The term "marketing" is often used cynically when a business or brand tries to push a product or service that we’re not interested in.
If we were to play a word association game, what words come to mind when I say “marketing”? Sadly for many Marketers the response you’d get if you interviewed people on a street would be: “annoying”, “photoshopped”, “insincere”. Unfortunately Marketing and the world of Advertising is normally tied to “someone trying to sell me something”, mostly unwanted.
Think of all the junk mail you’ve received in your life, not just in your physical mailbox but now also in the convenience of your digital mailbox. Newsletters and monthly or even weekly “hi - we wanted to tell you blah blah blah” some of which you actually signed-up for and consented to receive.
I know I’m making out marketing to sound like a horrible profession and a real drain on our psyche but there is a flip side that is "good" marketing. Now the cynics out there would say that good marketing is when you don’t even realise you’ve been marketed too, which I completely agree with. I would even go as far as to argue this is a good thing, assuming we are adults who take full accountability for the actions and decisions we make in life. So hear me out about this.
Enter the match-maker
I think of Marketing as a match-making service. When a brand says they need to find more customers for their products or services, my job as a good marketer is not just to make said product or service more attractive by applying lipstick and dressing it up in a fitted red dress. Actually, like match making my real job is to find the right customers for the right product. So here are the 3 steps every Good Marketer takes:
STEP 1: Understand your target customer and their needs
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but your product or service is not for everyone. There is no one size fits all. Remember wearing something that was a one-size-fits-all and how badly it fit? It’s the same principle in Marketing. Find the match between the problem your product solves and the people that have that problem. These are your people - your customers! If you define your target customers in detail your chances of a successful conversion or take-up is always going to be higher than just blasting everyone, which is not only annoying but lowers your brand value, making it appear desperate.
STEP 2: Plenty of fish in the sea, so which one to choose?
Your point of difference is the next step to finding the perfect customer match. There are competitors a-plenty in every industry and segment. The only way your customer is going to know you’re the solution for them is a clear understanding of how you are different to everyone else. In the same way that the male peacock displays its prized tail of feathers to attract its mate, you need to make bold your point of difference so that your target customers can say “You got me at hello”.
STEP 3: Telling the right story to the right customer
Bad marketing often starts at this step without doing the due diligence of the first two. Unless you’re a fan of blind-dates and have budget to burn there’s little point in getting dressed up for someone you’re hoping is marriage material who is really just looking for a fling. Doing the research of the previous 2 steps means you can optimise the creative of your campaigns for your target audience now that you know who they are. You should at this point be able to wear the outfit that your customer had in mind for their dream date, or their dream product/service. Thereby sealing the deal!
FINAL TIP: Let your date be the hero of your story
When you tell your product story, remember no one likes a date who only talks about themselves. The hero of your story should be your customer, not you. Frame anything about your product, business or service from your customer’s perspective, why is this going to make their life better.
In our next blog we look at the world of Digital Marketing and tactics to help you with the 3 steps to becoming a “good” marketer.