The Art of War and the Marketer – Part 3: Playing a New Tune

Playing a New Tune

“There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five rise to more melodies than can ever be heard.”  – Sun Tzu

The era of one note marketing is over and as cool as the Mid Century Modern aesthetic is, the marketing method is no longer effective in whatever medium it’s offered.  Advertising means marketing, and needs a more up to date approach than in-your-face-but-this-NOW! A multidirectional approach to advertising previously meant print, radio, and billboards. This expanded to add in broadcast television and cable, and then – once everyone figured out that the internet was not a fad – ads that popped up, popped under, flashed in the sidebar, and were generally intrusive and annoying. According to, nothing’s changed at all – the ads are even more annoying, and ad-blocker use is rising even among mobile users. In short, people are annoyed with advertisers, and advertisers seem to be stuck playing a one-note tune.

Ambience vs. In Your Face

As I said in a previous entry, you could try talking to them – or creating an ambient experience versus an assaultive one. Let’s look at the five note analogy and take it a bit further. The five notes are:

  • SEO
  • Website
  • Social Media
  • Email Marketing
  • Content Marketing

Using these five notes, you can create an ambience that brings the customers to you, engages them on multiple fronts, and creates an interaction that is more appealing and interesting than being told to go there and buy that because reasons. When you create a campaign, you use the five notes above to not only create something that people will listen to, but something that makes them react and investigate further. Think about ambient music, and how people react to it. It’s not interrupting the flow of their activities or conversation, but they’re listening to it nonetheless.

Making a Harmony

This is what marketing strives to do by integrating SEO with all of your potential customer interfaces. Marketing creates a conversation, a relationship, and a continuity of experience that advertising can’t. Compared to ambient music, old school advertising is like having a one man band follow you from site to site, blowing a bugle in your ear. Working with a professional who can help you bring all your notes into a harmonious whole is the best option for bringing in new customers by engaging their natural interest con curiosity. Let them know about your product, your business, and your company’s ethos. After all, who ever made money and boosted their business by annoying the hell out of someone?

Not the End of the World

Ad blockers, despite the moans and groans, are not the end of digital media just the way that iTunes was not the end of music.  It means that marketing has to evolve and change, yes, but not that marketing is going to fall down a black hole. Instead, we have to make our “music” a little better, and a little more interesting than the other guy’s.


4 Step Studio is an online marketing agency that specializes in website design and redesign, SEO, social media and more. Our team of experts focuses on helping small business get found online, while educating them on what will make them successful in the digital world. To learn more about what we can do for you, visit our website at

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Posted in Digital Marketing, Marketing

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