Ray worked with B-2-B and Consumer clients throughout the world ... including USA, Canada, Mexico, Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the Middle-East, Central & South America, Africa.

This website is a compilation of Ray's 10 years on the Web.

The Works of Marketing with Ray INDEX

July 16, 2001 • Volume 1 Issue 8

What IS Strategic Marketing?

John Miglautsch (try saying that fast 3 times) is a planner. A marketer. A database guru. And truly a good fellow.

John is very good at what he does ... which is why he's so busy. Yet, he's taken time to create, host and put together the International Society for Strategic Marketing. I know a tad about ISSM, as John asked me to become one of the contributing members. (He may elect to withdraw that invite after he reads this article!)

Let's begin by talking about "Strategic Marketing". And give that ever so popular phrase, that gets bounced around hall ways and meeting rooms the world over, a definition.

About the only agreement I've seen with the word "Strategy" is that it's tough to spell. In every country. After that, it's every man and every woman heading in their own direction. Here's the direction I've headed;

... strategy equals planning.

Yes, Websters defines the word "strategy" as "planning". For one of its' many definitions. So, when someone says "I'm preparing the companies strategic plan", they are really saying I'm "planning planning"!

To clarify, let's insert my definition of "Tactics":

... tactics equals doing the plan.

i.e., making the plan happen. Implementing it.

Now, back to strategy. We know "planning planning" is not what is meant. So, what do these people mean when they "strategic plan"? And what does ISSM mean when John uses the phrase "... Strategic Marketing"?

To make certain I had it right, I asked John. Here's what he said;

"...we are dedicated to producing credible and worthwhile
knowledge for and about international direct marketing
and the database marketing industry."

So, strategy equals knowledge. Or, maybe it would be better said ... with knowledge you can plan. Without it you're guessing!

You might think I'm jumping to conclusions - drawing parallels that aren't. So, let's go back and share the history of ISSM. And take a visit to their web site, www.issm.org/main.html.

ISSM began as a think tank for direct marketing. Founded in 1991. The original name was the North American Society for Strategic Marketing ... too long, and not accurate. Other than that it was okay.

John asked, and got agreement from 14 fine folks to submit papers. To be paper published. Together in book form. Or as "white papers". Unfortunately, or maybe not!, only 2 papers were submitted. The publishing company was sold and the idea for the society was moved to the back burner. Nothing happened for several years.

In 1995, with the World Wide Web a now happening thing, John brought forth the Society again, with a new name; International Society for Strategic Marketing. Publishing via the web costs next to zip, so that was no longer a factor. Of course, he still had to get papers ... and that would continue to be a challenge. Visit the site and you'll see he has been successful.

So, the think tank concept was re-created on-line. The web site was created with a page for each Senior Fellow (isn't it wonderful how academia and publishing come together with such interesting handles?). John went out to find contributors. He went further than North America - he went International. I was one of the fortunate ones to get caught in that sweep.

The team includes a host of big time DM names; Bob Stone. Denny Hatch. Hershell Gordon Lewis. Tracy Emerick. JoAnna Parke. Ed Burnett. Ernie Schell. Rene Gnam. Bob Hacker. Sid Liebenson. Brent Bissell. Ken Culpepper. John asked, I accepted.

Each month articles are sent in a full-format 4 color via E-mail to "members". Members are those who come to the site and register. No big deal, no fee, no annual dues ... you just do it. It's free.

The membership grows monthly - I know, I've seen some of it happen. New members from Iceland, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Argentina as well as the USA and Canada all came in while I was working this article. John now boasts readers in 66 countries on 6 continents.

Members have access to a large collection of links - resources - a library of ideas. Something no one has too many of. Ideas. And books, too ... John stays up on what's happening in the marketing, direct marketing, database marketing, strategic marketing world and shares it. He truly is a good fellow!

There are also statistics. Something I personally appreciate. Hardly a week goes by that someone doesn't visit me through my web pages with a question on stats. It seems we can't get enough numbers in the DM business. John shares industry statistics.

How to charge for services has been, is, and will continue to be a tough proposition. The Professional Pricing Society (www.pricing-advisor.com) has over 1000 members worldwide. John has included their offerings as part of ISSM. As those of us in direct marketing and database marketing certainly have cost, value and sell challenges.

Events is another area of interest, more than activity at the moment. Although John is right now planning a gathering of ISSM contributors and members at the Direct Marketing Association Annual Conference in Chicago at the end of October. A no-host dinner thing ... let's get together and "talk". Sounds good to me!

Ready for some good reading? About the serious part of marketing, direct marketing and sales? Well, visit ISSM. Become a member. And get smarter than you already are.

Ray Speaks

In September & October I've a number of speaking engagements.

Tuesday, September 18 I'll be in beautiful southern California with the San Diego Direct Marketing Association. In the morning doing a fun creative a session. And at lunch my popular "ChaNge is out ... ChaRge is In!" Friend Roz Mancinelli at rmancinelli@prosoftcorp.com can tell you more.

Wednesday & Thursday, September 26 & 27 I'll again be in Baton Rouge with the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association. Doing a set of 4 programs ... contact Danny Young at dyoung@ltpa.org for more. The travel people in Louisiana are a fun group. Wouldn't you be!

Thursday evening, October 4 in southern California, for the Los Angeles Direct Marketing Association, I'm on the program for their annual "school". Bob Armstrong is the man ... bob_armstrong@ea.epson.com. Bob has a second job making this learning session happen each year - it is good to be going back.

For the 13th consecutive year I'll be presenting at the Direct Marketing Association Annual meeting - this year in Chicago. October 27-31 are the dates - visit the DMA web site for details; www.the-dma.org. Not all will be on-line yet, yet it will be soon. Keep checking - this is THE big DM event of the year.

A FREE Audio Tape for YOU!

Because Ray Speaks ... it is expected he'll have audio and video tapes.

Why? To share with speakers bureaus, meeting planners and others interested in what he may have to say. So "yes", there is an audio tape. And he'll be happy to send you a copy. Free. No strings attached.

The tape is a selection from several speaking gigs. A few case histories, some "how to..." ideas. And such. About an hours worth of chatter ... some of it actually very entertaining!

If you'd like you very own copy, send an E-mail to ...


with your complete mailing address. Your tape will be on the way to you within the day.

Oh, if and when you are serious, have need for a speaker, and feel a demo video tape could be valuable to you, one of those is available, too. Not much use for video these days - with the Web - still, if you insist, you can have a copy.

The Works of Marketing with Ray INDEX

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