How to Use the 'Rule of 7' to Radically Grow Your Business
When it comes to marketing, you need ample exposure to your target market.
According to data from consumer research firm Yankelovich, we’ve gone from being exposed to about 500 ads a day back in the 1970s to as many as 5,000 ads a day today.
This is totally understandable: The advent of technology and new media has pretty much ensured that we’re shown an ad everywhere to turn to. Unfortunately, this trend does not bode well for businesses; besides the fact that the human attention span is rapidly declining, it has also been observed that -- due to the overwhelming exposure to ads -- people are increasingly paying attention to fewer ads.
So, how do you grow your business when decreasing attention spans and increasing information and advertising overwhelm is the norm?
Why You Should Embrace 'The Rule of 7'
Essentially, 'the rule of 7' is a marketing principle that states that your prospects need to come across your offer at least 7 times before they really notice your offer and start to take action.
Your prospects can be exposed to your offer significantly more than 7 times, but they need to see your offer at least 7 times; this helps them take note of your offer amidst the marketing and information overwhelm we have today, thus positioning you to get better results from your marketing efforts.
'The Rule of 7' has deep roots in psychology, and its effectiveness has long been observed through a psychological phenomenon called “mere-exposure effect” or the “familiarity principle.” Essentially, the mere-exposure effect states that the more people are exposed to something, the more likely they are to take note of it and develop a preference for it.
Psychology is rooted with so many examples and studies that show that through constant exposure to something, not only are we likely to start to take note of it but we’re actually likely to start liking it more. In Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, he explained that we like things that are familiar to us, and one of the best ways to induce familiarity, subconsciously, is through repetition.
This is where the rule of 7 comes in.
Here’s How to Radically Grow Your Business with 'The Rule of 7'
1. Expand Your Marketing Channels
Don’t restrict your marketing to one channel. Use as many channels as you want; take a look at the biggest brands today, as well as the most explosive startups, and you’ll notice that they are everywhere. Almost every successful brand today use this principle.
In an article describing her transformation from being a diehard HipChat fan to someone who quickly moved over to HipChat alternative Slack, here’s what Shanelle Mullin has to say:
“During those 3-4 weeks, I can’t even begin to guess how many times I heard or read about Slack. TechCrunch, The Next Web, Fast Company, Gigaom, WSJ, Inc. – everyone was talking about this new app. I began to like Slack because it became more familiar to me than HipChat.”
Essentially, Mullin fell in love with Slack because she was seeing it anywhere. This won’t have happened if Slack was restricted to one medium. Instead of saying, “Okay, content marketing is king now, so I’ll start blogging regularly,” or “Facebook ads is what is trending lately, so I’ll stick to it,” why not do all? It isn’t impossible to do marketing, and advertising, and video marketing and everything in between.
In fact, that might be just what your business needs to explode.
2. Leverage as Many Forms of Content Marketing as You Can
Often times, it’s easy to put yourself into a box when it comes to content marketing, but there are so many ways to go about it. Content marketing goes beyond just blogging; you can do video content, start your own podcast, leverage user generated content, have your content syndicated, etc. Also, it can be difficult perfecting your content endgame, but platforms like ClearVoice make it easy for brands to have influencers write for them -- it takes things beyond the average low-quality writing you will get on sites like UpWork or Freelancer.com.
3. Make Frequency a Part of Your Strategy
Even when you start a blog, or start to embrace other forms of content marketing, it is important to avoid using a “one shot” approach.
A key part of 'the rule of 7' is consistency; this goes beyond trying to reach your prospects through multiple channels. Instead, it involves reaching them multiple times through multiple channels. Data from HubSpot shows that businesses that blog around 16 times or more per month get 3.5 times more traffic and 4.5 times more leads than businesses that blog less than 4 times a month. No matter your marketing strategy, the importance of frequency cannot be overstated.
4. Build an Email List
Email makes it much easier to reach out to the same people over and over again, making 'the rule of 7' easy to implement. Besides the fact that research has shown that businesses can expect a ROI of $38 for every $1 spent on email marketing, having an email list makes it much easier to reach out to your prospects over and over again. With email services like GetResponse, starting email marketing will cost your business next to nothing.
5. Start Contributing to Industry Blogs and Media Publications
It’s easier than ever to get into the media, because if you aren’t covered you can easily contribute content to most publications as an industry expert. If you have specialized knowledge about your industry, start contributing to major publications and blogs; this makes your brand more familiar in your niche.
6. Embrace Social Media
Of course, it goes without saying that businesses should be using social media today. However, this shouldn’t just stop with Facebook and Twitter. Look for industry-specific social media sites, as well as new social media sites that are gaining prominence. As long as your audience is there, be there.
7. Leverage Advanced Technology: Retargeting, Remarketing, Push Notifications
Thanks to advanced technology, you can be pretty much everywhere today without having to do anything special or technical. With retargeting and remarketing, you can make sure the same set of people see you be it on their favorite search engines, their favorite social media sites, their favorite blogs, their email inbox or other places they frequent online. The “Push Notifications” technology is also increasingly gaining prominence, making it easy to have your message displayed on the desktop of your users at any time. Use these technologies to your advantage, be “everywhere,” and watch your business growth skyrocket.