Decoding Marketing for Everyone

Introduction: Have you ever heard people saying “Today I went for marketing” when actually they went to market for buying goods? Or even you ever used same sentence to others? Many times, people connect the word marketing as going to market but actually it is not same. In this article, I am going to brief what exactly the term marketing means and fundamentals of the law of marketing. This article will be useful for all students, entrepreneurs, or anyone who would like to develop basic understanding about marketing.

If you will look around you then you will find that different category of people are facing different problems in their life at any given time. If you work on the problem statement and come up with a product/services to provide solution of the problem, reach that category of people through different platforms to inform about solution and finally convince them to avail your product/services profitably then this entire process is called marketing. In other words, marketing is about sending the right message to the right person, at the right time.

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It is based on science and not on creativity because marketing start before creating the product. At first attention is given to the problem statement and research is done whether any solution can be offered for that problem in terms of any product or services. If yes then the product/services are being developed and it is presented to the needy one. Marketing is not just about selling. It is also about keeping an existing customer happy by communicating with them so that they can remain a customer for life.

At any point of time, marketing should never be given more importance than the product because a good product sells itself. If the existing customer of the product is happy and satisfied then they will become brand ambassador for your product and word of mouth marketing is one of the best marketing channel. Similarly if more focus is given to the marketing than the quality of the product then even after having awareness about the product customer will not go for the purchase of product and all effort will go waste. In case of inferior quality of product, word of mouth works in negative direction as well. Because of better access to multiple communication platform like social media, online review portal etc an unhappy customer can reach to 10 other prospect customers and any single negative review will convert a hot lead also into no sales. Further advertising, copyrighting and sales are just component of marketing.

Based on human behavior, maximum of the time people remember only no 1 or max no 2 brand while making their purchase decision. So, it is very important to be no 1 brand in that category. If it is not possible to become no 1 in category then chose subcategory and become no 1 in that. Enter a competitive market but with an unique angle. Deciding where to compete is half of your success.

Finally, it is very important to know why you should invest time and energy in learning marketing. To start with, marketing has history of existence from the dawn of civilization, since the first market square appeared in the first village. Unlike any other skill, marketing skill will never get outdated in the market. If you know marketing and sales then you have a safe career. Further, marketing is most valuable investment in a business because it gives direct return. Everything else like Production, Manufacturing, HR, Accounting, Administration is an expense that does not given immediate ROI. Also, in most of the organization marketing cannot be outsourced completely to a marketing agency and it is better if the founder is a marketer.

Definition of marketing by different experts –

“Marketing is the social process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and value with others.” — Philip Kotler

“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.” — American Marketing Association

“Marketing is getting someone who has a need to know, like and trust you.” — Jon Jantsch

Marketing is “The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.” — The Chartered Institute of Marketing

“Marketing is the process of anticipating, managing, and satisfying the demand for products, services, and ideas.” — Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Digital marketing vs. Traditional marketing.

Before getting into Digital Marketing Vs Traditional Marketing, let’s understand both separately by below details –

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is any marketing a company conducts online, such as paid social media ads, email marketing, and PPC advertising. Digital marketing has become wildly popular due to the cultural, technological, and societal shifts around us. Promoted tweets, influencer trips are all examples of digital marketing and how expansive it’s become.

What is Traditional Marketing?

Traditional marketing refers to any type of marketing that isn’t online. This means print, broadcast, direct mail, phone, and outdoor advertising like billboards. From newspapers to radio, this method of marketing helps reach targeted audiences.

Now that we understand what these two forms of marketing are, let’s take a deeper dive into what makes them different, aside from the fact that one is digital and one is not.

The digital nature affects a whole lot more than where the brand message shows up.

  • Target audience — With traditional marketing, it’s fairly easy to reach people in certain locations and of certain demographics. However, digital marketing allows for global reach while also better narrowing the targeting towards interests and other specific attributes.
  • Audience engagement — With digital marketing, people can reply to and comment on many different types of digital media and campaigns. With traditional marketing, it is a one-sided conversation.
  • Cost efficiency — Traditional advertising tends to cost more and be harder to scale. The physical nature of the campaigns simply ads costs. Digital marketing provides a better range of options for affordability and resource requirements. (For example, organic content marketing has labor costs but not placement costs.)
  • Speed of results — With traditional marketing, it can take longer to know the efficiency of a campaign. A digital ad gives an immediate click-through rate, but with traditional marketing, you’re waiting for the phone to ring or someone to come into the shop.
  • Attribution and decision making — It can be much harder to attribute the success of new sales to a traditional campaign than to digital media. This is why traditional marketing is often used for brand building versus direct sales.
  • Audience feedback loop — With more of an open line of communication with digital marketing, it’s easier to know how customers are responding to a campaign. With traditional marketing, brand managers are often just waiting and hoping they don’t get negative feedback in the form of a tweet that goes viral.

CATT Marketing Funnel

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When you go through exact definition of the word funnel then you will find that “funnel is a tube or pipe that is wide at the top and narrow at the bottom, used for guiding liquid or powder into a small opening.” When we use word marketing funnel then it means the process of creating a large base of prospect customer leads, educating them frequently about own product and services and finally converting them to a paid customer. It’s a continuous process and larger the size of the funnel, chances of getting more customer will be higher. Let’s understand it in detail by below example –

Wealth = n ^ CATT

(n) Niche: A niche can be defined as your specific target market of potential customers (More details given in the Niche Selection topic). Here you identify problems of a particular group of people, understand it in detail and comes up with a product/services offering to resolve their problem.

For example, now a days due to lock down and work from home environment lots of people are going through mental stress, loss of productivity/concentration etc. Here a niche could be online yoga/meditation classes for people feeling stress due to work from home environment, techniques to concentrate better, improve productivity etc.

© Content: Many customers just hate to listen direct sales pitch and ignore the product even it is of very good quality. On the other hand, many customers do not exactly know that what problem they are facing and whether any solution for same is available or not. A free relevant content on same will help them to connect with their problem, know more about the reason behind their problem and find out what could be the possible solution for same. Remember here that nowhere money will be mentioned in the content so people will be attracted to get the free knowledge. This will certainly help them to get better clarity, confidence, conviction about the subject and it will help people to make their purchase decision faster unlike keep on postponing it for an uncertain period. You can use different platforms to create your content such as blog posts, videos, lead magnets, live webinars etc.

For example, in above scenario if your niche is online yoga/meditation classes for people feeling stress due to work from home environment then for content you can use blog posts, videos, lead magnets, live webinars etc and educate your target audience more about connection of yoga/meditation to the stress relief. Below are the topics which you can cover to give more clarity to your target audience –

1. How Yoga/meditation helps you to reduce your stress?

2. 5 easy steps to practice yoga/meditation at your home by your own.

3. 5 signs that you are going through mental stress and how you can get rid of same?

4. Live testimonials of recent yoga/meditation practitioner who reduced stress drastically in this lock down/work from home environment.

(A) Attention: Once you started creating quality and relevant content for your target audience, it is equally important to reach maximum of them and drive attention (traffic) to the same. It can be done using different digital marketing concepts like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing, paid advertisement campaigns, referrals etc. Many people already keep looking for this information and many would be interested to increase their knowledge, to get more clarity, confidence, conviction. You just need to get connected with them with right strategy.

In same example, find out relevant key words to your niche which is trending and use it for SEO, post a paid advertisement in an article which talks about current work from home scenario, put a social media campaign for your content based on demographic details for your target audience, create an YouTube advertisement, run an email marketing campaign, encourage people to share it in their network etc.

(T) Trust: Now once your target audience will start going through your free quality content, it will help them in many aspects and they will start creating positive image about you and your brand. Further, start building trust with them with trip wires, marketing automation and re targeting. Based on learning from the content and after getting benefited from it, they will start having trust on you.

For example, if a prospect customer follows “5 easy steps to practice yoga/meditation at your home by your own” article, practice it and gets even 1% improvement in his/her stress level then it will hit them to the core that these guys know something and I am in a better situation compared to yesterday. This will build trust among them to continue following your content and instructions for more and more benefit.

(T) Transaction: Here comes the final and most important step where based on trust you have created in past, you offer your structured and paid product/services to all prospect customers. You will ask, when you are offering content free then why someone will pay you and become your customer? Answer for this is to improve further. In free content only basics of concepts are being told. Once your prospect customer starts practicing basic concepts, they get more interest to deep dive and to get benefited more they comes up with new questions. To get answer of these questions, they need further guidance and through your paid program they will get this. Another reason to go for structured and paid program is discipline. Many people lack discipline in their life and feel it difficult to follow certain practice on daily basis to get benefited. Through paid and structured program they get connected with like minded people and get a network, inspiration, discipline to continue practice on a regular basis.

To close with the same example, through free content, attention and trust you create awareness about yoga/meditation for stress relief but those who got benefited from it and want to learn more need your further guidance. People who could not practice it due to lack of discipline also would like to get connected with you. They will enroll for your paid program if they feel the amount is worth of investment.

Here, you will have certain conversion percentage like 10%, 20%, 30% of the total audience opted for the paid program based on your overall performance but the key point is you have to keep on putting a continuous effort on this funnel. Those who still not opted for your paid program is still your prospect customer. Maybe they just need some more time or some other content to get convinced, maybe this time they are not available due to their hectic work schedule etc. A continuous effort on this funnel will keep adding new prospect customers for your product/services, will convert them from cold lead to warm and from warm to hot lead till the final conversion. Better the quality of the funnel, bigger will be the wealth creation.

Integrated Digital Marketing

We read above that what is CATT Marketing Funnel. Further, the way CATT Funnel is executed is called as integrated digital marketing. In other word Integrated digital marketing is a process where instead of using digital marketing components (like email marketing, SEO, Google ads, Facebook ads, social media campaign, content marketing) separately to get expected result, an integration of all these components is used. It is used in such a way that it becomes a machine then instead of using paid advertisement to try to sell and convert people directly paid advertisement is used for advertising content at different platforms like blogs, website, YouTube, social media.

At first free content is advertised, traffic comes to the content and after liking the content people subscribe newsletter. In this way email list of potential customer gets generated and whenever a new content is prepared it is mailed to entire list. Then again traffic comes to the content and after that content gets listed into search engine. After that people comes to site using search but at the same time content also sends signal to search engine that all these content are available here, come and read it. Due to this the content starts ranking in the search engine and in this way signal is sent to SEO and SEO starts sending back traffic. Further, content is also being published into social media from where new people start coming to content and if they like content then they start sharing it on social media. In this way, paid advertisement boost entire momentum of email marketing, SEO, Google ads, Facebook ads, social media campaign, content marketing. Now since entire momentum is boosted, people end up building trust so content remain at the Center, attention comes through paid advertisement, SEO, Social Media, trust is built using email marketing and then transaction happen which is sales and conversion.

CATT is a framework which shows how an individual user goes through different stages like Niche, Content, Attention, Trust and Transaction. Integrated Digital Marketing is how you execute it. You will have people at all stages all the time. This framework will work as engine which will drive the CATT Funnel.

Power/Importance of Personal Branding: Mass-trust Blueprint

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Along with marketing it is equally important to understand the power of personal branding. Whatever you are doing on someway ends up building your personal brand over a period of time. If you are good at something but the world does not know you then no one is going to hire you. People should know that you are good at something then only they will come to you. You should be visible in the market to get clients. Also, people want to hear from people, not from brands. Tell about you, your story so that people remember you. Downside of a personal brand is it can not be invested in and it can not be sold but the upside of the personal brand is it can give rise to many brands from his/her influence.

Whenever a startup model becomes successful and gives extraordinary performance, people start searching that who is founder of the company? To the next venture of that founder people trust more, buy their product or services with better confidence, employees agree to work for them easily, VC’s get convinced for the investment comparatively easily etc. That’s the power of personal branding. The founder do not need to start everything from scratch and that makes a huge difference in success of the new venture. A personal brand becomes an influencer and a brand ambassador for the companies that they run.

The Evolution of personal brand

It has six different stages i.e. learn, work, blog, consult, mentor, startup. To start with at fist you learn a new skill through concepts, facts, procedure. Then you put your new found skill to work in real world for better understanding. After that you write blog about what you have learned and experience through your work. Then you start consulting other businesses instead of working with them. After that you mentor others who want to become like you and finally you start your own product or service business with the understanding that you have developed about the market, the problem and your own skills.

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The importance of communication skills in marketing

One of most important factors of success in marketing is your communication skills. After all, good marketing is all about good communication. You maybe be very much knowledgeable in your selected niche but are you able to transfer same knowledge to your target audience through your communication? Are you able to convey messages clearly to your prospect customers the way you want to? If not then all your expertise and knowledge will not create much difference. A knowledgeable marketer not able to communicate to the prospect customer is equal to someone who is not having any knowledge.

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But, below are certain ways in which you can have command on your communicate skills, convey messages to your audience the way you want and become a successful marketer –

– Identify what is the main language of your prospect customers.

– Start thinking in that particular language to have a clear flow of thoughts. It will help while communicating with them.

– Start watching relevant videos (of different variety like news, movies, comedy program, TV shows etc) to get full command for framing each type of sentences clearly.

– Use simple words in your communication. Although it is easier now a days to refer online dictionary but still avoid it as much as possible. People lose interest in reading/listening if they come across words for which they don’t know the meaning. It will distract your target audience.

– Write a lot. Writing slows down your though process and gives you clarity. The more your practice writing, you will be able speak better and write quality content.

– Write your content the way you talk. Understand your target audience very well and join a conversation running in the mind of people.

Niche selection

Your success and wealth depends on the niche you chose. A perfect niche is the combination of three most important component which is market, talent and passion. Absence of any single component will result into failure or affect your wealth creation.

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For example, if you chose your niche as online yoga/meditation classes for people feeling stress due to work from home environment then a market should be there. There should be scenario when people are actually feeling stress due to lock down and work from home. It should not happen just opposite that due to lock down and work from home people are more relaxed due to less travel/expenses, freedom to work from anywhere, opportunity to spend quality time with family etc. After ensuring that yes people are facing mental stress, you should confirm that do you have talent or knowledge to teach your niche? It’s not mandatory to know everything. At first you can learn those techniques by your own, practice it and then teach it to others. Key is to teach someone who are less knowledgeable from you. If you know something 70% then teach it to someone who knows it 10% or 20%. And finally after ensuring market and talent you have to confirm whether you have passion for it? Even after having the market and talent will you really enjoy doing this? Will you put all your effort to teach this to others and take it to the next level by continuous effort and improvement? If you find all these three factors in any particular area, then you can select that as your niche.

Conclusion

After all the above details it is clear that what exactly marketing means and what are different aspects of a successful marketing. Most importantly going to market for buying goods is not at all marketing. So, whenever you come across this statement again, please share this article with the concerned person and get him/her educated about the law of marketing.

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