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TJ Tedesco

View from Mount Olympus

By TJ Tedesco

About TJ

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...

Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.

Targeting Buyers with ‘Rifle’ Promotional Activities

Last week, Zoot and Marka discussed the differences between “shotgun” and “rifle” marketing activities (for historical accuracy, these are referred to as “catapult” and “arrow” marketing, respectively) as well as how the “shotgun” approach can be an effective marketing strategy. This week, Marka and Zoot discuss how “rifle” marketing can be used to effectively propel prospects through the “Desire” and “Action” stages of the AIDAR curve. Remember, fire = print.

The yellow orb sun hung in the sky like a fried egg as Marka and Zoot walked to the fifth hole of Olympus’ best O-golf course.

“At what point do ‘arrow’ promotional activities become better marketing investments than ‘catapult’ ones?” Zoot asked, cleaning his driver with a monogrammed towel. “It seems we’d always want to expose the FEI brand to the largest possible audience.”

“Not always. ‘Catapult’ activities are only cost-effective when a company needs to raise market awareness levels,” Marka explained.

The two strolled over to the green and took out their putters.

“Once prospects reach the Interest and Desire stages of the buying cycle, we need to expose them to compelling messages that are personal, informational and speak to their buying needs,” Marka continued. “When customers reach these finicky stages, ‘arrow’ marketing is often the shortest, most effective path to a closed sale.”

“Examples of ‘arrow’ marketing vehicles?” Zoot asked.

Marka listed on her grass-stained fingers:

Completely trackable direct Olympus mail,
• Personalized letter streams,
• Digitally-printed customized postcards,
• Carefully segmented broadcast O-mail,
• Digitally printed one-to-one brochures,
• Social media posts to selected groups, and
• Niche telesales activities, to start.

“Anything that speaks to the needs of individual buyers based on their known purchasing habits or other personal information can be considered an arrow marketing communication,” Marka clarified.

The path to the sixth hole was a narrow bridge over a small pond.

“As you can see from this green, Zoot, sometimes a precise, targeted approach is necessary,” Marka observed, as she teed up her ball and glided it across the bridge into the hole.

“Nice visual aid,” Zoot said. “What are some shortcomings of the ‘arrow’ approach?”

“The cost per impression is usually higher as compared to ‘catapult’ marketing,” Marka admitted. “Customization has a price.”

Zoot teed up his ball and whacked it across the bridge; sadly, it rolled into the pond with a gentle kerplunk.

“You should’ve set that up a little better, Zooty,” Marka teased.

“Just like we need to ‘set up’ for ‘arrow’ marketing success by choosing the right target markets,” Zoot replied, finally grasping Marka’s goofy golf metaphors.

“Yep,” Marka said. “Now pull your ball out of the water and I’ll tell you about the best strategy for choosing markets to target with our ‘rifle’ promotional activities.”

Today’s FIRE! Point
A targeted “rifle” approach can be used to propel prospects through the Interest and Desire stages of the AIDAR buying cycle. The “rifle” approach involves crafting marketing touches that hone in on the needs of specific key business influencers at well-targeted prospects. The delivered message should be personal, informational and speak to the needs of each recipient.
FIRE! in Action
How did a private travel club grow revenue in a down economy? Through personalized direct marketing.

Club ABC Tours created a self-mailer campaign that targeted different customer segments based on prior travels or demonstrated tendency to visit new destinations. This highly-customized campaign yielded $400,000 in revenue within four weeks.

Next week: Marka and Zoot how to intelligently select target markets in which to focus FEI’s promotional efforts.

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