When will marketing get absolutely easy and obvious in life?
Only when you reach the end of this journey.
What is marketing as per you?
Rather, answer this question, how would you get successful?
Though this is the simplest question of all, it surely contains the most difficult answer for most people.
Let me answer the question by narrating a story: The story of Adams Obvious
Adams was a small child living in one of the villages of England. His parents were farmers and there was only a primary school.
Once he completed his schooling, he went ahead to work in a grocery shop.
He was no genius but sooner the store had profits year after year. Once Kevin, the store owner died, the store was sold and he was laid off.
He went to town to work at the municipal office in the day and did schooling in the evening.
One day, at the evening school, the professors called in some of the alumni to have a lecture and it turned out to be the lecture of Mr. Oswald, the advertising tycoon.
Mr. Oswald had the perfect grit and gear to carve out the story that the audience intended to hear.
Listening to Mr. Oswald made Adam realize that he would want to be into advertising and he would work for him.
He would learn the art. This thought and intention captured his mind when he went to sleep and the next morning, the two became one, only to make him confident about his choice.
In the afternoon, he went to see Mr. Oswald taking off for a few hours.
When he informed the receptionist about his intention to meet Mr. Oswald, the request was rejected due to his preoccupancy.
Clear in his mind, he informed the receptionist that he had one hour and 10 minutes, post which he would leave back for his work.
This was the most unusual thing for a tycoon to hear from a student. But to the receptionist’s surprise, Mr. Oswald agreed to meet him in 20 minutes.
Once Adams met Mr. Oswald and he interacted with Adams, he was convinced that Adams was no extraordinary man to be hired and so he rather consulted him.
Instead of listening and returning with a sad face, he replied “ I made up my mind that I would get into advertising and I would work for you. To work for you, I came up directly to you to inform you.
And if you feel, I am not capable to work around in the field, then I would try the opposite and come back to you because I told you that I want to work for you. Isn’t that obvious.” and he left.
This left Mr. Oswald stunned in his chair and he kept remembering the incident the entire evening. This made him feel bad but suddenly something struck him.
The very next morning, he called for Adams and hired him. Without a clue, where to put him, he was placed in the newspaper printing section.
Before I continue the story, what was that thought, which suddenly struck him and he hired Adams.
But before you answer, listen to this
Suppose you were sad because you had to carry a burden of a lot of devices to perform your duty as the CEO of a corporate group.
One for calls, one for video conferencing, one for mails, one to take pictures, and a timer to set strict timelines.
Suddenly, there came a person announcing the launch of a device, that would enable you to perform all tasks and still be lightweight.
Would you buy it?
Will the product become a success?
No doubt about it!
It’s obvious. It solved the problems.
Did it ring the bell in your head, why Adams was hired?
It’s obvious. He did so because Adams did what was obvious rather than going roundabout.
So, the secret to success is “Solution to a problem”.
If you are wondering, what’s the connection with marketing?
Let me define marketing to you in layman terms:
Marketing is everything done to be relevant while providing valuable solutions to people.
It’s neither art nor science.
While we experiment, it displays the face of art but once we have a process and fail-proof solutions, the facets of science come to light.
Now, you might say if it so simple, what are the ground rules governing it?
Well, they are simple too. They can be derived from the definition that we just discussed.
Everything to stay relevant would include the right message (PROMOTION) conveyed at the right hour at the right place (PLACE) while providing a valuable solution (PRODUCT for bargain i.e PRICE) to the people ( TARGET AUDIENCE).
This way we derive the fundamentals of the marketing that are the 4 Pillars of it, but not to forget the Target audience.
Thus, it is not something complicated but it’s obvious for everyone to find a solution to their problem.
If you have listened to me so far, I know what you are thinking.
How do we apply it in day-to-day life?
This means you want to be a great marketer.
I can’t make you one!!
Let me answer it simply. Did you observe that when I told you that one device will enable you to perform all the functions and it will be lightweight, I never told you about the person who conveyed it to me?
But you never asked…
So, this person is the man behind the show. He is himself a PERSONAL BRAND!!
Who is he by the way?
He is none other than Steve Jobs if you didn’t observe.
Would you like to become like him?
If it’s a Yes, great.
If No, you would become even better if you followed the simple rules:
Did you think I was giving you some pointers?
I can just remind you about Adams and the rules that would emerge.
After Adams joined the newspaper printing section, he would observe the work in the department and try working as per the norms.
He would dive into the nuances of the work by thinking over and over again. In this process, he would discover a finding that if a certain modification is made, error in printing would be almost impossible.
This would eliminate the need for 5 people. This he explained to Mr. Oswald and when he agreed, the results in the next three months were impeccable.
Next came a big order by a big Bakery Owner stung by the flying bee of advertising, but it was handed over to the oldest editor Mr. Holland.
However, Adams would visit the bakery and have cakes. He would understand the process and in turn, find out in detail about the makers.
This way he would prepare the ad campaigns as if he were assigned the task but would be demoralized by looking at the campaigns by Mr. Holland.
He would think that it would take him several years to write with such proficiency and tact, such that it resembled the cakes to be the Nectar of Gods.
Now, did you think that campaigns turned out to be a massive success yielding a great amount of ROI for its owners?
Unfortunately, it was a failure, and disappointed Adams went home on losing the client as if he was Mr. Oswald.
After returning home, he made modifications to the ad campaigns and write-ups that he had prepared and started coloring them.
Though not confident, he conveyed these to Mr. Oswald with the hope to get the client back, and surprisingly it worked.
But to no one’s surprise, it was obvious what he told rather being exciting. He had proposed that
The packet to be of cake’s golden color rather than green.
The process must be visible to the customers.
Free giveaway of cupcakes be given to new customers to taste and experience.
This worked and sales doubled within a quarter giving a massive credit to Adams.
It was after this incident that a small team was put under Adams and he would guide them to find the obvious.
This way he carved himself a NICHE, whereby he was the only one rather than being the best. To find the obvious!!
Later on, he went to become the VP of Oswald Advertising Agencies, the man behind the show.
I think by now you would have found the points to become a personal brand.
Pay attention to the work you are assigned and LEARN.
While you learn, try applying the principles and experiment to develop further. This way your WORK will sharpen your skills.
Always document the learnings (BLOG). Whether you are at practice or application to build upon a framework.
Try applying the principles to the newer arenas. Help people and improvise the framework (CONSULT).
Now, you would find yourself adept to pass on your learnings coupled with experience to others in set patterns (TEACH).
This way you would be able to start your venture as a result of years of understanding. (STARTUP)
This framework is MASS TRUST BLUEPRINT by Deepak Kanakaraju, my mentor.
You tell me, wasn’t it obvious in Adams case.
Before you ask me about NICHE, which I introduced some time back, let me explain it. In the process, I would like you to remember about TARGET AUDIENCE too.
This would help you to Build Wealth.
WEALTH BUILDING FORMULA
Let me tell you that I borrowed a quote from Mr. Kettering, from General Motors who had a sign placed on the wall of the GM building in Dayton:
“The problem once solved will be simple”
You keep the above fact in mind and let’s come back to Adams
Mr. Oswald was about to leave for France, when suddenly a letter came from Winslow Bond Paper Ltd, Chicago with an invitation to visit them and solve their advertising problem.
While he was reading it, Adams was present in front of him. As he read it, it suddenly occurred to him to send Adams and let him experiment it single-handedly.
So, Adams left for Chicago and after reaching there, he met the CEO. He asked the CEO to provide him three days and post that he would share the course of action with him.
For two days Adams was completely engrossed in the observation at the factory and the third day he locked himself in the hotel room, to assimilate all that he had learned.
The campaigns that he suggested were as follows:
“Our bond paper is one made from carefully selected white fibers ”
“All good bond paper is made with pure filtered water”
“All good papers are dried on clean mats”
“The paper is inspected by hand ”
Listening to these CEO became furious and replied that this was all that he already knew. He was not invited from New York to convey this to him.
Adams replied that they were not in the business of manufacture of paper and it was new. But it was contradicted by the CEO saying that .“Other manufacturers would make a mockery out of them when we advertise like this as if their technique was different”
A great reply came from Adams this time “ Once you list out the process to the people and imbibe it in their minds month after month, they would start to believe that bond paper is above the competition. You can soon launch a brand and engrave it in their brains, a name to reflect the best bond paper like Xerox”.
Not only this, the next line made the CEO startled and it was “Who do you wish to advertise to — Manufacturers or consumers?”
The CEO was convinced and Adams won his first contract which resulted in unexpected sales for Wilson. This made the CEO understand that advertising was not something magical rather it was pure common sense.
The message was so simple when it came out in Ads that no one could resist paying attention to it and trusted it as the truth.
Sooner, people started associating good quality bond paper with Wilson paper and sales rocketed!!
Later in few years, Wilson came out with further classification of the bond papers for various strata of corporates thereby beating the competition in swag.
Did you observe the Marketing funnel and Niche with the target group?
Let me reiterate…
Adams came out with the message. (CONTENT)
The simplicity caught the eyes of everyone. (ATTENTION)
The understandability of the message made everyone associated with it. (TRUST)
This association made people want it and buy it. (TRANSACTION)
Wilson came out with the classification of bond paper for corporates. (REPUTATION)
All this was sent to the consumers of the bond paper. (TARGET AUDIENCE)
And they were in the business of Bond paper. (NICHE)
Thus, we arrived at the formula for it:
Wealth = n^CATTR
This formula is devised by my mentor Deepak Kanakaraju.
You might be thinking that this was so obvious…
Yes it was and this brings me back to borrowed quote which Mr. Kettering paraphrased as
“The solution, when found, will be obvious”
This was the First Law of obvious.
The formula can further be understood by the Laws of Obvious. The first one has already been discussed.
The Second law:
Is this question compatible with human nature?
This would mean that any statement until simple and unsophisticated for every human would not be understood. Hence, to grab attention, it must be simple.
The Third Law:
Put the idea on paper.
Can it be written in one or two-syllable words and explained to a child?
If not, it can’t be trusted because of its complexity.
The Fourth Law:
Does it “explode” in people’s heads?
Did they exclaim: Why didn’t we think of it?
If Yes, they would make a transaction with you.
The Fifth Law:
Know how to recognize the right moment.
If it is relevant at this time, it would sell otherwise it’s a flop show. This way your relevance at that time will nurture your reputation and make it a success.
Was it easy or difficult, you tell me?
If you found this easy, what made it easy?
The answer is the way of communication.
Communication holds the most important place while transmitting the message. Do you remember we discussed about Steve Jobs?
Apple was a success because
Not only Steve Jobs was a Personal Brand but he possessed exceptional communication skills.
But do you think a person would be able to communicate with millions of people in a hall?
Then, how do we transmit the message across?
You thought it right!!
Modes of marketing: Digital and Traditional…
DIGITAL VS TRADITIONAL MARKETING
Let me talk about a late Film Critic Roger Ebert who went through several intense surgeries to treat his cancer but lost his ability to speak.
This made him restless and it led to the beginning of www.rogerebert.com
Not only would he write at breakneck speed but also post on social media to communicate with all. He would make every possible attempt to convey his message to the masses.
Similarly, there are several ways to market the product using online mediums such as
- Social Media in Social Media Optimization (SMO)
- Google Adwords in Search Engine Optimization(SEO)
- Paid Advertising in Search Engine Marketing(SEM)
- Display Ads in between the content
- Blog in Content Marketing
- Google Analytics for measuring impact in Web Analytics
- Mailbox in Email Marketing
And the list goes on…
You can convey via various ways but you must not forget the traditional mediums which are
- TV is used mostly for mass-market products and easiest to reach the corners of the country. Analytics of the same is generated by BARC.
- Billboards catch the attention while people are unaware and convert them on impulses.
- Magazines and newspapers capture the attention in free time and call to action(CTA).
- Radio to sound pleasant and yet give a reminder to act with a wide reach for cab users.
- Flyers and brochures to remind you that we exist and you can get in touch…
Though the Traditional ones are more effective for larger masses at a lower cost, they can not be personalized and are difficult to track.
Digital ones on the other can be more personalized and target specific with tracking in place.
Let me ask you to identify one brand — Utterly butterfly delicious ….
Can you name it?
Well though this was easy, the process they followed wasn’t easy to make it count.
Ads in the newspaper were a regular phenomenon and not to forget TV ads in prime time.
But how could reach those devoid of newspaper and TV, the Gen Z?
They devised the Twitter and Fb mantra of ‘Meme You’ to spread the message “Eat without delay” to catch the attention of youth.
I hope you got the name!
But did you observe that standalone Traditional or standalone Digital wouldn’t be enough for such a brand and so they consolidated their approach?
This brings us to the consolidated approach of Digital Marketing also referred to as Integrated Digital Marketing.
INTEGRATED DIGITAL MARKETING
This could be understood through your daily planner. Let me explain it…
Where would be available in your free time?
If it is Social Media [Fb, Twitter, and Instagram], I got 1
Where during the work hours?
If you are checking emails, I got 2
And where would you search for what you don’t know?
If it is a Search Engine like Google, I got 3
And what if you feel like sharing, where will go?
If it is Social media, I got 4
What if you encountered Ads in between and you got fascinated to click?
If yes, I got 5
All these had a message for you. Is it correct?
If yes, I got 6
These pillars of mine 1,2,3,4,5,6 when together, build a foundation for me unbreakable.
Because they make me reach you and deliver value. Thus, I get consideration in return.
Wasn’t it obvious?
Before I say goodbye, Adams has a point to convey.
One day, Mr. Oswald got an order from the Monarch Hat Company, which had two stores: profit-making and the other in losses. Without disclosing this fact to Adams, he asked Adams to observe and find out what’s wrong with them.
Adams as per his regular practice spent three days observing the two stores and the footfall. He would go back and forth and observe the stores but soon he realized that one of them was difficult to find.
The one on the main market street was difficult to discover through it had a big side window and hence, fewer people went there.
If advertised, it would pull the crowd for the store at the outskirts due to its visibility.
Thus, he suggested that the store is incurring losses on account of huge rent and no visibility. This store must be shifted elsewhere.
Was this obvious?
To some, it might be, but the truth is that a developed market is always not the one to target. Rather “be the one” where there is no one to serve i.e. in developing markets.
Did you infer a sense of economics in it?
If you encountered it, you have become a GREAT MARKETER!!
Congratulations, you knew everything…
Marketing is now absolutely easy and obvious for you in life!!
If you felt, you resonate with it, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or else you can post a comment below. I am eager to listen to your feedback.
P.S This post is dedicated to Jack Trout and Richard Updegraff for teaching the most uncommon lessons to understand the Obvious. Not to forget this would have been impossible without my mentor Deepak Kanakaraju.
#Jacktrout #RichardUpdegraff #Obvious #Deepakkanakaraju #Successstory