Now isn’t that just about the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard?

Now think about your kids, or if you haven’t been blessed with children, parents that you know. All parents need to do is tell their children ONLY ONE TIME and, precious as they are, they will comply with humble obedience, right?

Now isn’t that just about the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard?

Now think about your students. All you need to do is just present the material you have planned and they absorb it like sponges thirsting for more knowledge. They know it so completely that they ace every assessment they’re given, right?

Okay, now THAT’S just about the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard!

So what makes you think parents are any different? Fifteen years ago, marketing research said that someone must be exposed to a message an average of at least NINE TIMES before their mindsets will begin to turn toward a new idea. And that’s average – meaning that it takes some people more time than that!  Schools were marketing to Generation X, and social media was in its infancy.  Today, with the abundance of new media channels and new messaging being constantly delivered to us, that number was  raised five years ago to at least FOURTEEN times!  And note it’s now “at least;” the “average” designation has been dropped.  And, as you’ll see after reading this article, the amount of times one must be exposed to a new product or service might be even higher than that before they’ll start to get the message that it might be something they want to investigate further.

Why fourteen?  It’s double the “Rule of Sevens,” and takes a cue from the Rule of 70.  With that in mind, today might be 21 times!  These are observations that have been made across disciplines that both predict and document the rate of change and it’s effect on capacity.  Another one of these “Laws,” known as “Moore’s Law,” dealt with the number of transistors it would take to process information over time.  Then integrated circuits began to be installed in computers, and the storage capacity and processing speed of computers increased while units became smaller.  The Law also predicted that capacity would double every 18 months while costs decreased significantly over the same amount of time.

The Rule of 70 states that money invested at 7% interest will double in 10 years thanks to compound interest.

The Rule of 7 is an “old marketing adage,” according to, which says that your prospect needs to hear your message at least seven times before they will buy your product or try your service.

But note the source.  This is an “old” marketing adage, and comes from “Baby Boomer” marketing.  You are marketing your school today to parents that belong to Generation X if you’re a high school, and Millennials if you’re an elementary school.  Therefore, if seven times was necessary over fifteen years ago with Baby Boomers, then it stands to reason that your message needs to be heard at least double that amount to reach Generation X, and it’s not a stretch to consider that Millennials need to be exposed to the same message triple the number of times

And now you know why you keep seeing the same ads over and over again in your Facebook feed.

This concept was made incredibly clear a few years ago while listening to the radio. Some of the automobile advertisements at the time were emphasizing this “INCREDIBLE” deal: “Enjoy driving your new car for a full 30 days before your first payment is due!” Read that again…”Enjoy driving your new car for a full 30 days before your first payment is due!”

Ummm – that’s not news. Anyone that’s financed a car before KNOWS that the first payment is due 30 days after signing the paperwork. It’s what happens with every major loan contract. Although this commercial message is targeted to the first-time buyer, since they may not be aware of the fact (especially with their experiences with credit cards and billing cycle closing dates), it may bring us veteran car buyers to a new realization, where we say, “I never thought of it like that before!”  Many folks would call it “spin;” others call it creative marketing – making the obvious known in a new and creative way!

In marketing our schools, we have to be aware that some people are not aware of our schools, no matter how much we think they are. We must make sure they hear the message we want them to hear.  What you think is something which is “old hat” to you might just be that special remarkable attribute which parents are looking for in an educational environment for their children.  And, once you’re tired of hearing that message, it’s probably right around that time that parents are just starting to “get it.”

© Michael V. Ziemski, SchoolAdvancement, 2006-2021 (Original Publication Date: 20060724)