The Online Marketing Mix

Where various online marketing tactics fit, in terms of the goals they serve:

The Marketing Mix

How To Read This Chart

This chart illustrates where various online marketing tactics fit in the overall marketing mix, e.g. how business goals are served by each tactic. Look at it as two linear scales, one showing whether a tactic is more geared towards driving simple sales versus complex sales, the other showing whether a tactic addresses a customer need or creates interest among prospective customers. If a tactic falls on the middle line, it is equally useful for either end of the scale. For example, viral videos are more useful for creating interest than addressing a need by far, but they work equally well for simple and complex sales.

Also, the chart does not show the impact of a given tactic, just where it fits in the mix. For example, Slideshare may be more useful for driving complex sales than simple sales, but SEO is a much more impactful tactic overall.

I thought about creating the chart after a conversation with a prospect. The prospect is Railyard Fitness, who makes a modular and mobile course for physical conditioning. What struck me in my conversation was that the market of people looking for a system like Railyard is very small, but the market of people who could benefit from Railyard is huge. Also, two primary markets for Railyard are fitness clubs and schools. In both cases, a sale will probably include multiple decision makers and multiple points of contact. In sales parlance, that makes it a complex versus a simple sale. As I thought about different marketing tactics, I started classifying them according to their usefulness for serving Railyard’s goals. Their big opportunity is in the upper-right quadrant of the chart.

Prioritization is one of the main things Two Octobers focuses on when helping a business with marketing. We mostly work with smaller businesses – Nike or Best Buy can afford to be investing in all of the tactics above and more, but a small business is better off focusing on a few, so picking the right ones becomes very important. In that regard, I consider this chart more of a hypothesis than hard fact. I drew from my experience to place each tactic, but plan on refining it and testing with real data over time. I also wonder if separate charts are necessary for products versus services and business-to-business sales versus business-to-consumer. Still, I think it’s a useful way of thinking about marketing efforts. I’d love to hear your thoughts too.

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