Mixing Up Tactics and Strategy

This weekend I’m giving a short talk on "Big Picture Marketing and Irresistible Offers." It’s for my local business networking group. We meet twice a month, introduce ourselves, listen to someone talk, and talk shop.

Generally, the speaker will talk about the services they provide. The longer I go, the more I find that most people can’t tell you what copywriting is. They think I work for an attorney doing copyrights .

Rather than talk about the intricacies of a sales letter, NLP or statistical analysis, I’m going to hit the big picture. Most people have some understanding of the purpose of marketing and advertising.

Too often though, they mix up marketing as a strategy with a certain tactic of advertising. They may think that because they put a classified ad in the paper or phone book, they’ve tried advertising and it doesn’t work.

If you look at the big picture, here is a good outline you’ll find in Chet Meisner’s The Complete Guide to Direct Marketing .

  1. Company Objectives
  2. Marketing Objectives
  3. Marketing Goals
  4. Strategic Promotional Strategies
  5. Methodologies and Approaches
  6. Media

When someone "tries" advertising, what they’re really trying is a media. They’ve probably skipped steps 1-4 and have only a fuzzy notion of 5 which is about what you want to accomplish through a certain strategy.

Advertising, PR, Sales and Direct Marketing are what the 4th step is about. You can be trying any of those strategies in print. What you’d like to accomplish in that print media is the 5th step. That could be lead generation, getting orders or subscribers, branding, etc.

I specialize in direct marketing. More to the point, it’s direct response. That means when I write for a company, we’ll be expecting a percentage of prospects to take some course of action the client wants. It’s been called salesmanship in print.

That’s significantly different from someone who "tried" advertising and has convinced himself it doesn’t work.

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