Unravelling the Secrets of Marketing
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”Maya Angelou
In our lives we meet so many people everyday and each person has an impact on us and similarly we also have an effect on the lives of people we meet. No matter what we say or do, the main thing matter is how did they feel when they met us.
Building strong rapport with the people and creating an impact is a skill and this is one of the main fundamentals of selling the idea of “the person” you are. When we talk of selling anything, a product- tangible or intangible, one term that comes in our mind is- Marketing, a term often the most misunderstood and taken in a negative connotation.
Imagine you have just started the business of your dreams and now thinking about selling the services and products it has to offer. Where you will begin, who is your target audience, how you will reach them, what will be the channels of communication?
If you don’t answer these questions, you almost have failed in the business. To answer these questions, we first need to understand what marketing is and what it is not at the very first place.
In this article, we will dig deeper into what exactly is marketing. In the first part we will understand the fundamentals of marketing. With the basic background, we will move towards understanding the differences between Digital and Traditional Marketing. In the third part, we will learn about CATT Marketing Funnel and then move to understand Integrated Digital Marketing. In the last part we will understand how to do Personal Branding.
THE FUNDAMENTALS OF MARKETING
The traditional way of looking at marketing which was introduced in 1950s was defined in terms of 4 nouns – The Four Ps i.e. Product, Promotion, Place and Price. But eventually it was realized that rather than nouns it was important to understand marketing in terms of processes as the nouns don’t truly capture the real essence and procedure of marketing.
So, the focus was shifted to verb oriented components and definition that brought to surface the concept of Value and which includes the steps like – Creating, Communicating, Delivering and Exchanging. Let us understand each component in depth.
According to the American Marketing Association, “Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large“. There is no one definition of marketing but few fundamental things remain the same. For instance, the first one is value.
Value is the pivot of marketing, if there is no value there is no marketing at all. Value means the benefits the buyers will receive to meet certain needs. For different customers, value varies depending on their personal choices, tastes, demands and thought process.
For example, three friends went to a new frozen yoghurt joint opened in their locality. Now one of the friends totally loved frozen yoghurt, second one liked it but didn’t love it and the third one hated it. For the one who loved it, the value of the products was good. However, for the other ones it might not be that valuable in terms of customer satisfaction.
Providing value-based services and products should be paramount for any company and it is important to understand the target audience for a valuable transaction of services or the product.
After understanding the value of the product or service, you create the offering which is a sum total of the product, service and the price. Creation of the product is basically the implementation of the concepts and skills you have gathered and includes cost estimation of the product.
For instance, you wish to buy a land for your business. You have three options and there will be a comparison of the three options in terms of physical location, the intangible benefits and of course the cost. All these three components create an offering. So, while creating a product or service, one needs to keep in mind all these three components and then create a product. Also, at this step it is important to understand what others creating similar products are offering and plug in the gaps if any.
The next step is the visibility in the market and it is through communicating the offering. Communicating broadly covers the description of the offering and its value to your potential customers. It also includes understanding their viewpoint through a feedback mechanism.
The company can send feedback forms, send product samples or engage in other similar activities to understand the customers’ perspectives. For example, after you launch a particular course related to your niche, you can communicate the same to people through different channels (TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, social media, billboards, digital networks) and after the course you can ask for an honest review of the same.
Reviews from your trusted customer will also help you attract new customers as it will build a trust. No matter how great a product you have created, if it is not communicated in an efficient manner, it will eventually become a failure.
This is a step where you are actually reaching to the people and providing them the value after communicating the offering. It also includes the user experience and if the user is able to understand the product after he has bought it. Delivery also connotes the physical delivery of the product or the technology used while delivery an intangible product like an online course. It is imperative to review from time to time if the delivery is timely and also free of any damages in case of a tangible product.
This is the final step which basically includes a transaction in terms of money whether online or offline. It is through exchange you will understand how well your product is performing in the market and based on that you will bring changes to the other steps mentioned before. Here you can also give some perks and privilege to the customers based on some criteria and innovate new offers to attract the present customers so that they stay with you. It will also help in gathering more audience in future.
DIGITAL MARKETING vs TRADITIONAL MARKETING
Digital Marketing as a term as gained a lot of popularity in last ten years. However, to understand Digital Marketing it is important to understand about traditional marketing too. There are numerous channels to market a product for example Television, radios and newspapers.
In India, around 197 million people have a Television. In comparison to Digital Marketing, the reach of Television, Newspaper and Radio is much more. So, for majority of products where the reach is generic the traditional mediums are better. However, in case of targeting affluent English-speaking population (around 100 million people) who have access to internet, Digital Marketing is a better option. Traditional marketing won’t be a good option in case you wish to do deep marketing or natural sales.
In terms of cost Digital Marketing is much cheaper than the traditional as it is mostly done through the medium of internet. Also Traditional Marketing involves one way communication. On the other hand Digital Marketing involves two way communication and the customer satisfaction levels are better.
CATT MARKETING FUNNEL
Engagement with the audience is one of the most important components of marketing. To measure or track it down we use CATT Marketing Funnel. The main component of the funnel is Niche and based on that you have CATT which means Content, Attention, Trust and Transaction. The wealth generation depends on all these factors.
Niche is searching for the right market and target audience and delivering a service based on your interest, experience or skills. Basically, it is important to have a balance of both the market and your interests. If there is no market in a product you wish to deliver then choosing that as a Niche won’t be a great idea. Similarly, if there is a market but you don’t have skills but you are interested to learn a particular skillset it might help you garner the confidence of the audience.
Without carefully curated content, you won’t be able to attract your target audience. So it becomes imperative to master content-writing and make relevant, appropriate material that works as a magnet to generate the leads.
Attention includes creating a buzz to divert the attention of your target audience towards your well curated content that can help them in some way. For this you can use social media SEOs, paid advertisements, referrals and so on.
Building trust is paramount and for that it is important to drive the audience strategically towards your content. You can build trust using various tools like retargeting, deep marketing, tripwires, marketing automation.
The best method in my opinion is Deep Marketing in which you send personalized communications to the audience to give a personal touch to the service you are providing and this in return builds trust.
Based on the trust and content, the leads get converted into your valuable customers and hence, this is the clear meaning of a transaction.
INTEGRATED DIGITAL MARKETING
Integrated Digital Marketing as the name suggests includes an amalgamation of multiple marketing strategies to create a comprehensive approach for your digital marketing business.
CATT funnel is linear and it is framework through which a user goes through different stages of Digital Marketing. However, Integrated Digital Market is the means or an engine through which you will execute your marketing plan. It includes following
- Search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM)
- Web Development and Design
- Email Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Paid advertising (or pay-per-click advertising) Campaigns
It is important to understand each of these in depth and apply a combination of all these approaches to be successful in garnering the support of your audiences. Understanding of each component will lead to a holistic plan that will help in better organization and structure of the marketing methodologies.
PERSONAL BRANDING: MassTrust Blueprint
Imagine a name of a company which is quite famous but you don’t know the person who owns it. However, if you know the person, it sort of builds a trust and then the brand is known by the person itself.
Personal Branding connotes creation of a persona that will reach the audience in a better way. Think of Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs or Marie Kondo, everyone knows about the products they created. So, marketing the ‘person’ you are is a better strategy rather than just focusing on marketing the product you created.
Through personal branding, you can show the elements of you that are unique and something that makes you different from others. It establishes a person on a higher pedestal and it also kinds of creates an enormous bonding amongst the audience the person is providing the service or product.
Evolution of a Personal Brand
STEP 1- LEARN, LEARN and LEARN: Learning the Skills
“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”Abigail Adams
Learning a new skill, concepts, procedures and facts is the first step to create a personal brand. Based on learning you remember the facts and do in depth practice of the procedures. There is not end to learning, it is step that keeps on coming back in each step of the brand evolution. One should not be afraid to learn, unlearn and re-learn new skills. This step needs diligence and loads of consistent efforts
STEP 2- IMPLEMENTATION: Creating the Content and application of the concepts
Based on the learnings, you need to implement them by creating a coherent content. In this step you apply your learnings to real world scenarios. You can also work for other companies or apply the procedures in your own freelance projects.
STEP 3- STARTING A BLOG: Attracting the Audience
To attract the audience and also for your own personal and intellectual growth, it is important to write your learnings and keep updating them from time to time. Writing helps to give you a clear picture of the mental maps running in your head. It helps people to understand your thought process and also how you can be of use to them.
STEP 4- CONSULTATION: Reaching the Audience
After you have your own personal brand through a blog and have experience in the field, you can start consulting other brands rather that working under them. It will help you to garner confidence of your clients and also build a rapport and a standing in the digital world.
STEP 5- MENTORING: Transforming the lives of people
In this step you mentor other people who want to be like you and understand the process of achieving what you have achieved. Mentoring other people will be a different kind of learning where you will scale your understanding to great heights.
Mentoring will also give you a chance to learn from others experiences and finding solution to the deadlocks or issues they are facing in their lives to achieve their dreams.
You can go for personal mentorship and also group mentorship based on your niche and requirements. You can do webinars, launch courses and short-term challenge to mentor the people.
STEP 6- CREATING YOUR STARTUP
Once you have gathered all the experience, you can start your own business startup and launch products or services under the brand name.
All steps will be dependent of each other and they will overlap at multiple occasions. Once you have created a startup you might need to go back and follow the circle again. In the process, you might learn, relearn and unlearn few things. You will be surprised to see that your own understandings of a particular concept will change multifold with time and experience and you will unlearn as many things as you will learn.
With this we come to an end of this article. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I loved creating it. Follow my blog for more such inquisitive articles. To read more about my journey- About me – Navneet Sawhney