On Saturday I got an email from my mother in law asking me if I could confirm whither the marketing rule was that you need to communicate with customers nine times before the message is really taken in and hopefully some action taken.
I confess that I had forgotten what the marketing rule was though the figure of five times rang a bell with me. But when I asked my husband he said he thought the figure was eleven. So we had figures of five, nine and eleven. Which one was correct?
Well I have now consulted some marketing text books and had fun researching the topic on Google and have found that the figure is actually officially seven. But does the actual figure matter?
I would argue no it does not matter in the least. I am a marketer and have all the bells and whistles such as I am officially Chartered with the Institute of Marketing. Am I less of an expert because I didn’t remember the number? I would say definitely not.
The number doesn’t matter. And I am not just saying this because maths isn’t my strong point. Creative I am numeric I am not. But although you do need numbers in marketing this rule is simple it’s about getting your message across and the numbers don’t matter. As one blog article that I read says the more the merrier you shouldn’t stick to this rule rigidly and think that’s it I’ve communicated seven times job done. Communications for your business should be done on an ongoing basis and you should be thinking about how to communicate on a daily basis with as many of your customers as possible.
And that is the second most important point about the rule which is that you should use as many communication methods as possible. The best is face to face communication with your existing and potential customers. But to get to that point they need to know about you and one size does not fit all in marketing communications. You need to use as many communication methods as you can afford and that suit your customers. It will depend on your product and your budget. But all forms of marketing communication should be considered from keeping a good database with customer details, print, press and pr, newsletters both printed and email, social media and where appropriate adverts, exhibitions and shows. The crucial thing to consider is who are your customers and what mix of communications are they likely to use. Then use them and use them and communicate with your customers as much as possible. And crucially evaluate what is and isn’t working for you but give it time.
Rome was not built-in a day and neither is a marketing campaign. You may be lucky and start a marketing campaign and get instant business but most campaigns will take time and different potential customers will react at different times and in different ways. At a recent Social Media conference I attended one of the speakers said that it takes six months for a social media campaign to work and though I don’t think there is a rule for the time it takes marketing to work you do need to be patient and give it time to work.
So the rule is your message needs to be communicated seven times to make it work! But I wouldn’t get hung up on the number. The reality is it’s a guide to show that what you need to do is communicate, communicate and communicate again and again. Use as many communication methods as possible, be consistent and give it time.
And with over 20 years marketing experience I can assure you that your marketing will work. Let’s just say it’s my three rules. Communicate often, use as many communications as possible with your customer in mind and be patient. Three simple rules. Who says I can’t be numeric?