What makes a business idea work?

Does creating an awesome product just take money?

Why some products are successful and similar others are a dismal failure?

Take, for example, Microsoft phones vs. Apple iPhones, which is the market leader and Microsoft has failed to do so and has finally moved out of the smartphone market.

Its never really about the size and money of the business, what Microsoft needed to succeed is — a good marketing plan so that it delivers and sells what customer needs.

Even today a lot of people think marketing equals promotion. Marketing is selling products.

Marketing is placing full-page ads in the newspapers or display big banners in prime locations.

If you are one of those, I’ll accept this opportunity and attempt to clear your perception about marketing, also assist you with understanding the different aspects of marketing.

In this article, we’ll try to uncover the Fundamentals of Marketing, Branding, Traditional vs Digital marketing, CATT marketing funnel, and Integrated Digital Marketing.

What is Marketing? Really.

Marketing to many business people is simply selling or promotion at a larger scale. If your primary focus is getting people to give their money to you, then you are going to lose the game of marketing, because people are going to see it, and they don’t really like being used.

The fact is that marketing is a science, yes you read it correctly, it is a science of understanding and influencing the behavior of the customer, such that you can deliver a product that ads value.

Marketing aims to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself — Peter Drucker.

Marketing begins even before the product is created, one should understand what the target/potential customer wants and sell them that rather than building the product and waiting to see what happens next. A great product is created with deep insights into the customer mindset and understanding the pain points of the customer. The purpose of marketing is to create a brand and capture a position in the minds of customers.

Ask most people what marketing is and they say some form of selling or advertising. Marketing is not just about selling, it is connecting with people and try to understand their interests, motivations, pain points, and the dreams they pursue.

The brands that win more always put their customer needs ahead of their desire to sell more. They show potential customers that they are genuinely interested in solving your problem with their content, expertise, passion, and hopefully a product/service.

“What helps people, helps business.” — Leo Burnett

When people know you truly care about their problems and you took time to come up with a solution, they are gonna trust, that you have come up with the right solution for them. The business benefit is in establishing trust and building a base of people who believe in you, in the time of need.

When given a choice, we want to buy from people we know, like, and Trust!

Marketing is going to be there even after a customer has purchased from you, to keep the revenue stream active. Revenue is the number one priority for any sales team, more revenue means more sales means more clients. As a result, they start acquiring more customers to drive sales and forget about the existing customers.

The following marketing metrics will help you understand the importance of customer retention

  • The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60–70%. For new customers, that figure drops to 5–20%. (Altfield)
  • 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers. (SmallBizGenius)
  • Increasing customer retention by just 5% boosts profits by 25% to 95%. (SmallBizGenius)
  • 82% of companies agree that retention is cheaper than acquisition. (SmallBizGenius)

Marketing is not just about selling it, it is also about keeping the existing customer happy by effectively addressing their needs so that they become customers for life.

In my opinion, good marketing converts its customers into brand ambassadors.

Digital vs Traditional Marketing

Selecting the right marketing channel is an essential part of marketing, so it is very common to find oneself asking the question: What is the difference between traditional and digital marketing & which one to choose.

But, making the right decision is not easy, because every decision you take can have a differential impact. By understanding the differences between traditional and digital marketing, one can have a clear idea as to which method or strategy suits the product/service at the offer and delivers more value to the customer.

The following infographic effectively presents the key differences between digital vs traditional marketing.

Image by Hurree

Ultimately both types of marketing have their benefits and downfalls, the key is understanding your marketing needs, budget, target audience.

CATT Marketing Funnel

A marketing funnel is a way of breaking down the steps in customers’ buying journey from the point they learn about your product/service to the point where they make a purchase.

Why the steps are called a funnel? because at the beginning of the journey, a lot of people take the first step. Then as the people continue along, take the next step in the buying process, some of them fall out and the number of people actually buying narrows down. Hence the analogy funnel.

CATT Marketing Funnel is an effective marketing funnel to increase customer engagement and product sales.

It works on the formula:

CATT Marketing Funnel: DigitalDeepak.com

Wealth = n ^ CATT

n = Niche

C = Content

A = Attention

T = Trust

T = Transaction

Niche (n): People with needs/problems which you can solve with your skillset/product/services. Selecting a niche is very important, the success of your marketing depends on the niche. Better the niche more the wealth, because your niche also decides prices you can charge your customer for your services, for example, a doctor can pay better than a hairdresser.

Content(C): Content is the starting point of your marketing efforts. It is how you communicate with the customers. Once you have decided on the niche, you should start generating useful content that attracts people from your niche. It can be in the form of blog posts, youtube videos, lead magnets, webinars.

Attentions(A): Letting people from your to know about your content, nothing but drive traffic to your content using SEO, social media, paid ads, referrals, emails. More people know about your product/service leads to more conversions.

Trust(T): Building trust is nothing but taking your customers into confidence whose attention you already have. These are the people who may actually buy your product. Building trust involves retargeting your target audience with offers product demos, product alternatives, product reviews, tripwires, automated marketing strategies.

Transaction(T): You’ve done all the hard work with a proper niche, quality content, right targeting, and building trust. Now it’s time to convert your leads into customers. You have a target customer who knows about your product offering and already trusts you. Once you gained trust the sales happen naturally.

To improve your transactions you need to communicate with target customers by having sales calls/pitches, sales webinars, sales pages or even you can have sales campaigns as Flipkart or Amazon does.

Without sales, you’ll not be able to convert your leads to customers.

With this formula, you’ll be able to generate wealth. You can reapply this to a new niche once you’ve saturated a niche and the cycle repeats.

Choosing a right Niche

Since the success of your marketing depends on selecting the right niche, it is important to know,

How do you pick the right niche?

What are you good at? What are you passionate about? Is there a market for it?

These are the three guiding questions, that determine what niche you should get into.

How do you pick the right niche? : DigitalDeepak.com

Suppose you have a talent and you are passionate about it, but there’s no market for it, you’ll not be able to make sales.

You have a talent and there’s a market but you are not passionate about it, over time you’ll lose interest in what you do and not be able to generate revenue.

You need to have a good mix of all these three key ingredients Talent, Passion, and Market.

See the above diagram, you want to be at the center of it otherwise you’ll have trouble succeeding at it.

Integrated Digital Marketing

Integrated digital marketing is the integration of multiple digital marketing channels to form a cohesive marketing approach for your business.

The idea behind the integrated digital marketing is that while each marketing strategy such as SEO, Social media, Email & Content marketing, may not have a huge impact on its own but when used in concurrence can create an influential impact that is exponential.

Integrated Digital Marketing Framework: Digital Deepak

From the picture above it is evident that content is at the center of Integrated Digital Marketing.

The idea is to use paid advertising, listing on search engines(SEO), and sharing on Social media to drive attention to your content like blogs videos. People visit your blog and subscribe to your newsletters.

When you publish new content, use your email list to drive traffic to your content by sending a notification.

When people like and share your content on social media, you get new people to consume your content.

When there is increased traffic on your content, search engines start ranking your content which in turn boosts traffic from search results.

This creates momentum and delivers a wholesome experience to the customer and ends up building trust with you.

Then you use sales pitches to convert your leads to customers.

IDM is the engine that drives the CATT funnel

The power of integrated marketing is that each marketing channel complements the other by playing to its strengths rather than trying to attain the goal of multiplying the revenue and marketing on its own.

Power of Personal Branding

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Most of the businesses are branded and they make money by developing that brand.

So, you may think, Why can’t people do the same thing?

Personal branding is not very different than a business brand, instead of marketing a store/product you are marketing yourself. It is a process of developing and maintaining your reputation and impression on a niche of your choosing.

Personal branding involves finding your niche, building a reputation on things you want to be known for, and the impression that people gain from your reputation.

It is about telling your story and making a connection with your followers.

Even the big companies have personal brands Tesla has Elon Musk, Microsoft has Bill Gates.

If you ask someone who is the founder of Facebook? The majority of the people will know that Mark Zuckerburg is the founder of Facebook.

But, if you ask Who is the founder of Twitter? Most of them will not be knowing who he is(Jack Dorsey).

Even though we use these apps on daily basis, we know who Mark Zuckerberg is but not Jack Dorsey.

Do you know why? Lack of personal branding.

Why should you care about Personal Branding?

Building a personal brand has a lot of benefits, both personally and professionally, it can open a door of opportunities for you.

Reasons for building a personal brand

  • People don’t do business with companies. They do business with people they like.
  • Personal branding inspires trust in your audience.
  • Establishes you as an authority in your niche.
  • Helps you to stand out from your competitors.
  • Personal branding helps you increase sales, revenue, and overall growth.
  • Can become an influencer for other brands that you start.

The shortcoming of a personal brand is it cant be sold.

Evolution of Personal Brand -Masstrust Blueprint

You can build your brand by following this 6 step process.

Learn: Learn a new skill through Concepts, Facts, and Procedures. Understand the concepts, remember the Facts, practice the procedures.

Work: Put our skills to work. Go from practice to implementation. Implementing your skills will boost your confidence.

Blog: Write about the experiences and insights that you’ve gained from your work.

Consult: Start consulting for businesses, since you’ve learned the skills and gained some experience.

Mentor: Mentoring others who want to become like you. It’ll help you scale your understanding.

Startup: Start your own venture with the skills you’ve developed and an understanding of the market, the problems, and the opportunities

MasstTrust Blueprint: Digital Deepak

Final Thoughts

Thank you for your patience and time.

Since marketing plays a vital role in shaping the future of your business, It is important to have a comprehensive view of what marketing is, exactly? I hope, through this post, I was able to exactly that for you.

What do you think? What are your thoughts on Marketing & Building a personal brand? Please share your comments below.

This post is part of my efforts in the DigitalDeepak internship program.