Now that we have covered who you are, we can start to get a better understanding of where you sit in the marketplace. The classic reason for doing this is building out what is often referred to as the “Four P’s.” They are: product, price, place, and promotion. They are important to evaluate as you start investing in marketing. There are entire books written on this topic alone, but we are going to take a quick look at each of these:

    1. Product- What is it that you are selling? Is it good? How good is it? What makes it special? 
    2. Price- How much is your product? Is it expensive for the market? Is it cheap for the market? Do you use coupons or would that hurt your brand? (Also, you are probably not charging enough.)
    3. Place- How are customers getting access to this product? I imagine this answer was much simpler when the concept of the Four P’s was created. 
    4. Promotion – How are you going to communicate it? Are competitors communicating in certain ways? Are there any no-no’s for your industry? What have you already tried and was it successful?


This blog post is a portion of Attention and Action. The book walks you through the marketing process that Adelsberger Marketing follows with its clients. You can read this book for free as a blog on the Adelsberger Marketing website or purchase on

Who Are You? Mission/Vision Purpose

Who are you? Mission/Vision Purpose

One of my favorite jokes from the TV show Scrubs involves a character described as “Johnny the tackling Alzheimer’s patient.” ( Johnny yells, “Who am I?!?” as he tackles the protagonist, JD. Many businesses act the same way. They have done enough to start making sales, or tackling, but they are not sure who they are, which makes it difficult to grow beyond their base. When you do not understand who you are, you will waste time chasing ideas that do not fit with you rather than investing in the things that will make your company great. 

When you consider who you are as businesses, you need to get beyond the desire to make money and get into why you do what you do. Some businesses only want to make money, but they need to develop a self identity beyond that goal to build relationships with customers. 

At Adelsberger Marketing, we like to request the mission or vision statements from our clients. The clients who have one shows they are thinking about both the big picture and how to become the best organization that they can. 

A good mission statement states what the end goal of the organization is. A good mission statement contains four key elements:

  1. Concise – A good mission statement is not a paragraph long. It’s one – maybe two – sentences. The more concise you can make it, the more effective it will be. Concentrate on your core purpose, not a strategy or a set of tactics. Strategy is a level of planning that affects things like where you place your ads. Tactics are more granular such as using certain dimensions on video exports to maximize value for each social channel. In World War II, the Allies’ mission was to defeat the Axis powers. The strategy was to invade Europe from North and South and the tactics involved things like storming the beaches of Normandy. Mission statements must stay above the frame of strategy and tactics. 
  2.  Memorable- Memorability is important because it allows the mission to sink into the language of the team and affect their judgement. A good, memorable mission statement, consistently preached by leadership can help infect a team with that mission. 
  3. Timeless- Occasionally you will come across a mission statement that mentions specific methods for completing your mission. This is a common error. Look at the World War II example again: strategies and tactics change over time. (The obvious exception of this would be a mission statement that was for an organization that was time sensitive or limited in scope like an election campaign.) Methods, strategies, and tactics change. If your organization survives for any period of time, you do not want to rebuild your mission statement every few years.
  4. Focusing- Organizations are presented with a variety of opportunities. It can be difficult to sort these choices out. A solid mission statement can help an organization evaluate and find all the good ideas that come to it. When considering new opportunities or plans, look back to the mission statement and ask: “Does this opportunity fit with the mission statement? Does it prevent us from doing the things that are already helping us accomplish this mission?”

These are a few mission statements that I have helped write. I feel like they satisfy the above qualities:

-Our Jackson Home: To tell the stories of the people and the city that we all love. 

-STAR Center: To help any person, with any disability, to realize their potential. 

-Adelsberger Marketing:  To make creative work that grows our clients’ businesses, in a culture that values our team and community. 

Vision statements are slightly different. Vision statements look ahead to what the world would look like if the organization is able to complete its mission. These are generally less important to an organization than a mission statement. It doesn’t hurt to have both, but if you only have time for one, go with the mission statement. We recently helped write this visit statement for Madison County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates):

-We provide a volunteer voice for all abused and neglected children in the West Tennessee Juvenile Court System.

This blog post is a portion of Attention and Action. The book walks you through the marketing process that Adelsberger Marketing follows with its clients. You can read this book for free as a blog on the Adelsberger Marketing website or purchase on


Marketing begins with the old saying, “know thyself.” 

In Chapter 1, we talked about “what is marketing?” In this chapter, we will turn the focus to where the process should begin – with you. If you do business with a good marketing agency, almost all of them will start with some sort of discovery process. Some may call it a brainstorm or Strategy Workshop (like our Friends at Sodium Halogen). Regardless of name, the agency uses this activity to learn about your business so they know how to best communicate with your market. If they’re really good, they’ll focus on  value for the customer, not just what you want to talk about.
In our experience, the best clients are usually the ones who have spent time thinking about the “know thyself” components before they come to the table with us. If they haven’t, we think it through with them. Knowing thyself allows you to communicate clearly. Whether that communication is internally to staff and stakeholders or externally to potential and current customers, without a clear picture of yourself, it is difficult to communicate effectively.

This blog post is a portion of Attention and Action. The book walks you through the marketing process that Adelsberger Marketing follows with its clients. You can read this book for free as a blog on the Adelsberger Marketing website or purchase on

Awareness and Direct Response Marketing

Awareness and Direct Response Marketing

Two final categories we need to consider when we think about marketing is awareness and direct response marketing. While these two ideas can work together in many contexts, I usually see them in contrast with each other. A simple way to define these are: awareness as ‘’aren’t we cool and will make your life better” and direct response as “buy this thing here, now preferably.” There is certainly some crossover between the ideas as we look at below, but the two approaches are very different. We use these levels of awareness not as a hard and fast rule but helpful categories in what we are trying to communicate. 

When we think about our customers, we need to realize there are levels of awareness each of them has. Awareness breaks down like this (inspired by: Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz)

1. Customers who don’t know your product or don’t know that they need your product. (Awareness)

2. Customers who don’t know your product but know that a need for your type of product exists. (Awareness)

3. Customers who are aware of your product and know that they have a need for your project. (Awareness/Direct Response)

4. Customers who are ready to buy your product but have not yet. (Direct Response)

When we have a customer who hits level 3 and 4, we need to use direct response advertising to help drive sales. Direct response is like the coupons you get in the mail from restaurants or walking through a mall and seeing a “50% off” sign in the window. It even includes offering the product on sale for a limited amount of time. These ads create a response directly from the customer. These ads are very trackable, especially online with UTM parameters (UTM Parameters are the way Google Analytics can read web addresses to show where website traffic came from. UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module which is the company that Google bought to acquire this technology). With UTM parameters, you can see a customer’s journey very clearly.

When you are talking to customers in level 1 and sometimes level 2 of awareness, you need to be focused on awareness marketing. Awareness marketing is sometimes grouped together with brand marketing. The goal of awareness marketing is to ensure that as people learn about your product/service, they understand what it’s for, who it’s for, and what it stands for. That will help them go from steps 1 or 2 to step 4.

When working with marketing to groups of people, taking the opportunity to work on both ends of the spectrum will allow your business to win over the long run and help build a funnel of customers. However, certain companies will only play in either end of that pool. The closer your product gets to commodity status, the closer it will get to always needing to do direct response in mass marketing efforts. The more premium the branding, the more likely they are to stay in the awareness branding. For example, Apple almost always runs awareness campaigns through tv and online media. Oil changes and fast food are almost always direct response marketing through mailers and tv.

You will not likely see a generic mailer with coupons from Apple in your mailbox. You will likely see them online or on tv with an ad that paints a picture of a cool or better life with their product. While you will see some restaurants paint a cool life picture, it almost always ends with “$6.99 at participating restaurants.” 

These are some broad thoughts on marketing. Before you start marketing, you should figure out what you are marketing, more on that in chapter 2. 

This blog post is a portion of Attention and Action. The book walks you through the marketing process that Adelsberger Marketing follows with its clients. You can read this book for free as a blog on the Adelsberger Marketing website or purchase on