Many people think of Marketing as a ‘Cheap’ and ‘Dirty’ tool used by Business. That is absolutely correct given the experiences all of us have had unless what is ‘Marketed’ is something that people value.
The Purpose of Marketing is Educating the Customer about a Need.
First of all, Marketing != Sales. (Not Equal to)
Marketing is about letting people know that you exist. And there exists an offering to satisfy a common need.
Why is Marketing a Responsibility?
This was revealed to me by a participant during the upwithnlp training in a dramatic fashion.
Following is a short transcript of what happened. This conversation happened on the last day of the uPwithNLP training after all the fascinating experiences the participants went through:
Participant: I am angry (looking angry and serious).
Me: What specifically made you angry?
Participant: I was about to join another course for NLP and came to know about School of Excellence in the last moment.
Me: I am glad that you have found us just at the right time.
Participant: Yes, that is because I am lucky but only if you had let your connections know what you are doing, I would have not even looked outside?
Me: My Connections?
Participant: Yes, I take advice from Mr. X (CEO of a MNC), you do know him, don’t you?
Participant: I asked him first where to do NLP training and he didn’t even know that you provide NLP training and he recommend another place. When I learned about School of Excellence and told your name, he immediately said, “Go Ahead with Antano.”
Me: Wow, That is Nice.
Participant: When you are providing True Value, let people KNOW about it, Antano, at least your own connections first”
Something shifted inside me that day! I began to see Marketing in a new perspective. I decided that if we are doing good stuff then it is also our responsibility to let people know about what we do.
Marketing is not an option, it is a responsibility. And along the years I have learned a few interesting approaches to get better at this.
10 Ways to Improve The Art of Marketing
1. Marketing is a Creative Act – No matter how skilled your creative team is, you have to be creative yourself to get Creative Content. Invest in your creative processes. Go for a walk; enjoy a movie; play with your children. Yes, they help in creativity. I know excellent Marketers who when they are stuck, go and clean their rooms, and suddenly seemingly from nowhere an incredible idea pops up!
2. Remember ‘Truth Sells’ – We have always believed this. And this is true. After all, we all do know that the best Marketing Strategies are the ones that include Word of Mouth in it.
3. Test within Your Circle – If people who know you well don’t care enough about your service, then perhaps your service is not catering to a need or does not appear to cater to a need.
4. Measure, Correctly – Marketing also helps in building a Brand. So, the measurement is not always a direct ratio of investment to immediate returns.
5. Beware of Negative ROI – You heard it right. Not Zero ROI. Negative ROI. This fact got strengthened in my mind when I heard the HubSpot founder present the same concept in a conference. Cheap Imitation, Brainless Copying, Endless Pestering – they all lead to Brand Damage and result in Negative ROI.
6. Follow The Albert Einstein rule – “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” ― Albert Einstein. It is important that you know your product well enough to explain to a six-year-old. Children understand benefits and so do Buyers!
7. Marketing is for Human Beings – This is the single most rule most marketeers seem to forget. The ads, the stories, and the content are written for ‘Humans’, not machines.
8. Learn NLP, Properly – Yes, if the President uses it. And 4 out of the top 10 influential people in the World explicitly give it credit. What stops you from learning and using the tool of persuasion? Nandana Wickramage, who is a world renowned expert in Marketing, a person who has won various awards, speaks about NLP as a tool for him to teach his team members – the right from wrong in Marketing. You can listen to him here
9. Know Your Purpose – At the end of the day, it all boils down to this. The stronger your purpose, the more congruent your emotions and the inner passion, the easier it reflects on everything you do, including marketing.
10. Provide Value – I know this sounds obvious. But this is not necessarily implemented at all times by many marketeers. It is important that ALL Communication from you provide value to the end customer, not just the service or offering. It can be an advertisement or a brochure. Does that piece of content educate the customer in any way? Does it open doors of possibilities or does it answer their potential questions and so on?
How Creative Online Marketing with NLP Helped in Happier Marriages
One of our participant runs an online Marketing Firm. And one of his client is a Matrimony Service Provider. And the challenge this client had was that, registered women and men selected very few potential partners (about 1 or 2). And hence the probability of success was low. They wanted to somehow increase the number of potential partners selected. So the Marketing Expert used a tool from NLP called as ‘Metaphors’ to create a story that plants a suggestion, a suggestion that if you sow more seeds, you have more potential for success. The result of this was people started choosing 6 to 7 potential partners instead of 1 or 2. And that resulted in more than 200% increase in ‘Matches Made’ form the online matrimony service provider.
Somewhere, somehow in those Happy Marriages, this anonymous and yet very smart Marketeer played a very important role of educating the future bride and groom!
Educating your Customer is the Sole Purpose of Marketing. And that is what makes it an Art and a Responsibility
How did Google Market in the Earlier Days in India?
I still remember this. I was in Class X. And a friend of mine comes to school and tells me –
Friend: Have you heard of Google.
Me: No, what is it?
Friend: A Search Engine. It can get you whatever data you want.
Me: We hackers use astalavista for that!
Friend: No, this is better.
Me: How did you hear about this?
Friend: They Replaced all the Mouse Pads in the Browsing Center with a Google Mouse Pad.
I think that is Creative. It is Educative as well. They had one line that said ‘Google is a Search Engine’, to search for anything you want from the internet. And I am glad Google is good at marketing, because they are the best in Search as well. And it is good to be educated about good services because we enjoy using them :)
PS: Do you have stories of how honest and smart marketing has solved a need for you? Or do you have stories of doing the same for others? Please share them with me in the comments section, I am look forward to reading them.