Rule of 7

Rule of 7

What is the Rule of 7 when applied to market and social media and How does this affect you? Here Peter Hanley discusses the 7 touch rule of marketing.


The Rule of Seven explained

In days of old. long before Yesterday, there was a well-discussed rule that you had to be in contact with a potential customer 7 times before they would make a decision.

This follows the old Know like and Trust experience that a customer must have before committing money to you.


The rule of seven is one of the oldest concepts in marketing. … The rule of sevensimply says that the prospective buyer should hear or see the marketing message at least seven times before they buy it from you. There may be many reasons why number seven is used.

We don’t treat this as an exact science only one that dictates your marketing needs to be repetitive and consistent to achieve results.

Social media disrespects the rule of 7

In addition, I repeat that the premise remains correct but the likes of Facebook can hit you Seven times in a day so does this achieve the rule? I think not.

I see Instagram and Facebook posts where a half dozen hits a day bombard you with a message driving you to a frenzy.


What of Retargeting Advertising

You casually look up a product of interest and now every page you visit an Advert pops on the page with that product. It could hit you seven times in a day but that my friends are the rule working. Repeat contact works.

What are seven ways of contact that work

In the olden days we had:

  • Telephone call
  • Hard copy mail-out
  • Instore brochure
  • Product flyer
  • Yellow pages
  • Store visit
  • Seminars and Trade Shows
  • Networking
  • Travelling salesman.

Now we have;

  • Web page
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • google search
  • Email
  • Autoresponders
  • SMS
  • Online shopping
  • Referrals
  • Plus a few of the above
  • and a few more social media to boot

Furthermore, the list of contact points is very long and easy to use plus they can be dynamic or preset to go out over time.

First up buyers are a rare breed

Maybe you don’t see them in front of you but they have done their homework and have an idea of what they want before going to shop.

To be first in the queue it really helps if you have developed some Know and like at the start of the experience so that you can quickly build on the experience.
They may have gone to your Website, visited you prior, encountered an Advert and you can only trust they had a good experience.

A real problem in contact mediums

This can be a killer and it is not your fault. Adverse comments in any media drive customers away quicker than an approaching Bush Fire. Some might hang around but most flee on the first hint of danger.

All the contact mediums in the world they won’t help. So what are you to do?
First of all, address every complaint to try and avoid the problem in the first place. If that fails provide a relevant reason for the complainant and how you addressed the situation. In writing on your media

Finally, load your page with compliments so you push the bad one down the list. Not false ones but you can badger your customers and friends for good ones.

Autoresponders are a great example of regular contact

Rule of 7

They are not Wham Bam sales methods that hit people hard.
A proper set up has a real formula for success. Introduction a bit of hand-holding, why you are good and then some sell.


Television and consistent adverts

One of the second-tier political parties in my country is lobbying for support. He advertises every day over a two hour period going on about why he is better. Their spend probably outdoes the two majors combined at about $1 million a week.
His method is consistency, every day he is in front of us, pounding away with political speak before the election is even announced.
like it or love it matters not he is getting cut through to the average worker.
They back this up with SMS messaging and letterbox drops to complete the circle.
His last campaign ended in tatters so stay tuned on how this works out. I mention it because it is a great example of consistency.


There are lots of ways to touch your clients

Let me repeat that regular consistent media gets results and that some system of delivery needs to be in place.

I have a hairdresser friend that posts three or four times a day every day on Instagram. New Hairstyles, colours and cuts. It works for her and it is a very cheap and effective marketing method. It is regular and consistent.

My daughter markets women’s clothing both online and in-store. Every day a couple of posts on Facebook and Instagram. As a side issue here Instagram does better in this.


The latest Nike ad on female empowerment

This follows on the success of the Gillette ad I wrote about recently.
The add is targeted at sharing on social media and not mainstream advertising, every woman will see it several times with no selling mentioned. Why? It is brand building and a place in our subconscious that Nike cares.
I reckon it is about Advertising agents trying to go one up on each other while making a huge quid, but who am I to be sceptical.

Concluding the rule of seven

The rule was devised around the fabled figure of seven that represents memory retention and desire particularly true in the olden days.
Tel someone enough times and it becomes the truth.

Repetition and consistency works, 5-6 or seven is not penned in Ink it is what works for you. Selling a Porsche may take 20 or 50 repeats selling an Icecream 2-3.




Rule of 7, image of author
Peter Hanley
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6 thoughts on “Rule of 7”

  1. Repeated contact works indeed. I hadn’t even thought of that. I don’t click on many ads, but when I see a product of interest and the same (related) add keeps popping up, I am more inclined to click on it. I just have a question about adverse comments, what are those? I have never heard of that. 

    I use Twitter a lot and I am beginning to use Instagam more often too. I think both work great. I am not a fan of Facebook and their paid ads. 

    Your post gives me hope though, and it makes sense, right? Tell people enough times and it will be truth. I will apply this to my website too. What else can I do besides posting on social media? What do you suggest?

    • Thanks, Christine.
      Think of Networking, emailing, adding a link to your page signature, Cards etc.

      As for social media, it is hard to do it all so stay where you are, however, a Facebook post is easy because you can program a week or month in advance in one hit. I have a Page on rescue cats as a way to challenge list growth. I spend about half an hour each weekend with a few pictures and retain a great following. So I think FaceBook is still a product.

      Peter h

  2. Dear Hanley,

    That’s a nice post on the Rule of 7 in marketing.

    I agree with you. The internet truly brought a revolution on how things are done in today’s marketing world. Personally, I never counted myself as a marketer for the chief reason that I could not warm-up to the idea of moving from door to door seeking to make a sale. This conventional way was so tedious and involving and before you consistently get results, a lot of work had to go into it. It’s so different from this internet era.

    Today, online marketers are building sites and social media approach models that are so effective. Nobody has to walk into anyone’s office to try sell products- yet the reach is international. What a difference!

    And I like the analogy of the ice-cream and Porsche. Quite on point.

    Boniface from AndroidBix

    • Thanks for the comments and I do agree with you. Most can be done within the cloud these days but the old rules still apply, all marketing is customer contact. I recently went back on the floor and did a couple of trade shows for a friend of mine and that was an interesting experience, cost per contact was so much higher than the Facebook campaign.

      Peter H.

  3. The Rule of 7. I had never heard it before affiliate marketing and have not put it in place yet. This article really provided me with where I can add my site or products so my audience can visualize it. I am working on putting out posts weekly and have been getting into the social media hub. So, it is a start.  Thank you for all this information and I will keep this so I can continue with it. 

    Melissa

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