By Pat Hinds
In a recent POIM blog called the The Marketing Pie, I wrote about the different tactics used in marketing including advertising, analyst, direct mail/email, web site, print, trade show, public relations and telemarketing. When you prepare a marketing strategy to target strategic verticals and accounts, it is key that you set goals, have a strategy and make your marketing activities measurable allowing you to determine their effectiveness. Recently while working on a project with a local company they introduced me to the “marketing line”; this is a categorization of marketing activities based on your interaction with the customer.
Listed below is a brief overview of “Line” marketing that I found on Wikipedia:
Below the Line: Below the line sales promotions are short-term incentives below and include direct mail, public relations, sales promotions, telemarketing and many more activities that include direct interaction with customers.
Above the Line: Above the line is advertising through media such as TV, cinema, radio, print, banners and search engines to promote brands. This type of communication is conventional in nature and is considered impersonal to customers.
Through the Line: Refers to an advertising strategy involving both above and below the line communications in which one form of advertising points the target to another form of advertising thereby crossing the “line”.
While working on a project with a start-up company, I suggested marketing the product using tactics from the marketing pie and organizing the activities above and below the line. The reaction by the my client was complete shock; he could not imagine how a small company was in a position to market its product on any scale. I reminded my client of a quote from Ted Turner directed at entrepreneurs: “Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise.”
If your goal is to increase market share, or better yet, own the market in a strategic vertical you have targeted you need to build a marketing framework that allows you to advertise to your target market. Adverting campaigns do not have to be costly or elaborate, they just have to be started. Pick a tactic, establish a budget, pick your spot above or below the line and work like hell!