Marketing has always seemed a bit of an art form to me. Or perhaps a skill set – there’s definitely things that are a ‘must-do’ and there’s a process (or should be) for discerning what you should / should not be doing. In fact, I know of a lot of tools that are available out there that can make many of the decisions fact-based. Of course, most of those tools cost a lot of money and aren’t worth the time / resources spent unless you’re a large multi-national. Nonetheless, they are out there.
When making music, you generally want to have multiple notes playing to create a symphony. Sure, you could draw an audience if you just played a single note but more often than not, you want a full composition- not a single note. If you think of the composition as your marketing program, then each tactic is a note. You want a variety of notes, each played at different periods for different lengths of time to generate the symphony. A long note might be an passive marketing tactic, a short note an active marketing tactic.
Playing in Tune
If you think of the symphony though, it is always played in a specific key. The composer sets the key beforehand, deciding how the tune should sound. You could transpose the symphony a scale or two either way, and it’d be recognizable but it wouldn’t be the same. It might even sound horrible…
Worst though than transposing the tune is if a note doesn’t ‘fit’. You can tell almost immediately when someone plays a note wrong in a song, so what makes you think that you can’t recognise a wrong marketing tactic?
So, let’s say we start with a simple example. Starlit Citadel’s ‘symphony’ is played in strains of ‘geek professional’. Sure, we have a little fun and we pass on cool ‘geek’ related information (see geek), but all our communication is (or should be) in the ‘professional’ format. We don’t curse, swear or otherwise step outside of the professional form of communication. Nor do we use advertising methods that would be considered ‘unprofessional’ in tone or form – e.g. spam or overtly sexual advertising.
On the other hand, take a look at GoDaddy’s advertising. They’ve chosen their risque advertising format, and so a professional, dry boring press release (say, try reading a bank’s press release) would seem not only odd, but probably off-putting for most of their customers.
So what’s your business tone?