Dictionary.com defines marketing as, “the business of promoting and selling products or services”.
Peter Drucker “the founder of modern management,” said, “Marketing IS Business”
“To satisfy a customer is the mission and purpose of every business”, he added.
To put things in perspective marketing is not rocket science that only I know, you don’t, or conversely something I don’t know and even you can’t.
To put it in simple words, marketing is what you say, how you say it, and when, and why people should buy your product or services. Marketing means winning the hearts and minds of a lot of people, mostly strangers — at the same time.
Marketing involves the creation, maintenance, and expansion of mutually profitable relationships between ‘supplier’ and ‘customer’.
To quote Peter Drucker again, “The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous. It is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself.”
According to Milan Kundera, “Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation”.
Fundamentals of marketing:
Marketing is a continuous effort: Marketing starts before creating the product but doesn’t end with sales. It starts with understanding the customer, as well as their needs so as to create a product that fits into what the customer wants. This is one of the reasons why in-depth market research shouldn’t just be a one-time task, but a continuous effort and key result area (KRA). Continuous improvement and innovative marketing strategies give forward-thinking companies an edge over their competitors in fast-developing markets.
Marketing is both science and art: The science/art debate began in the Journal of Marketing in 1945 when Paul D. Converse (a scientist) first described marketing as a scientific business practice. A good marketer is also a good scientist who is prepared to test and retest hypotheses to gain acute insights before turning these insights into profitable actions. The very purpose of marketing is to influence the target customers, create an enduring bond, and bring them closer to the parent brand, organization, product, or service. However science can help determine the message to create this demand, but it cannot deliver it. This is where marketing as art helps in delivering the core message to the audience. No marketing campaign comes without a dose of creativity. Art helps form deep connections with customers by tapping into their most intimate needs. An artist knows how to craft campaigns that speak to an audience’s desires, fears, frustrations, and other intangible qualities. Without artistic elements, campaigns will lack the very essence that makes people take action. In other words, science helps us understand what is going on, and the art inspires its creation to deliver the emotional appeal based on the initial understanding of the situation. Dr. Philip Kotler defined marketing as, “The science and art of exploring, creating and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market as a profit”.
Marketing isn’t just a promotional tool: Marketing is an important ingredient of customer service and nurturing customer relationships. For long-term success, marketing needs to move customers through 3 distinct stages. You need to first acquire a customer, encourage them to engage with you, and motivate them to keep coming back to make another purchase.
Marketing is a bridge between your organization and your customers: It helps you reach your target customers and deliver the value you promised. Customer acquisition is an extremely vital part of marketing. Without attracting new customers, you won’t have a business to do any marketing for!
Given a choice, people like to buy from people they know, like, and Trust!
Every business needs marketing to succeed: How can you sell your products and services if nobody knows about them? A product or service that has been introduced in the market, will sell better if it meets the customer’s needs. Knowledge about your ideal customer will help you focus on methods to multiply your efforts.
Marketing is essentially the process of understanding your customers: It’s not just about attaining new customers, but also making sure you get the most out of your existing customers and that they stick around as long as possible.
Marketing is something that goes on from womb to tomb: Marketing should begin right at the beginning of your business journey before even your product takes shape. This initial marketing involves research and learning more about your customers in order to develop a product or service that meets their wants and needs.
Marketing is the art of communication and winning hearts & minds: A focused and two-way communication and customer surveys can help you learn more about your target customers, find new ways to keep in touch with them and ensure that your brand is communicating with them in the right ways. Marketing is about conveying the right message, to the right person at the right time. It is not just about selling, it is about keeping existing customers happy by communicating with them so that they can remain your customers for life.
Marketing is impossible without great content: content marketing is the backbone of any marketing strategy. Good marketing is impossible without great content. Good content will help increase traffic to your site, improve its SEO ranking, improve lead generation, improve conversion rates, drive social referrals and engagement, increase time spent on your site, and drive inbound links. Great content gives your audience something to talk about. Valuable, relevant, and consistent content will help you retain old customers, find new ones and generate sales.
Digital marketing and traditional marketing are inseparable twins: Both digital marketing and traditional marketing have quite a few similarities between them. The purpose of both is to attract consumers and generate more sales. Digital Marketing is more cost-effective and has opened up a new world of possibilities when it comes to understanding the customers and building relationships with them. It has provided us the ability to collect a vast amount of data about individuals including their demographics, location, shopping habits, previous brand interactions, likes and dislikes, and more.
The Marketing Process
The first step in the journey of marketing is to analyze the market conditions and identify the problems or needs of the customer. Broadly speaking there are four major steps in the marketing process:
- Understanding the customer’s needs is the key to success. It gives you an insight into things like:
- Understand the short-term and long term market conditions
- Understand the target country and its economic prospects
- Interests of the target customers as well as the money they are willing to spend – you cannot just introduce a product that the customers can’t afford to buy. For instance, Rolls Royce, Porsche, and Audi are among the best cars but would it help if not even 10 people in a small town can afford to buy them and there are no good roads or the government is strictly enforcing speed restrictions.
- Market strategy: Before you move ahead, you should know:
- Who is your targeted customer?
- What do the customers really want to buy?
- How much are they willing to spend?
- What are the pitfalls or market trends in your area?
- Competitor analysis- the main players and price at which they are selling the product and how your product is different from others?
To get these answers you may perform a market survey which will give you an insight into the market and available options. This knowledge about what your customer wants and competitors who are already in the market will help you define your marketing strategy.
- Marketing plan: Once you know who you are targeting, you need to prepare a marketing plan which includes the following parameters which will give you a clear idea about what you have to do, when, and how:
- Product specifications
- Product development
- Ways and mediums for promoting your product
- Expected date for launching the product
Once you have a marketing plan ready the next step is to make things work.
- Deliver results: Once you have successfully executed your plan, your product is ready to be launched. Do not expect to have 100% positive reviews about your product. Let the critics tell you what you are lacking. But do not get disheartened by the negative reviews, as they can help you improve your product in the future.
CATT Marketing Funnel
The CATT marketing funnel is a way of breaking down the steps in customers’ buying journey from the point they learn about your product/service to the point where they make a purchase. It is called a funnel because a lot of people take the first step at the beginning of the journey. This number starts decreasing as we go along and very few people eventually take the final step in the buying process. Hence the analogy funnel.
CATT Marketing Funnel is an effective marketing funnel to increase customer engagement and product sales. It works on the following formula:
Wealth = n ^ CATT
[n]—– stand for Niche. It is your unique selling proposition. The success of your endeavour hinges on choosing the right niche.
[C]—– stands for Content. Once you’ve decided on your niche, it’s time to build on your content strategy. Content is king. The means of communication could be articles, pictures, animation, blog posts, videos, podcasts, e-books, or webinars. The format may change, but the need for quality content is eternal, permanent, and everlasting.
[A]—–stands for Attention. It involves driving attention (traffic) to your content
[T]—–stands for Trust. Building trust with your audiences. As Warren Buffett once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”
[T]—–stands for Transaction. It means converting leads into customers
In other words – in the game of marketing good quality content helps the business grab the attention of the audience and provides them an opportunity to build trust. This is what adds value in the minds of the customers and leads to the successful transaction or conversion of leads into business.
Given a choice, people like to buy from people they know, like, and Trust!
Integrated Digital Marketing
Integrated digital marketing means using all kinds of digital marketing tools and strategies in a synergic way– as a force multiplier that boosts each other’s strength instead of trying to work alone. Integrated digital marketing involves the simultaneous blending of all possible tactics, methodologies, channels, media, and tools as and when required to satisfy a customer’s needs. These may include digital advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing, social media, and customer relationship management. Its aim is to blend all your marketing campaigns and to make all of them speak the same language and in as many words — to create a consistent and positive image of your product or service in the mind of the users.
Have you wondered why Elon Musk is probably better known than Tesla a corporate brand? Personal branding implies a conscious and intentional effort to create and influence public perception about an individual by positioning them as an authority in their industry, elevating their credibility, and differentiating them from the competition. All this ultimately advances their career, increases their circle of influence, and has a larger impact. Personal branding is the practice of marketing people and their careers as a brand. It is the unique combination of skills, experience, and personality to creates a favorable impression. Studies show that 70-80% of people research a brand before doing business with them. People like to feel like they know you, especially before they spend money or do business with you. This is the importance of personal branding or reputation management.
To sum up, marketing is not just about selling, it is also about keeping the existing customer happy by effectively addressing their needs so that they remain your customers for life. Here is why:
- The probability of selling to new customers is 5–20% (Altfield)
- 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers. (SmallBizGenius)
- Increasing customer retention by just 5% boosts profits by 25% to 95%. (SmallBizGenius)
- 82% of companies agree that retention is cheaper than acquisition.