The Tribe Discovers the Importance of ‘Shotgun’ Marketing

Last week, the FEI tribe learned how a strategic offer can drive better results for direct mail campaigns. This week Marka and Zoot shift gears with an overview of the differences between “shotgun” and “rifle” marketing activities (For historical accuracy, these are referred to as “catapult” and “arrow” marketing, respectively.) Remember, fire = print.

It was late Sunday afternoon and the yolky sun was setting behind Mount Olympus. Over a round of O-golf, Marka and Zoot discussed the differences between “arrow” and “catapult” promotional strategies. Several minutes into their discussion, Zoot admitted he didn’t understand the differences between the two.

“Remember the AIDAR curve from Marketing 101 at Olympus U?” Marka asked.

“Sure,” Zoot said. “Olympian consumers generally move through five stages on their way to making a purchase—Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action and Reordering.”

“When a new product or service hits the market, consumers first need to be moved through ‘Awareness’ and ‘Interest’ stages,” Marka continued. “‘Catapult’ marketing can be useful here.”

“Why?” Zoot inquired, as he whacked his tee shot off into the distance.

“Ooh, Zoot, you sliced the Hades out of that,” Marka raved. “Since ‘catapult’ vehicles offer a low cost per impression, they can be an effective way to raise market awareness levels across all of Olympus.”

“What are some examples of ‘catapult’ advertising vehicles?” Zoot asked.

Marka teed up and swung away. “Almost any form of mass media can be a catapult advertising vehicle, including:

O-web and

“At what point do ‘arrow’ promotional activities become better marketing investments?” Zoot asked, cleaning his driver with a monogrammed towel as they walked toward the green. “I’d think we’d always want to expose the FEI brand to the largest possible audience.”

They reached the green and Marka pulled out her putter. “Not always,” Marka explained. “‘Catapult’ activities are only cost-effective when a company needs to raise basic market awareness levels. 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. I’ll tell you more about ‘arrow’ marketing—right after I sink this putt.”

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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