MAXIMARKETING



MaxiMarketing is set of marketing strategies developed by Stan Rapp and Thomas L. Collins in their 1987 book MaxiMarketing: The New Direction in Advertising, Promotion, and Marketing Strategy. The authors, who had extensive background in direct marketing, later expanded on the subject in three follow-up books.

Responding to a mass advertising culture within the business community that dated back to the 1950s, Rapp and Collins presented a series of consumer marketing strategies and philosophies—directed at CEOs as much as marketing personnel—that they believed characterized an effective, modern, and holistic approach to marketing. Many of their ideas focused on the efficiency and differentiation of advertising. They contrasted their philosophy with more monolithic marketing strategies that employed conventional media, such as television, and targeted consumers generally rather than in defined segments.

THE STRATEGY

The MaxiMarketing model was built upon nine points:

  1. Maximized targeting. This was essentially segmenting the market narrowly by demographics and geography in order to understand and reach the best sales prospects.
  2. Maximized media. In order to reach the more narrow consumer groups, Rapp and Collins argued, marketers needed to send their message through many different media channels, not just mainstream television and radio.
  3. Maximized accountability. Accountability referred to ensuring, through formal tracking, that specific marketing efforts were actually delivering results.
  4. Maximized awareness. This meant developing creative ways to reach consumers with the marketing message, such as sponsoring sporting events.
  5. Maximized activation. Activation was a code word for promotional strategies that involved consumer participation, such as contests.
  6. Maximized synergy. The authors suggested that businesses could accomplish multiple objectives through a single advertising vehicle. Examples included cross-promoting two different products, building a sales database from a direct-response campaign, and promoting two distribution channels through one ad.
  7. Maximized linkage. Linkage was a means of developing and maintaining personal contact with customers, such as through consumer help lines and correspondence.
  8. Maximized sales. MaxiMarketing emphasized increasing sales through long-term customer relations rather than solely through short-term promotions.
  9. Maximized distribution. Rapp and Collins also advocated pursuing multiple channels of product distribution, such as combinations of retail and direct selling.

ANALYSIS

While the MaxiMarketing books (and newsletters) have sold hundreds of thousands of copies, and no doubt influenced many readers, it is not clear whether Rapp and Collins have made an enduring contribution to marketing theory or practice. The term MaxiMarketing has not been widely adopted or even cited in the professional literature. And while most of their recommended approaches to marketing are widely accepted, Rapp and Collins certainly were not the first to advocate most of these notions—despite the authors' claims, book reviews at MaxiMarketing's debut admitted as much—and were arguably not always the most persuasive.

It seemed, rather, that they were arguing in 1987 against the state of marketing theory circa the 1950s, ignoring the intervening developments. For example, detailed and well-known studies of market segmentation and niche marketing, the essence of "maximized targeting," existed well before MaxiMarketing was articulated. Likewise, the principles of database marketing, which underlie a portion of the writers' theories, were widely being explored by authors during the mid-1980s, when MaxiMarketing first appeared, as personal computers to support database marketing efforts came of age. To their credit, of course, all of the best marketing theories were not in wide practice when they wrote the original book.

The legacy of MaxiMarketing, which as of the late 1990s was still actively being pitched by its entrepreneurial founders, is perhaps as a tool for getting managers to adopt a set of effective marketing techniques that were already in practice.

SEE ALSO : Market Segmentation

FURTHER READING:

Hatch, Denny. "How the MaxiMarketing Gurus Go to Market." Target Marketing, January 1996.

Pearistein, Steven. Review of MaxiMarketing: The New Direction in Advertising, Promotion, and Marketing Strategy, by Stan Rapp and Thomas L. Collins. Inc., February 1988.

Rapp, Stan, and Thomas L. Collins. MaxiMarketing: The New Direction in Advertising, Promotion, and Marketing Strategy. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1987.

Review of MaxiMarketing: The New Direction in Advertising, Promotion, and Marketing Strategy, by Stan Rapp and Thomas L. Collins. Sales & Marketing Management, July 1987.



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