Getting Started With Marketing
4 min read
May 11, 2023
Getting Started With Marketing
Marketing! For some of us it is an activity and for others, it makes up an entire department. Whatever the case, we bet you've heard a person or two in the company saying "we need to step up marketing" and hence, we will assume that you do not need to be hit with the text book definition of marketing.
Instead, we will focus this article more on what we think makes up for a great marketing exercise!
How often is it that under the name of marketing, you find campaigns being run, advertisements being launched, website changes being made? While these make up for actionable milestones, the elephant in the room really is a good strategy.
Yes, we know! The word "strategy" has been so used, overused, and then some more that it sort of rings bells of agony for a considerable section of people- mostly those that believe strategy to be all-talk-no-work.
Instead, we say that a strategy is a good plan that also worked! More on that later.
Getting into the headspace
One mistake a lot of people make without knowing is moving in circles. This happens because of lack of direction (quite literally). While a marketer appears busy the entire day, you ask them what they are up to and you are often met with "writing a copy", "setting up a campaign", "planning an advertisement" etc. Again, these are actions done towards an objective. Not defining said objective is what results in the circles we mentioned above.
Therefore, before we muster all the energy and launch our marketing activities, we need to know what is it that we want to achieve.
Here are a few questions that'll help-
-What story are we selling, and how much of this is going to change in the next couple of years?
-Who are we going after? Who specifically?
-How much effort will a competitor need to put in to do what we’re doing, and do it better?
-What’s potentially going to wipe our product/ business out in the next three years?
-Does our company have the digital mindset? Or are we just following a template?
These questions offer value among all industries, company sizes, and industrial eras and hence, they must be asked and answered every now and then. Which brings us to
The fruits of consistency
Remember when we said that a strategy is a good plan that also worked? What we essentially mean is that it is about time we walk the talk.
We answered some basic questions, defined an objective, and made a damn good plan to achieve these objectives. It is time to act upon the plan.
At this point, get consistent!
Instant gratification (or lack thereof) is the bane of consistency. But we need to realize that all things take time.
Take a sapling for instance. We cannot hurry its growth no matter what resources we pool into it. A plant grows at its own sweet pace. In fact, if we were to go a few stages backward; you wouldn't notice a sapling for a few weeks after a seed has been planted. That does not mean the seed isn't transforming. A marketing exercise is exactly the same. It is important that we do not kill a process before it has the chance to grow.
It is also equally important that we stay consistent in watering and nurturing the process with actions.
But only if consistency was such an easy habit to form!
Amid abandoned plans, half-done campaigns, and forgotten mailing lists, the biggest challenge a lot of us face is making time to put in conscious efforts towards an objective.
Here is our step-by-step process for building this habit-
- Start small. Most companies do not need to be on all platforms and do everything at the same time. Doing really well on one is often enough.
- Plan ahead. Now not everything can be planned upfront, but knowing where you’re going is often a good place to start.
- Tweak habits. For example, 20 mins a day on a platform of your choice. You don’t have to post/ comment on anything for a month, just observe and learn.
- Remove the reward system (cue- instant gratification). Please remember that the most meaningful conversations happen with people who’ve quietly been hearing you all along.
Getting started with your brand
Now that we have all the prerequisites in place, let us hit that market (see what we did there?)
There are a lot of products and services out there, many of which run very closely with yours. What, then, is it that differentiates you from the rest? Your brand!
Beyond the logos, the colors, and the story is the unique experience a brand offers its customers that keeps them coming back.
Think about these-
- Difference: AKA what makes you you, and not the 'next Tesla, Amazon, Uber, etc.' Because the next somebody is always going up against the well-established and often deep-pocketed competition. Some wisdom from Positioning by Ries and Trout- How do you become the next IBM? By not trying to be the next IBM.
- Relevance: This is who you are, but who cares? Somebody does, that much is true. Our job now is to find them and relentlessly test the messaging and the product/ service. Talk to people, ask them what's not working. If one campaign fails, run three more and tweak them all. Basically the scientist's mindset.
- Sustainability: We're different and people love it. But can this be copy-pasted by a competitor in two days flat? We don't want a difference that is easy to replicate. Plus, someone with deeper pockets will likely do it better, and faster.
We agree! It sounds like a tedious task and believe us, it is. But having your story nailed is going to save you a lot of time in the long run and maybe even help you rekindle your purpose.
We will come back with more on all things marketing.
Meanwhile, here's a quirky take on what goes on in our Founder's mind on a certain Monday morning! :P