One of the most important questions in branding generally, and particularly so for the edible oils and fats business with its limited branding budget, is: how do I get the biggest impact for my marketing dollars?

The first, and most obvious, answer is to target your marketing strategy. In other words, don’t spend all your efforts on broad and general marketing projects. Instead, target your resources to where your message can have its most useful impact.

In many ways, the rise of targeted marketing in the world of communication parallels technology development in military circles. One example would be the development of gun technology over the past few centuries.

In the 1700s, guns and muskets were not very accurate, with the result being that many shots would be fired, with only a tiny number of bullets doing anything useful for the attacking force. Then came better technology in the later part of the 1800s, in the form of rifles such as the Springfield in the US and the Lee Enfield in the UK.

The latter had a training standard of hitting a 12-inch target at a distance of 300 yards with 15 rounds in the space of 60 seconds (a tactic that became known as ‘the mad minute’). And in post-World War II battles, snipers have achieved targeted kills in excess of 2,000 metres.

What has changed during that time? Human eyesight is the same. The steadiness of the hand of the shooter is the same. The observation ability of the shooter is the same. All that has changed is the technology.

It’s the same kind of story in branding, but swapping rifles for the printing press. A few centuries ago, a basic printing press could produce leaflets, but very few would get to the people who were really interested in their message.

Next came the advanced printing press that produced newspapers in mass quantities and with advertisements. This was an upgrade in terms of cheapness of production relative to the old printing press, but still most advertisements were not going to audiences that were motivated to read them.


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