Image: The hammers and nails of marketing

In the classic Bottom-Up Marketingby Al Ries and Jack Trout, the importance of properly creating a tactic and then developing multiple strategies to exploit that tactic is continually stressed.

A tactic is a singular idea. It is a uniqueness (USP) that cannot be easily copied by any competitors. It is the leverage that you gain by occupying a certain distinctive place in the public’s mind.

Strategies are a clear marketing direction. It is the process of integrating and synergizing the various facets of your business into a systematic approach to develop your business.

Ries and Trout have made an important analogy: The Tactic is a nail (your message), and the strategies are the hammers that drive the message into the prospect’s mind. The two work together. The tactic comes from discovering what people want. Strategies are then developed to let the world know that you have what they want.

It is their contention that many businesses think backwards and create services or products that they think people will want. More appropriately, they suggest, is to find out what people are truly interested in, and then delivering to them that product or service.

As importantly, they suggest avoiding being a generalist. Become a specialist, where you have a chance at occupying a position in the prospect’s mind. Jay Abrahamhas aptly coined this phenomenon as “The Strategy of Pre-eminence.”

What are the hammers and nails of your business?

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