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  • Writer's picturePete Steege

The 3 Tiers of Marketing

I'm excited to tell you that I have published my first book. It's called On Purpose: The CEO's Guide to Marketing with Meaning. In honor of this, I'm going to do a couple of things over the next few months.

  • First, I'm going to give away a signed copy of the book to whoever is interested in getting it. We'll have a drawing once a month through the rest of the year. There'll be a chance for you to sign up for that at the end of this video.

  • Secondly, I'm going to use my videos over the next few months to highlight what I'll call marketing triples that are in my book. There are a lot of three-part insights, three-element structures, and three-piece dynamics that are important to effective marketing. And I'm going to highlight one per video.

So for today, let's talk about the three tiers of marketing.

This is the overall marketing triple. And the important thing to know about this is all three elements of this hierarchy are in every company; it's just a matter of if you're putting that effort in.


First are tactics. Everyone has marketing tactics. If you're doing any marketing at all, because that's the work, that's the activities. Anything with a budget line item is probably a tactic - campaigns, events, websites, all of that stuff.

While tactics are really important, what happens too often is random acts of marketing, which are tactics without a rhyme or reason to them. And the problem with that is while you have a lot of stuff going on, that stuff conflicts, right? It can even cancel each other out, and your prospects and your customers get a confusing view of who you are. And often that will just turn them off because of course they're busy and they don't have time and energy to really study what you really are about with these complicated things going on.


Strategy can help with solving that problem. A marketing strategy provides order and structure and timing and priority to all those tactics. It's you deciding ahead of time what you're trying to achieve with your marketing and then choosing tactics in some important, thoughtful way to achieve that overall goal strategy is hugely important.

One of the challenges with strategy though, is there are now so many strategy options. Think of all the books, think of all the consultants, all the different best practices and what happens is, are you going to have one strategy, or is it going to be three strategies? Or will your strategy change from year to year? All of that, again, creates confusion.

The other problem with strategy is it's often about what we want to accomplish, but it doesn't always include the why. And purpose is so important to your employees and to your customers in order to make your marketing work and create those relationships.


This brings us to the highest tier in marketing. And that is mindset. This is the one that's the least often focused on and some would say is the most important. Mindset is how you approach marketing. And it allows you to choose a powerful strategy and maintain it over time. And it also helps you manage your tactics even further over time.

Mindset is about purpose. It's about tying together everything you're doing in your marketing program - tactics, strategies, everything - with a reason, right? Why are you here and who are you trying to help? And how can you best help them? Having all three of these together creates a very effective and actually efficient marketing program in your organization.

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