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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.
 

Why Do Companies Market? (Part III of III)

 
From last week...

“Sounds like ‘marketing’ may be the answer to FEI’s sales challenge,” Zoot said.

“Yes!” Marka cried. Zoot was finally recognizing that direct sales are just one way to drum up new business, she thought.


Now, continuing with part three of our three-part series. Remember, fire = print.

When she first joined FEI, Marka convinced Org that Olympus’ highly literate adult population—made possible by two generations of widely available fire—appreciated the printed word. So FEI began distributing its message in written form, at a fraction of what it cost to send runners to each hearth and business. FEI was now familiar with the power of brochures, mailings, O-communications and advertising.

Written marketing communications were the greatest Olympian invention since the chariot, and before long, countless other businesses were distributing their messages in a similar fashion. As always, the challenge was to remain ahead of the competition with attractive messaging, images and branding.

“We’ve already tried ‘marketing’, though,” Zoot objected. Despite Marka’s confidence, the salesman clearly wasn’t convinced yet. “We ran a direct O-mail campaign awhile back, and we have an O-site. Shouldn’t we feel good about these efforts?”

“Hades, no!” Marka nearly spilled her grog in excitement. “Producing a brochure, mailing or O-site is no longer good enough for us. Responding to business slowdowns by creating poorly thought-out brochures, sending one-time mailings or buying expensive ads in magazines rarely produces sustainable results.”

“And in marketing, as in sales, results are what matters, right?” Zoot said.

“Yes,” Marka said. “The most strategic approach is to analyze FEI’s position in the marketplace and then choose promotional vehicles appropriate to marketing needs.”

“Sounds easy,” Zoot mused.

“Wrong,” Marka said. “Pitfalls for the under-matched marketer are plentiful. Price discounting is tempting, but this short-term action usually weakens already weak companies. Touting expertise may come across as either hollow or bravado. Humor may backfire. Publishing incorrect advice undermines credibility.”

Zoot raised his hairy eyebrows. “Oh boy. Where do we start?”

“Meet me in the conference room tomorrow morning,” Marka said.

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