You might be a fresher. As a fresher, you might be struggling to get a project or may be in dilemma as what to do now even if you have a project in your hand. You might be in this field for quite some time and still be struggling because your campaigns are not working for your client. You have gone through your courses and knows all modules well and still, you have no idea why it is happening so or what is going wrong. One thing you might have overlooked, one thing that is heart and soul of digital marketing is ‘Marketing’. No matter what kind of tools we use for marketing, if we don’t get the basic marketing right, no tool can help. So it is important to get to know the basics of marketing. Today I would try and explain this part in very simple manners which I have gained through years of experience and not from books of marketing.
What is marketing? Marketing in simple word is to take the product or the service to people who would be interested to buy or in need of the said product or service. It is ok to advertise product or service in an attempt to make people aware of it and it is important. It is a small part of your marketing strategy. The focus should always be the conversion, the sale or let us say to achieve the objective. You will be marketing product or service in order to achieve your objective, right?
There are various ways you can market your products or services. It again depends on product to product or service to service. There is no single tool or formula to do that. Sometimes you just need your store on a busy street and that is always enough if there is quality. You may not need a marketing campaign to get new customers but you may need one to retain your existing customer. Sometimes it takes to cover the whole of the nation, for example, IPL which is organized by the BCCI. There are viewers or cricket fans all over India. So technically all these cricket fans are their ‘Target Market’ and in order to reach BCCI has to advertise this mega event all over India.
Objectives of Marketing
Selling products or letting know people about the services we provide is one of the objectives of marketing but that’s not all. Marketing is undertaken for various purposes. We call them objectives. If I am a politician, I am going to need a good marketing plan and I could use it for various purposes. The following could be some of the objectives.
- I need to put my work right in front of the people to let them know that I am working for them and by electing me they have done a good job. It is to let them know that their decision to elect me was right.
- I will be helping people to make up their mind to elect me in next election. By letting people know what I am doing, indirectly I am telling them that they should be voting me in next election. ‘Shining India’ by earlier BJP government is one of the examples undertaken by the government.
- In politics, there are always stories going round. I could use the marketing campaign to clear some of the rumors which could hamper my chances next term.
Let us analyze above objectives of a politician. The first objective is a direct one. I am showing people my work through the marketing campaign. The second objective of marketing is indirect. It is kind of mini election campaign for next term. What the third objective is trying to achieve here is managing and maintaining my position and the reputation. It is more like reputation management.
Same like the above example every business will have different objectives. New Company in the market will use marketing for brand awareness whereas old established player would use the marketing campaign to retain their customers. So while creating a marketing strategy it is important to know the exact objective. A business owner should have a clear objective in his or her head and should pass them over to marketing team or the agency. The marketing team should be able to get that exact objective in their mind when creating a strategy. If the objective of marketing is not clear at strategy creation stage, whole campaign, resources, money and time would definitely go for a toss.
When it comes to marketing, Marketing Strategy is as important as an objective of a marketing campaign. While creating a strategy following points you have to remember.
- Target Market
- Precision of targeting
- Cost of Marketing plan
Let us see what the above-mentioned points in brief.
Objective has been explained in above Para let us focus on other points mentioned above.
- Target Market: It is not the case that all the products are purchased by everyone. There is the section of people who need certain products. Identifying the market for your product is just not an art but whole lot of brain storming exercise. If you get the perfect score targeting your market, half the battle is won.
- The precision of Targeting: Once you identify the target market, it becomes even more important how accurately you reach your target market. You should try many options to reach the perfect strategy to reach your exact market in the best way possible. You have to understand that right way to approach right customer at the right time is not an option but the essence of your marketing plan.
- Cost of the Marketing plan: There are hundreds of marketing tools available today. Apart from traditional marketing tools like hoarding, Television, radio which are not affordable for every seller or service provider, there are opportunities on the web. That is digital marketing. Digital marketing compared to traditional marketing is much cheaper. It becomes even more important part of the strategy that you choose tools for marketing that are cheap & reliable. Cost of marketing drives your profit away. But you have to have a budget for marketing and you should utilize the same, effectively.
- Conversion: You know your objective. You have zeroed in on your target market, you reach them with your product. While doing so you chose the best and most affordable ways to do that. Now what? Now comes the achieving the objective for which you did all this. Now you have to analyze the campaign results. As I said you can’t always get it right the first time. You run a campaign for some time and you know whether it is working or not. If it is not living up to your expectations, you make changes to certain part of your campaign. It may be the target audience, may be the marketing tool or may be the timing of the campaign. You cannot let run a campaign which is not achieving your objectives. If the objective of your campaign is to sell products in order to make money you cannot stop or abandon the campaign. You can pause it, review it, make changes and run it again till you achieve your sale.
So far what we have discussed above is
- What is Marketing?
- Objectives of Marketing?
- Creating a Marketing strategy and different components of it.
One of the objectives of a marketing campaign is reputation management. Every brand has its unique personality, reputation. We have to keep certain things in mind when we run a campaign. There are things we do or avoid while running a campaign. During the campaign, we have to make sure that campaign doesn’t have any negative effect on the brand name or its image in the market. There is cut throat competition in the market. That might give birth to the negative campaign which could give a bad name to the brand. We have seen big brands like Pepsi and Coca-cola run campaigns in the past which became a laughing stock for masses. Copying campaign ideas are one of the things we should always avoid. Every campaign cannot be unique but it doesn’t have to be copied one. I h attended many sales speeches. It is always insisted upon creating a need for the product in the market. I would say it is ‘very unethical’. You create a product for the need of customers or you can run a campaign to show people how certain products of yours are required to be in their home. Your campaign should be able to tell the customer why they need the product. Never ever your campaign should indicate how bad is the product of your competitor is. Instead, the campaign should clearly send the message out how good your product is. You always say how good you are and not how bad your competitor is.
I hope this will help you understand that before we dig in deeper to learn more and more about digital marketing, basic marketing knowledge is important and on that your career as a digital marketer will depend…always!
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