Rule of 7

The Rule of 7. You’ve probably heard of it. It’s the concept that your audience needs to hear your message at least 7 times before they’re moved to buy.

This rule has been around a long time, which begs the question: Is it still relevant in today’s marketplace?

I just read a blog post that made the assertion that with the amount of advertising people are hit with today, the Rule of 7 might now be closer to the Rule of 77.

“We’ve gone from being exposed to about 500 ads a day back in the 1970s to as many as 5,000 a day today,” according to Jay Walker-Smith at Yankelovich Consumer Research in this article.

Is your head spinning? I know mine is.

How to Break Through

So now that we know we need to reach our audience somewhere between 7 and 77 times in order to get their attention, we need a game plan. That game plan is going to require a certain amount of soul searching.

It’s clearly not enough to hit your audience with one great message one time. You have to hit them again. And again. And again.

But here’s where a lot of companies get tripped up: They’re not putting out the same message every time.

So what are you selling? Price? Quality? Value? You’re probably not the only company offering your product or service, so what is the thing that differentiates you? That’s the thing that needs to be woven it into all of your messaging.

Who are you selling to? What are their pain points? What motivates them? How can you show them you relate to them?

In terms of content marketing, you obviously just can’t post the same blog over and over. But you can take your core message and find a hundred different ways to talk about it.

Make a Fast Impact

And, no pressure here, but there’s also this: The average human attention span is only 8 seconds. (The attention span of a goldfish: 9 seconds. Yes, take a moment to grieve for humankind.)

That consistent message we talked about above? It also has to be engaging or you’ll lose your audience.

This is no small challenge. There’s a lot at stake. But you have to keep beating the drum – just make sure you’re beating the same one every time.