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Marketing Strategy

Sauces and Soups, Is Your Marketing Feeding Your Customers?

I have been a professional in many areas throughout my life adventure. I have been a professional horse wrangler, a professional VW restorer, professional snowboarder, professional chef, Barista, coffee roaster, craft beer brewer, professional marketing exec and more.

I was a professional chef for about 7 years here in San Diego before I started my high-tech career. I had a strong talent for combining disparate flavors into harmonious dishes. I love to play contrast and compliment against each other. I love everything about cooking and I am home in a kitchen of any type. I love to cook a wide variety of foods and drink but I discovered early on that there were two things I was best at and were the most difficult to pull off.

content marketing strategy

Sauces and Soups.

Sauces and Soups might seem similar but they are in reality radically different. But are often similar in appearance but they are remarkably different in approach and purpose.

Soups are a great complete meal in liquid form. They are complete unto themselves, needing no other food to complete them. They take a range of ingredients and combine them together in a  harmonious way that makes the result greater than the sum of the parts. Soups take a lot of time to reach fullness and completion. Soups have character.

Sauces are enhancers and expanders for other foods. They are complete only when combined with other foods. They can either contrast or compliment the food they pair with and add more complex flavors to the base. Sauces are usually relatively quick to make and use. Sauces have personality.

I love both. Both are extremely hard to make well. But of the two soups are the hardest to do remarkably well. There is a reason there is a Soup Nazi and not a sauce nazi.

So what the heck does this have to do with marketing? Glad you asked. I had a dream last night where I was cooking and suddenly realized that sauces and soups were metaphors for marketing.


Yes I am crazy. But hear me out. In any marketing strategy you must have a multi-layered approach that has a compelling strategy and actionable tactics. Of the two, a strategy is the only one that could stand on its on. (but not recommended) Whereas a strategy comprised solely of tactics is essential just RAM (Random Acts of Marketing) and will eventually fail.

Here was the realization I had last night:

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Soups are the strategy of your marketing plan.

Sauces are the tactics or campaigns of your marketing plan.


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Soups are the Why and Who.

Sauces are the What, Where and When.


A really solid, long-lasting and effective marketing strategy (soup) needs a wide range of ingredients (tactics and media), a lot of depth and complexity in thought and purpose,  and it takes a long time to both create the recipe (marketing strategy plan) and to execute. It can be a complete thing unto itself that can feed you indefinitely. A truly well made strategy (soup) will run without a pre-made detailed list of tactics (sauces) and will tend to almost auto-create well aligned and executable tactics.

Tactics and campaigns (Sauces) on the other hand add sparkle, zest and sizzle to your overall marketing plan and can truly make the meal come alive. Although you can live on soups alone really great sauces make the whole meal so much more enjoyable and satisfying.

If you want to achieve your objectives you need to make a brilliantly well thought out and slow cooked marketing strategy (Soup) that is bolstered, boosted and blasted with supporting tactics and campaigns (Sauces) that deliver a complete marketing meal to your brand and your fans. 


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