6 Marketing Tips that can be Your Success Mantras
In today’s world, brands intrude into our lives in a very significant and unavoidable manner.
Even the least brand conscious of us are very familiar with at least a handful of brands. This is because of the pervasive influence of the media, be it newspapers, radio or the now ubiquitous television.
Also, most of us are now on some social media platform or the other, like Facebook and Twitter. The main source of revenue for all these media are businesses and their advertisement revenue.
It follows therefore, that in addition to being a source of information or entertainment, these media also raise our awareness of the various products and services available in the market through commercials, which is the main source of their revenue.
This being so, brands assume a great deal of importance in the marketplace. This is because it has been seen that brands influence customer decisions and buying habits significantly and a customer base is the lifeblood which nurtures businesses to grow and thrive.
The advertising and marketing world has been so effective, that more and more upwardly mobile people want to interact with the prominent and leading brands. They not only wish to buy their products, but to even flaunt the brands they patronize.
This is because, now, not only do brands wish to be associated with celebrity figures to augment their worth, but people wish to be seen to be associated with the big names in brands to enhance their image among their peers.
So we begin by defining what a brand is. A brand can be defined as a thought that lives in a person’s head.
Just as Amul or Pears is a brand, and therefore a thought in your head, by extension, any thought that has its existence in your head is a brand.
Therefore your mother or grandfather is also a brand, as also your Math or Music teacher.
Brands live and thrive in the mind space of a human being.
When a person is asked what is Kingfisher, then in today’s TV and Media-fed world, the most probable reply would be it is a beer or an airline.
But literally speaking, it is the name of a very brightly colored bird that is adept at catching fish.
That is the power of a brand! It makes one forget the literal or common meaning of the word and associates the word with the product marketed in that name.
Similarly Jaguar, Puma, Kissan do not cause us to think of the animals of the cat family or the Hindi word for farmer so much as a high end car, a line of sportswear or a mixed fruit jam!
That is the ultimate test of the effectiveness of a brand. It means the maker of that particular product and /or his advertiser has been totally successful in communicating his product or service to you in a lasting, indelible and effective manner, and that his branding is perfect.
Brands seem to surround us in our day to day lives so much so that, not only are they omnipresent but they are now seen to be omnipotent as well.
An audit has found that an average Indian endorses forty seven brands in a single day!
Certainly brands do exercise a powerful influence in our lives and affect many of our day to day decisions, not only in the mundane areas of purchase of food, beverages, clothes or such other consumables and electronic goods, but also, the more momentous ones like purchase of a flat or house, the school our children get educated in, the hospital we entrust our health issues to and even the job we accept or reject.
In fact it may be said without exaggeration, that many of us think and talk like our favorite brands.
In such a brand conscious world, how does a small entrepreneur embarking on his first modest venture survive?
There are a few values or mantras which a Small Enterprise can adopt to help him not only survive but make a mark in the fiercely competitive and brand- dominated world of marketing.
Mantra#1: Small is Beautiful!
As a small enterprise, it is very important that you realize and firmly believe that “small is beautiful”.
Take the example of toothpaste. There are about fourteen different varieties of toothpastes that are all well known big brands in India.
You may think that a small relatively unknown toothpaste manufacturer who has a cottage industry producing a herbal toothpaste has no chance against these giants who dominate the toothpaste market.
But it may surprise you to learn that he may actually have quite a sizeable number of customers who prefer his small scale manufactured toothpaste to the big, but common brands flooding the market.
Often consumers feel that since the toothpaste is manufactured in a small cottage industry, the product would be of better quality and reliable in terms of its contents.
It has the appeal of being a niche product catering to limited number of customers. The small scale entrepreneur is perceived to be more ethical and not as unscrupulous or profit-driven as his larger cousin.
This is true not only of FMCGs but also of apparels, of restaurants and even technology products.
The little place in a nook of a crowded marketplace, serving authentic Ramasseri idlis or homemade murukkus/bhujias is all the rage with habitu’s fed up with MacDonald’s burgers and Domino’s Pizzas.
The modest neighborhood boutique selling ethnic sarees and dresses handpicked by its owner, from far flung hamlets of Rajasthan, Assam and Tamilnadu has an eager and loyal clientele.
It is termed the David Goliath effect in Western markets.
Mantra#2: The Organic Bounty
Organic is the way to go. With growing awareness of the threats of pesticides and fertilizers, there is a growing demand for organic produce.
Especially in the bigger metros, you find that small pockmarked potatoes that are claimed to have been raised free of pesticides and fertilizers sell for three times the price of big, smooth and healthy looking potatoes that are grown the normal way with fertilizers and pesticides.
This movement is also spreading to technology as environment awareness slowly grows. It is called green technology or organic tech and looks to reduce and altogether do away with polluting wastes that endanger the environment in the manufacturing process.
Agricultural produce that has been hand picked and not machine sorted, eco-friendly, shade-grown coffee that avoids cutting down of trees in coffee plantations and such like are registering a growing demand.
Hand -made paper, hand -woven cloth, handicrafts are all in fashion and you cannot go wrong in venturing into these businesses.
Mantar#3: Politically correct Marketing
Industries employing people from economically weak or rural backgrounds or starting industries that empower women or other socially disadvantaged groups, are given a lot of impetus today.
People are willing to give preference to goods manufactures by such small scale industries and many Western markets too are receptive to these concepts.
Mantra#4: Customer Delight
The attitude of your business towards customers is a very crucial factor. Does your business believe that the customer is the King?
How much of importance is given to ensure not just customer satisfaction which is already pass in today’s competitive world, but to ensure customer delight.
In fact, it has transcended even that level, and the talk now, is about customer ecstasy, the implication of which is that the customer doesn’t even look at other competitive products or services, but is wholly committed to your products or services alone.
Often, in the Indian context, small scale industries are very meticulous when putting together the back end, the technology, the actual manufacturing process etc.
But they are quite careless when it comes to the front end -the face of the business that is visible to the customer and which the customer interacts with.
Unfortunately it is not enough to be good, you have to be seen to be good. And you are assessed by the way you treat your customer and how far you are successful in getting him to believe that he is your king.
The customer is looking not only for the best and highest quality in the product but also in the services which come with its in terms of interaction during sales and after sales services and follow up.
Therefore this has to be the endeavor of all entrepreneurs, who wish to succeed.
Mantra#5: Innocent Marketing
The modern world being a very cynical and skeptical one, it views advertising techniques and marketing with suspicion.
Therefore, in order for you to be perceived to be different from the common run of businesses, you should eschew all those methods of advertising and marketing which rely on hyperbole.
Sometimes it is more effective to be understated in your claims about your goods or services, for being so, may make you sound more genuine.
This is the reasoning behind what is termed innocent marketing, where you do not engage in the aggressive style of marketing adopted by your peers.
Mantra#6: It’s all in the Marketing
This is in continuation of the above concept. Making tall and often preposterous claims through advertisements, often undo the very intentions behind them.
The ozone enriched toothpaste, the bio fresh TV affront the intelligence of the viewer, by suggesting that jargons can be used to trick him.
People are being subjected to such ridiculous nonsense in the form of commercials that often they look upon products advertised through such means with disfavour.
In fact, you can state that you do not need to rely on advertisements to promote your products, their worth and quality being their best ambassadors.
You can even claim that what you save in advertising revenue is passed on to the customers through better pricing of your products. On the other hand labeling your products as “Made in India” or “Handmade” or naming the self-help groups that made it can enhance its worth and appeal to many.
Summing it Up
Finally all marketing can be classified into two broad categories:
1. Needs and Wants Marketing and 2. Desires and Aspirations Marketing.
When you are marketing some product or service which is a part of the many needs, without which people cannot make do, you are on solid ground as far as your enterprise is concerned.
Your business will not be affected very much even in times of inflation or tough economic scenarios.
On the other hand, the desires and aspirations industry is mainly propelled by advertisements which insist that as an upwardly mobile person you ought to possess this product or aspire for that product.
It is dreams- oriented marketing and in tough times the dreams will naturally reduce to a handful of dust as must your business which relies on them.
Therefore be ethical in your business and promote your products and services ethically. This will definitely help you to be an abiding name which people will always trust and respect and support with their custom.