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«Rule 7-11-4». Customer engagement and sales growth

Modern people live in a flow of information. We wake up with a phone in our hand, read the news, communicate and make decisions online. Technology is changing the world. But even in these changed conditions, the '7-touch rule' that emerged in the 30s of the last century continues to work. Google has modernised the concept and turned it into the '7-11-4 rule'.

The 'Rule of 7' is based on the marketing principle that customers need to see a brand, product or mention of it at least 7 times before they make a purchase decision. 7-11-4 is actually a simple and powerful marketing concept.
The moment of truth
Every time a customer engages directly with a company, there is a 'moment of truth'. In 2005, the CEO of Procter & Gamble introduced this concept into most classic marketing programmes.

The idea is that the buyer always passes through three points: the point of stimulus, the point of the first 'moment of truth' or touch, and the second 'moment of truth'.
  • Stimulus: This is the initial stage when consumers learn about a product or service.
  • First Moment of Truth (FMOT): This is the stage when consumers become familiar with the product, either offline or online.
  • Second Moment of Truth (SMOT): Consumers buy the product, at this stage it is important to understand what experience and opinion they will form about the purchase.

The incentive may be advertising, the first moment of truth may be the point of sale, and the second moment of truth is the customer's experiences and emotions related to the purchase.

Zero Momentum. ZMOT.
So, three steps. That's how it used to be. But with the advent of the internet, the customer journey has changed dramatically. One of Google's key marketing discoveries was the Zero Moment of Truth. ZMOT is a pre-stage where the customer is educated. Google believes that a customer needs 7 hours of interaction across 11 touch points in 4 different locations before making a purchase.
4 locations
Where do your prospects look for information? Where are they spending their time? Which websites do they visit, which blogs do they choose, which podcasts and videos do they prefer? These can be familiar websites, social media, offline locations and bricks-and-mortar stores.

The choice of specific places will depend on the nature of the business, the target audience and their preferences. It is important to identify and capture all possible communication channels. By linking the TONOP programme to your company's CRM system, you can process the data of potential and existing customers online, from first contact to purchase.
7 hours of interaction
If the customer knows exactly what they want, 7 hours of interaction is not that long. If they don't have a question or need yet, it can take much longer to find and select. Informative blog articles, testimonials, audio content, social media posts, webinars, demonstrations, podcasts and more become key touch points.
  • Search engines: Contextual advertising and SEO promotion target consumers who know exactly what they want, are looking for a specific solution and are ready to buy now.
  • Retargeting is aimed at users who have already visited the site but have not taken a specific action - they have not bought or ordered anything. Such customers can be "caught up" by placing ads on other websites, in their own ad networks.
  • Targeted advertising in social networks: social networks are one of the main sources of traffic today, a place where you can effectively influence the audience and speak to them in the 'same language'.
  • SMS and email: this advertising channel allows you to communicate effectively with potential customers by sending personalised offers and loyalty programmes.
  • Influencer marketing: media personalities and bloggers create an authentic connection with the audience.
  • Offline events: face-to-face interactions help create a deep connection with customers that cannot be achieved through digital channels.

11 Touchpoints
Touchpoints are the moments, places and situations when a customer learns something about a company. From a business card and a flickering banner to a commercial offer and promotional material. There are usually more than fifty of them, even for a small and little-known company!

Advertisements, websites, social media posts, newsletters, email blasts, brochures, product demonstrations and more all become critical touch points between the brand/company and the consumer, online and offline.

The touch points can be
  • Advertising (TV, offline, online)
  • A phone call from a company representative
  • Searching, reading and analysing reviews
  • An advertisement on a website/magazine
  • An email from a brand or personalised newsletter
  • Mentioning a product or brand name to a close friend
  • Seeing a banner ad in an article
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