Wednesday, 1 May 2013

About Marketing

"About marketing? How is this blog about marketing?
All I see is you writing about human emotions and virtues"!
Really? So is one thing disconnected from the other?
Isn't really every succesful businessman someone who was able to tap into the desires and needs of the market, and thus people?
Which explains the overrepresentation of guys in jeans and a T-shirt who became Internet-millionaires, because they understand - and are one of - an immense army of buyers.
I believe that in order to be good at marketing, one needs to understand humans.
If Nike increased their sales simply because of the tagline 'Just do it', it's because they could really put themselves in the shoes of that person standing in the sports store.
'Mm, this is so expensive. I know I want to take up jogging, but maybe I should go for a cheap shoe. Or perhaps it can wait another month. You know what, they are right, JUST DO IT, my health starts here and now, and I love that can-do attitude. Let's go for it'.
It only depends on your product which person you want to understand.
Do you want to tap into the primal, and thus massive market, of sex and drugs?
Do you want to tap into the market of Mercedes-driving, jazz-listening, Johnny Walker-drinking 40-something?

Do you want to tap into the feelings of thousands of people who, each day, in every sports store, feel that their wallets and dreams are in a never ending battle?
Either which way, 'I don't have time for reading' is a surefire way to make your more refined marketing strategy fail, or forever become an uphill struggle.
You want to excel in marketing? Read. Psychology, sociology, anthropology. Or: good literature.
Jane Austen taught me much more about human behaviour than the combined works of 10 famous marketing gurus.
Or, on an easier level: what about Miss Marple?  "You do not have to leave your village in order to understand the world".
In my tiny hilltop village in Spain I often realize what Miss Marple meant. I see the whole of New York here, compressed into an easier and more obvious structure - a basic template of what every website should be.
Studying the behaviour at the Thursday market - makes me understand the global market as a whole. It makes me understand what makes Google tick.
What makes people tick.
And then wonder which people I would want to attract and cater to.
In the end, these are the people I like or admire. I am one of those who can't just sell anything - only what I think contributes to society and makes lives of those people better.
What is marketing other than just throwing a door wide open? - between the product you love and the people you want to attract.
This is where business owners struggle with marketing. They offer such a fabulous brand of car. And out there are people yearning for that kind of car. But the door in between is shut. Sends out the wrong signal, is addresses to the wrong sort of people.
Marketing is that door.
And to open it, you need to be galant and charismatic.
Which you will only be, when you understand what makes people tick.
It's got a terrible reputation ('Don't tell my mum I work in marketing, she things I play the piano in a brothel') but marketing is psychology, sociology and art.
Marketing to my market, that is. If it weren't, I wouldn't dedicate my life to it.
And you wouldn't be reading about it.
Marketing, done well, is not unethical at all. It's fascinating. It's our lifeline. It's connecting us to people. It's our front door, in which we welcome the people we love - and are just like us.

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