Are Apple products great, or they provide a great experience to its users or has the trust and loyalty of its customers. All of these right? And that is what is the role of marketing Having the best product in the world is useless if it doesn’t reach its intended customer. If you have a product or service you need to market it! Let’s look into what is marketing, how it is different from sales? How has marketing evolved with technology, What is a marketing process?
Table of Contents
What is Marketing?
Definition of Marketing
Dr. Philip Kotler, the father of Marketing, defines marketing as “the science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit. Marketing identifies unfulfilled needs and desires. It defines, measures, and quantifies the size of the identified market and the profit potential. It pinpoints which segments the company is capable of serving best and it designs and promotes the appropriate products and services”
In simple terms, Marketing is about creating a product or service, communicating that information to an audience of consumers, and finally, delivering the product or service. But Marketing is comprehensive as it is present in all stages of the business, beginning to end, overlapping with advertising and sales and even going beyond sales.
Difference between Marketing and Sales
The marketing is about the 4P’s, what the product is, its price, positioning(who it’ll be sold to), and promotion(where to talk, how to talk). Goals are set, marketing channels are chosen, and a budget is made for the marketing team to pursue.
While Sales focuses on selling the product how to interact with customers, how to answer questions and provide relevant information using methods like Phone calls, networking, promotional events converting prospects to customers.
Evolution of Marketing
Like human beings and technology, marketing has also evolved. It started with the barter system and as the business grew so did the marketing.
The invention of the printing press, the telephone, the rise of television changed the way companies communicate with customers. Companies marketed their product or service using TV, radio, and print advertisements and telephone sales.
Earlier companies were in the driving seat as demand was more than the supply. Henry Ford said that his customers could have a car in any color – so long as it’s black.
Did you know the term “soap opera” originated as radio dramas were originally sponsored by soap manufacturers?
And in the 1990s came the internet, introducing email, search engines, and marketing evolved with Email, SEO techniques starting being used along with the traditional. Social media sites further flattened the world, bringing friends and families together sharing information. Ways to market digitally or online are called Digital Marketing.
Today the customer is the king and he has access to endless information about anything and everything at the touch of the screen. And the Internet knows what you did (often even when you forget).
Digital marketing is using this to its advantage by cleverly weaving in marketing communications. If you are searching for shoe ideas for your next weekend getaway, the chances are that soon after you will see an ad from Myntra or if you are searching for baby food you will see baby-related ads following you.
Comparing Traditional and Digital marketing
Traditional marketing is a one-way street where a business is able to give information to its target audience about its product or service using TV, radio, and print advertisements, and telephone sales. This brand-building exercise is done in the hope to attract the attention of the right people and maybe convert them into customers.
But there are drawbacks of Traditional marketing.
- no direct interaction with customers
- is expensive: a print ad in a newspaper runs into thousands & ad in IPL had been set at Rs 12-13 lakh per 10 seconds
- hard to measure (unless it is very good or bad that it makes to Twitter trends, remember the Ad by Tata on a Hindu lady god bharai done by her Muslim in-laws)
Digital Marketing, on the other hand, can be used to
- Target the customer: For example, you can show ads of mobile phones to someone searching about them.
- Easy to measure: you can see how effective your marketing is. If your ad is resulting in the selling of products or services, conversations, plenty of positive comments, you know you’re doing something right.
- The message has to be right: You cannot fool the customers. As Ads are woven into the various platforms, they can be annoying and easily ignored.
Traditional marketing is not dead and still has a place in a consumer’s day-to-day life. Big companies which have the budget still have campaigns in magazines and prime time TV, like brands sponsoring the IP but to make the message reach a wider audience big and small companies also have to use Digital Marketing. Hence we are seeing an increase in the number of social influencers.
As Unilever’s Senior Vice-President of Marketing, Marc Mathieu, says marketing used to be about creating a myth and selling it and is now about finding a truth and sharing it.
So far we have looked at the technical or theoretical side of marking. Let’s get into action, the process of marketing.
CATT Marketing funnel
Let’s start by putting ourselves in customer’s shoes
Why would anyone buy from us? Only when the customer has trust that they are getting solutions to their problems?
How do we get the customer’s trust? By addressing their pain points, providing good, workable solutions to their problems
How do you address their pain points, by providing them the information they are looking for, in the form they want, by providing good content.
But good content by itself is not enough. We hear about Best Selling books, not best-written books. We need to get their attention
How do we get their attention, by tempting them to visit our store or site by showing them value for the time and effort they take in visiting our site. Like good trailer hooks the interest of the audience and they become excited to see the movie. This could be by having a good Ads Campaign on Facebook, Instagram. Having good videos on YouTube.
In technical parlance, this process of handholding customers is called having a marketing funnel and the funnel we discussed is called as CATT Funnel which is Content, Attention, Trust, and Transaction
A marketing funnel is a process of planning the customer journey from the awareness (when they first learn about your business) to the purchase stage (when they’re ready to buy your product or service). It can also include follow-ups post-purchase which increases customer loyalty and gives the opportunity to cross- and up-sells.
Once you have Content, Attention, and Trust then you can offer a premium product/service to your audience and you will have a successful Transaction. Since you have developed trust you need not make much effort to sell. That’s the power of trust. How much wealth you earn depends on how effectively you have addressed the pain points of your customers.
Wealth = n ^ CATT
Integrated Digital Marketing
Wherever you are, you’ll see many ads both in the physical and digital world. Brands are constantly fighting for customers’ attention. You need to cut through the noise. To make an impact you have to coordinate your messaging.
For that, you need a plan to make sure you’re using the right marketing options and in the right way.
The various marketing options to convert visitors to customers are
- website design, search engine optimization (SEO)
- content marketing
- Email marketing
- social media marketing
- paid advertising
These are like parts of the body each doesn’t have an impact on its own, but when used together, you can communicate the right message to the visitors and create a more influential online presence.
And this is not a one-time effort
Why is Nestle, or Dominos constantly advertising? Everyone knows about Noodles and Pizzas. Everyone knows what they offer. So why do they market?
You need to remind consumers about your brand, your products, even if they already know that it exists. You have to have an integrated marketing campaign honing in on the key messages across all channels
Remember the game Chinese whispers. One person starts by whispering some words into the ear of the person who then tells it to the next person and the process continues till the last person says it aloud. And often how different is the last message from the first one.
Talking/Sending an email is saying/writing some words. The conversation is an exchange of words. But communication is more than simply the transmission of words and information. It means that message was understood as sent by the sender, unlike in Chinese Whispers.
We all communicate in some form every day. Talking isn’t the goal, it is not saying fancy words, using flowery language. Talking is a means to an end. The goal is communication. The better you communicate the greater the credibility you will have with your team, customers, your family, and your friends.
An effective communicator understands their audience, chooses an appropriate communication method, modifies their message for this particular channel, and conveys the message effectively to reduce misunderstanding by the recipients. They will ensure that the message is understood by taking feedback and attempt to correct any confusion or misunderstanding as soon as possible.
Just like in life, Communication is vital to marketing because it brings everyone on the same page. Marketing communication helps move products, services, and ideas from manufacturers to end-users and builds and maintains relationships with customers, prospects, and other important stakeholders in the company.
Looking for something, let’s Google.
Want a copy, Get a Xerox.
Hungry Let’s make Maggi
Google, Xerox, Maggi are not mere products but they are brands,
A brand is not just products, logos, or tag lines. Branding tells the audience the values that products or companies stand for. Like Tata in India stands for trust. And Nike is for doing, Just do it.
We are in the era of Personal Brand. Elon Musk has more followers than SpaceX or Tesla. Where millions follow the big stars, celebrities, politicians.
The personal brand applies to everything from finding a job, to evolving one’s career(HR’s are checking out Linked in Profile), to becoming a social media star(YouTube, Instagram), or setting up a new business.
Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind. — Walter Landor, Founder, Landor
To create a personal brand you need to follow a blueprint
- Start with learning a new skillset.
- Work: Put your learning to practice by applying it in the real world.
- Writing brings clarity and structure. You need to Blog about your experiences.
- Once you gain expertise, you can provide consultation in your field.
- If you want to master something, teach it, said Richard Feynman. Mentor those who want to learn.
- Influence more by starting a company