Well, duh! Sales is an integral part of Marketing and the end-objective that implements all the plans taken by the Strategy and Marketing departments. However, Marketing as such is much more than that and has many facets that are as important as Sales. To name a few: Category Management, Branding Insights, Consumer Research, and Product Management.
Imagine you’re planning on buying a pen. Marketing can be thought off as the planning you do before the actual process of buying. This includes deciding the time you’ll visit the shop, determining which brand and build would be better based on your experience, and utilising the given budget as efficiently as possible because you might need an eraser the next day. In this example then, Sales would be the actual act of buying the pen. In management terms, ‘Sales’ is when you make sale to the customer or end consumer (yes there’s a difference between the two), while ‘Marketing’ is everything that goes behind making that sale possible.
5. Marginalising Your Customers
Never, and I mean never, disrespect your customers thinking it’ll make you seem cool and the brand attractive. It may work for the playground bully but it will not for you. Acting like a condescending teacher to today’s teenagers and 40-year-olds suffering intermittent middle life-crises can be more detrimental than beneficial. The concept is simple: when you approach a wolf, you don’t attack him head-on but divert his attention and then subdue him. In the same way, to capture that bull of revenues, you need to entice your audience with something that makes them walk towards you. There’s no point in calling someone’s long-held belief false and telling them to adopt yours. Instead, use their belief as an offset for your brand personage and mould it to suit your needs.
4. Banking on Bad Content
In this era where every self-respecting brand has a social media platform, it’s essential to have an active web presence to cater to your customer’s problems. However, having an active web or even offline presence does nothing, if you don’t have good content to share. In a global market which is full of brands, products, and services vying for the customer’s attention, an effective content strategy is a must. It is essential to make the content as relevant to your audience and as catchy as possible.
But that doesn’t mean you start telling the customers about the diameter of your toothpaste’s cap. They don’t wanna know that. With their minds filled up to the brim with the worries of their daily life, people want to know how your product can make their problems disappear. If you’re playing on easing their life through a cutting-edge innovation play on that angle, and if you’re trying to target their hopes, dreams, and the unique experience your products provide, then focus on that. Whatever you do, don’t expect lousy content to get you to the top because it won’t.
3. Namecalling Your Opponent
It might sound cool to degrade your opponent’s brand through your marketing campaign but this strategy might end up doing more damage than good. As any 3rd-grade student will tell you, name-calling doesn’t get you anywhere. It might generate some controversy and publicity in the short term. However, in the long-term, your customers will see right through your charades.
Indulging in such market behaviour has manifold effects. First of all, it presents you in a bad light -resembling a bully- in your audience’s mind. Second of all, it gives free publicity to your opponent. So if he was not popular before, you made him so now. You created a virtual rivalry which will continuously hinder any opponent brand’s customers to use your products and vice versa.
Finally, the whole process of abusing your competitor may be damaging to your own brand value. Your customers might start believing -even if subconsciously- that you don’t have anything fresh to offer them and that’s the reason you are trying to shift focus on the negative facets of your competitor. Marketing in itself is speaking about the brand identity and superior quality of your product. Even if your opponent indulges in this kind of behaviour don’t give into it. The best response is no response.
2. Following Same Dead & Decaying Ways
Due to a horde of advertisements and promotions thrown at them every day, people have already stopped paying attention. As an international brand, you need a bang to stand out from the crowd. Marketing is slowly and surely shifting from the practical benefits that a product provides to its inherent social and psychological benefits. Think of luxury brands like Bulgari, Armani, Rolls Royce which have the capability of charging a premium on a normally-priced product because of the brand personage the customer receives with their product.
People don’t buy Egyptian monuments because it fulfils some utilitarian purpose. On the contrary, they cost a fortune and take a lot of after-purchase maintenance. People buy them because with the monument comes the four-thousand-year-old legacy of the Egyptian civilisation and some bragging rights, all of which gives them the required standing in the upper echelon of society. To make your brand relevant for a long time this pain point is where you need to keep on pressing.
1. Doing Everything at Once
If you have a lot of money, I envy you, and I would love if you donate some to me. However, if you don’t want your company to go bankrupt, stop investing vast sums in every marketing vehicle that seems attractive. One day you’re all over the television, and the next day it seems you have taken over Facebook. Every brand today wants to be present on all social media handles while utilising the contemporary marketing platforms to the brim. My advice? Stop doing that.
One of the golden rules of Marketing I learnt during my time at Disney was that you have to stop worrying about how much you are losing and start thinking about how much you’re gaining. Focus not on how much money you’re spending on a campaign but the amount of exposure you’re getting on a particular media vehicle. Marketing is about managing the budgetary allocations to different media channels so as to increase the campaign efficiency and at all times avoid spillover. If you’re the Marketing Head of ‘Game of Thrones’, and you’re buying ad spots on Zee Cinema or Star Gold, I don’t know what you’re doing. Sometimes the best thing to do is to target a select few media channels so that you can optimise your budget spending instead of agonizing about your footprint across all of them.