The Fundamentals of Marketing
This article is for anyone interested in marketing, the psychology of marketing, and digital marketing.
My attempt here is to find out whether marketing is a cold set of steps and procedures with only profit in mind or is it an attempt to help solve people’s problems.
Is marketing emotional?
Is trust important?
What are the funnels in Digital marketing?
Why is personal branding important?
Marketing -an identity crisis!
To a non-marketing person like me, marketing simply means to advertise a product and to sell it.
It often invokes negative emotion and images of a pushy door-to-door salesman or an aggressive sales pitch.
I asked my friends for a definition of marketing and most stated that marketing meant advertisements.
Week 2 of Internship with Digital Deepak and all these perceptions were thrown out of the window.
Sales and Advertising are just one aspect of marketing.
So what exactly is “Marketing”?
According to Milan Kundera “ Business has only two functions marketing and innovation.”
Marketing starts at the stage when we begin to think of an idea of producing something to sell and the process of marketing continues up to the point when the customer has bought our product and gives us feedback.
So marketing is a continuous process.
“Marketing aims to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.”- Peter F. Drucker
The idea of who to sell, and what to sell, precedes the idea of how to sell.
Rather than a cold approach to selling products, it is quite the opposite.
It comes from a feeling of empathy, of the desire to help people by solving their problems, filling a gap, and providing a solution.
The question which marketing constantly seeks to ask from the customers is, “who are you, what do you need and what do you care about”?
It is a conversation between two unknown people. With communication comes understanding the needs of the customer and this understanding leads to innovation and better products.
It is this emotional response that makes a brand stand out from the rest. Selling products with the strategy of pure profit can only take the company to a point.
But a business that listens to its customers, builds trust, and is the one that goes far. People tend to buy from someone they trust.
However important marketing is, it is essential to note that a good product sells itself.
An example comes to mind here. The story of Nano, an affordable car that fit the budget of every Indian who could afford a two-wheeler. A people's car. This innovation of a no-frills car was an emotional response to filling the need of the customers.
For, TATA, creating the Nano, was a way of saying they cared, they listened, and eventually, they delivered the cheapest car in the Indian market. Every middle-class Indian could potentially become a Nano car owner.
Types of marketing
Traditional or offline marketing:
Traditional marketing uses traditional mediums like billboards, newspapers and magazine advertisements, Tv, and radio advertisements.
They have a wider reach.
Are more expensive.
They are most effective with products that have mass appeal and application.
Online or digital marketing:
It uses online mediums like Paid Ads, SEO, Social Media, Content Marketing, and Email Marketing.
It is comparatively cheaper.
It is more targeted and specific and hence more effective.
We can measure the effectiveness of this type of marketing.
With the lockdown and the push by the government to go digital, India is catching up with being online, in a big way.
With what Sujith Pai calls India 1, basically 23 million households living in the top 10 cities of India, speaking English, owning cars, and 25 million approximate internet shoppers, digital marketing is only going to increase in the next few years.
India 1, or 110 million people are the customer base for digital marketers in India.
So how does digital marketing work?
The CATT Funnel
To create wealth, one needs to find a niche and apply the CATT principles to it.
Niche depends on one's talent, passion, and the marketing potential of the skill. Each one of the three is equally important.
Content is king in the digital marketing world. Good effective content tells a story that hits a nerve with the customers. Content can be in the form of a blog, landing page, video, live webinar. It attracts people to the product being sold.
Attention is needed to drive traffic to the content. It could be paid ads, SEO, referrals, social media, or email marketing.
Trust happens when there is a personal connection. The most important exercise of marketing is to build trust because without trust, there will be no market. People buy products from those whom they trust.
T transaction is the end product of this funnel which leads to the sales of products. Without sales, there is no marketing.
The cycle continues back to niche as new niches can be found and the whole new cycle will repeat.
When all these steps are taken wealth is created for the digital marketer and a solution for the customer.
These steps lead to brand awareness and once this happens one needs to spend less time in marketing because the customer has already built a feeling of trust and is aware of the product.
We come to the next problem:
Digital marketing has different components.
Which of these components should one choose or specialize in?
Integrated Digital Marketing
The components of digital marketing are:
Content: blog, videos, landing page, etc.
Social Media: Facebook Instagram Twitter etc
SEO: search engine optimization
Email marketing: reaching customers through emails.
Paid Ads: Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, etc.
We need to be able to use all these components in an integrated way so that our funnel works smoothly.
The content is central to all activities. Good content drives traffic to social media and the search engine.
Once the content starts ranking in the search engine it draws more people to it by using search engines.
Social media posts drive people to view their content.
Email marketing drives customers to content which in turn generates leads through forms. These leads are used to communicate with customers through emails to create trust.
Paid Ads like GoogleAds, FacebookAds Instagram Ads boost the whole momentum by driving traffic faster to the other components and thus achieving sales and conversion.
The CATT funnel is linear and depicts the steps an individual has to take in Digital marketing, whereas the Integrated Digital Marketing funnel drives the CATT funnel.
Power of personal brand.
Personal branding is about managing your name — even if you don’t own a business — in a world of misinformation, disinformation, and semi-permanent Google records. Going on a date? Chances are that your “blind” date has Googled your name. Going to a job interview? Ditto. — Tim Ferriss
Even individuals need to develop a brand for themselves …. Whatever your area of expertise, you can take steps to make people think of YOU when they think of your field. — Accelepoint Webzine
People communicate with other people that's where trust lies not with logos and trademarks. It is the emotional link with which we connect with our audience.
“Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make but about the stories you tell.” — Seth Godin
A personal brand becomes an influencer and brand ambassador.
Ratan Tata is a personal brand. If he endorses a company or a product, people listen to him as he has created a feeling of trust with the people.
Today even if all Tata companies change hands Mr. Tata will remain a brand.
A personal brand can use his or her influence to sell his company. But he cannot sell his own brand.
Whatever one’s field, it is important today to develop one's personal brand.
How does one do that?
Mass Trust Blueprint
Learn: One has to learn a skill by studying facts, concepts, and procedures. We have to understand and practice these. Without skill, one cannot have a personal brand.
Work: The only way to implement the newly learned skill is through work. By applying knowledge to our work we get a better understanding of our skills.
Blog: By writing about what we have learned, our experiences, our success, and our failures, our story, is the starting point of building our brand. Blogging helps us jot down our understanding of things and also put our experiences out for others to read.
Consult: We now have a personal brand through our blog and have skill as well as work experience. We now are in a position to help others. Consulting is the next step.
Mentor: There will be people who need help to become like you. Through mentoring, one scales one’s understanding to a whole new level because you are now dealing with a group of people at the same time.
Startup: The logical next progression is that one creates a business, selling one's service or product, with the understanding one has gained about the market.
This process is cyclical and continuous as we are constantly upgrading or learning new skills that lead to work, blog, etc.
This evolution of a personal brand is called the Masstrust Blueprint.
Great companies that build an enduring brand have an emotional relationship with customers that has no barrier. And that emotional relationship is on the most important characteristic, which is trust. — Howard Schultz
Marketing is a science with a heart.
It is deeply rooted in trust.
Communication, conversations are essential in marketing.
The aim of marketing is empathy. It understands the problems of others and finds solutions.
Content is central to marketing and should be brilliant as it builds relationships that create trust which in turn creates wealth.
Personal branding is a core necessity in today's world.
To conclude marketing deals with people. It is based on empathy, communication, and trust.
Thank you for undertaking this journey with me to get a better understanding of this fascinating and extremely relevant subject. I would love to know your opinion in the comments below. If you like my article a clap would be much appreciated.
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