The Why, How and What of Marketing

In this article, I’ll be talking about Marketing. So, tell me what comes to your mind when you hear the term “Marketing”? Maybe you are thinking about Creative 10 seconds ads, Huge Billboards or innumerable display ads that keep popping up when you are surfing through the Internet.

But trust me, there’s much more to it. What you are currently seeing is just the shallow side of it. There is much more to observe when you dive deep into the “World of Marketing”. This article will open your mind to broader aspects of Marketing through simplified explanation.

By the time, you are done with this article, you’ll find yourself filled with the understanding of:

  • The Importance of Marketing
  • The Fundamental Law of Marketing
  • The Importance of Communication Skills
  • Traditional vs. Digital Marketing
  • Friendship of Economics and Marketing
  • Building a Strong Brand
  • Personal Branding
  • CATT Marketing Funnel and Framework
  • Niche Selection
  • Integrated Digital Marketing

So, let’s get started.

Why Care about Marketing?

At this point you might be asking yourself a few questions:

“Why should I learn Marketing?”

“Will it be a good career in the future?”

“Will it become obsolete like some other Industries’ Jobs which Artificial Intelligence (AI) has taken over?”

“Marketing can be outsourced. So why should I care about it?”

These are in fact really genuine questions. To find answers to these questions, read this article to the very end. I know it’s gonna take some time. But you don’t want to make a hasty decision, do you?

“Why should I learn Marketing?”

Well, the right question to ask yourself is “Why do I need to learn Marketing”. You might be a Manager, company owner, or just a student, in any case, Marketing is really important. It boils down to market psychology. From my experience, Marketing is a mindset, a talent, a capacity to see and detect what others cannot easily understand. When it comes to the Marketplace, one of the role-models is; Steve Jobs, he did not have to graduate from a prestigious university to understand people’s desire and change the way we live.

“Will Marketing become obsolete?”

The answer is No. Marketing education has a long shelf life because it is rooted in human psychology. Marketing as a topic has existed since the dawn of civilization and will be there as long as there is human civilization. The medium and techniques might change but Marketing as a concept is evergreen. In short, if you know how to market and sell, you have a safe career.

“Will AI take over Marketing Jobs?”

AI Marketing and automation technologies can help marketers find more information about their customers, while decreasing the amount of time spent on mechanical tasks, but they can never replace the human touch that effective marketing requires. Automation of mechanical tasks will bring a change in the role of marketers, but it cannot replace them.

“Marketing can be outsourced. So why should you care?”

Yes, marketing can be outsourced, but not completely. Completely depending on a marketing agency can be devastating for a company. The founder or the CEO must be a marketer himself.

It may come as a surprise that Nike came to understand the importance of marketing later in its life: after it hit the $1 billion revenue mark. It had to make the shift from being a production-oriented company to being a marketing-oriented company. You can read the interview of Nike’s co-founder Phil Knight from here.

The Fundamental Law of Marketing

Marketing encompasses a lot of concept in it. But what’s important is that lies in the heart of all these concepts.

What is not Marketing?

First, let me tell you what marketing is not. Making cold calls and sending out cold emails is not marketing. Constantly trying to get people’s attention towards your product or service, when they don’t want it, is not marketing. Manufacturing the product first and then trying to sell it (by hook or by crook), is not marketing. Selling is not marketing.

Managers sometimes think of marketing as “the art of selling products”. But they are surprised when they hear that selling is NOT the most important part of marketing! Selling is only the tip of the marketing iceberg.

What is the Fundamental Law of marketing?

Marketing is based on science, not on creativity. Without understanding the science behind the art of Marketing, you’ll be spending time, money and energy in making cute looking ads that don’t sell.

Marketing is about “identifying and meeting human and social needs”. Yes, that’s it.

Another short, good definition of marketing is “meeting needs profitably”.

These definitions of marketing are short, crisp and at the same time comprehensive. The various domains in Marketing study fall around the basic concept of fulfilling the needs and wants of fellow human beings.

Note that nowhere in the definition is it mentioned that making creative ads, manipulating the customer or persuading the customer is Marketing.

Because it is not.

These are selling tactics. There are n number of such tactics. Some of them have become obsolete and some will become obsolete in the near future. But marketing is evergreen. There will always be (as long as there is human civilization) need for meeting needs and thus the need for marketing.

What is the end goal of Marketing?

Marketing is a means to an end. The purpose of Marketing is to build a brand and capture a position in the minds of the customers.

For example: Google does not run ads for its search engine. Because almost everyone knows it. #BrandPower

Moreover, marketing should result into natural sales. Peter Drucker, famed management theorist, put it this way:

The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself. Ideally, marketing should result in a customer who is ready to buy. All that should be needed then is to make the product or service available. The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous.

e.g When Apple launched its iPod back in 2001 that allowed you to have “1000 songs in your pocket”, it was a huge success because it fit a need for a portable media player.

The Importance of Communication Skills

Good marketing is all about good communication. Effective communication skills in the form of personal interaction, team communications, written and visual messages are essential traits of a successful marketer.

“Is English really important to be a good communicator?”

Effective communication does not mean sophisticated English. It does not care about vocabulary or grammar.

If you want to judge your communication skills, the only question you need to ask yourself is: “Am I able to transfer my thoughts to others effectively?”. If yes, then you are a good communicator and, with practice, will become a good marketer.

`After all, Marketing is all about sending the right message to the right person at the right time.

Now that we’ve debunked the belief that English is mandatory to succeed as a marketer. There is another popular belief that I want to talk about. And it is something that acted as a Roadblock in my journey as a Marketer.

“Marketing is not for introverts.”

I used to believe this until I came across one of the best marketers and arguably India’s Number 1 Digital Marketer. I admired him for his marketing and communication skills and was shocked to learn that he is an introvert as well. His personality type is INTJ (the I stands for Intoverted).He is none other than Digital Deepak aka Deepak Kanakaraju. You can know more about him by clicking here.

Being his student and intern, I realized that Marketing isn’t about pushy sales tactics and cold calls that would have most introverts running for the hills. In today’s world of digital marketing, much of this career involves working independently behind a screen. Many introverts have found success in marketing because of their quieter personality type, not in spite of it.

If I had to bet, the best marketers of tomorrow will likely be far more introverted than the average marketer is today. I would even argue that marketing needs more introverts — people who will spend more time listening than talking, reflecting deeply on meaning, and building fewer, deeper relationships.

Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing

Traditional marketing refers to any type of marketing that isn’t online. This includes print, broadcast, direct mail, phone, and outdoor advertising like billboards. From newspapers to radio, this method of marketing helps reach wider audiences.

Inversely, Digital marketing is … well … digital. Digital marketing is any marketing a company conducts online, such as paid social media ads, email marketing, and PPC advertising. Digital marketing has become wildly popular due to the cultural, technological, and societal shifts around us.

Which One is Better?

So, which strategy wins when comparing traditional marketing vs. digital marketing?

The short answer: it depends.

The long answer: Digital marketing is probably the best option for most. If you want to reach a particular group of people, wherever they may be, while keeping costs low, go with digital marketing. Doing so will also allow you to collect valuable information on your audience immediately so that you can create even more effective marketing campaigns.

However, there is still a place for traditional marketing. If you want to reach an older audience or a local audience, traditional marketing methods may be more productive and stand out better than digital marketing methods. Though these methods may seem “old,” the reality is that they’ve stuck around for a reason. They work!

When considering which marketing strategy is best for your business, consider your audience, where they get their information from, and use that to make your decision. When deciding between traditional marketing vs. digital marketing, it’s not necessarily true that one is simply better than the other as they serve different purposes. The bottom line is that you need to fully understand your business and your audience to pick the strategy that’s better for you.

Friendship of Economics and Marketing

Every entrepreneur and marketer must learn about global economics (at least the basics). Business decisions taken without considering Economics can prove to be disastrous.

How is Economics related to Marketing?

As a marketer, you need to assess the market demand for your products and services. That’s when Economics comes to help you.

A country’s economy goes up as the average age of the country goes up.

Are you wondering why this is true? Don’t worry. It’s not rocket science. A country with a low average age has more young people. Younger people tend to consume more than older ones. Thus, a “young” country (as you may call it) will have higher Aggregate Demand and higher potential for your products and services.

Interesting Fact: Developing countries have lower average age as compared to developed countries. India has a median age of around 28 years while UK’s median age is 40 years. As ironic as it may sound, the truth is that developing countries have higher growth potential than developed countries.

As a marketer, you can leverage this knowledge to position your product in the right market.

How to learn Economics?

Economics is one of the most interesting topics if studied thoroughly. You have to keep a vigilant eye on the changes around you and analyze the reasons behind it.

Some recommended books are:

  • Economics 101 by Alfred Mill
  • Currency Wars by James Rickards
  • Capital in the 21st Century by Thomas Piketty

Building a Strong Brand

The terms “brand” and logo” are often used interchangeably. But though a logo can be the symbol of a business, it is not the entirety of a brand. In fact, creating a logo is just one small step toward developing a strong brand identity.

Then “What exactly is a Brand?”

Your brand is much more than a creative logo and catchy slogan. when you engage. Your logo and slogan play a role, sure, as do the images you use, the messages you deliver, the way your employees interact with your customers, and every single thing you do. But a Brand is more than that. It’s the very essence of who you arewhat you stand for, and what customers can expect.

“How to build a Strong Brand?”

When deciding to build a brand, the very first thing is to choose your niche and category. Deciding where to compete is half your success. Always keep in mind the golden statement:

Do not be the Number One. Be the Only One.

People remember only the Number One or to the maximum Number Two. Every market becomes a two-player market in the long run.

You cannot beat your competitors in their own game. It’s absolutely fine. If you cannot be the leader in a category, be the leader in a sub-category.

For example, Volvo is not the best Luxurious Car Brand but when it comes to safety, it is the best.

“Does being unique means that you have to enter a market with no competition?”

No, in fact a competitive market is an indicator of high market demand. So, you should enter a competitive market but have your own unique angle. The unique angle can be any factor that differentiates you from the other market players.

For example: Personal care is a highly competitive market. But when brands like Patanjali marketed their personal care products as Ayurvedic, they instantly got a great market share.

Personal Branding

Have you ever Googled your name? Obviously, you may find that other people share your name. But when you do see items that mention you, do they show what you want the world to see? Or should you “refine” your online record to make it more compatible, and present you in a more favorable light?

For that matter, how do people perceive you offline? Do they connect you and your values with your business and the values it represents?

What is a Personal Brand?

Personal Brand

Your personal brand is how you promote yourself. It is the unique combination of skills, experience, and personality that you want the world to see . It is the telling of your story, and how it reflects your conduct, behavior, spoken and unspoken words, and attitudes.

You use your personal branding to differentiate yourself from other people. Done well, you can tie your personal branding with your business in ways no corporate branding can possibly succeed.

Why Personal Branding is Important?

In this online era, where things, both good and bad, last forever on the internet, personal branding can be considered more important than ever.

The best known will always beat the best. ~Digital Deepak

Personal Branding is the “great differentiator” in job search. Successful job search is all about differentiation. When you clearly stand apart and above others competing for the same jobs, you generate interest and are much more likely to land interviews. Personal branding makes this happen.

Apart from jobs, a personal brand can give rise to many brands from his/her influence. A personal brand becomes an influencer and acts as a brand ambassador for the companies that they run or become a part of.

We often talk about corporate branding. But Personal Branding is equally important, if not more. Because people want to hear from people, not from corporates. People form relations with their fellow beings, not with corporates.

For example, Mr. Ratan Tata is a great personal brand and through his influence has been entering into newer ventures. The essence of his personality is evident even in the companies he run.

The Evolution of a Personal Brand

A personal brand is the result of a constant process. The plan underlying the process can be called the Mass Trust Blueprint.

Mass trust blueprint

LearnLearning a skill is the foundation of your personal brand. Learning requires understanding the Concepts, remembering the Facts and practicing the Procedures.

Work: Watching someone else implementing the skills will not make you a master of that skill. You must put your skills to work. Go from practice to implementation.

Blog: Write about what you have learned and experienced through your work. In fact, you can create any type of content (blogs, videos, podcasts etc.).Through your content, the world will start recognizing you and you will start building your personal brand.

Consult: Now that you have a personal brand through your content, you can start consulting other businesses instead of working for them. At this stage, you will be doing one-on-one consultation.

Mentor: After understanding your clients’ needs through consulting, you can start mentoring others. Instead of one client at a time, you’ll be mentoring hundreds at the same time. Mentoring will scale your understanding to a whole new level.

Startup: Start your own business. Develop your own product or service with the understanding that you have developed about the market and solve people’s problems with your skills.

The CATT Marketing Funnel and Framework

Wealth Formula

The secret formula for wealth is n^CATT.

Niche (n): Your success is largely dependent on the niche you choose. We’ll talk more about niche selection in the next section.

Content (C): Content can be anything from blog posts, podcasts, eBooks, videos, webinars etc. You must create useful content that attracts people from your niche.

Attention (A): After creating content, you need to drive attention(traffic) to your content using Social Media, Paid Ads, SEO, Referrals etc.

Trust (T): Trust is arguably the most scarce resource in the world right now. You need to build trust with your audience both before and after they have become your customer. Trust is built through re-targeting, marketing automation and trip wires.

Transaction (T): Once you’ve built trust with your audience, they are more likely to become your customers. Then you just need to offer them your products and services and drive sales through natural sales methods.

How to choose the Right (Profitable) Niche?

Niche selection

Trying to discover your niche can be overwhelming.

Some people get stuck trying to figure out what the best niche would be and never actually start on the project.

And some people make a hasty decision and choose a niche that is not fit for them.

Your niche must be a combination of 3 essential components: Talent, Passion and Market.

Talent: You know that you are talented in a particular niche if you know and do it better than many people around you. Talent is not something which is gifted to a select few. Everybody has some talent in one field or the other. Note that Talent can be enhanced if you are passionate about it, which brings us to the next component of your niche, that is, Passion.

Passion: Passion is easier to identify than talent. You know that you are passionate about a topic if you are constantly thinking about it and like to discuss it with your friends or family.

Market: This is the only technical part of your niche selection process. You need to identify if there is a market for your passion and talent or not. You have to assess the market demand and competition and see if there is an opportunity for you in that market.

Are there people who are searching for articles on that topic? If yes, what is the search volume?

How many competitors are there in you niche? What type of content are they creating? Can you make different and better content than them?

The sweet spot (the triangle in the picture) where Passion, Talent and Market Opportunity meet, is your niche.

Integrated Digital Marketing Campaigns

Integrated Digital Marketing

Integrated digital marketing is, as it sounds, the integration of multiple marketing mediums/channels to form a cohesive online approach for your business.

Integrated Digital Marketing is the art and craft of using all the digital marketing methods available today in such a way that each digital marketing channel complements the other by playing it’s strengths.

Integrated Digital Marketing is like a team with content as the leader and the various other digital marketing methods are like its team members. Instead of asking each member to achieve the goal of increasing the company’s customer base on it’s own, Integrated Digital Marketing will make use of each member’s strengths and produce a result which are more than the sum of the individual achievements of each member.

Investment of time, energy and money in building an integrated digital marketing process for your business is like investing in a machinery which will magically multiply the effectiveness of each component in it.

In fact, the exponential power of this integration has been realized by most Digital marketing agencies today who offer Integration of Digital Marketing Campaigns. Simultaneously, the demand for such Integrated service has sky rocketed.

Conclusion

As lengthy as this article may seem, these are just the basics of marketing. With the renewed perception about marketing which I hope you’ve adopted after reading this article, go deeper into the concepts of Marketing. Explore the field and observe how Marketing is everywhere around you.

P.S: Leave a comment and let me know how you felt about the article. I am open to constructive criticism 🙂

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