Beyond The Tactic

The Sharkmatic Crew recently held a Lunch & Learn lead by advertising guru, teacher and radio talk show host Chris Day.  The discussion yielded some very insightful takeaways for the team and our clients: Most importantly is recognizing the difference between a marketing deliverable or tactic and an overall marketing strategy. An individual marketing piece such as a business card, brochure, postcard mailer, email blast, or website, are just parts of the delivery mechanism for an overall marketing strategy, and not “THE” strategy itself. For each marketing piece, the following questions should be asked: How does it fit into the overall marketing goal? What role does this piece play in driving results? What type of results are we trying to achieve?

A key to successful marketing is the planning which is based on core marketing elements.  Things like the product attributes themselves, the price point that we’re looking at, the distribution model to get something to the consumer and how we sell it are all critical elements to be analyzed.   

Just like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is built from the fundamentals of human survival,  the “base” of our marketing pyramid is built from the simplest of elements, the product Attributes themselves. These describe the fundamental components that make up the products or services that exist under your brand. The attributes themselves will not typically sell a non-commodotized product or service, but they are the foundation of everything else. You have to know your products and services so you can identify those elements that will help to sell them.

The next step is making sure there is an understanding of the Emotional response a customer has to a fulfilled need delivered by a product or service.  How do your products or services make your customers ‘feel’? How do you want your brand to make them feel? The emotional appeal is what will get your customer’s attention and get your brand noticed first.

At the Rational level, you want to break down the functional advantages of your product or service to your customer. These are the tangible benefits of your brand. Emotional appeal cannot be sustained for the long term with most product categories and so must be supported by the rational advantages of your product.

As you develop this “pyramid”, you now have the opportunity to decide your brand Personality. How would you describe your brand using human characteristics? This represents your brand’s values and the values of your target customers. It is important that the values are aligned so that you can create a lasting relationship with your customer and keep them coming back for more of your products and services.  It’s also at this point that a marketer gets the opportunity to decide the manner and tone they want to take in their communications moving forward.  

At the top of the pyramid, we have the Brand Idea. This is the essence of your brand built upon all of the aforementioned elements.  It’s a single sentence about what you deliver.   It is not a  tagline but rather an anchor to measure all your work against.  If a tactic doesn’t stay true to the brand idea, it must be tossed and started over. Ultimately, all of the marketing pieces should be working within the rest of the pyramid in order to culminate in an overall brand idea that carries through as the essence of your company.

What does all of this have to do with your marketing….EVERYTHING. To develop and market a brand, each part of this pyramid must be researched, built, and explored prior to deploying your tactics. A strategic marketing plan can then be developed which will show not just the “how” but also the “why” for each marketing tactic and how to measure the results against them.

Here at Sharkmatic, we are focused on getting results for our clients, and we would love to take your brand to the next level!

Brand Pyramid Graphic