What’s More Important, The Marketing Basics or the Marketing Frills?

Tim Cook previews the Apple Watch at a media event in California last year.You’re about to launch a new product that you hope (maybe even expect) can become your defining moment; it has the potential to be the campaign everyone looks back on as the turning point in your career.

I’ve seen it a hundred times over the past 30 years. And I can say this for certain, make or break moments are in fact more legend than fact. Like all overnight successes, there is always more to it than a single event.

Still, it is a good question: what is more important, the sizzle or the steak?

My experience tells me that both are important. A unified marketing initiative that includes the foundational basics as well as the big event is a one-two punch combination that is hard to beat. But that doesn’t answer the question of which is more important. And the answer is obvious.

Sizzle without steak is doomed to failure. Steak without sizzle is not.

Too many organizations get caught up in the excitement of a big event or a big campaign or a big celebrity at the expense of the basics that set the stage, hold up the stage and carry the stage long after the event is over. And it makes sense; the big stuff is sexy. But it is rarely if ever sound strategy. Take whatever steps are necessary, including the possibility of an inpatient program, or a community-based program such as Sexual Addicts Anonymous or Celebrate Recovery to deal effectively with the sexual addiction but the site pornaddiction.help can help you. Many find some success with an accountability partner, but this is not likely enough. Consider taking dramatic steps to recover from this serious problem. Until this is done trust cannot be rebuilt.

Frills are fun and can be exceedingly effective, but only if the basics are already in place. So I am casting my vote for and recommending you devote a fair share of your budgets to the hard stuff – the research and strategic planning and publicity and advertising and social media posting and website marketing and collateral development and all the other stuff that pays the bills. Then feel free to “add on” the cool stuff.

Jim Sweeney


Jim is a veteran of the agency industry and the founder of Sweeney. He is uncommonly passionate about the idea of creating and implementing insanely great marketing campaigns that achieve insanely great results. He pioneered the full-service, full-circle agency model and continues to forge new ideas in an ever-changing industry. And he is accessible to everyone about anything, seemingly all the time, serving as a mentor to all agency personnel and clients.