Marketing Basics: An alien perspective to a new-found world.

This article is part of an assignment of Digital Deepak Internship Program. I have called this an alien perspective because before this class I had no idea about Marketing. In the article, I am going to share what I have learned about marketing basics as a new-comer in the field of marketing. I will also share my own perspective on Marketing.

The article is going to be useful to all those people who are a newcomer in the world of marketing and wanted to have a basic overview of the What-Why-When-How of marketing. The article will be helpful to kick-start your journey to Digital Marketing and marketing field as a whole.

The major concepts that I am going to share in the articles are-

So let’s start the journey….

1. The fundamentals of marketing.

The first question that comes to our mind is What is Marketing?

Before we understand the fundamentals of marketing let me ask you a question

Why we need to learn marketing?”

Marketing is the one field which is going to help you in every walk of life. It is like understanding human psychology and once you develop the skill to understand human psychology you will never be jobless. The whole economy is directly or indirectly dependent on the marketing people. 

Dictionary Definition of marketing is the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising is marketing. In 2017 The New York Times described it as “the art of telling stories so enthralling that people lose track of their wallets”.

Marketing can be broadly divided into two parts as per its target — 

B2B marketing: Marketing of the products directed towards businesses is B2B marketing. In this, business uses its product to cater to the need of business houses.

B2C marketing: Marketing of the products directly to consumers is B2C marketing. In this, business uses its products to fulfil the need of customers.

Most of the people have the misconception that marketing is something which starts after the product and end after the sales. But that is not true. Marketing starts much before the product launch. It is actually all about changing or playing with perceptions of the market where advertising, sales, etc. are its component.

To understand marketing, we will have to understand the principle of the marketing mix. The marketing mix is nothing but a set of tactics to play the game of marketing and promote your products. It is popularly called as 4Ps of marketing— Price, Product, Promotion and Place

4P's of Marketing Mix

Product: In any marketing strategy product is the real the king. If your product lacks in quality then all the marketing tactics are bound to fail in the long run. And most importantly if your product is of the high-quality the buyer becomes the brand ambassador of your product.

Price: Price is the most significant factor to decide the market positioning of a company’s product. It also defines which strata of society you want to target. An effective pricing strategy is based on sound market research and customer avatar. 

Promotion: Even if your product is of high-quality, you need a sound promotion strategy so that people remember the product. Unless people know about product sales are not going to happen. Advertising, commissions, incentives, Discounts, etc. are some the promotion strategy to make your product appear in the market.

Place: Selling your product at the right platform and ensuring the product is available at the right location is very important for the success of any business. Unless your products are available at the right place in front of the right people you cannot get the attention of your prospective buyer.

But in my view, one more P is required to complete the whole cycle of marketing which is Psychology so making this my own 5Ps of the marketing mix.

Psychology: Psychology is the most important factor in marketing. Once you understand the psychology of the market you can identify your potential customer and find your customer avatar. You can find this through various means of market research.

General Rules and Laws of Marketing

  • In marketing, It is not a challenge that you have a better product but the real challenge is to be known as first. It is always the leader in any game that people remember and the rest become history. It is called the law of leadership. It is universally applicable to all kind of products.
  • If you can’t be a leader in a particular category, create your own sub-category and become a leader in that sub-category. So basically you create a zone of no-competition. This is called the law of Category.
  • Marketing is not a battle of products but it is a battle of perceptions in the minds of customers. There are no best products in the market as best in itself is very subjective. Once you understand how to manipulate the perception of your customer, the battle becomes yours. This is called the law of perception.
  • The most effective law in marketing is owning a word in the minds of your customer. Like the word “Digital Deepak” is in the minds of all the students wanted to come in the field of Digital Marketing. This law is called the Law of Focus.
  • In the long run, every race becomes a two-horse race. Take an example of telecom sector in India. Initially, there were multiple players but now in 2020, there are only two major players i.e. Jio & Airtel. This is called the law of Duality.
  • A company which is a leader in a particular category or for a product after some time enters into many other categories with the intention to capture the same authority. But When you try to be good at all things you lose your expertise in even one thing in which you were a leader. And finally, you lose your market to a new entrant. That is called the law of Line extension.
  • Negative things attract more people. That is the law of nature. So the same thing applies to marketing. If you admit something negative then you don’t need to convince people, you automatically capture the attention of a prospective customer. Once you get the attention, divert the attention towards your product to make the negatives into positives. If used carefully it can become a very effective marketing strategy. This is called the Law of Candor.
  • Just one single punch can knock-down your competitor in the market ring. You just need to find that one move that can change the whole dynamics of marketing for your business. That is called the Law of Singularity.
  • You have to always be ready to accept and bend yourself according to the market dynamics to fight the unpredictability of the market. That is called the law of Unpredictability.
  • With great success, it is very common to become egoistic and arrogant. Which very bad for marketing and business. That is called the Law of Success.

So these are the most common laws of marketing which have evolved over time. 

To understand marketing we also need to have a good understanding of global economics. So next I am going to discuss Global Economics. 

2. What do you mean Global Economics?

Economics is one thing that has an impact over all the things and every business revolve around this. To achieve success in any business you need to understand the economics of the world. 

Global Economics

Economics is the social science that studies how people interact with things of value; in particular, the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.

Economics focuses on the behaviour and interactions of economic agents and how economies work. It can be broadly divided into two parts-Microeconomics & Macroeconomics. 

Microeconomics analyzes basic elements in the economy like the interaction between individual agents and markets and the outcomes of interactions. Individual agents may include-households, firms, buyers, sellers, etc. 

Macroeconomics analyzes the economy as a system where production, consumption, saving, and investment interact. We also study the factors affecting the interactions like-employment, labour, capital and land, currency, inflation, economic growth, and public policies.

The four major elements of economics are — Scarcity, Demand & Supply, Cost & benefits and incentives. Scarcity is one thing that the whole economy depends on this. Scarcity of a particular product for one set of people create a demand which gives an opportunity to another set of people. 

The demand & supply of a product decides the cost & benefit of a particular product. Then, the cost & benefit gives rise to the incentive in the forms of debts, loans, subsidies, etc. And it is the debt which creates the money. So in this way, the cycle of economics operates.

When we take account all these factors on a global level then it becomes global economics. It is like the interaction of products of different countries in a global market.

Why to study economics?

Just like One size doesn’t fit all, similarly, one product would not fit into every market. We need to target and customize our product as per the need of the target country or region.

For Example, In the Indian market, there are many sub-markets or sub-groups. If you go from one state to other, you will find different languages, cultures, income sources, demographics, etc. We have to decide which segment we want to target as per our product and to decide the market need, we need to study the economics of the country.

One such study conducted by Sajith Pai. He divided the Indian economy into three segments i.e. Inda1, India2 & India3. So, a marketer who understands the economy well can clearly define which segments he has to target, what will be pricing, ways of advertising campaigns and all.

Indian Economics
Source: Sajith Pai

Next, we are going to talk about the importance of communication skills in Marketing.

3. Importance of Communication Skills.

This is the skills which are most neglected by new entrants in the marketing. Marketing is all about understanding your customer’s Psychology and you understand a person better when you connect with a customer, join his the conversation and be able to transfer your idea.

This is possible only with good communicate Skill. A person with excellent communication skills is also an excellent negotiator. Whether it is written or spoken both kinds of communications skills are equally important to be a successful marketer.

Communication Skills

Most of the people, especially in India, have the misconception that communication skill is all about having command over the English language. But that is not true. Marketing is not all about language skills, this is just secondary. The primary goal of communication skill is to be able to transfer your thoughts effectively to your audience. 

So the English language is just a medium of conversation, not communication skills.

That is why the medium of marketing can be different for different market needs. You have to find what is the best medium to do the marketing of your product or service? Marketing medium can be broadly divided into two categories i.e Digital Marketing vs. Traditional marketing. 

4. Digital Marketing vs. Traditional marketing.

Digital Marketing (DM) is a kind of marketing which is done through digital platforms. Running Social media Ads, Search engines Ads, e-mail marketing, YouTube Ads, etc are a kind of digital marketing. With the rapid growth of the Internet in recent years, DM has become a very popular and effective way of marketing.

Traditional marketing (TM)is an old school marketing but most popular and effective for a particular category of the product. It is a kind of marketing which is done through traditional mediums like- TV Ads, Radio Ads, Newspaper Ads, Magazine Ads, etc. In this marketing, we don’t use digital platforms or online things. 

Traditional marketing and Digital marketing are not very different. All the marketing fundamentals and laws of marketing equally apply to both kinds of marketing. The only difference between both kinds of marketing is the platforms. Digital Marketing is done through the digital platform and Traditional marketing is done through traditional platforms.

Let us do a comparative analysis of Traditional marketing and Digital marketing.

  • TM is suitable for a product of mass interest. It is more effective for India-2 & India-3 people with no or very less interest in the internet and online things. DM is more suitable for the targeted audience and India-1 people. India-1 is the people with good earnings and have a good online presence.
  • In TM, there is very little or no direct interaction with the customers while in the DM we can have direct interaction with the customers which creates more trust towards the brand.
  • In DM, you get real-time results of your marketing strategy but in TM you can’t measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts on a real-time basis.
  • DM is more dependent on technology which changes very fast. So for digital marketers, it is very essential to updates himself about technological advancement. For example-One update in Facebook Ad policies and your whole marketing campaigns can go out of track.
  • DM is a good option for small businesses as TM can be comparatively expensive for them. Apart from that, it is very easy for small business to measure the effect of DM in real-time which is not possible in TM.
  • DM is a kind of Inbound Marketing where your customer comes to you in search of a product while TM is Out-bound marketing where business searches for a customer with a product. That is the reason Digital Marketing is more efficient than Traditional Marketing.

So Whether it is digital marketing or traditional marketing the idea is to create sales funnel to become profitable. You have to create your funnel in such a way that you can find a diamond from a coal mine. One such great funnel was shared by Digital Deepak in his class which I am going to discuss here.

5. CATT Marketing Funnel

Every marketer aspires to apply all kinds of marketing strategy whether through traditional marketing or digital marketing to achieve natural sales. Once natural sales start to follow business automatically breaks-even. For all this to happen you need your best marketing funnel. Once such funnel is CATT Marketing Funnel.

CATT Marketing Funnel

Where, Wealth =n^CATT

The basic step-by-step approach to implement the funnel is-

Step-1: Niche Selection: Selection of niche as per your passion, expertise & market requirement is very important. Niche selection is the foundation in the funnel as the whole building stands on the niche you choose. So Choose your niche very carefully.

Step-2: Content Creation: Content is the king. So, creating value for your customer through your content in the niche is of extreme importance. You have to justify your niche selection by producing valuable and unique content.

Step-3: Attention Driving: Just producing a valuation content is not enough. You also have to drive the attention of the prospective customer towards your content. Social media marketing, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, etc are some of the techniques that can be used to drive attention.

Step-4: Trust Building: As we know marketing is the game of perceptions. And to create a perception in the market you have to build trust. Once you succeed in building trust you become successful in creating a perception of your product in customers’ mind.

Step-5: Transactions: This is where the CATT marketing funnel starts producing results for your business. Hereby using the perceptions you have developed in the customers’ mind you have to convert your lead into your customer with natural sales method. So this is the ultimate goal of your funnel.

For a successful implementation of the funnel, you need a different approach to marketing. So in the next section, I am going to share a unique marketing strategy i.e. Integrated Digital Marketing through which you can multiply the results.

6. Integrated Digital Marketing

If you have selected your niche very carefully then with regular practice you can create valuable content in your niche. You can also hire content writers for this job. So content creation is not a big problem.

Integrated Digital Marketing

The real problem is driving traffic to your content by getting the attention of the market. Many techniques such as SEOs, SEM, Email marketing, etc are used to get the attention of the prospective customer. But after initial success, our progress tends to stagnate. The reason behind this is that most of the marketer do all these efforts in isolation. 

The solution is to integrate all the forms of marketing into one strategy and implement to multiply the outcome. This form of marketing is called Integrated Digital Marketing

In this strategy, we target each and every popular digital platform at the same time in an integrated manner with an automated system. As it is most likely that the same person using the multiple platforms and your products get required the attention. Automation is very essential to produce the desired result in the Integrated Digital Marketing.

So once you get the attention of the prospective customer you need to focus on building trust. In the next section, I am going to discuss one such strategy introduced by Digital Deepak i.e. MassTrust Blueprint for personal branding and building trust. 

7. Personal Branding: MassTrust Blueprint

Building a Brand of your company or business is the ultimate goal of any marketing strategy. Once you build a brand of your business you just need to maintain that and all the other things like sales, profits will automatically follow. 

MassTrust Blueprint

To build a brand, you choose a particular category or product and build your brand around it. Your whole branding campaign revolves around that particular niche or product. So when you want to enter in a new category you again have to do all the branding campaign for that specific product. 

But Personal Branding is the brand you once promote and reap the benefit for the rest of your life. With personal branding, you can give birth to many other brands as you become the brand ambassador of your product. Most importantly you become the gamer of perceptions.

But just like every brand has their evolution cycle. Personal Branding also has to go through an evolution cycle. The Digital Deepak call this cycle of evolution as MassTrust Blueprint

There are five stages of evolution of personal brand:

Personal Branding

Stage 1-Learn: This is the 1st stage of evolution. In this stage, we learn all the fundamentals, concepts, laws, rules, procedures of a new skill and practice it to get a good grip over the skills.

Stage 2- Work: After learning the skills, in this stage, we use all the knowledge we gained in the 1st stage in real-world to solve practical problems. We work in a pressure situation of producing results for our company or clients within a fixed time schedule.

Stage 3- Blog: With the knowledge & experience you gained in the real world, in the 3rd stage you start your journey of personal branding through your blog. You identify your customer avatar and create value for your audience. In this stage, you develop your own unique concepts and understanding of the market need.

Stage 4- Consult: Once you develop your own unique style and understanding of the market needs. In this stage, instead of working for a company or business, you start consulting the business in your area of expertise. People and industry recognise you for your expertise.

Stage 5-Mentor: Once businesses recognize you as an expert in a particular field. In this stage, People wanted to become like you. You become a role model for them. So finally you become a mentor for all those people.

This is where the cycle of Personal Branding completes and you become a Personal Brand. People recognize you as a brand. You became an influencer in your domain and with a single tweet or post, you can generate thousands of leads and convert them into your customer.

Final Stage- Start-Up: This is the stage where successful startups are built. You create your own product. You became ambassador of your own product. You don’t have to give a sales pitch for your product as this is already taken care of by Personal Branding. You just have to seal the deal.

Start-Up

This is the place where Digital Deepak are on today. The Digital Deepak has become a personal brand and evolved through all the above stages of evolution. This should be the target for all the Interns of DigitalDeepak.Com

So with this, I would like to sum up my article. I hope you get the basic idea of different aspects of Marketing.

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