If you’re a budding entrepreneur just wanting to disrupt the scene with your revolutionary product or idea, the chances are high that you would’ve often seen this term “marketing” being tossed around here and there on the internet or among your peers.
And to most people, the meaning of marketing is pretty simple, to sell.
But if we dig deep many questions may arise in one’s mind regarding “marketing”.
What does marketing mean?
Is it a viable career option?
How do I get into it?
How can it help me present my product or idea to a potential client?
Is it just limited to making cold calls or walking up to the front door of some stranger’s house with a pitch to deliver and a product to sell and getting rejected most of the time?
What are some tools that can help me upgrade my “marketing game”?
Well, if you ever had an “itch” regarding any of these questions, then the good news is that is blog post is just what you were looking for because this blog post covers it all for you.
But before I start, I would like to shed some light on this amazing mentorship/internship program by India’s top digital marketer, Deepak Kanakaraju profoundly known as Digital Deepak.
The Digital Deepak internship program covers pretty much everything from personality development to personal branding.
It is a properly planned, step by step journey that transforms you from a digital marketing beginner to a professional ready to take on the digital world.
Everything I am going to discuss in this blog post is a part of my ongoing internship and is taught by Deepak Kanakaraju himself.
So, if you are looking for a career in digital marketing and are serious but directionless about it sign up for this one of a kind program now!
You can enroll here: https://deepak.me/internapply
Coming back to the blog post, let’s dive into it!
What is marketing?
In technical terms, marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, and partners.
Or in simple words, it is the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.
Fundamentals of marketing
Marketing is less creative and more scientific
Contradictory to popular belief, marketing is a lot vast than just talking your clients into buying something they may or may not want or need, using creative tag lines and visuals.
Marketing can easily be defined as psychological warfare that you need to win against your prospect’s mind which is asking him questions like,
“Why am I even here listening to him talk about something I don’t care?”
“Do I even need what he’s selling?”
Which is why you need to understand what your client is thinking, so you can make out what are the points that can trigger him to “seal the deal”.
Most of the time, your client is a blank slate who has no intentions whatsoever to do business, and here the scientific or psychological side of marketing comes into play.
The only thing that separates a good marketer from a generic marketer is the knowledge and understanding of the right psychological triggers that can help persuade and further convert a prospect into a customer.
Marketing starts before the product is created
Most people feel marketing and advertising phases start once the production phase of a product is over which is not at all true.
Every time a company is in talks of announcing a new product or a new version to an existing product, they instruct their marketing team to reach out to the masses and get their word of mouth about what they are expecting from the product.
Surveys are conducted, the social media team is put to work and then, after the results are in a proper campaign is created around it.
So the manufacturing company has a clear picture of what the masses want and the people end up getting a product that fits.
For example, Apple announces its handsets and notebooks beforehand to create hype amongst the audience.
Because of which people start talking about the product before it has even reached the market. It gives apple a rough idea about the type of response their product is going to get and if any changes need to be made.
Building trust is very important
Money is not the only important thing you need to earn to succeed as a marketer.
There is something much more important than the money that you need to become a successful marketer, trust.
Marketing is not just about selling stuff to people. It is also about keeping in touch with them after the sale is done and providing them with top-notch customer support service.
Because no matter how good your product is, a customer can only remain your customer forever if you have good customer service.
Marketing can only work wonders if your product is worth buying
No matter how much you spending on marketing and advertising if whatever you’re selling is not up to customer’s expectations, it’s going to tank.
You need to focus on the quality of your product equally because good marketing but bad products can only buy you temporary customers moreover it can dent your reputation in the market.
On the other hand, if you have a good product to sell. Every customer of yours can become a brand ambassador praising your product in front of people for free.
Which will ultimately lead to more sales and more loyal customers.
Always remember: A great product and proper marketing not just help the product get discovered but also help to create a good image/perception about it.
Why learn marketing?
Marketing is much more than any professional skill being taught in expensive schools and universities.
It is a life skill which is guaranteed to come handy in all walks of life.
Marketing, with its awareness of masses and different persuasion techniques, is deep-rooted in human psychology. Which makes the skill of marketing important for both business and non-business professionals.
Marketing can be considered as the “MVP (most valuable player)” of a business, whether it is a startup with five coders and one marketing guy working in their boxers or a multinational organization with hundreds of employees.
Because marketing is the only investment that guarantees “direct return”.
“It’s much easier to double your business by doubling your conversion rate than doubling your traffic.”Bryan Eisneberg (Bestselling author and podcaster)
Proper marketing can help you double your conversion rate with the same amount of traffic but at the same time, a bad, ill-managed marketing strategy can backfire on the companies themselves.
According to a recent study, in 2019 large-cap companies like Snapchat and Burger King lost a lot of capital and credibility due to bad marketing.
While burger king lost a lot of customers and faced backlash due to its bad marketing, Snapchat had to suffer a loss of a whopping $800 million off its share price.
On the other hand, small to mid-cap SAAS companies such as Monday.com, Fullstory.com, Grammarly.com, and Kalviyo.com raised their organic traffic by 45%, 23%, 35%, and 79% respectively while raising a total investment capital of more than $650 millions all thanks to their effective marketing strategies.
Now let’s look at the question “Why learn marketing?” from the point of view of someone who is outside the business world.
Whether you are a marketer or not, the ability to sell is always going to help you excel in life.
Every time you go for a job interview or on a blind date, in one way or another you try to sell yourself to the person in front of you.
And you can only succeed if you are good at marketing and branding yourself in a way that makes you look like a “perfect fit” in the eyes of your prospect.
Important tools required to be a good marketer
Just like everything else, mastering marketing too requires a special skill set and loads of experience.
However, there are some “tools” in marketing and prerequisite knowledge of these tools can give any marketing beginner a head start over others.
These tools are:
1. Communication skills.
2. Knowledge and awareness about the economy.
3. Personal Branding.
The only way you can sell something to someone is when you establish a steady relationship with them.
Good communication is pretty much the foundation for that relationship.
Therefore, to be a good marketer/salesperson, you need to have great communication skills.
Good communication skills don’t necessarily mean having a command over a particular language. A person with good communication skills is someone who can easily put his thought process into the minds of his listeners.
“Even when you are marketing to your entire audience or customer base, you are still simply speaking to a single human at any given time.”Ann Handley (Speaker, author, and content marketing professor)
Basic idea is that no matter how large your audience base is, you still have to speak/ talk like you’re having a conversation with them one-on-one.
One thing you can do to enhance your communication skills is to read and write a lot, daily.
Basic knowledge of economics
As an entrepreneur/marketer you must have the basic knowledge of global and national economics, that’ll help you make profitable business decisions.
This can give you an idea about your net production cost, profits, and more.
Knowledge about the economic conditions of the nation and classes of prospects you want to target can give you a clearer view of how much your potential buyers can be willing to spend, which again gives you the choice of revising product prices or producing new products meeting the affordability and standards of your target audience.
For example: When the mobile industry giant like Apple looked and realized that Indian middle classes which make up 300–500 million of the total population were unable to afford their high-end devices.
And to compete with other giants targeting the middle-class population of India, like Samsung, BBC, Xiaomi etcetera
They launched the iPhone SE, the cheapest iPhone in the market today.
Power of personal branding
“Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room!”Jeff Bezos (Founder & CEO Amazon.com)
Up until now, you saw how important marketing can be for a company or a product.
But what if you become or at least are perceived as the best in your lane, would need to worry about marketing after that?
For instance let’s go back a little, to the time when we’re in schools.
You remember how some children needed no introduction because they just had a “thing” that differentiated them from the rest. Some were great painters, some played great football, some were super-intelligent, and whatnot.
Now imagine being that kid and your “thing” is the product or service you offer.
That would make you stand out from the rest in your niche right?
That is the power of branding.
But to achieve that status, you really need to prove yourself in the market.
This can only happen if you provide good products and even better customer service.
Because positive reviews from customers are the only thing that other customers look for while deciding whether or not to buy your product.
And when you transform yourself into a successful personal brand you can become an influencer to many new startups of yours. Because by then you would have become a name that the public already trusts.
The evolution of a personal brand
You just read how powerful and beneficial personal branding can be but how do you transform yourself into a brand?
What steps do you need to follow?
Well, worry not because just like everything else until now, I’ve got this covered too.
The evolution of branding is more of a never-ending circle than a bunch of steps, here it is:
Learn: First you need to learn a new skill or polish an existing skill through concepts, facts, procedures, and a lot of experimenting.
Work: Whatever you learn you to put it to work. While implementing your newly found skill, you get a clearer, better understanding of it.
Blog: Write about whatever you are learning and understanding throughout the process.
Writing it down will give you a deeper insight into everything.
Consult: Now that you have a name and a personal brand for yourself through the blog.
Put your acquired knowledge to work by consulting other brands instead of working for them.
Mentor: Mentor those who aspire to be like you.
Teaching has been proved to scale your understanding of a subject to a whole new level.
Startup: This is where you put your “personal brand” to use.
Become an influencer for your startup.
It can be anything from a product to a service.
Anything that you have acquired throughout the process of learning, understanding, implementing, consulting, and mentoring.
Throughout the process, people who do business with you, start trusting you and your services and end up referring you to other people who if like what they are getting from you, end up referring you further making it somewhat like the “domino effect”.
And that is why; it is called the MASS TRUST BLUEPRINT.
Money cap in marketing
Well, honestly, if you asked me, “How much money can I possibly make if I learned marketing?”
I would say, “If you do it right, you can earn whatever you want.”
I know this sounds a little stupid but just look at this plan below and think.
Is it impossible to earn big bucks doing marketing.
I know this seems like one of those “easier said than done” things!
But think about it, if you have the skill and if you have the right product for the right audience. What can stop you from making your first one crore?
If you implement all the steps of personal branding to perfection.
Then move on to this revenue plan, you’ll witness the magic happen.
Maybe not immediately but eventually!
Digital v/s Traditional Marketing
With the advancement of time and technology marketing and media channels have also increased in number and grown wider in coverage.
Marketing and advertisement are not just limited to awkward one-on-one cold calls, television commercials, and seminars anymore.
With us stepping into the “internet era” just like everything else.
Slowly marketing has also been digitized and has evolved into DIGITAL MARKETING.
Digital marketing means using the internet to push or promote your businesses, products, services etcetera.
While it is a widely used medium of advertising there are still some areas in which traditional marketing trumps digital marketing.
If a product is generic and is directed towards the older generation.
The television and radio ads can still be used to reach millions at a very low cost.
Newspapers and magazines still account for the reach of a whopping 465 million readers.
Which still makes them perfect for advertising, especially locally.
Digital marketing at the same time can be used to connect to the younger, English speaking, tech-friendly generation of people.
Let’s take a little deeper look into Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is the use of the Internet, mobile devices, social media, search engines, and other channels to reach consumers.
Digital marketing is an umbrella term for various concepts such as SEO, SMO, SMM, SEM, Blogging etcetera.
One such important component of digital marketing is Niche selection.
What is a niche?
Niche in marketing means to only target a particular audience that has some identical traits.
Niche is one such area of your expertise about which you can write.
And then target the audience relating to the topic of your choice.
How to choose your niche?
Below is a simple graphic that can help you easily identify your niche.
Now that you’ve selected your niche and are gathering information and writing about it.
You might want to think of a way to earn money from it (given that it is your ultimate goal!).
You can do that using the very simple and always working “n^CATT” framework, that is
Let me explain,
n: Your chances of success directly depend upon the niche you choose.
C: Create useful, attractive Content that drives people from your niche towards your blog.
A: Drive Attention (traffic) towards your content using different modes of digital marketing like SEO, SEM, and many more.
T: Build Trust with your audience by giving them freebies. Or you can use different Deep Marketing methods like sending emails and asking for responses.
T: Carry out the Transaction by converting readers into customers.
The Integrated Digital Marketing framework
Executing digital marketing operations after building expertise in all different modules of digital marketing can be a lot more troublesome and a lot less beneficial than executing it in an integrated manner.
Integrated digital marketing is a process in which several tools/modules of digital marketing are implemented in such a way that they complement each other’s performances and strengths.
Hence, effectively increasing the overall return rate.
According to the Integrated Digital Marketing framework
Content is the most important part of any digital marketing practice.
And sits in the middle of the framework.
Content is then boosted using all different types of channels such as paid advertising, Email marketing, SEO, and social media.
This process is called Content Marketing.
Read more about it here.
And then, once the content gains the attention of a significant number of readers.
It is then used to convert them into clients and buyers.
That is why it is advised to spend less on pushing the product and more on pushing the content related to the product.
Because it is the content that persuades people to buy the product or service you are looking to sell.
While it may seem that we covered pretty much everything from “What?” to “How?” of marketing. We’ve just scratched a surface and there is still a lot more to learn and explore.
In this post, I have given you an introduction about everything from the “Laws of Marketing” to the “Integrated Digital Marketing framework”.
I did my best to be as simple and precise as I could.
But if there are any questions please ask away in the comments below!