Even in the era of mobile marketing where everybody on earth almost is marketing something to everybody else, the concept of marketing is still misunderstood by many.
Marketing is the battle for the customers mind!
Marketing and selling have always been confused with each other. Selling is asking for the order. Marketing is creating a demand in the mind of the customer so that they seek you out.
Steve Jobs did it best by creating a phenomenal demand for iPods, iPhones, and iPads, by packaging sophisticated technology in neat sleek devices that drove hordes of customers to equally dazzling i stores. In so doing he made the Apple brand into the epitome of cool. Consumers anxiously awaited the next new enhancement and drooled in anticipation of how it would better their lives.
Jeff Bezos has done basically the same thing in a different, but equally effective way with Amazon. His goal is to have everyone buying almost everything that they need from Amazon because he has made it so easy to do so with the click of a keyboard or tap on a screen.
Marketing in its truest sense is the process of building brand awareness by clearly communicating the value proposition associated with the brand. Brands exist in the mind and perception is reality.
We all have what I call a “mental product grid” similar to a gigantic ice cube tray in our minds. Each cube space contains information on the brands representing the products that we buy or have an interest in. So each brand occupies or owns a “position” in our mind. The mind is like a dripping sponge and the only way anything new can get in is by displacing what already exists.
Words are the “key” to the mind. Each word has a value that has been implanted in us as a result of many influences over our life. Some words have positive connotations and others negative ones. And each of us has a different perception of life which makes us unique. The goal of the marketer is to understand how we are different from one another and categorize us into different “customer types” based upon common sets of perceptions by customer type.
Each customer type will react differently to sets of words and determine values associated with brands based upon how their value propositions are communicated. For example, Mercedes Benz customers perceive “the best engineered car in the world” as most favorable for them, while BMW customers on the other hand value “the ultimate driving experience” as ideal for them, while both cars offer equally competitive features.
Think about yourself – how do you value UPS vs Fedex, Walgreen’s vs CVS, Staples vs Office Depot, etc. And – Why?
To be successful at marketing as explained above you need to carefully craft your brand’s value proposition and target customer types that are ideally predisposed to react favorably to your marketing promotions based upon their perceptions of value.
The purpose of marketing is to win the battle for the customers mind by convincing them that your products are better than your competitors who are offering similar features and benefits.