Sunday, September 26, 2010
MMA began as a means to pit the practitioner of one martial arts style with one who was equally accomplished in another style, to determine primarily which style was superior in real combat. For example, kick boxing vs. Taekwando.
Today, MMA has evolved into a full-contact contest that pits two well-rounded combatants, who each know a variety of martial arts forms, against each other in an octagon-shaped cage. It's more about determining the complete warrior rather than the better martial arts form.
In the octagon of the business world, the combatant who can effectively use a variety of marketing tools and tactics is best equipped to win the fight for increased brand awareness and market share. This too is MMA - mixed marketing arts.
Whether you run a large company or a private practice, it is in the best interest of your bottom line to have the ability to develop a strategy that integrates and implements a variety of marketing tactics including advertising, direct marketing, public relations, interactive marketing, etc.
For example, if your only marketing tactic is direct mail and your competition is using multi media advertising, public relations and has a killer web site that comes up on the first page of Google, you're going to the mat. 1...2....3....
Even if you have a limited budget, you need to know how and when to mix-up your tactics when you mix it up in your market. You also need to hire an employee or consultant who can put it all together for you in an objective and analytic manner.
Another bit of defensive advice is to not let media reps or other advertising vendors hijack your budget. Let me explain.
Years ago, I worked for an ad agency that had private practice clients ranging from dentists, veterinarians, optometrists, chiropractors, etc. The common denominator was the need for us to ween them from Yellow Pages advertising.
Most of these healthcare professionals were brainwashed by very aggressive Yellow Page reps into believing that they not only needed full page ads, but needed to run them in directories well beyond their service areas. "With all due respect Doctor, do you think anyone is going to drive 30 miles to your office in a state as populated as New Jersey?"
When those contracts came up for renewal, we cut back drastically on the Yellow Page advertising and reallocated the budget to newspaper, radio, web development etc. The result was a noticable increase in new patients, reactivation of dormant patients and the ability to track and evaluate which tactics were working best.
In recent years, social media has become the marketing equivalent of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that marketers are trying to grapple with (pun intended). It's new to many, it's exotic, but it seems that those who know how to use it are winning the mixed marketing arts battle.
Mixed marketing arts: Are you ready to get into the cage?