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.”

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 tj@tjtedesco.com.
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