There are many definitions of marketing, we are not here to give you definitions of the professional’s marketing industry.
We want to introduce you the marketing in a very simple language and see how we can use it to be more successful in our business. Of course, this does not mean that the following is useful for beginners. There are big tips in these definitions and simple principles that many marketing experts are unaware of. So we suggest you be sure to know the marketing by the end of the article with us.
What Is Marketing?
Marketing means assessing the needs of target markets and defining how to be present in the markets. Why did we say target markets? Because in terms of marketing science, a product can belong to different markets. In the following of this article, we will explain this issue in full with an example.
When you first think of the word marketing, you might remember sales. Yes, sales are part of marketing but not all! Some people confuse marketing with advertising. Advertising is another part of marketing but it does not cover the whole. So what is marketing?!
There are many definitions of marketing but we promised to keep things simple. We are not dealing with scientific definitions here. If we consider marketing as an umbrella on the brand, the following items will all be under this umbrella:
What does marketing include?
- Selecting the market segments where the brand should focus on sales.
- Identifying the brand position among competitors
- Defining the competitive advantages of the brand from the customers’ point of view
- And finally, it thinks about what media to use in order to communicate with the brand audience.
When we want to start marketing, we must first identify the specific market segments to participate in it. But we always have a big problem with clients. It is great that the majority of people in the community know our brand, but with this approach, in the first place, we increase marketing costs so much that the brand cannot afford it. Therefore, to start marketing, we must know the brand and industry in which it is present, select areas of the market where we can easily do sales. We know the question has formed in your mind: How do we identify? Do not hurry. We will get to this issue later.
The relationship between recognition and marketing
Marketing always comes with recognition including recognition of the market and industry, of competitors, of customers, and the values they seek. The most important part you need to know is customers. Of course, this does not mean that other parts do not matter. But correctly identifying the needs of the audience can lead you to succeed.
If we know our audience better, we can choose specific market areas correctly. If we know our audience better, we can choose specific market areas correctly. Finally, by finding the location of the audience, we choose the appropriate media to display our brand.
So with that in mind, we need to understand that marketing is more than just sales and advertising. Marketing is a way to find the whole business of a brand in the market. You can succeed by choosing the right marketing methods and tools. To be successful, we must use all aspects of marketing properly. Here are some key points in the most important marketing aspects:
- Strategic Marketing
- Competitor Analysis
- Market Positioning
- Market Research
- Marketing Messages
Let’s get more acquainted with these cases so that we can make our brand more successful and popular.
A marketing strategy is a unique form for each brand that is designed to advance brand goals to expand the brand position in the market. Let’s not forget that this strategy is obtained by accurately identifying the market, competitors, and customers.
As mentioned above, marketing includes sales and advertising. Here, we must say that the market activity plan is also part of marketing. The strategy is responsible for directing the brand in the market. Usually, marketing strategies are formulated according to the tone, voice, and personality of a brand. Therefore, before you create your marketing slogans, you should see what character and value is your brand.
Another point in designing and creating a marketing strategy is that this strategy should be in line with brand goals. This is revealed by finding the mission, vision, and values of the brand. These principles then provide the perfect basis for deciding on a marketing strategy.
Next, we have to accept that the markets are very competitive. Some competitors have done better than us with the right approach in different market areas, as well as identifying target customers. In this case, we have two ways ahead of our brand:
- Let’s compete with our competitors.
- We can ignore them and focus only on centers that are better than our competitors.
In order to be present in the field of marketing, we should not ask what we do in the best way?! Do we have to ask what do we do better than our competitors?! The answers to these two questions are different, and this difference will save on marketing costs. The main issue is to identify the advantages of the brand over other competitors.
Next, we need to find specific market segments that need our brand product or service and we are the best in it. It doesn’t matter if you’re 100% of the audience in a market area.
This is the wrong approach.
The brand should focus on the main customers. Customers who feel good about using our brand products or services. You should not worry about the rest!
To create the right marketing strategy, we must always keep in mind three important principles:
- Brand Mission
- Brand competitive advantage
- Selected areas of the market where the brand can attract its core customers.
Market research or listen to the customers!
Marketing means talking and communicating with customers. To create a good relationship, we need to properly identify customers and their locations. Market research can help us here. This research can be done both extensively and simply or unexpectedly! We agree with the simpler methods. Market research can be very simple, just by listening to customers.
For many companies, we prefer to use the term customer listening over market research. Because when the top managers of small and medium-sized companies and businesses hear the name of market research, they think about its high costs and become careless about it. This emotional behavior causes everything to fall apart from the wrong foundation. Because without knowing the market and the customers and the competitors, the media are chosen.
So from now on, let’s look at market research a little easier and call it customer listening. This is much easier for small businesses and much less expensive for large brands. So both of them can use this simple method. What matters is the efficiency of the method, which we are sure will work for any brand.
One of the main obstacles we encountered in this section is the arrogance of business owners. Because when we claim that we know everything about our brand business and cannot learn anything from customers, we will never listen to them.
Let’s look at our customers from a different perspective. If our customers are our partners, then how much do we want to know about their behavior? Absolutely too much. So we will be curious to understand their different views. And now when we consider them our partners, it is not foolish to ask them about our lifestyle (brand, product, and services). Congratulations. You entered into a relationship with your customers by changing the way of thinking.
You have to be creative to listen to your customers. You can use cost-effective and simple methods. For example, if you have a restaurant, put an evaluation form and a pen on every table except sauces and plates. This is a good start for marketing. How to collect customer feedback easily and at the lowest cost in any business is a question that you can find the right answers with a little thought. These answers can be a turning point for starting attractive and result-oriented marketing.
The important question is what to ask customers? Of course, the first thing is feedback which comes from a product or service. We can invite them to provide feedback on product development. We can ask about the most important factors in their selection.
Doing all this is very simple. We can use online questionnaires. We can sit at a table with some of the most prominent customers and listen to them. We can create a forum or customer portal to chat. You can use the survey forms as in the example above. It depends on how creative you are and how you listen to the customer. In short, we can improve our brand in a completely creative and low-cost way by listening to selected market segments and considering our most valuable customers as partners.
It does not matter from the customer’s point of view what features your product or brand has! It is the value creation that matters. Customers buy the value that your brand creates, not your product or service! Now, what do we have to do to reach this value? We need to see what value our product or service creates for the customer.
Investing in the benefits that customers have in mind is safer than investing in the features that we as a brand owner know of our product and business.
If you are looking to grow your brand or business, we should and should emphasize customer benefits based on a deep understanding of what our customers are actually buying from us. We can look at our brand in two ways:
- From our point of view
- From a customer’s point of view
More marketing seeks to explore different topics from a customer perspective. Marketing is not a separate part of a business, but marketing is a job that is defined from the perspective of customers! How do your customers see your brand? The answer to this question paves the way for designing a marketing plan.
The problem is that we are usually inside the organization and we see all our organizational features, characteristics, and behaviors from inside. While customers look at them from outside the organization and this view is completely different. To achieve what benefits we have from the customers’ point of view, we have to look at our business from the outside.
The customer is only interested in what we can do for him/her! We only talk about product features, but the customer is looking for the benefits of our product. For example, if you are a web designer and your customer asks why I should use your service, you can answer in two different ways:
- Start by talking about your abilities that you create a dedicated, responsive, and creative web design.
- You can say that I am designing a website for you that will show you better in terms of competitiveness, perform better in terms of customer attraction, and have a better conversion rate.
Important points were mentioned in both of the answers. But in the first answer, only the features of the product were defined and in the second answer, the advantages of the product were described to the customer. The benefits that the customer is looking for. If we give the first answer to the customer, he will probably say in his mind: “Well, what! Some company has given a lower price than you!! ” But if you answer the second, you reach the halfway path.
To succeed in this way, you must look at your business from the outside. Yes, you should wear the customer’s shoes and evaluate how effective this service or product is for me. So, before you make any offer, listen to what they want and what benefits they are looking for. In marketing, identifying the benefits that customers are looking for is of particular importance.
When you look at a brand from a customer perspective, you can better understand their views, needs, preferences, and everything else that matters to them. This way we can better understand the reasons why the customer buys from us. This may not be exactly what we think we are selling because customers sometimes buy intangible benefits: For example, feeling superior in the community by using that product or “feeling good” to have it.
Only when we look at our business from the customer’s point of view we realize what values are important to customers in purchasing the product.
In the following, we will introduce you to a very simple but extremely effective method to help you with marketing.
We introduce you to a simple method of marketing and that method is 3M. It doesn’t matter how big or small your brand is. This very attractive, simple, eloquent, and fluent method can help you where to start and where to go. It is also a very powerful but simple technique for communicating with customers. Let’s see what this 3M is!
Market means choosing the right market. You can have a smart presence by identifying the market, customers, and competitors. To do this, consider identifying your specific target market for each product. So if you have several products with different markets, it means you have to enter several markets. This was the M1.
The message means the selection of advertising messages. As we said, these messages are compiled with the knowledge gained from customers. To be present in any market, you need to create the right advertising message. Sometimes you have to create different messages to be in a market. Just keep in mind when creating an advertising message that the message should emphasize the customer’s benefits, not the product’s features. This is also M2.
Media also means choosing media that can introduce the brand to its audience. Media is the vehicle that we use to convey a message to any media. The medium selected to convey a specific message to a range of specific audiences. Here is the meaning of specific to that particular business.
Very important point: to do this method, we must observe the priorities of review and implementation from option 1 to 3, respectively.
We see that it is a simple method, but still, most businesses ignore it, which leads them to a waste of budget and time. The problem is that they mistake 3M. Instead of looking at the market and customers first, a medium is first selected to be present. We can say that they are enchanted by a certain medium and advertise the brand on that medium before examining the customers and the market. They do not care at all what content they are producing. They think that they can succeed only by being present in that medium. But it is not.
We have seen many people who say that we worked on Instagram but did not get results! Or we set up a website and it didn’t work. Why did they choose Instagram? Because they heard that customers can be attracted in this way! Why did they design a website? Because they have heard that many businesses now have websites, so should we. These are completely emotional decisions without research.
Of course, we need to know that each of these media is good in itself. But be careful to first prepare the target market and customers and advertising message and then see which media are suitable to convey our message to the audience. So be careful to use 3M in order. With this method, you will have completely strategic and appropriate marketing.
Well, now that you are familiar with 3M marketing and method, we suggest you consider the following checklist to build a proper marketing strategy.
Checklist to ensure an effective marketing strategy
- Understand that marketing is not just about advertising, it is about focusing on the market as a whole and competing with competitors where you are better and providing the right audience
- You need to focus on your marketing strategy before researching and selecting media and finding advertising ways
- Make sure all brand decision-makers have a great and accurate picture of marketing and know the steps to do it in order
- Remember that the choice of media depends on finding the target market
- You need to listen to your customers, not just ask for a simple comment. Create different ways to convey their opinions.
- Identify your competitive advantage. Do not ask what we are better at? Ask us what makes us better than our competitors? Check the answer to this question every few times as the answers may change over time.
- Use 3M uniquely for each product or service.
- Communicate with every segment of the market through advertising messages and use the right media to convey the message.
- Social media is fascinating. Only choose them as media if you have used 3M correctly and have reached social networks in choosing media.
- Emphasize customer benefits, not product features, in all marketing communications. This is only possible if you understand the customer perspective.
- The important and last point is that all the components of your firm are your marketers. From the person who brings the tea to the customer meeting, the sales team, the executive team, the middle, and top managers are all involved in marketing, and it’s not just the marketing team. We said this to know that marketing without providing services or products is ineffective in the best way. If you are looking for the development of the whole brand, this requires the whole system to work in the best possible way.
An example of 3M marketing
Mr. Smith has a silver shop. He asked us for marketing consulting. He had previously studied and entered into negotiations with a number of companies and individuals. When he attended the consultation session, he asked us to check to see if it was more appropriate for him to design the website and to be present on social networks, or to prepare brochures and catalogs.
We always ask this question in training sessions when someone with these characteristics asks such a question. What should we answer? Some students prefer to have a website, some to brochures and catalogs, and some both.
But everyone has forgotten that the choice of media is after the Market and Message steps. The problem is that the question of Mr. Smith is problematic from the beginning!
The question of Mr. Smith was based on the choice of media, while the market had not yet been identified and the advertising message had not been selected. But our job as a consultant is to see the problem and come up with solutions. So before answering his question, we first asked our questions. I asked questions about the silver industry and its sales, the types of products they have, the type of customers they have, the current sales rate, pricing policies, and other aspects.
Mr. Smith’s business was simple. He had two types of products. Expensive silver jewelry and elegant and modern jewelry. They produced both products beautifully and had many customers in each category. Analyzing the audience of each of its products, we easily found that expensive silver jewelry is often bought by older women between 45 and 60 years old and in very good financial condition. Delicate silver jewelry is also chosen by most young women between 20 and 30 years old.
From Mr. Smith’s point of view, he had a business or an account number. A shop and a type of product. But from a marketing point of view, he had two businesses.
This is the difference between a brand owner and a customer. We worked with Mr. Smith on this through the 3M marketing method:
For the first category:
- Beautiful and expensive jewelry was suitable for older women with high incomes.
- Then we thought of the marketing message, which included: handmade, expensive, classic, beautiful, and unique.
- Then we thought to the media, what is the best way to convey the message to the audience?
To decide on this, we need to understand the customer. We have to look at the world from their point of view.
- What are their habits?
- How do they behave?
- What are their preferences?
- Who are their friends?
- Whom do they trust?
Let’s go and ask them…
As a result, we came to the conclusion that perhaps the most appropriate means of conveying this message is an advertisement in one of the glossy lifestyle magazines that these women read. These magazines are tailored to their specific image and preferences. So, after considering this product, identifying its markets, and creating a message, we came to the conclusion that the best way to convey a message is to advertise an editorial in one of these magazines.
For the Second Category
- Elegant and modern silver jewelry was suitable for young middle-income women.
- In the marketing message, one should talk about words such as cheap, stylish, reasonably priced, modern design.
- Now we have to choose the media according to these cases.
What is the most appropriate way to convey this message to young women? We have to find their lifestyle and the media that use them and trust them examines their behavior and what media they are most in touch with. By asking this question, we conclude that social media such as Instagram and text messaging are the most suitable media to use. This was a simple and practical example of a brand’s effectiveness in using the 3M method. See how easy it is to get a marketing plan for businesses. Just be careful to remember the priorities when using this method so as not to choose the wrong path.
If you have any questions about this, be sure to ask in the comments section. Also, if you have experience using blind advertising without considering the target market and advertising message, announce it in the comments section. We look forward to your marketing and advertising messages.