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Tom Cammarata
Understanding Marketing

To see if your marketing is on target, check Rudyard Kipling.

On Marketing
On Advertising
On Design
What does an 19th Century writer know about marketing in the 21st? Quite literally, he wrote the book on it.

In one of his famous children’s stories about India Kipling created a little poem that’s the essence of modern marketing:

    I keep six faithful serving men.
    They taught me all I knew.
    Their names are What
    And Where and When,
    And How and Why and Who.

Six questions to ask yourself.

These six questions — and the answers you give them — will define a marketing, advertising, communications plan. Try it and see for yourself. For example...

Who are your customers: Males? Females? What ages? Kids? Adults? Seniors?

Where are they found: Locally? Regionally? Nationally? Down the block? Across town?

How can you best reach them: With print ads? Radio? TV? Direct mail? PR? The Internet?

Why should they want your products or services? Are yours better than the competition’s?

This same pattern goes for the rest of these questions.

The answer is in the answers.

How you answer these questions will tell you if your marketing and its advertising are on track.

The trouble is that many companies, large and small, forget to ask them. Or are uncertain of the answers. Or worse, are afraid to ask the questions because the answers may not be what they want to hear.

But if you don’t ask and answer these critical questions, your advertising budget may not be working hard for you. In fact, it could be working against you — by wasting your money trying to reach the wrong market with the wrong message.

Who can you ask to ask the questions?

That’s the job of the ad men. Our business is to ask the tough questions about your business. To get you to think long and hard about where your advertising budget should be going.

Then together we can craft the advertising that will reach your market and your audience with a message that will move them. Motivate them. Make them pick up the phone. Walk into your store. Or go to your website.

The power of effective advertising.

But effective advertising is powerful only if it is intelligent. If it speaks to your prime prospects with interesting, useful information. Not fluff. Not boasting. Not misleading “facts.”

Interesting advertising that informs stands out in the customer’s mind, just as it stands out on the page, on the radio or TV, in the mail, or on a computer screen. But interesting advertising only comes about by honestly answering Kipling’s six questions

Once again, who do you ask?

Posing those questions is the process I put my clients through in creating their marketing plans. And I ask them again every time we create an something new. I do it to make sure that each ad, spot or mailer is on target and using my clients' precious marketing money as effectively, as efficiently, as possible.

After all, another man of the 19th Century, John Wannamaker, reputedly once noted: “I’m sure that half of my advertising budget is wasted. I just don’t know which half.”

However, by having me ask you the right questions — the tough questions — you’ll make sure that your ad budget isn’t wasted.

Just call and ask.

Call me at 707-295-7274.
Or click to email me at

Introduction | On Marketing | On Advertising
On Design | Awards/Experience | Samples
Rudyard Kipling-marketing genius
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