04.04.20162 min read

The Magic Marketing Number

“How many times do I have to tell you?” Every parent has had this thought—so has every marketer. Whether you’re asking the question rhetorically or seriously, it can feel a bit of exhausting for the parent or marketer.

But there’s actually an answer to this question: seven.

People need to receive the same message, on average, seven times before it sinks in. In this busy world, your audience is distracted, rarely internalizing or even receiving your messages. And even if they do internalize the message, research shows it takes multiple times before a person acts on what they’ve internalized. The problem is, busy entrepreneurs rarely communicate their message seven times. Instead, we think, “I’ve already told them that.” And we stop short of seven times, usually communicating the message once, twice, or perhaps three times.

If you’re worried you’re going to offend your audience by over-communicating, you can stop worrying. Until a large percentage (like more than 30 percent) of your audience is giving you feedback that you’re communicating the same message too much, say it again. Because if you don’t, you can be sure that your message didn’t get through to your audience. 

SBS Idea of the Day: Next time you find yourself thinking or saying, “I’ve already told them that,” use that as a trigger to say it again. Your audience will actually appreciate it. The small percentage of your audience that already heard it will benefit from the reinforcement. And the vast majority of the audience who didn’t hear the message will have another chance to get it

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