Rule Of 7: Integrated Marketing Programs That Inspire Action

Dec 6, 2023

As an agency that works exclusively with healthcare, health IT and life sciences companies, this is a startling stat: U.S. hospitals waste over $12 billion annually as a result of communication inefficiency among care providers. Helping our clients succeed with clear, consistent communication is in our DNA for good reason.

Working with our clients as they seek to communicate clearly with their target audiences across the healthcare industry, the old marketing “Rule of Seven” still applies. Basically, this rule states that it takes an average of seven interactions with your brand before a prospect will take action, which in the B2B world may be to commit to a meeting. That’s why integrated marketing programs designed to communicate across multiple channels are so important in today’s noisy, cluttered media landscape. Here are several considerations to develop effective campaigns that deliver on the Rule of Seven.

Set clear, measurable campaign objectives

Always start with a clear understanding of who you want to target, what action you want them to take, and what information they need to understand how you can meet their immediate need. A common mistake is not segmenting the target audience into personas with specific needs that are met by your solution or service. Rather, it’s most effective to develop a strong value proposition for each persona and deliver your message through focused campaigns.

In addition, identify key performance metrics right up front for every campaign. With an eye to the objectives, how will you measure success – webpage visits, landing page conversions, meetings scheduled? Be sure to set a baseline and target results. As the campaign progresses, use the metrics to guide adjustments to continuously improve performance.

Create compelling content

In today’s content-rich environment, it’s vital to tell a coherent story about how you meet the needs of your target personas across all your channels, from your website to social media to thought leadership to campaign content and sales enablement assets. By first understanding the type and depth of information each persona needs at each step in the buying process, you can identify what content will be most effective for each campaign.

Offering a mix of content is an important aspect of the Rule of Seven. Different people within your target audience will respond best to different types of content. Some focus on short-form content such as social media posts, infographics and videos. Others prefer long-form content, such as articles, eBooks and white papers. Long-form content can always be repurposed into short-form content, which more effectively uses resources while delivering consistent messaging. Overall, it’s important to deliver a mix that consistently drives them toward the final call to action.

Extend reach across multiple channels

Every integrated marketing campaign should leverage as many channels as possible to meet target audiences where they are – your website, social media, outbound email, digital advertising, search, events and tradeshows. And as highlighted above, use a mix of short-form and long-form, written and video to reach your audience. Pay particular attention to how to make content pop visually for each channel – over 50% of marketers agree that visual content is essential to their marketing strategy, leading to more engagement from audiences.

Align media relations and thought leadership efforts

It’s also important to create crossover between focused campaigns and proactive media relations and thought leadership programs. Published articles make valuable assets to incorporate in campaigns. By creating pitches that address the needs of journalists while connecting with the key messages for your target personas, you leverage another important channel for reaching your audience.

Integrated marketing programs that communicate across multiple channels using compelling content help rise above the noise and connect with your audience in ways that deliver results. With the Rule of Seven in mind, marketers can create meaningful brand interactions that show how your solutions meet the needs of your prospects, making them more apt to take the next step toward purchasing your solution.