In this article, I will talk about what marketing as a concept is, broad classification of marketing – traditional and digital marketing, few marketing frameworks – CATT marketing funnel and integrated digital marketing and why building personal brand is important not only for company but also for entrepreneurs, freelancers and employees. So, let dive into demystifying MARKETING.
Marketing is a series of strategies used to make the customers aware about certain product or service being offered, motivate them for purchase and derive profit from those customers. According to American Marketing Association – “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.”
Marketing is not just about educating about the product and ending with the purchase. But marketing has a very vast role throughout the product lifecycle. Products are like human beings. They are born, they grow, they reach maturity and then decline. Below shows the graphical representation of product lifecycle.
Marketing starts with the idea generation of the product and ends with regular communication until the product is no longer suitable for the market and customer. Here is the basic flowchart of the stages involved in marketing:
The marketing starts with idea generation mostly through brainstorming with the team. Not all ideas come to mind would be good and unique. So, the most efficient way would be understanding your capabilities and map them with the probable ideas. After shortlisting some ideas, market research is done to see if this idea is viable. This is essential to understand the need-gap in the market which the product would cater to so that the product survives in the market. If the answer to whether the product would cater to the needs of the audience and the audience is ready to accept the product is YES, then the product is given green signal to go ahead and launch in the market.
Parallelly, the marketers get down to work on the ways and means to tell people about the product. They start by researching in-depth about the audience being targeted and make strategies on how to position the product and craft messages for promotion. A lot of hard work goes behind this as it is a very complex task. It begins with figuring out the way to reach the correct audience and what type of message would suit them so that they give positive response to the communication. All the tactics are mapped out and the results for each marketing activity is measured to see how customer is responding to the product and what changes can be made to get more outreach and conversion.
The bottom line is that marketing strategy would be a success you are targeting the right customer, right time, right place with right message and right product.
This process goes on till the product is present in the market. Later on, when there is change in consumption or purchase habit, the product might get outdated or in terms of product lifecycle, we would say lost its value, marketing may no longer be advisable option.
In order to make loyal customers for your product, always ensure that the products you offer are of great quality and matches with the expectations of the customer. This would help the company in long run and generate brand re-call in the customer’s mind. Suppose, you had launched a product in the market and was loved by the customers, this would make them loyal to your brand. So, the next time when you launch another product, you need not have to spend lot on marketing because the customers would know that this brand sells great products.
Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing
Running a successful business is not only about catering to right audience or having good product, but it is also about using right communication techniques to engage the audience and converting them into customers.
The basic difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing is the medium through which it interacts. Traditional marketing uses those channels which didn’t exist until digital channels came to existence. Traditional marketing can be categorized into two methods –
- ATL – Above The Line means reaching to a wider audience via higher reach channels like TV, billboards, radio.
- BTL – Below The Line means reaching out to fewer audience within the target group through direct mails/referral campaigns, sponsorships, guerrilla campaigns.
The digital marketing uses online platforms and electronic devices to promote business. The businesses reach out to their prospects through online channels. Everything from organic social, paid social, blogging, paid SEM, podcasts, webinars come under digital marketing. Since now almost everything is going digital, we share most of our life happenings on internet. Based on this information, the search engine creates user portfolio and presents targeted ads to the user as opposed to generic ads in traditional marketing. Therefore, traditional marketing is called outbound marketing and digital marketing is called inbound marketing.
It has been along time debate as to which form of marketing is better. But truly being said, it all depends on your business requirement and the budget you can spend on advertising. You can also use both types of marketing for advertisement because they can complement each other if used strategically. All being said, let us look at some of pros and cons for both types of marketing.
Pros of Traditional Marketing
- Impactful, entertaining and easy to understand
- Printed materials are more permanent and can be collected
- Displays brand authority and awareness
- More memorable and real-life feel
Cons of Traditional Marketing
- Difficult to measure results
- More expensive
- No interaction with customers
Pros of Digital Marketing
- Provides various channels of engagement
- Results are easily measurable
- Ads are highly targeted to right audience
- Highly cost efficient
- Easy to incorporate changes in ads
Cons of Digital Marketing
- Too many impressions can lead to annoyance
- Have less permanent impact on brain
- Since technology constantly evolves, regular changes have to be done
CATT Marketing Funnel
A marketing funnel describes the customer journey with respect to your product. These different stages to see where the customer lies and implement corresponding marketing strategy to convert them and generate sales.
Here we look into the CATT marketing funnel. The ultimate motive of marketing is to make sale and generate money. This would be easily possible if you have found a niche and have excelled so much in your field that the customers are very well aware about you and your product. Your niche would be right amalgamation of your talent, your passion and the market need. Building a niche requires in-depth knowledge about the market and probable customers. You have to be well aware about the behaviour and perception of customers. Now if we apply our niche segment to CATT strategy, this will lead to wealth generation.
CATT stands for Content, Attention, Trust and Transaction.
In order to create Content, first you need to know what is the product, who would need them, what problem is it going to solve and how much would the customer be willing to pay for it. Based on this knowledge, you can make blogs, video content, webinars as per your audience requirement.
Once your content is ready, you have to build awareness about your product. This could be through paid ads, SEO, etc. Trust goes a long way for building relationship with your customers. Building trust shows your credibility in the market. It can be built by interacting regularly with your customers, hooking them by making users subscribe to emails, blogs and other channels. When all this is done, it is time to persuade the customers to purchase your product. Even with all trust building exercise, sometimes the customers might not be interested in your product. So, you have to persuade them through other channels and convert leads to customers to make transaction.
When all these falls in the right place, you will start getting customers and generating wealth.
Integrated Digital Marketing
According to The Data & Marketing Association – “Integrated marketing is a method of engaging consumers with your company or brand that combines all parts of marketing communications to work together and assist the customer along their journey of awareness to loyalty and advocacy.”
With the ever-growing competition and new strategies to have online presence coming up, it is better to have multiple marketing techniques and channels on running. It helps to increase customer reach thus increase awareness and get more customer preference understanding.
Integration digital marketing is integration of various types of digital marketing techniques. This is done because individual marketing techniques might not have such a large impact. The fragmentation of channels would not help in generating big sales. It is only when we use multiple techniques where each complements the other, it has huge impact and produce desired results.
This framework can be implemented with CATT framework where first the content is created and then to get attention of the customers paid advertising is done. When customers are aware about the product or service, trust is built through having online presence and doing SEO and Social Media ads, thereby doing transaction and converting the leads. By intelligently using all the digital marketing channels, we can exploit the resources at hand to better market the products and service.
Earlier people used to name businesses after themselves. They focussed on producing high quality products and providing customer satisfaction. But then as many competitors entered the market, they started copying the market leaders. There was change in the customer attitude and perception. The names of the owners were diluted and businesses became mere entity. So, these businesses started hiring brand ambassadors to bring a face to the product. Celebrities were hired to endorse the products.
But then again, there was a shift in the customer perception. As the customer got more educated about the products, they realised that these brand ambassadors just portray the brand for money. They don’t always represent the good quality. Again, these businesses started portraying themselves for quality they were once known for. Thus, instead of focussing on the entire market, they started serving selected loyal customers. Businesses have started focussing on their product and its sustainability rather than spending on huge marketing campaigns.
Personal branding is about what is important to you, what are your values and what kind of work you want to do, in addition to promoting yourself and making it easy for right kind of audience to find you for the work you do. It helps you to differentiate yourself from the crowd.
Everyone has some talent. But to let the world know about your talent and qualities is all the more important. Otherwise, no one would come to you for that work. Building a personal brand is an ongoing process. You need to learn a skill first and master it through continuously working on it. This could be by doing projects related to your work which would give a real-life understanding. Next you have to let the world know that you are an expert in something. You can write blogs, create videos and portfolio about your work and publish them. Once people start noticing, you can start consulting and mentoring them to get more experience. Using this experience, you can open your own start-up. Once this stage is reached doesn’t mean that there is nothing new to learn. The technology and product always change and you have to be updated and keep on learning to stay ahead in the market.