rule is less about the number and more about an emphasis on ensuring your marketing is seen frequently. The principle, in essence, comes down to building customer relationships.

Marketing experts believe that this degree of exposure is essential for a number of reasons. Interacting with a potential customer long enough (and frequently enough) for them to see marketing messages seven times is generally going to be long enough that you're able to build up trust. You can also use each exposure as an opportunity to build on the last– advertising more benefits, solving problems that could've arisen from the previous advertisement, etc. Ultimately, you need to make sure your company or products stay top-of-mind through constant exposure, so when a customer needs your product or service, you’re the first company they think of.

Is the Rule of 7 still relevant to modern marketing? Why is it important?   

The Rule of 7 dates back to a time before exciting new advancements were being made in the realm of marketing (practically every week these days), but that doesn't mean that what it has to teach us is outdated or irrelevant. It's true that sometimes it doesn't take seven interactions to sell products and services to customers, but the principle of building a customer relationship is still essential to the buying process. Different markets require different strategies, and some may not require as many as seven touchpoints while others may require more!

Regardless of these differences, the overall principle still holds true today. It's essential that customers recognize your brand and that you have an opportunity to build a relationship with them. Without these factors, driving purchases can become a struggle and near impossible. If you create powerful marketing materials and direct it towards your target audience over and over again, you've managed half the battle. The rest comes down to standing out amongst the crowd and creating need– two things that can be achieved through increased exposure and persistence.

What is the best way to achieve this goal of multiple interactions?

Achieving the goal of multiple interactions can be simplified if you understand how and where people see advertisements. There are a number of things to keep in mind as you begin crafting a campaign designed to gain maximum exposure. Consider the following as you move towards your goal of increasing interactions:

  • Use social media to your advantage
    • 37% of consumers find purchase inspiration through social media
    • Social media is the most relevant advertising for 50% of Gen Z and 42% of millennials
    • Social media is an excellent means to reach potential customers easily through a platform they're already comfortable using
  • Leverage boosted and paid content to target future customers
    • It is worth investing some money into boosting posts and using paid ads to spread awareness and target specific people
    • You can target your customer base more efficiently based on simple demographic traits and through “lookalike” audiences, which target people that share the same traits as your previous buyers
    • Boosting posts is a great way to grow brand awareness with little work and for a relatively small budget
  • Pixel potential customers and retarget ads to them
    • If you have a Facebook Business/Ads Manager account, you can access the Facebook Pixel tool
    • Facebook Pixel allows you to track potential customers who have clicked through to your website (and thus shown interest in your products or services) or landed on specific pages of your website
    • Down the line, you'll be able to retarget ads to them based on the pages they visited and the items they looked at
    • In retail applications, dynamic ads make excellent options that have been shown to drive sales by connecting to your online catalog and retargeting people that have shown interest in each product
  • Take advantage of marketing funnels
    • Marketing funnels are a key aspect of guiding the prospect through a cohesive customer journey
    • They include multiple platforms, such as social media (both paid and organic) and email marketing
    • They automatically encourage customers to have multiple touch points with your company

Seven may not be the magic number of interactions for every business, but the concepts employed by the Rule of 7 are still an essential part of marketing your business. Overlooking these guidelines because they're traditional or failing to understand their flexibility could be the downfall of any campaign — big or small. 

Interested in learning more about how classic guidelines like the Rule of 7 could benefit your marketing efforts? Looking to branch out and bring newer, more innovative processes into the fold, too? Contact the LETSDEVELOP.TV team today to speak with a team member about opportunities for making your marketing strategy exceptional. Let’s help elevate your online presence from functional to exceptional!

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