Marketing is all around us. Every choice we make is influenced by what we see in the world around us, by what marketers have put before our eyes. We are so used to a certain type of marketing that we take it for granted, without realizing the potential it offers us to change things for the better, to do something good.
Most people seem interested only in business figures: turnover, market share, social media interactions, etc. But in reality no successful business can exist without having a solid foundation.
In this article, we explore what it means to have deep roots, which allow us to grow, and offer people something that makes the difference for them.
Difference between marketing and advertising
Most companies still try to be more visible than the competition, to have a bigger voice, to make more noise.
We are still tied to outdated mechanisms where consumer habits were influenced by prime time commercials, or by record charts. We try to exploit the same mechanisms of the past, but now they no longer work.
The Internet is the first mass media not to have been explicitly invented for advertising. TV and radio were born to broadcast advertising messages en masse, and for years they have influenced our choices as consumers.
But the panorama we find online is different: anyone has access to the network, and can make their voices heard. So what we find is a jumble of millions of different voices, a saturation of messages in which it is difficult to really make yourself heard. In this case, raising your voice cannot work.
In today’s landscape, the difference between advertising and marketing becomes clear.
Advertising is simply a technique with which you present your product, in order to put it in front of the eyes of as many people as possible. Marketing, on the other hand, is the process of finding your own market, the people for whom our products can do something great.
We think of the countless advertising campaigns that we can buy on the internet – from Facebook to Adwords, or the countless SEO techniques that are offered by consultancy agencies.
They all have the same goal: to be seen as much as possible. Identify a target of “typical” customers and subjugate them with our presence. What few realize is that “spreading the word” has only marginally to do with real marketing, and that it must be the last step, not the first.
Marketing is divided into 5 phases:
1. To invent something worth creating, with a story worth telling, and a contribution worth talking about. Decide what change we want to make.
2. Design and design this product in such a way that a small group of people can benefit from it and become attached to it. Do not seek mass immediately, but focus on those people who really care about us.
3. Tell a story that marries the dreams and stories of the people in this group. Create a bond that is much more than just the utility of the product.
4. The most exciting phase: to talk about the product. Here we can take advantage of advertising, try to expand. Those who are already fond of will contribute a lot to make us known.
5. Make yourself heard, always. This step is often overlooked, but it is essential if we want to create something lasting, capable of bringing about the change we have in mind. Maintaining contact with our market helps to consolidate the relationship we have built.
Marketing to speak to the public
We often think that it is the characteristics of a product, the design, the functionality, which lead it to be a success or a failure. But that’s not quite the case. What makes a product a success are the stories that consumers tell themselves.
Those who do marketing must not use the consumer to sell their company’s products, but must use marketing to solve people’s problems. Our culture is based on status, or our perception of what our role is in the world around us, and where we want to go.
We recognize ourselves in a culture, and the thought that guides a group of people with the same culture is “people like us do things like this”, and those who do marketing must understand what the people they are addressing want to, they must create a culture, to connect people.
The consumer does not want a product to appear, he wants what the product can do for him. As Theodore Levitt, a marketing professor at Harvard, said, “People don’t want the drill bit, they want the hole in the wall.” The product is not useful in itself, but its usefulness lies in what it can do for us.
If we want to continue the analogy, the consumer does not even want the hole in the wall. He wants a chance to attach a shelf. He wants the feeling of well-being that he will experience in having an orderly home, or perhaps the admiration of his partner.
Each of us looks for something different, but the emotions behind our choices are always the same: a sense of belonging, of connection, of realization.
Each of us has our own world view. Our way of perceiving what happens and those around us varies from individual to individual, we have prejudices and preconceptions that shape our reality. Even the image we have of ourselves, and what we would like to be, makes us different from each other.
This is why we all have different tastes, desires and needs. But one thing that unites us all is the fact that we are looking for people with a vision similar to ours, that shares our values and feelings. Even when we choose to go against the current, we are still looking for our “niche”.
Real goals and focus on “who our product is for”
The question all marketers should start with is “what change do I want to make?” It may seem trivial, but it is the first step towards an active approach to marketing.
He immediately puts us in the role of someone who is actively trying to offer people something that changes their life for the better, and makes us focus immediately on the goal. One of the biggest obstacles that marketers face is that of setting unreal goals.