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Marketing is a process by which you attract interested parties to learn more about, and ultimately buy, your products and/or services.

The key word in that definition is “process.”

By definition, a process requires multiple steps involving a variety of tools, all employed according to a carefully designed plan.

“If you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

But what if you need to turn a screw, or tighten a bolt. What if the project you’re working on requires that you do all these things and more. You’ll need more than just one tool in your toolbox. You’ll need to know how and when to use a variety of tools.

Marketing is just like that.

The Definition of Insanity

The popular definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. Some might balance this against legendary sales coach Zig Ziglar’s advice that “Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.”

In the case of marketing, however, just using one tool over and over again may never generate the kind of results that are expected of you. You will want to attack your targets from a variety of vectors with consistent and persuasive messaging. After all, some people are very visually oriented, others better reached by sound, while others are still most comfortable with the written word. They’re not all nails, or screws, or bolts.  The universe of potential customers is occupied by a robust variety of individuals, each with individual tastes, biases and preferences. You want to reach as many of them as possible.

So You’ve Written a White Paper

White papers continue to be an excellent tool for marketers and sales organizations.  In a white paper, you pose a challenge with which your target audience should be familiar. Then you recommend various strategies for overcoming that challenge, culminating in the advice that your organization is ideally suited to help.  Marketing posing as learning.

What will you do with your white paper?

You could simply buy a targeted mailing list and mail your white paper to everyone on it. You might even include a cover letter with a strong call-to-action once they’ve read it.

But what happens if nobody follows up on that call-to-action?  What then? Do you simply mail it out all over again? To the same list? To a different list?

You may decide that printed direct mail went out with the PF Flyer Decoder Ring.  You’re a new-age marketer, and you’re going to send out the white paper as an email attachment with the body of the email recommending the call-to-action.

Again, no responses.  Since email is pretty much “free,” you may decide to send it again and again and again and … there’s that definition of insanity again.

Mixed-Media Marketing

Any good sales coach will tell you that it takes more than one “touch” to connect with a prospect. Some say seven, others as high as the 20s. All agree it takes more than one.