The subtle art of Marketing(& it’s cooler than you think)
What I realized after blogging & marketing for 6 long years
Since the day people have understood the importance of marketing, there has been a tsunami of marketing campaigns since then. Back in the day, marketing campaigns used to resonate well due to two main reason
- There were fewer products &
- People used to do a rare thing called “thinking”
Sure, people do that even today, but the quality is a matter of concern.
Speaking of quality, I will share how to learn quality marketing and ‘actually market’.
The current trend of marketing
Digital marketing is on a whole new level. With internet cost lowering down each day passing, everyone can get into the wild ocean of digital marketing and ‘DIY’ something professionals pay a ton of money and spend months of time, learning.
That’s both, a problem and a solution too. With more and more people getting into marketing, the marketing market has started to get saturated. Early signs of this were seen when Google Adsense team decided to reject all the digital marketing applicants.
This tells a lot about how saturated the digital marketing industry is already. With the current pace, we’re sure to over-saturate the market. Once that happens, all the ‘quick-buck’, ‘quick-traffic’ & ‘rank-high-fast’ schemers will pass by just like a passing cloud.
Lately, real marketing consultants have started showing their authority by sharing more and more hardcore marketing content across various platforms. The wannabes are crawling, imitating the giants. Sure, beginners are a large part of these wannabes, and imitating the giants are the baby steps in this space.
I don’t say everyone’s fake, but there’s a lot of wrong going on in this space. I see people selling backlinks, spamming in the name of commenting, spamming inboxes, social media groups, and what not.
My point is, people in this space aren’t focusing on what’s important.
With that said, let me share what I feel is important nowadays and will be important in years to come.
What’s important for marketers to understand?
The core element of marketing is ‘problem-solving skill’. I remember my childhood when I used to hate marketing and marketing personnel. I never knew I’d land in here and rant about people who’re spoiling this space by black hat techniques.
Be it any product from any industry, if you, as a marketer cannot deliver it as a solution, you’re not going to excel in this space — that’s a power point, mark my word ;)
What I have understood over the years, and what I want the budding marketers is that you are a consultant and not a salesperson.
I’m a marketing consultant for Highlights, a highlighter extension available on Google Chrome. The core element of this product is that it saves your time that you’d spend in making notes manually. USP of this product is what made me fall in love with it. It syncs all your note across all your devices & browsers(I’m using the extension on two browsers right now). No other highlighter has this feature for free.
Now, here’s what’s important.
I know the product, in and out. I know its ups & downs. I know who’re the people this product will be a ‘solution’.
Attention to details helps a lot to market. And that’s exactly where the problem lies. Attention to detail is of utmost importance, if I hire a subordinate, this is the most important skill I’d test.
Consider a scenario.
You’ve hired a ‘marketing expert’ and he/she has little to no attention to details. Details, that actually yield long-lasting and recurring results. The only thing he/she is focused on is backlinks, likes, shares, comments, long-form content and what not.
I don’t mean to say, these aren’t important. Sure, they are very important. So much that all the social media platforms have shifted their focus from likes & shares to comments. Why? — It takes more effort to comment than to share or like(or react)
It’s important. But there’s no replacement for ‘problem-solving skill’, and in this case, the clients are the ones who have a problem and your creativity, observance, involvement, & presence of mind should kick in to solve their ‘marketing problem’.
Enough of problem talks. You know a lot about the problem. What’s the solution?
Well, here it is
7 elementary rules or commandments of marketing
A few weeks back, I published a post on digital marketing skills that are hot right now. Those were skills, these are some rules that I think every marketer should know.
If you’re here for a longer game, this is for you.
#1 Know your product
If you are marketing your product yourself or if you are the product, your skills are your product. Know them exactly. In and out, strengths and weakness.
This will help you coming up with ideas to market it. If you are the product, it will be tougher to know this. You’ll need a lot of self-introspection to understand who you truly are. But when you do it, you’ll be dynamite of ideas.
Also, if you are marketing a product, you should know what you are marketing. Since that will help you pitch your target audience appropriately
#2 Know your audience
Knowing your product begins with knowing your audience or vice versa. But mostly it the research that happens first before making a product. It ensures fewer revisions as you’ve done your homework on your target audience.
You can conduct on-field surveys or on your ‘coming soon’ website or inform your potential target audience about the arrival with brief features and seek feedback. If you have a product line ready, you can research based on that. If not, well and good. Do your homework on that.
#3 Know their problem
Your customers are your bread & better. They are your Jesus. Solving their problems will fetch you that market share you are eying on. Target audience won’t approach upfront and share problem. You’ll have to dig that out from various sources. Take surveys, dig forums like Quora and Reddit Google Forums, Facebook, Twitter or any such forums you are familiar of.
Or simply wolf around the market and catch signals your potential clients are signaling out.
Know their problems, create a solution if not already present, and pitch them with the solution. You have the problem, you have a solution, you have your pitch. What do you think can stop you from gaining a loyal customer?
#4 Get creative to link your product literally anywhere
The real test of marketers comes when they have to find the target audience and pitch the product to them. A marketer should be creative enough to link the product they either own or are marketing client’s product.
Sure, it takes a lot of practice to achieve this feat but it’s worth it. Take a look at this post from Netflix India
Everything about this post is perfect. It has a hidden call-to-action, excitement, and sense of humor. You just have to creative, human brain and emotions will do the rest.
#5 Introduce them to their problems
You know what happened with Apple in its initial days. They literally promoted themselves as a ‘better’ option over Microsoft. In spite of the fact that they were developing an end-to-end closed system, Steve Jobs had guts to tell people that they are using a product that can be better and showed them what he’s got.
Remember the launch event of the iPhone? I still get goosebumps watching it. He ripped everyone in the competition and created an entry barrier, which brands are finding difficult to break even today.
All this because Jobs introduced people to their problems.
#6 Start at the root
Again, Apple in the picture. Remember when Steve is planning the marketing the product. Steve decided to begin with students, in spite of being a super expensive product to own back then.
Turns out, he was right. He started at the roots and captured the market at a pace one can only dream of. Understand who’s the most significant unit of the target audience irrespective of their financial background.
Lamborghini cannot approach students to buy its cars.
#7 Be a consultant, not a salesperson
I’ve mentioned this above. Neither you have to approach everyone, nor you have to approach skip anyone.
Pinpoint to a specific group, pitch your solution and see the magic of words work. Create a “Sell me this moment” for your product and rule your space.
Did I tell you that you’ll never have to worry about your competitors? Because you have creative solutions, and there are no competitions for creativity.
So there were the marketing rules I think are important for a marketer to emerge in this era. If you are struggling with figure out principals to abide to, these are the ones that will help you out. At least, these have worked wonders for me.
I’m starting a series of Subtle art, that will cover various aspects for people from all walks of life. Make sure you keep in touch ;)