At the offset, I’d like to make it clear that I am neither a marketing genius nor an authority on marketing. I am but a man, who has some views to offer on this subject.
Let us start off with this – What is marketing?
“The action or business of promoting and selling products or services.”
Sounds pretty easy eh? Well it’s easy to understand, difficult to implement.
There’s a big question on every marketeer’s mind. How?
I know I need to promote and sell my stuff, but how? I have an answer to that question; with love.
If you come to think of it, marketing is a lot like love, a crush perhaps. The idea would be pretty clear if you read on.
Consider this situation:
You like/love/crush over a person (let’s assume it’s a she). She doesn’t even know you exist, but you want her to. So here’s your plan:
- Get her attention
- Have a better, more dependable image
- Make sure the interest is sustained
- Carry the relationship on forever
Put it on similar lines with marketing. You are the company; love is your product and the customer, your love interest. Now it’s very clear at the back of your head there may be a chance that she would ignore you totally or might just entertain you out of courtesy. But that’s not why you aim your efforts towards her; you expect (consumer) loyalty. You can ideate better now as you are aware of the competition involved. Surely, if the woman was very alluring to you, there may be many others who would be enticed by her. You need to better yourself than your competition. Or you simply portray a better image; advertise yourself more effectively. The product may not be as better as you claim it to be, but why should it matter? The consumer has sworn loyalty to you. You enjoy pseudo monopoly now. As you may understand, in this context a duopoly or oligopoly is unacceptable; as it is to the many companies involved. Some don’t mind it, others may.
You have put your perspicacity to the test and have ideated well. Your goals are in place, you visualize yourself at that coveted trust spot. You could follow some brands’ example and put banners/placards et al at the places your TA (Target Audience) frequents. In the aforementioned context, the idea would be to make you conspicuous. You could hire companies to advertise you (or people to praise you around your TA). Innovation comes when the incentive is clear. Innovative practices would come into picture if you visualize yourself exactly at the position you want to be at.
As far oligopoly (more sellers) or duopoly (two competitors sharing the market) is concerned, it is actually undesirable, in either of these cases. With oligopoly I don’t imply a “Draupadi” type of situation where she was shared by five husbands, it could mean that you become a close friend, a trusted aide to your love interest along with a few others. Undesirable! You can’t share market and live with your self-respect intact, most people can’t. You then establish yourself as the stronger candidate. HOW?
Yes! This situation sucks. You need a way out. So here’s what you do:
- Strengthen your product. (conduct a quick market analysis of where you fall short)
- Understand consumer behavior. (Understand the preferences, alter your image/product/advertisements accordingly)
- Transcend a better image. (Your products/advertisements won’t stand a meaning if you don’t shape a better image out of it. Your TA must consider you dependable and long lasting)
- Observe market trends. (Try and figure out what may set you apart from the crowd. Follow a trend or predict something and act accordingly)
Social Media Marketing
This thing simplifies every marketeer’s life. You can directly connect with your TA without physically being there. SMM (Social Media Marketing) also gives you a chance to quantify and broaden your TA, a profitable deal in all. Uploading statuses on Facebook, tweeting, making others ask question about your product and answering them on Quora to occupy a conspicuous net space is passé, clichéd but necessary. Again, innovation may enter when the incentives are very clear.
The Final Plan
Remember what Bruce Lee said, “Never let your attention be inhibited. Transcend dualistic comprehension of any situation.” There is never one side to any coin, pros and cons are the unwanted yet unavoidable acne of teenage life. Whatever your plan may, however bad things may seem to go, always remember that a little more love will always better things.