You probably already know all about the new wave of advertising – social media, blogging, virtual book tours, etc. But do you have a marketing plan or did you just jump in the turbulent waters armed with nothing but Facebook and Twitter? Let’s have a look at one of the advertising and marketing strategies of the advertising greats. They say you need to stand on the shoulders of the giants to reach the summit of the mountain, and Howard Gossage is considered the “Master of the Matrix.” No, I don’t mean Keanu Reeves Matrix; I’m talking about the matrix used by the advertising/copywriting giants – The Mar-Com Matrix.

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By far, this is my favorite marketing strategy. The Mar-Com (Marketing Communications) Matrix is a valuable tool for planning your marketing strategy. It consists of six major marketing areas that revolve around one core idea: Advertising, Public Relation & Publicity, Sales Promotion, Event Marketing, Direct Marketing, and New Media.

Advertising – Good advertisers know all about the Four A’s of Advertising: (AIDA) Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. Bendinger calls them Attention, Awareness, Attitude, and Action.

ATTENTION – Stand out from the crowd, think out of the box, grab the consumers attention.
AWARENESS – Make it memorable. Advertising giant David Ogilvy says, “Every advertisement is a long-term investment in the image of the brand.”
ATTITUDE – Leave consumers with a positive feeling after viewing your ad.
ACTION – “Ask for the order.” All of the preceding A’s should motivate the consumer into action – buying your product. Make sure you give them a good reason to try your product.

Sales Promotion – What behavior from the consumer are you looking for? You need to offer consumers an incentive to buy your product or use your service. Think toy in the Happy Meal. Offer a free gift, a percentage off, a coupon, buy one get one free, etc.

MPR (Marketing Public Relations) – Think about what the media would find interesting about your product or service. Think out of the box – make it newsworthy. Bruce Bendinger, author of The Copy Workshop Workbook says, “It is easier for consumers to believe a message if it’s coming from an independent third party than if you’re shouting it in an ad.” This is where product reviews, interviews, endorsements, articles, and testimonials come in.

Direct Marketing – This comes down to WHO, WHAT, HOW. WHO is your customer? You’ve heard the saying no doubt that “you’re only as good as your list.” Keep in contact with your past and current contacts and find ways to cultivate more contacts. Get them on your mailing list. Next, figure out what WHAT the incentive is for your customer to buy your product/service. Give consumers a reason to try what you’re selling. Finally, HOW are you going to get the message out there? Build a database of contacts!

Types of Direct Marketing
• Family Announcement
• Holiday Card
• Newsletter
• Fund-Raising Letter
• Response Mechanism

Event Marketing – In short, GET INVOLVED! Be a sponsor for a sports team, volunteer at a concert, attend trade shows and holiday fairs, ask to speak on a panel at a book fair, join a cause, support a cause, leave book reviews, etc. Bendinger says, “Doing good can be good business.”

New Media – Apply the old marketing strategies in new arenas. Find every opportunity to communicate with your target market – social media, blogs, book trailers, videos, DVDs, CDs, webinars.

What are you waiting for? Print out a copy of the Mar-Com Matrix and start planning your marketing strategy for this year!

Source: Bendinger, Bruce. The Copy Workshop Workbook. 2009.

Want to learn more about this and other marketing strategies. Pick up Bruce Bendinger’s book, The Copy Workshop Workbook and/or visit for free downloads.