by: David Armano

Heather, our head of business development walked into my office with a problem. She wanted to show two types of marketing strategies visually, and so we took to the white board and came up with this. Looking at it I knew right away that I was biased toward one of these approaches—the sustainable type. Think Nike + vs. the Dove Real Beauty video.

But taking a step back, I wonder if both are needed—strategies that result in the quick hits combined with initiatives that have a much longer shelf life. Advantages to the "shotgun" bursts is that you get pull that trigger pretty quickly and see what gets hit. Disadvantages are each on of those "hits" if you are fortunate enough to get one, is short-lived. So you have to keep loading up that shotgun.

Sustainable strategies take a bit more planning to target and grow over time. Think applications which evolve and grow over time. Users, consumers, and customers build affinity for that service through the interactions they have with it. These become both interaction and feedback "loops" which over time can be sustained if designed right. Thing about iGoogle.

I suppose the lines can completely blur between the two. As I think about my experience in the world famous Oscar Mayer Wiener Mobile I would have probably thought that would have been a shotgun strategy if I was around back when it was first conceived. Over 50 years later, turns out it's pretty sustainable and even scalable (going from 1 to 7 vehicles).

I guess what's left is determining if your organization is doing both. Maybe it doesn't start with strategy either. I'm approaching year 3 of blogging and truth be told—I can't stop. I can't stop the writing, the visuals and the thinking. Maybe it's sustainable after all—though if you read my first 10 posts, you can detect a shotgun somewhere in there. Which one are you doing more of these days?

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