Scratching your head about how to get your marketing mix right?
Well, you are not alone! There are many out there struggling with the pain of marketing.
You could be an experienced marketer or a newbie just starting out, the challenges are the same, though the extent may vary.
In this writeup, I am going to talk about how you can position your marketing mechanism to deliver the best possible results.
Let us start by trying to first understand marketing at its core.
The Fundamental and Basic Law of Marketing
“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself. The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous.” — Peter Drucker
Marketing as an industry has been around for a very long time, but not everybody wins its race.
A lot of people think marketing is based on creativity, but it is not true. Marketing is based on pure science.
It starts well before a product is created with an understanding of the customer and his needs.
This, in turn, leads to the creation of a product that fits the requirements of the target audience.
It is all about sending the right message to the right person at the right time.
It is not just about selling and then forgetting about it.
A good marketer also tries to keep the existing customer happy and make him a lifetime customer.
Marketing is a means to an end. It helps in the discovery of a product. Its goal is to build a brand from the ground up and capture a favorable position in the minds of the customers.
It is a game of perceptions and is always rooted in the product. Marketing should never become more important than the product itself.
A great product sells itself without much marketing effort. A poor product will not find buyers even with the best marketing plan.
People who buy a great product become brand ambassadors of the product and spread the good word.
There are different components of marketing including but not limited to advertising, copywriting and sales.
These components cannot be equated to marketing but play their roles individually and together to achieve positive outcomes.
When it comes to branding, rather than trying to be the number one, it is better to be the only one.
Choose a category depending on your strength, and try to be the leader there.
Some brands like Xerox, Google, and Zoom are now so well known that they are also used as verbs.
Generally, people’s recall is limited to only the number one player in the market. With time, most markets end up having only two players.
Why Should You Learn and Master Marketing?
If you are learning Java programming language today, there is no guarantee that Java will remain a popular language in the future.
A new language may come around, and you would have to learn it to stay updated and relevant.
With marketing, it is a different ballgame. Marketing is rooted in human psychology and understanding the market.
Marketing education has a long shelf life. It has been in existence since the dawn of civilization and will never go out of fashion.
It involves sending out communications, having conversations, making connections, and creating perceptions.
Marketing spends are not considered as expenses. They are considered as investments.
Marketing investments are more valuable than investments done for other functions of a business like manufacturing, HR, accounting, administration, etc.
It gives direct and immediate returns on investment (ROI), which is not the case with other expenses or investments.
Marketing as an activity should not be outsourced to a marketing agency. The business owner should be a marketer himself and strategize about marketing.
He should be fully involved and have a hands-on approach to the marketing efforts of his business.
Marketing and selling are important skills for anyone to have. It would certainly ensure a safe and lifelong career.
Good Communication Skills = Good Marketing Results
Good marketing needs good communication.
Good communication is not about using sophisticated English with vocabulary unheard of and perfect grammar skills.
All that matters is the effective transfer of thoughts to potential customers.
When you are copywriting, write as you talk. The reader must feel that you are communicating with him one on one in a direct, personal, and deep way.
You have to join a conversation that is already happening in the minds of people.
A great way to do that is to start by asking a question, like “do you want to learn marketing?”
It is important to understand your target audience well. Writing more and more slows down the thought process and brings greater clarity.
Watching stand-up comedy and sitcoms can really boost your communication skills.
Thinking in the language you are going to use for communication also helps a lot as there is no time lost in translation.
Global Economics and Marketing
An entrepreneur or marketer must keep a tab on global economics when making business decisions.
For example, the average age of a country is an indicator of the spending power of its people.
A country like Japan which has an average age of 48 has a lesser spending power than a country like India where the average age is 27.
This macroeconomic knowledge will guide an entrepreneur or marketer about where to invest for best returns.
Traditional Marketing Versus Digital Marketing
Traditional marketing is marketing done through traditional channels like newspapers, TV, and radio. In India, the reach of newspapers is 465 million people (Business Standard). TV has a reach of 800 million to 1 billion people (Wikipedia). Radio reaches 65% of the Indian population (Financial Express).
If a product is generic (like Apple), TV ads do well. Low-end consumer-grade products also get good visibility with traditional marketing.
There are some disadvantages to traditional marketing.
It cannot be personalized. You cannot use deep marketing techniques.
There is no possibility of natural sales happening. The effectiveness of marketing cannot be tracked or measured.
Digital marketing, on the other hand, has only a limited reach of around 100 million users in India who are affluent, English speaking with spending power.
However, it beats traditional marketing in other aspects. With digital marketing, ads can be personalized based on different audience demographics and preferences.
Deep marketing can also be done easily. Natural sales methods can be implemented without much effort.
Tracking and measuring marketing efforts/spends is a piece of cake with digital marketing.
Direct Response Marketing
“Direct response is a type of marketing designed to elicit an instant response by encouraging prospects to take a specific action.” — MarketingEvolution.Com
Some examples of direct response marketing are:
- An ad in a newspaper with a phone number to call.
- A late night infomercial with a phone number to call.
- An ad leading to a landing page with a lead form.
- A sales page with a product with a link to purchase the product.
CATT Marketing Funnel and Framework
Let us now look at the CATT Marketing Funnel.
Wealth = n^CATT
Here, n stands for niche/target audience. When starting out, you would do well to identify and understand your niche/target audience.
If you try to be everything to everyone, you will be nobody to everyone. Once you have identified your niche, try to become number one in that category.
C stands for Content. Content is king. Creating useful content will attract people towards your product or service. Content can take the form of blog posts, videos, lead magnets, live webinars, etc.
A stands for Attention. Once the content has been created, the next step is to drive attention (traffic) to the content using SEO, social media, paid ads, and referrals.
T stands for Trust. After driving attention to your content, you would have to build trust with your audience. This can be done with tripwires, marketing automation, retargeting, and deep marketing
T stands for Transaction. This is the final step where you convert the leads that you acquired to paying customers with natural sales methods. This is the most important phase as, without sales, there is no revenue generated for the business.
How to Choose the Right Niche?
Choosing a niche can be challenging but if done well it can serve you well for a long time.
You should have the talent and passion related to your niche, and there should be a competitive market to support it.
Passion and talent for a niche without a supporting market will not be profitable.
Talent and market minus passion will not sustain in the long run.
Passion and market without talent will not deliver results.
All three aspects should combine to form a synergy and power your niche.
Integrated Digital Marketing
Digital marketing encompasses different aspects like content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, etc.
Many marketers try one or more of the above in silos rather than holistically.
Some try content marketing while others try search engine marketing. All this happens at individual compartment levels.
The end result is below par results for the marketing effort.
Integrated digital marketing combines all aspects of digital marketing and presents the whole picture to stakeholders.
It connects the dots and fills the gaps when the individual methods are put to use.
The best way to do integrated digital marketing is to keep content at the center of everything else.
Once that is done, you can do paid advertising to drive traffic towards content.
If people like the content, they would subscribe to your email list.
Thereafter, you can send updates about any new content, and your subscribers would come back to read more of your content.
Search engines and social media also push more people towards your quality content in due course of time.
Here, paid advertising is boosting your content, and the rest follows seamlessly.
Why Personal Branding is Important?
Personal branding is a cycle where you go from one phase to another with incremental improvements every step of the way.
It is important because the best known will always beat the best.
It is not enough that you have the requisite skills. You should back it up by telling the world about it.
People want to hear from people, not brands.
Personal branding adds the personal touch that a brand or a logo cannot match.
It connects with other people at a deep level that a brand cannot imagine doing.
Some CEOs like Elon Musk have a bigger fan following than the brand they own.
The downside of personal branding is that you cannot invest in a personal brand, and it cannot be sold either.
However, someone having a good personal brand can create many other brands with his influence.
The personal brand can be likened to the main capsule of the rocket.
The other segments of the rocket which break away from the rocket in between are the different brands.
Ultimately all the brands make sure to put the rocket into the orbit safe and sound.
A personal brand evolves with time. It is not born one fine day in its finished form.
Here is the MassTrust (coined by Digital Deepak) blueprint, which talks about trust garnered by one from many.
It starts at the Learn stage where you learn a new skill through concepts, facts, and procedures. You have to understand the concepts, remember the facts, and practice the procedures.
Next is the Work stage where you put your new-found skills to work. You transition from practice to implementation. Work can be a job/freelancing/own project.
After the Work stage comes the Blog stage, where you write about what you have learned and experienced through your work.
When you write stuff down, you understand better.
It boosts your personal brand and reflects your authority on the subject matter.
At the Consult stage, you start consulting for other businesses rather than working for them directly.
In the Mentor stage, you start mentoring other people who want to learn from you.
It helps to scale your understanding to a whole new level. Mentoring is consulting for many people at the same time.
In the last stage, Startup, you are ready to create your own product or service with the understanding of the market, the pain points, and your own skills to solve them.
Once you reach the saturation point of a particular niche, you can start over again from the Learn stage and go up to the Startup stage.
Marketing has evolved over time, and it will continue to embrace new concepts, methods and channels in the future as well.
While the core marketing principles are evergreen, there is always room for fresh perspectives based on individual experiences and collective outcomes.
The winners in this new age of marketing would be the ones who look at marketing through the prism of evolution it has undergone and its likely trajectory into the unknown future.
If you enjoyed reading this piece, do take a moment to leave your comments below.