I recently wrote an article that spoke about how someone can fast-track success and one of the points I spoke of had to do with doing the marketing while you’re building what you’re building.
So since the next book we’re looking at is about Marketing, I figured I’d revisit what I had originally said and expand on what Marketing in 2021 should be about.
When people create brands/products they imagine selling out, they imagine all the money that will come from thousands of people buying and talking about their brand/product. They launch the brand and people aren’t excited, what happened? Why didn’t the sales take off and why weren’t people as excited as they should’ve been.
This was something I had to come to terms with years ago when we first launched our hangover product. Yes people were excited, but it was only years later when we adapted the product, had grown our social media pages and had created some engaging content did we see a change in behaviour and a growth in sales. I had to let go of my own thoughts about what I thought worked and had to let the trial and error painfully educate me to where I am now where I have a grasp on what is happening and how it all works. Success has less to do about one strategy and more to do about aligning to some principles regarding human behaviour.
Since it is a new year I figured I’d share some points for you to learn from my previous mistakes.
Before we get into it understand this:
Know what marketing is today.
Marketing has evolved from back in the day when all brands had to do was advertise what they had on a few TV channels during peak hours. This was enough to get the message across but today one must understand that this has drastically changed. There’s a plethora of distribution channels that exist today, with thousands of companies fighting for the attention and the money of consumers so the game has changed infinitely. Yes it is much easier and cheaper to get a message out today, but it is much more difficult to get a message to stick and for this reason marketing in 2021 needs a more strategic approach: here are 9 key points to keep in mind.
1. Define yourself
This is very crucial. Who are you, what is the brand about, what does it stand for and what is the ethos (Greek for character or beliefs) behind the brand. I’ve seen a lot of people tend to never define this and thus adopt a pray and spray method trying to be all things to all people. Everything needs to be clearly defined for one simple reason, so that you can attract and build the specific audience that will be champions of what it is you have to offer.
2. Cause and effect
One of the universal laws is the law of Cause and Effect; others know it by the principle of “sowing and reaping” and the law of Karma. Regardless of what is comfortable for you, understand that you can’t get something for nothing in this world. You can’t say to the fire “give me fire and I’ll give you wood,” you must accept that you only get out what you put in, if you want the effect you have to set in motion the actions that create the symmetrical cause. For this reason never think you will get sales without doing the marketing and most times this has to be paid. A Lot of companies reduce marketing budgets when times are tough but I've learnt that this is a big mistake. When times are tough, you should keep budgets the same or do more if you can because tough times and good times are BOTH temporary.
In today’s world of decreasing attention spans, increasing amounts of spam and con-artists, it has become even more imperative to build trust with your audience. The way to build trust is to be consistent. Consistency allows people to know where you stand and what you’re about without them having to do too much guessing. Once people trust what you’re about they will be more inclined to bring themselves to your watering hole. This means you must declare yourself in the game by making sure you keep showing up. This is where quantity trumps quality.
4. Playing the long game
To add to point 3 regarding consistency, it is imperative to understand that any marketing efforts you engage in have to be for the long game. It doesn't help you run a few ads over a week expecting radical sales. You have to be in it for the long haul knowing that as your brand grows in sales and awareness, more and more people will be inclined to evolve with the brand and stand behind it.
5. Building a community
The best brands I’ve seen build a community. We’ve seen this with Apple, Sony and Coca Cola. Buying an audience is easy but building a community of loyal people/customers/followers takes time and you will know you’ve done this right when people bring their people to what it is you have to offer. It’s the classic example of treating your horses right and letting them run into the wild to bring other horses to your farm as they did in the old days. This is what Seth Godin has also championed over the years; it’s about creating tribes that people can belong to. These people will grow the message of what it is you have on offer.
6. Demand chasing supply - Products don’t sell themselves
I spent a lot of years in product development only to learn upon launch that products don’t sell themselves initially. People need to be coerced and people are also weary of being the first to try your products/services so you really have to be smart when launching. Remember to do all you can to create a positive perception around what you’re doing and the products you have on offer. It takes time to create credibility and to effectively move product and there is a lag between the cause and the effect, it is imperative you are patient and don’t make the mistake of having too much supply chasing too little demand. You always want to be in a situation where demand is chasing supply. The illusion of scarcity goes a long way especially with premium brands. Remember it comes down once again to cause and effect.
7. Being accessible
Another thing I learnt about people is that most people are lazy for their own things and even more lazy for your things. The success of any brand comes down to how easily accessible it is for consumers to reach it. If you have a brand in Antarctica, you really can’t expect people in China to buy or know about it if it isn't accessible.
Put yourself in the mind of your consumer and understand that you have to make the process from awareness to sale as easy as possible and this is why people make it a point to get into retailers. Be accessible, have a website, social media page and make sure you engage!
Covid-19 has come to shake many things up and as much as it is a worldwide pandemic, where there’s crisis, opportunity co-resides. Charles Darwin said:
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one more responsive to change.”
This has been what I’ve been telling the clients my consulting firm has. That this is not a time for them to try to get back to the glory days, but for them to understand that they need to adapt to changing market conditions. Only those who adapt, survive the test of time and this is why reptiles have been successful when it comes to survival. You can grow in 2 ways:
1. Vertical growth: Improving on and refining what you already have. (Product refinement)
2. Horizontal growth: Adding new products and offerings to what you already have. (Product extension)
A mix of both is always ideal.
Be able to adapt to changing conditions and find out what your customers wants/needs are. This is what I specialise in, so if you need assistance don’t be afraid to hit me up. @Masterlui_
9. Learn to Give the people what they want
At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter how amazing your marketing efforts are if you don’t have things people want. Sure you can get away with scamming people for sometime but in the end what you have has to serve a need or a want. This has to keep happening otherwise your business will not grow. The more needs you can meet, the more money you’ll be rewarded with. This is paramount.
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