The rule of seven
There are seven Wonders of the World, seven continents, and according to the Bible, God created the world in seven days. Hell, David Beckham even named his daughter after the number seven.
You see where I’m going with this? While the significance of the number has long been debated (and the jury’s still out on David’s choice of name), that’s not what I’m interested in discussing today. What I want to explore is the importance of the number in relation to your marketing activities, or at least what it should represent.
The ‘Marketing Rule of Seven’ dictates that your prospective buyer needs to hear and/or see your marketing message at least seven times before they make a purchase. Contrary to popular belief you shouldn’t aim to sell at the first point of contact; in fact only two percent of sales are made this way, whereas 80 per cent are completed on the seventh point or more. It’s important to have a long term engagement plan in place and your marketing efforts need to be repetitive and consistent.
But in a world where people and companies are bombarded with information, how do you make your company stand out?
There are over 900 million Facebook users, 150 million people on Twitter, over 200 million LinkedIn profiles and almost 400 million Google+ users. While some companies are yet to embrace social media (you should know better), many do, but adopt a scattergun and haphazard approach. To make your business stand out, you need to have a strategy in place. There is no point in having a dormant Facebook page or a Twitter account that follows irrelevant people. The key is to use social media to engage with your target market. Yes you might not win most of your business through Twitter, but what you can do is get on a potential buyer’s radar. Target the right people with the right message and you will soon see your website traffic increase, and hopefully, leads too.
A successful public relations campaign will raise awareness about you, your business and your product over a sustained period of time. It will help develop you as an industry thought leader in your area of expertise and ultimately build trust among your target market. The more they hear or see your name crop up in the right places (providing you have something interesting and relevant to say), the more likely they are to return as customers when they are in need of the product you are selling. It’s not about column inches; it’s about conveying the right message to the right target market through the right medium on a regular basis.
Like you, I receive a tonne of marketing emails every day. Yes, it’s annoying and yes more often than not I hit the spam button, but that’s not to say that the good ones don’t stand out. It is important to spend time building up your list with relevant contacts (you could do this by giving away a free eBook or a whitepaper for example) and then target them with on message, thoughtful and interesting content. They might not remember who you are after the first one, but make it interesting enough and they’ll soon be back for more.
Seven is by no means a magic number and the ‘Marketing Rule of Seven’ acts only as a guide. What’s important here is that you adopt an integrated, long term approach to your marketing activities that makes the most of all the disciplines mentioned here (and this is by no means an exhaustive list). As standalone services, they each serve a purpose, but when executed together they will raise awareness of you and your business, increase website traffic and most importantly, generate leads for your business .