What is the rule of seven?
Traditional marketing techniques pre-dating the world of a digital and social media orientated environment taught us that to efficiently portray our product or service to a potential customer they must interact with our advertising seven times. This technique, known simply as ‘the rule of seven’ was every marketer’s bread and butter dating back to the 1930s when the idea was developed by the mighty movie industry to fill up their theatre seats. In an era that saw the release of Disney’s first feature-length film, the rise of swing music and the development of social realism art that commented on the political landscape of the time, audiences were developing and adapting with the age. Early marketing executives quickly found that the importance of continually relaying a message was the key to turning potential consumers into paying customers, the hypothesis of which still stands true, only the method has changed.
As with any strategy, the rule of seven has moulded and developed with time to match the needs of a modern-day audience. Modern marketers must show an element of savvier thinking, particularly in a society that is able to consume media in real-time, and at the touch of their fingertips. We urge businesses to look toward this development as a massive opportunity, with endless possibilities to market to a considerable array of audiences. A power, that must be taken on with strategy and understanding.
The modern rule of seven covers a vast range of consumable media formats, as such these are redefined into four primary categories; audio, visual, written and activity. As a modern-day digital marketing agency, We’ve identified that connection with the consumer should still be made seven times. However, the scope now covers a more extensive range of mediums. Providing multiple forms for an audience to gorge on, with the opportunity for marketers to target consumers from every angle.
A modern example
High street clothing store Boohoo is an example of a business doing the rule of seven efficiently in modern society, turning potential consumers into paying, fashion conscious customers. Whether or not you subscribe to the company, we can guarantee you know their trademark jingle that plays across their media. Boohoo has turned their small Manchester-based fast fashion business into a worldwide multimillion pound company thanks in part to their forward thinking marketing team. The recognisable brand has covered a vast arrange of basis, comprising the modern four critical categories we recognise.
Audio: Boohoo partakes in this aspect through their online presence, creating a ‘listening archive’, full of playlists, linking to interviews with artists and further celebrity endorsements covering social media.
Visual: You’ve seen the television advertisements, the billboards and London underground posters. The company has publications across the country that subscribes to more traditional aspects of marketing. Boohoo’s own social media accounts partake heavily in influencer marketing, with persons of interest advertising their clothing across the board, and varying social media accounts appealing to a massive array of audiences.
Written: Dubbed ‘The Fix’, Boohoo’s own online blog linked to their homepage, along with their social media accounts subscribes to the written category. The business also sends out their own print pamphlet with online purchases, boasting further discounts to gain repeat custom.
Activity: Amongst a plethora of various competitions, Boohoo runs a hashtag participation that allows consumers, aspiring bloggers and fashion enthusiasts to be featured on the official Boohoo Instagram account that boasts 3million followers at the time of writing.
The idea behind the rule of 7 is that continuous exposure to a company’s message will result in the transition of potential consumers into paying and repeat customers. Boohoo have recognised the importance of such a shift in media forms. How often have you seen the fashion giant dominating posters on your journey out of the dusty underground? Many of these commuters will browse the boohoo.com website later that evening, potentially getting distracted and leaving the site. Boohoo have then dominated other websites that individual visits with ads of items they were viewing, following through with an email that offers a monetary discount to finalise their purchase. Whether you subscribe to the business or not, Boohoo has modified the traditional marketing technique into a modern-day goldmine.
To produce an effective marketing strategy that results in repeat custom, we advise that you must create a company reputation of trust through a recognisable brand that can be achieved through the rule of seven. By making your brand accessible across multiple forms of media, you can peak your consumer’s interest, following through with touch points via seven other marketing avenues will tap into traditional marketing techniques that can be directly applied to the modern audience, with a few contemporary modifications.