Should you copy marketing tactics from a competitor or your own past successes? The answer is categorically “no”, and I’ll show you why. I’ll also show you how to build a tailored campaign based on your unique market segments instead!

We all learn from each other, and the more experience you accumulate, the more value you bring to your company. So, copying is inevitable. Today I’m going to show you two strategy examples that show why copying marketing tactics – at least copying in their entirety, is not the way to go.

Who matters just as much as how

  • Buyer’s take a journey. They go from not knowing or caring who you are, through some sort of awareness that they have an issue, clarity on what they need to fix it, and then a consideration of possible solutions.
  • I coined the term “buyer’s journey” in 2003 in my book The Leaky Funnel and have been working with businesses in adopting this way of thinking for almost 20 years.
  • Who the buyer is matters just as much as how you get them to each stage.

Generic strategy needs generic campaigns

Let’s take our first example, this company might have a fairly traditional segmentation:

  • Large businesses
  • Smaller businesses
  • Central Government
  • Regional Government

Now that’s not an especially inspired segmentation, but that’s kind of the point of this first example. When we look at their campaigns, we see a good list:

  • Outbound
  • Syndication
  • Social selling
  • Inbound

Let’s see that in a flow:

Now the point is that if we see that in a flow we can see we’ve got the tactics for each of those. In some cases, they go all the way through to ‘gap acknowledged’ before becoming somewhat generic. All of those have some kind of campaign for their market, or for that segment. Now they’re kind of generic but hold true for each of those segments.

Specific strategy needs specific campaigns

Let’s look at our second example. Here are the segments:

  • Job Movers (new and known)
  • Strategic targets
  • Volume market
  • Inbound

These segments may be great or horrible, my point is not about the merit of the choice, but as you can see for this company, it is more about a combination of what’s going on for them and how important they are to us as the seller.

We’d want specific campaigns for:

  • New job movers, who we’d outreach to with a ‘first 90 days in your new job’ campaign.
  • Known job movers who we’d just call and congratulate, and start a conversation.
  • Strategic targets who we’d want a hand-crafted, high impact campaign for.
  • Volume targets who we’d want a lighter touch campaign for.
  • Inbound for whom the campaign would be all about content, landing pages and trigger email sequences.

Should your tactics be split by campaign or by segment?

There is no simple answer. You should build your tactics to move buyers, how these tactics group together best needs to be debated. If in doubt, start with segments.

If you copy marketing tactics, you risk ignoring your buyer’s journey

Instead of copying marketing tactics in their entirety, identify your segments and then find tactics to:

  • find buyers you want to outbound to;
  • position with them – get some of them interested;
  • challenge or confront them about the gaps they simply must fix;
  • shape their need;
  • offer a compelling solution;
  • beat the competition and – get a decision; and
  • when you fail at any stage, to get them back into the funnel through nurture tactics

Alignment is key – design your tactics together

Remember, sales and marketing alignment is key, so design both the strategy and the tactics together – Sales, Marketing, Finance and Ops. We do this in workshops over 2 or 3 days, but if you are doing this yourself, make sure you add these people as collaborators in your Funnel Plan

Your Funnel Plan

  • In your Funnel Plan, map out the buyer’s journey
  • Choose tactics for every stage from finding names to closing deals
  • Don’t have a Funnel Plan? Get a free one at


Lots more lined up for next week. Until then, may your funnel be full, and always flowing.

Our thanks to:

  • You for reading this week’s blog
  • Lisbeth Peña for blog production
  • John Ang for video production
  • Hugh Macfarlane for scripting and presenting this week’s show