The first night I started my research on how Jesus uses marketing in the Bible, I was crying within 20 minutes.
Never cried about marketing before (in a good way, not in a pulling-my-hair-out kind of way)? Read on.
The Rule of Seven
The rule of seven in marketing refers to the average number of times it takes for someone to see something before taking an action. Generally, it takes about seven exposures for someone to take the next step: subscribe, register, buy, etc.
So that means before your parishioner decides to register at their parish or your target audience decides to buy that rosary they've been eying, they have probably seen it seven times before they take the plunge.
What does that mean for marketing? It means you need to be constantly showing up for your audience in a variety of ways.
Note: This doesn't mean you need to be on every platform all the time. It just means you need to have consistent content on 1-3 platforms that work well for you and your target audience. (This is why Catholic drip marketing is such a great marketing tool - it helps you build those touch points on your audience's time!)
Rule of Seven Example
Let's play out what these seven touch points might look like:
You have a social media ad running that someone sees.
They click on the ad, explore your website for a bit, and sign up for your email list.
They read the first email of your drip marketing campaign...
And click on the link you've provided, but don't take any further action that day.
A few days later, a post of yours pop up on social media.
They save the post.
You have a sale which you email them about, and they finally take the plunge and complete the action you were hoping they would take.
You know how if you look at a pair of shoes online suddenly it seems those shoes are following you EVERYWHERE? Yep, that's the Rule of Seven in action through retargeting ads.
The Rule of Seven doesn't have to be so "in your face," however. It's all about keeping the conversation going and creating a light "hey, I keep running into you!" feeling.
What this means in the long run? Marketing in this way takes patience - a lot of it - but it will yield the best results.
The Rule of Seven in Catholic Marketing
Okay, great. Cool tip, Emily. Why would that make you cry?
I was combing through a marketing textbook, reorienting myself with the Rule of Seven and jotting down notes as I went along that reminded me of Biblical passages, when all of a sudden, I gave a little yelp and a double take at the number seven as my theological training came back to me.
Seven is the number of the covenant!
In my "spare time," I teach religious studies as an adjunct professor, and I focus specifically on Biblical studies. One of the first things I teach my students is about gematria, which is the idea that numbers in the Bible don't just have numerical, but also spiritual value. Knowing their spiritual value can help us to dive deeper into the hidden meaning of the text. So for example, 3 obviously represents the Trinity, 40 signifies renewal or repentance, etc.
The word seven in the original Biblical language was also the same word for covenant. So any time you see something related to seven in the Bible, our minds are meant to be drawn to our covenantal relationship with God.
No wonder we're essentially preprogrammed to need this many touch points - it's built into us as children of God because it represents our relationship with Him!
How do we utilize this in Catholic marketing? I like to say that Catholic marketing is about facilitating "God moments" - those moments when you encounter something or someone that feels like an answered prayer, perhaps one you hadn't even yet prayed.
If your ministry serves people in some way - whether that be through a product, service, Mass, offering, etc. - then your marketing is simply oriented to facilitating this God moments.
And what better way to do that than in a way that echoes our covenantal relationship with the Creator?
What Else Can We Learn About Marketing From the Bible?
So glad you asked. 😉 I'm a bit obsessed with how we can use marketing to further our ministries - so much so that I created a whole course on it, which you can access now for free! Just click here to claim your seat and get started learning about the 4 P's of Catholic marketing, how we can reach fellow Catholics online, and strategies for promoting God and your ministry, all through a Catholic lens.