Well for any sportsmen (and women) out there, here is a question of the ages. Sometimes it is a matter of law, but sometimes it is a matter of choice. Many of us have a preference and enjoy shooting one or the other, but which approach are we using in our marketing efforts and which is more effective.
First let's compare the performance of the two weapons. A shotgun makes a very loud boom to those nearby. It also has a larger diameter barrell, it fires out a lot of pellets in an ever widening pattern, and those pellets typically have a range of 20 to 50 yds. Once you get beyond the effective range the pellets will get the attention of whatever they hit, but will not normally do the job you want them to do.
A rifle makes a loud boom also, but it is a much sharper and higher frequency sound and carries for a much longer distance. It has a smaller diameter barrell, and only fires one single bullet each time you pull the trigger, and that bullet stays the same size as it travels through the air. However, the range of a rifle is as far as a person can effectively put their bullet on target, and depending on the shooter good for as much as a thousand yards or more. As long as a shooter has the skill to put that bullet on target, not only will it get the attention of the target at these long ranges, but the bullet will still do its originally intended job.
What weapon are we marketing with. Most marketing efforts are very similar, and many marketing ideas I see forget the intent of the campaign. Are you shooting long distances and trying to score direct hits? Are you shooting short distances with a broader pattern and just trying to get attention. Many marketers get frustrated with marketing activities when they are taking a shotgun approach and just trying to get attention, or fire a broader pattern that will hit more. The marketing ideas get attention and get customers looking at you, but are not made to score the direct hit. knowing the effects of these campaigns is hard to do, and these campaigns must be repeated. Make sure your message is one to inform and grab attention with this approach.
Rifle shooting is more about accuracy, and the message is not broadcast widely, but sent to an individual "target". These messages need to be more direct and are not just for attention bot for effect and for action. Be effective and say exactly what needs to be said in these marketing activities.
Too often I see marketing campaigns with the wrong messages. When following up with a single person, shoot that rifle and send a direct message, not a broadcast of general information. Get direct feedback to make sure you can hit your target. When sending out general information remember to cast a wide pattern and don't get frustrated. These efforts must be repeated. They will get attention, but not necessarily do the job of a rifle shot.