Open Enrollment | Subscribe to Printing Impressions HERE
Follow us on
Tom Marin

Building Brands

By Tom Marin

About Tom

Tom Marin is the managing partner of and provides corporate and brand strategy to organizations of all sizes. He has an extensive background in the graphic arts, printing, publishing and media industries. Marin is an accredited member of the national and international chapters of the Business Marketing Assn., is a (CBC) certified business communicator and a past marketing chair of the Chicago chapter.


What You Decide NOT to Do Can Impact Your Strategy the Most

In developing and executing a business strategy, there are two essential decisions that get made:
  • What to do, and
  • What not to do.

Both impact what makes your strategy your strategy. It’s curious, really, because the real strategy is often in the things you decide not to do.

For example, perhaps your company is capable of offering 20 different services and you reason that the more you offer, the more you could sell. Sounds simple and logical, right?

But what if you applied the reverse logic to this strategy by deciding that fewer offerings would allow you to focus on what you do best and place heavier marketing dollars and resources of staff time behind those things? Would that increase your overall impact and drive higher revenues?

Let’s look at one other reality: information overload. You need to balance your information against your target market’s needs.

Today, information overload is profound. A simple Google search of communications produces 855,000,000 page results! On page one you will find results from and and the IEEE Communications Society, along with seven other major websites specifically addressing communications. It’s fairly easy to see how difficult it is for a communications company to get noticed.

Obviously, you need to do something besides just talk about your company’s communications capabilities. To help you decide what strategy might work best for your company, here are a few guidelines to help you in your planning:

• Be focused.

Whatever areas in which your company can provide world-class customer services support should be the measure of what you offer. Your capacity to service your customers after the sales is the single-most important thing you can do, short of offering world-class products and services.

Another reason to be focused is that how people acquire information is changing. Microsoft recently reported that 70 percent of PC search tasks are completed within one week vs. one hour using mobile search. Given those stats, it’s clear that knowing what to place on the screen and what not to place has never been more important. 

• Be quick.

Have you ever sat through a really long PowerPoint-driven presentation and concluded that you could have presented the same material in half the time or less? Happens all of the time. It’s not better to drone on and on! It’s far better to know what your audience needs to know and would like to know, then deliver just that.

• Be logical.

If you have a set of local-market customers, why worry about what’s happening across the United States? Auto/life/home insurance agents understand this strategy the best. Look at their marketing. It’s almost always focused on the local market because agents are taught from day one that it’s about making a positive impact in their local geography. Some 95 percent of contracts and agreements are written for customers within an easy drive of the local insurance agent’s office.

Your business strategy should work the same way by reflecting where your customers are located.

The implications of these three simple strategies can easily mean the difference between a successful vs. an unsuccessful strategic business program. Knowing what to turn on and what to turn off are at the heart of these strategies.

If you have others you have used successfully, let us know by posting a Comment below.
Tom Wants To Hear Your Branding Issues:
Tom Marin, Managing Partner of MarketCues, wants to hear from you! Follow MarketCues on Twitter for branding and social media tips - as well as the latest trends. Tom also welcomes emails, new LinkedIn connections, calls to 407.330.7708 or visit How can he help solve your branding issues?

Note: If you are a printing company or product/services company serving the print-media market, and would like to be considered for a feature in this blog, please contact Tom Marin for an interview.

Industry Centers:


Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments: