Marketing Your Art Takes Time (The Rule of Seven Explains Why)

By John R. Math in Art Business Advice > Art Marketing Tips

Most artists realize they need more exposure for their art if they want more sales. So they begin to promote their artwork with a particular program or technique. If that doesn’t produce the results they were hoping for, however, often the artist becomes discouraged and gives up their marketing efforts completely.

But there’s no reason to get discouraged so quickly. . . The Rule of Seven helps to to explain why our marketing efforts don’t always create the results we hope for.

The Rule of Seven explained

The Rule of Seven is a depression era advertising and marketing maxim developed by the movie industry. The studio bosses discovered that a certain amount of advertising and promotion was required to get someone to see one of their movies.

Over time, the movie studios came to the conclusion that it took at least seven messages to get someone to buy a movie ticket. Thus, the Rule of Seven states that a prospect needs to hear the advertiser’s message at least 7 times before they will take action to buy that product or service.

(NOTE: There was another study made by Thomas Smith in 1885 that stated that an advertising message must be heard at least 20 times before someone will buy!)

I am not sure which number is closer to being correct, 7 or 20, but the point is that advertising, marketing and promotion of your artwork must be done on an ongoing and consistent basis in order for you to see any effective results.

Marketing your art with the Rule of Seven

Before you begin a marketing campaign, you must first identify your target audience. Is your audience old or young? Predominantly male or female? With certain hobbies or pastimes? Etc.

Once identified, you must then select the marketing media which will best reach your target audience. It could be traditional tv or print advertising, email marketing, social media, public relations, article marketing, blogging, or a mix of several.

Then, when you’ve decided how to send your marketing message, you should attempt to put it in front of your audience at least seven times.

To recap:

1. Identify and study your target audience.
2. Determine the most effective media to reach your target.
3. Deliver your message at least seven times.

As with all rules and maxims, there are probably some exceptions, but I think the rule of seven creates realistic expectations when it comes to marketing. You can see from this rule that no one can just send out a few “messages” and hope to be successful without any additional effort.

But—deliver your “message” on target, effectively and consistently over a period of time, and your likelihood of success goes way up.

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