In business we face a constant challenge to get our message across to our customers and potential customers. While we would all like to think that when we send our information to a prospect, they will keep it until they need it, this is rarely the case. Unless they are a hot prospect at that very moment, your advertising will make only a limited impact.
So why do prospects need to be reminded of our message so often before they take action?
The Rule of Seven is an age old marketing concept that says your prospect needs to hear, see or touch your marketing message seven times before they will take action. Every time they are exposed to your message it imprints a little more on their psyche, until it becomes a familiar, accepted norm in the market.
The number seven isn't a guaranteed success point for a sale but it reinforces the point that marketing is a continuous process, not a once off activity that will lead to the mega sales you want.
There are 4 obstacles in the way of your marketing efforts:
1. You Don’t Stand Out.
Your target market is being bombarded every day with messages screaming LOOK AT ME! TV and radio commercials, Neon signs, Newspaper advertising, Brochures and Online Ads are all competing for your prospects attention.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to be heard or seen through this sensory overload. Remember, unless you are offering exactly what they wanted at that exact moment, you are just part of the background blur and are barely noticed.
2. Not Right Now.
You know your target market and even if you have the right message, you are not going to sell something to someone that doesn’t need it, or doesn’t know yet that they need it. If they have only seen your message once or twice, it is unlikely that your offering will be the first one that comes to mind when they do have a need for your product or service. Out of Sight, Out of Mind!
Price is always an issue for most buyers as everyone needs to feel that they have received value for money. The more uncertain the times, the more unlikely people are to part with their hard earned for anything more than the necessities. This can also be an indication that your offer may not have been compelling enough to push them over the buying resistance tipping point. But at least if they have noticed you, you are past the issues we discussed in point one and in the race to be their supplier of choice.
4. They Haven’t Learnt to Trust You.
When we first market to a prospect, they have no reason to buy from us over any other supplier. We are all more inclined to purchase from someone we know, like and trust. It makes the choice easier and we are far less likely to suffer doubt or buyers remorse.
We have to establish our credentials with the customer to gain their trust. Often the way we decide who we know, like and trust is by who we have seen the most. After seeing a message a number of times, it becomes fact and accepted as being either the truth or the best option. Why else would the largest companies in the country spend so much money playing the same adds on TV time after time.
So Why the Rule of Seven?
Firstly, the rule of seven doesn't restrict you to one type of marketing, in fact the more variety in the methods your prospects see your message, the more likely it is to become imprinted on them and become the option of choice when they do need what you are offering.
Your message needs to be Seen, Heard or Touched an average of 7 times in order for it to seen as normal, acceptable, obvious and the only choice when it becomes time to buy. Your marketing must not only be noticeable to be effective, but it must also be consistent to be successful and profitable.
Most people will buy from the most convenient source when it is time to buy and often that will be the choice that requires the least thought or decision making. You need to be the obvious choice when it is purchase time and you can only do that by being in front of them on a regular basis. Perhaps we should rename your ongoing marketing program as the rule of at least 7.
Marketing is a process and a journey – not an event!