A Brief History
In the sixteenth century, the term “marketing” first appeared in dictionaries, where it referred to the process of buying and selling at a market. Today, whether you are starting new or want to expand, one thing you will have to do is market your services or products. In today’s world marketing takes even more center place because of the intense competition and new competitors entering the market every day. It sure seems like an easy task that it just takes financial inputs to create a successful marketing campaign. In fact, nothing can be farther from the truth than this statement. To create a successful marketing campaign it is essential that you understand your customers well. You must be able to anticipate their behavior as a group and test their likings and dislikings. Even after that, all is not done. You are forgetting the most important requirement. That is being true to yourself and your brand.
It is essential that you shed all misconceptions in respect of your brand identity and reach. It is not our intention to state that you should accept the status quo as it is, but only after you accept reality than only you can know how to proceed further, which brings us to a few questions that you should consider before planning your campaign.
- Status of your brand – as stated earlier you must have no misconception about your brand reputation in the market and the influence it can make on itself without any marketing. Sometimes the answer to this question may not be simple for you to answer. In that case, you must utilize all types of tools to access your present position. A good starting point is to take stock of your sales, and how do your sales chart look after launching a new service or product. The sales numbers are not the only factor deciding for your brand worth. A specific product may over or underperform due to a lot of reasons. Here the point is to decide what kind of reputation does your brand enjoys. Once you figured out the answer to this question you have done almost half the job. This knowledge also bestows the knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses.
- Do you know your audience – Your customers are your actual brand. They make and break your brand; however, maintaining a loyal audience is not a random process that you just need to hope for. A good customer reputation is curated by a good company day by day and step by step. The first thing to figure out in this process is to understand who your potential customers are. The approach is actually two-pronged. One, maintain the existing customers and second is drawing new customers by either influencing people or expanding your service range. Once you know the data about your customers like their age group, their taste, and their general behavior and spending capabilities you have all the raw material ready for a successful product.
- Be authentic – Perhaps you want to use all charming things to present your product to the customers. You want to make it look like just the perfect and flawless, right. Wrong! The customer does not want perfect, he is intelligent enough to understand what is achievable and what is not. Always be real. Be real with your presentation and be real with your expectations. When you present yourself exactly what you are, maybe even filled with a few flaws, you show your human side to your customers. They know that you are actually real and are not making this up. If you go out marketing just the perfect you will not be able to achieve your desired goal as your customers are expecting a lot more from you than you can actually deliver. Instead, when you market what you really are you are likely to come across as a promise keeper and you can even try to exceed their expectations.
- Understand your resources – Have you ever come across in your home when you find ways to get something done tirelessly and fail only to find out later that you had just the right tool lying somewhere in your home that you did not know about. This happens with a company also. If you do not know what you have in your stock you will fail to utilize that at the right moment. This becomes even more important when designing a marketing campaign. A marketing campaign is not a unilateral process. It requires all kinds of resources and efforts and knowing what you have might help you in designing just the right kind of campaign that utilizes most of your resources while costing you the minimum. You can also achieve a higher impact on the same marketing campaign with this information.
- Utilize everything – Usually, you will be hiring a professional service to sort out your marketing needs. But you must also understand that marketing is a costly process and you should be willing to utilize all kinds of tools that may be available for you. A few examples of this are online services that are available for free and you can utilize to augment your campaign and even to cut cost. Example of such services includes a slideshow maker and a logo maker service. You can use these online services for multiple reasons that include to save time and to get various drafts of the desired work in minimum time. It is also a good practice to keep yourself involved with the project. This habit helps you to steer the project as per your needs, makes the staff stick to the timeline and sometimes even saves money for you.
Once you have honestly accessed your position with respect to the issues discussed above, you start understanding your exact marketing requirements. You know what kind of push your product and services need and when, which is important information and worth paying for in itself.
After this, you are ready to start your marketing campaign. At this point to create a base of what you want you can use tools like an intro maker to pinpoint your exact needs.
Question for students (and subscribers): Do you have any experience with marketing? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Halligan, Brian and David Meerman Scott. Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead: What Every Business Can Learn from the Most Iconic Band in History. Wiley, 2010.