The Marketer’s Rule of 7: Make Your 7 (or 10 or 15) Count

There’s a theory in marketing that a potential customer needs to be exposed to your brand at least seven times before deciding to buy—it’s called the rule of seven. Of course, that number was decided on by movie studio executives in the 1930s, way before social media hit our screens and changed everything. So how many interactions do marketers need now?

Well, everyone has an opinion, from two to seven (still) to a dozen to 20 and up. With targeted ads and social media campaigns, getting your brand in front of customers isn’t the hard part—the technology is advanced enough that there are lots of choices. The number of ads the average person is exposed to on a daily basis is proof that producing these ads is easy. What’s tough is making a lasting, positive impression. Emphasis on positive.

A few weeks ago, I bought some Liquid Fence for my dad for Father’s Day, and since then, I’ve seen dozens of ads for this same product every week. The thing is, I’m not a gardener. I can’t even get peas to grow. I have no use for Liquid Fence, and I doubt I’ll ever buy another container. So these ads I keep seeing are annoying rather than useful.

But what if the company advertised with a link to a blog post about what a farm has to do to be considered organic? What if they sent me a list of farmer’s markets within 30 miles of my zip code? What if they gave me 20 best ideas for gifts for people who garden? I might actually click one of those offers.

Without engaging, useful, authentic content that captures the interest of a wide pool of potential customers, the digital ads marketers spend their budgets on are wasted.

Sometimes, the content we create for clients doesn’t feel like it should fit. Why would a bank want to post blogs about the process of building a house? Why would a liberal arts boarding school want a long form article on project-based science? This type of content works because interests overlap and extend far beyond the first brush of contact. Someone applying for a construction loan might be thinking hard about the process of building a house, and they’ll find blogs on septic systems, landscaping, foundation work, and tips for integrating into a new community useful. A family considering sending their child to boarding school will be fascinated with the concept of student-led learning.

This type of content that casts a wide, diversified net and attracts top-of-funnel contacts is a crucial part of any marketing program. That’s what helped one of our clients increase qualified leads by 64 percent quarter-over-quarter.

Sometimes, the content you want to offer isn’t obvious. Thinking outside the marketing box and coming up with topics that will provide your leads with information they might not even know they need is a great way to distinguish your brand from the slew of other brands vying for our constantly shrinking attention span.

As your lead makes their way through the funnel and you learn more about what they want, why they want it, and what their pain points are, that’s when you can offer more focused content. But first you need to establish a relationship and gain their trust by providing content they can use.

The middle-of-the-funnel interactions are a whole other story that we’ll tackle in another blog post!