The Rule of Seven and why three-month campaigns don’t work

Most people are aware of Marketing’s Rule of Seven, which states that a customer opens up to a brand after an average of seven interactions. In those seven interactions, be they online, in a newsletter, on a roadside billboard, in a magazine article or an application case study, each item builds a picture of the company’s reputation in the mind of the buyer.

This tells us that to catch a customer at the right buying moment they must have already considered a company’s message and reputation to be plausible and trustworthy at least seven times.

So where are your seven touchpoints and what do they say about your brand? Are they your catalogues and brochures? Is your website pulled up by the most relevant keywords? Is your advertising in the right newsletter or magazine, and in the right sector? Are you visible in the news having completed an impressive installation well?

It’s always worth running a stock check on all of the places your customer can find you and asking yourself if you need to increase your viewing area! Across the variety or mix of chosen interaction points, consistency of messaging is key.

But can those seven touchpoints be triggered effectively in the mind of a buyer with just a three month campaign? Well of course, with enough budget and a targeted angle, yes. But that’s marketing.

Traditional PR helps to buoy and maintain the multiple aspects of your company. Whilst it is true that just one output or news story will gain access to a range of media simultaneously, granting many views and building reputational value, those views need to be maintained build your residual stock.

Continuity and consistency are key indicators of trust, and trust is built over time. This is one reason a standalone three-month campaign doesn't work effectively. Just as you are building the trust of viewers through the lens of credible media, your company drops off the radar. And how does that look?

From a media perspective, the three-month time frame gives editors and journalists just enough time to come to know and trust the brand themselves. Additionally, some magazines work to a timetable of planned and themed features. So whilst three months of PR may be enough to get you into the news, more value can be accessed over time. What about the other sections of media: opinions and features?

PR works to give a 360-degree overview of the benefits of working with your company. On a very simple level, PR demonstrates your full capabilities by showcasing successfully completed projects; it presents your team and their array of skills. That simple example is great for getting new business but a more sophisticated PR plan keeps you in sharp focus.

PR is your keel for buoyancy in public view and opinion. It keeps you current and secure for new business and credible for your existing clients who sometimes need to see and know just how good you are at what you do. It also gives the opportunity to surprise those who thought they knew you with the info you were keeping under wraps!