Thursday, July 22, 2010

Stop Driving the Car by Looking at the Rear Mirror

"Why is my marketing failing? I am doing exactly the same things which that big company had done when they launched their product." – a question which arises when companies introspect on their failed marketing strategies. The answer is simple - "because you drove your car by looking at the rear mirror".

Whatever has worked in past need not work now – the times have changed, people have changed, their perceptions have changed and most importantly, the media has changed. Now the media is more cluttered. It's a lot harder to get people's attention and the right mind share in this cluttered media. And before capturing the market share, it's important to capture the true mindshare.

It is the time when one needs to think beyond traditional advertising and marketing media such as TV, hoardings and paper ads because these are unlikely to give you the mind share – market share comes much later. Earlier when these were the new media, people used to pay attention to advertising. Now people have acquired the art of 'not looking' at advertisements. Grabbing people's attention is more challenging now.

So what are the options? No point in advertising where everybody else is advertising. Identify a media which is unconventional. Something which will give you focused mindshare of your target audience. In past, there have been successful examples of using such clutter free media such as space on peanut bags used by street vendors in New York City or back side of fortune cookie!

Another strategy is leveraging on the early adopters of your product. Make sure that they create the buzz about your product and talk about it. Buyers are more likely to believe in them rather than your advertising.

Have you tried any new marketing idea in your business? Anything which you can share?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Are you confusing advertising with marketing?

"I have decided to do a banner ad and email advertising for my product. Does this not mean that I am doing marketing?"

Well, the answer is yes and no. Yes because advertising certainly is one important part of marketing but marketing is not restricted to only advertising.

Marketing involves much more than just ad planning. It involves additional things such as:
  • Strategizing
  • Planning
  • Deciding advertising media
  • Understanding the target user and target market
  • Product pricing and positioning
  • Forming a perception about your brand in the minds of people
  • Planning distribution
  • Forming customer community and customer support– very important because customers play a very important role in your business success
In short, whatever it takes to form a relation and communucation between the consumer of your products and services and your business.

We can say that marketing is a process of reaching out to the target user whereas advertising is description or presentation of product or service.

It is therefore important that businesses, especially small and medium size organizations, make balanced use of marketing and advertising for successfully taking their products and services to the market. By concentrating only on advertising, there are chances that you are missing on a large chunk of effective marketing which could potentially hurt the business.