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.

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or
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