co Small Business Marketing, Make the Rule of Seven Work for You |

Small business marketing isn’t as tough as you think if you use the Rule of Seven to help promote your business and as a gauge for what works and what doesn’t.

The basic premise of the Rule of Seven is derived from sales and advertising circles and is based on the principle that it will take at least five to seven exposures before someone may act on your ad and even begin to consider your product or services.

Why? The Rule of Seven Works on two principles: trust and validation.

Consumers are hit with so many ads, so many pressured sales call that has left them jaded and skeptical.

They also want what I call the “me too” factor.

How many times have you watched a fad product pick up momentum because of word of mouth? In your own office someone might have tried a new gym up the street. Within a month, four more of your employees have tried it out and two have signed on. That’s the “me too” factor. Yes, it’s word of mouth advertising, but it’s also that momentum effect that someone else validated it first—so it must be a good thing, right?

In group dynamics, psychologists have found that a newcomer isn’t accepted as “one of the gang” until they’ve attended seven times—in a row.

Consistency goes hand-in-hand with validity.

Does this mean that just because your ad ran in the hometown magazine for seven straight months that you’re going to be inundated with calls? Not necessarily.

How to Make the Rule of Seven Work for You:

• Consider your audience and how best to reach them. If you have a “young” product, then social networking, e-newsletters, and video ads are smart choices. If your product or services leans toward a slightly older demographic, then incorporate mailers, phone call follow-ups, and senior discounts—but don’t forego emails and e-newsletters since many 50+ clients utilize the Internet. Don’t waste those valuable ad dollars when it doesn’t match your market.

• Keep track of your efforts. How will you know what’s working or not working if you don’t have it all laid out where you can view and consider your efforts? Consider offering a 10% discount for filling out a short questionnaire on how your customer found you and what they like about your services.

• Know when to mix it up and when to stay focused. If you’ve run a local ad four times, bite the bullet and run it four or six more times. Momentum takes time. Let your audience see you everywhere. Try that approach for at least seven if not ten, twelve times, and then switch tactics—blitz one area where you saw a blip of results.

The Rule of Seven is just a catchy name for consistency.

Small business marketing is about proving to your customers that you’re worth checking out.