AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerThe Noise Before Defeat

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The Noise Before Defeat

Mark Ritson, who regularly writes for Marketing Week, recently said, “If marketers want to be taken seriously they must end their preoccupation with tactics and tools and focus on their strategy, devised by thoroughly researching, segmenting and targeting their markets.” He called the lack of strategy “dumbing down our discipline.”strategy concept hand drawn on blackboard

Strategy is not always as fun as creating ads or billboards or Snapchat ideas. But marketing without it makes showing progress difficult, especially if you don’t understand the battlefield. It’s the equivalent of a doctor starting a surgery without knowing the patient’s history, studying the MRI or making a diagnosis—fire, ready, aim.

There are many ways to perform the due diligence required to render an adequate diagnosis:

  • Customer journey mapping
  • Focus groups
  • Email surveys
  • Comprehensive brand alignment surveys
  • Fusion Sessionssm
  • Competitve analysis
  • Digital research
  • Voice of patient/customer research

“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” — Sun Tzu


Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.