Fundamentals

Peter Kohn
Principal, VerbFactory

Michael Jordan once said, “You can have all the physical ability in the world, but you still have to know the fundamentals.” What Michael said about basketball applies to most things in life – even marketing and communications.

Prior to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and all things wonderful on the web, marketing and communications executives usually focused on three fundamental areas: advertising, direct marketing and public relations. Not much has changed today, with the exception of developing strategies to reach and influence target audiences. We find that most large and mid-sized consumer-driven companies spend the bulk of their marketing budget on advertising, while B2B organizations still prefer shaking hands with their customers at events and executing direct marketing programs.

However, we have seen a surge of companies (both large and small) in consumer and business industries asking us to execute targeted media outreach programs in national and trade media. They feel that a positive story in the media about their products, services, brand or management produces greater value to them and longer staying power than a tweet. We recommend that all of the stories we generate for our clients have links to their Facebook page, company blog, e-newsletter and other related collateral materials because social channels have made it necessary to communicate across a number of platforms.

But regardless of the technology, it all comes back to the basics. A few fundamental questions we ask our clients include:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What are your marketing goals?
  • Can everyone in your firm give the same description of who you are and what you do?
  • Are you familiar with the trade publications that cover your industry?

Once we figure those out, we can build campaigns that will move the needle and make a difference for our clients.

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