“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” -Peter Drucker
Do you want to understand what the marketing is?
How marketing is different from selling?
What is the role of innovation in marketing?
Let us try to understand
Principles of Marketing
There is always a lot of buzz about Marketing. Many a times it is confused with the selling. Conceptually the marketing is entirely different from the selling.
The Selling process is started after a product is launched in the market, but the marketing starts much before the product is made. The marketing is the very first phase of product designing.
I think you are surprised.
How can we start marketing before the product is made?
Yes, Of course, Marketing is the process where a marketer understands the needs of consumers and converts them to profitable opportunities.
Let me make it simpler with an example. Jeff Bezos, in 1994, left his job and started a virtual book store. He understood the need of readers and provides them their favorite books at their doorstep. The rest is history.
There are thousands of examples where a marketer understand the need of people and make their life easy in addition to earning big bucks for themselves. Uber, Ola, OYO, flikpart are few examples.
Understanding the needs of customers is the first step of marketing which starts much before the product designing and making. Marketing is not a single activity, it is a process. It is not an art, it is a science. There are universal laws of marketing which are applicable everywhere in the world.
A marketer has to understand the consumer’s mind.
What a consumer want?
How the consumers perceive the products?
How much the consumer ready to pay for a specific product or services?
After purchasing the product, what kind of support the consumer want?
Feedback is very important in the process of marketing.
The Marketing Process
Step-1: Identifying the customer problem. Like what is the need of hour?
Step-2: Design the product or services which can solve the customer problem and also the customer is ready to pay for that solution.
Step-3: Promotion: communicating about your product/services to the right set of people. It is a very important step. Sometimes marketers fail in spite of very good product because they are unable to communicate their product in right way.
Step-4: Now, customer purchase the product/services
But the process of marketing does not finish here
Step-5: Marketer seeks the feedback from the customer. Is the problem of customer solved? Is the customer satisfied?
Step-6 Based on the out comings of step-5, marketer upgrades the product/ services.
And this is never ending process……..
I hereby feel necessary to mention McCarthy’s four P’s of marketing
-Product: must be according to the needs of customers
-Pricing: Product is pricing accurately, neither very high nor it is undervalued. (Pricing strategy is a subject of detailed study)
-Promotion: Right communication to the right group of people is a very significant in process of marketing.
-Place: This is about the availability of product when and where the customers want to purchase the product/services
Market can change, technology can change, Products can change, needs can change, communication channels can change but the fundamentals of marketing always remain the same. Before designing a product, the marketers always have to well research about the customer needs.
Communication Channels: Traditional Vs Digital
As the time changes medium of communication are also changes
Newspapers, magazines, hoardings, flyers, Radio, Television are the traditional ways of communication for more than a century, which are used by marketers, to promote their product.
But with the introduction of dot com era, the ways of communication change tremendously. Specifically in last fifteen years, the digital platform took a lead. With the penetration of social media among the mass population, digital platform becomes the most significant platform for the marketers. According to www.statista com as of January 2020, 59% population worldwide use internet and 49% of population all over the world use social media.
Now for a marketer, it is very important to learn digital techniques to spread the message.
A digital marketer must know the nitty gritty of Google, Facebook, Instagram, Email marketing. This is little bit technical but necessary.
While communicating on Social media a marketer must take care of following things:
-The message should be clear.
-Select your audience carefully like age, gender, demographics, economic status etc.
-Use creativity and out of box idea to communicate your message.
-Don’t overrate your product as if you overpromise and deliver undervalued it leads to dissatisfaction to the customer.
-Decide your clear goal for the communication like if you are doing it for lead generation, branding, to make purchases or anything else.
-Use good software like well-designed and informative websites or landing pages, Email marketing software, research and feedback forms etc. Don’t try to go for free wares as it hampers the outcomes of your marketing campaigns.
Choose your niche carefully:
There is a popular saying “Jack of all Master of Nothing”
Although, it is era of diversification but at initial level you have focus on a core area, which is your expertise. Don’t try to do so many things at same time, as it dilutes your personal value.
Here is the concept of core value. Analyze carefully yourself and find out your area of specialization i.e means your talent. Now align you specialization with your passion. Like you digital marketer and specialized in Email marketing. If your passion is teaching, then teach others about email marketing. If teaching is not your cup of tea, then you can find your passion in doing email marketing for other companies as a freelancer. Better understand your passion and align with your core specialization. You definitely enjoy your work and your passion will help you to earn big with it. Also consider the market demand before choosing your niche.
How to optimize your Marketing campaign-CATT Funnel
Content: In digital marketing “The Content is the King.”
Remember the phrase “Garbage IN Garbage OUT”. Invest time and energy in good research and provide your customers well researched high valued content that must add something new in their knowledge.
Attention: The appropriate content draws prospective customer attention towards itself. These may be through email marketing of communicating with them using any medium. Suppose you are freelancer digital marketing expert, the prospective client can ask you about the pricing or any other information from you. It means your communication draws his/her attention; now he/she wants to know more about your services.
Trust: Further, when you communicate more with the prospective client, it builds a trust between you and client. Digital Deepak has given the concept of Mass trust, where thousands of people express their trust in his courses and enrolled themselves in his webinars & training programs. Building a trust on your services is a great achievement for a marketer.
Transaction: Next step is transaction. Now the client expresses its trust in your services/products. Now it is the time of action. Generate a situation to encourage the prospective customer to purchase by giving those offers, short term discounts or complimentary products/services.
You are thinking that the process is completed. No, it is not completed. Again as a marketer you must have an eagle eye on the market. Upgrade you content with the changing scenario. Business is a romance between Innovation and marketing.
Keep Inventing and upgrading your services/content. This is the incessant circle.
Business dies in lack of Innovation
Have you heard about HMT, Nokia, General Motors, Blockbuster, Polaroid, Pan, Am, Borders , Pets[dot]com , Tower Records , Compaq , General Motors. What is common in all these?
They all die due to lack in innovation. Yes, you read right. Once a market leader they died, because they failed to upgrade themselves according to the changing needs of their clients.
So, the message is “Innovation is the key for the successful business”. Innovate new content, method of advertising, content, surprise your customers every time by adding new values to the services (don’t change your basic idea of business).
Integrated Digital Marketing
According to Digital Deepak:
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 its strengths rather than trying to reach the goal of increasing revenues and customer base on its own. Investment of time, energy and money in building an integrated digital marketing process for your business is like investing in machinery which will magically multiply the effectiveness of each component in it.
Some of the common digital marketing methods are:
1. Search Engine Marketing (PPC)
2. Search Engine Optimization (Organic Traffic)
3. Email Marketing
4. Social Media Marketing
5. Digital Display Marketing
6. Content Marketing
It is clear from above explanation that a digital marketer should optimize the digital platform by using the integrated model of digital marketing. Each method has its own way, so we will describe these entire one by in separate articles.
All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.– Tom Peters in Fast Company
What is Personal Branding?
When a person is treated equivalent to brand which inherits the value. People trust on that brand name. Like I know a Delhi based catering company, which borrows the name from Sanjeev Kapoor. The customers have faith in Sanjeev kapoor brand.
There are some restaurants on the name of Dharmendra, the film star. The owners pay royalties to these people for lending their name to their businesses, in turn they get good business due to their name.
Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Digital Deepak are few names which have a strong personal brand value.
How do they build this?
The factor is MassTrust a term coined by Digital Deepak.
When millions of people rely on a particular person or brand, it is called MassTrust. It cannot be made overnight. It takes long time to build this. Promising the under value and delivering the over value is base of mass trust.
Digital Deepak has given a blue print to create Mass Trust, which is as follows:
Learn: Learn thoroughly about the subject. Research well. Learn the concepts and latest trends in the respective field
Work: Start working on small projects. Implement your learning to get practical experience. You can work as a freelancer or can get a job.
Blog: Don’t wait to be an expert. Write what you learn with the blend of your thoughts and experience. Don’t worry about the grammatical mistakes and language.
Consult: Get some consulting assignments for you. You can give consultations to local businesses. You will get confidence when things go right. Step by step you can get more assignments by reference also from the companies.
Mentor: You learn quickly, when you teach others. Help others to learn the things. It will help you to make your concepts clearer.
Start up: Now, you are able to get some brand value. Invest in an idea. You can achieve a lot.
This is never ending process. Upgrade yourself by learning more & more and the process goes on.
It is continuous process. However, in today’s time it is very difficult to generate trust in your brand because there is a very big crowd of people who are promising big to flatter the customers. Once cheated, it is very difficult for them to trust on any other.
So, to create a strong personal brand you have to win the faith of customers by providing them some value for free or on minimal pricing. You have to do something, which make you stand out of the crowd.
Some Important Factors which a marketers has to take into consideration
An Eagle Eye on country/World Economy:
Now you can ask me why Economics?
The economy of the country is the barometer of purchasing power of consumers.
For Example, if RBI lowers the CRR, then there is more cash with the banks. The cash is the idle asset. It earned nothing if it is kept idle. It is necessary to invest the cash, so banks will lower the lending rate of interest, which encourage the public to take loans. Now public has more cash in hand which increases their spending.
Take another example, If in budget, the government has more provisions for rural sectors, it channelize more money in rural sector by generating more employment opportunities there, which in turn increases per capita income. Now the rural public has more purchasing power.
What do think if a person in rural area has more money at discretion, what will he do?
She/he will spend on consumer products like fans, coolers, mobile phones, televisions, refrigerators, vehicles etc. These companies keep a sharp eye on budgets. They focus more on that area to increase the sales.
On the other side, if the cash flow decreases in the economy, the spending reduces automatically.
As a marketer, you have to know what the spending pattern of a household is. It helps you a lot in designing the promotion campaign for your product/services.
I think that I made clear about the relation between the economy and marketing.
Macro Factors of Economy
The factors that make up the macro-environment are economic factors, demographic forces, technological factors, natural and physical forces, political and legal framework, and social and cultural forces. The business has not control over these. For example, in 2017, government changed the tax system and introduces GST over the businesses. The businesses have to cope up with these changes.
Businesses have to keep a regular check on government policies, which can affect it and take strategically decisions according to these changes.
Micro Factors of Economy
The micro factors of economy includes customers, suppliers, competitors, shareholders and the people associated with the businesses in direct or indirect way.
These factors are related to the businesses directly. So the businesses have control over these factors. Businesses can make strategies related to these factors.
As a business, you must have deep understanding of Micro & Macro factor of economy.
Competitor is a great marketing force. Having good competitors give you a healthy competition. Customers are always benefited out of healthy competition because marketer tries to improve its services/products to satisfy the customer.
As a marketer, you must aware of the marketing strategies of your competitors. It encourages upgrading your services/products continuously.
My personal Experience with Marketing
I am an entrepreneur having 25+ years of experience in different fields like academics, event management, hospitality and training. All these ventures have a direct connection with the customers.
There are two approaches of marketing. First one is product oriented and the other one is customer oriented.
In Product oriented approach the marketer is in love with its product. The all focus is to glorify the product.
In customer oriented the marketer focus on customer satisfaction. The all focus is on customer. What does the customer want? How can customer’s satisfaction level be improved?
Throughout my work life, I focus on the customer’s satisfaction level. The customer need is much important than my own view of product. This does not mean that I don’t focus on product. Of course the product is important. But the product can be customized according the need of genuine buyers. I improved the products/services according to the demand but never ever degrade my product/services to lower the prices as per customer demand.
The customer is king and I make them feel the king. As, I am in hospitality services for more than a decade, and working with renowned university, even the honorable chairperson and chancellor is fond of my work in spite of the fact that there are more than 18000 people work for them and hardly they know any person which is working on my level.
I think I have written more than enough. Now it is the time to conclude.
-So, marketing is about customer satisfaction. If you create a wonderful product but it fails to make the customer need, then it makes no sense.
-Marketing is about proper communication of your product and services to right kind of people at right time.
– Marketing is a science not an art. It follows a specific process.
-Marketing is strongly associated with innovation. The innovation at every step of marketing process, like upgrading the product with time & technology, accepting new ways of communication etc.
-Digital marketing is need of hour for every business. With the traditional ways of marketing, marketer must go digitally because huge number of using digital platforms frequently.
-Use Integrated digital marketing strategy to market your product/service.
-Before starting marketing choose your niche carefully. It must be subset of you talent, passion and market.
-Use CATT process to make you marketing process effective.
-Create your personal brand.
- Must understand the Macro & Micro economic factors which effects the business
1. Edge of Sanity by Deepak Kanakaraju
2. Zero to One by Peter Thiel
3. MUSK by Ashlee Vance
4. Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt.
I hope I am able to give you a brief idea on marketing. What do you think about this article please share your kind reviews in comment box.