We all know that marketing is critical to our business success, because it helps us showcase our offerings to the world in a way that it is enticing. Enticing enough for them to trust our story and invest in us.
But have you ever wondered, where does the process of marketing really start?
Does it start as soon as you are ready to launch a product? Does it start after you have made a little headway into the market and realize people like your offering? Or does it start when you start thinking about your product?
If you were to ask me, I would say, marketing starts at the idea stage.
I am sure, all of you readers are familiar with what is marketing and what it does, but like most obvious and in the face things, marketing is known more for the showman ship activities it undertakes to create a buzz for its users. Many a times people forget that the role marketing plays and its contribution in a company's success story goes beyond the campaigns it creates.
In this post, I have tried to put down my understanding of what marketing really does and why it is such an integral part of not just your brand's success story but your company's successful history.
This is when the first marketing activity should kick in to validate the practicality and the possibility of converting your idea into a real product or offering. Researching on..
- How big is the market for your idea?
- What are the growth possibilities?
- Who are your competitors?
- Who are the people who would be interested in buying your offerings, investing in your idea and
- How can you carve your own distinct brand, what is it that you would offer that is different from the others.
are some of the critical questions market research will help you answer in addition to giving you an overview of wether your idea is a profitable feasibility or an invigorating fantasy.
Involving marketing at the research stage can go a long way in safeguarding your investments and in minimizing the risks. It can also help you in shaping your ideas better in and in line with the demands and needs of the market you intend to cater to.
This is the second most critical function of marketing, where a company focuses on how it can cost-effectively deliver its value proposition to each of its target segments.
- How should it price its product?
- What is the best way to sell its product amongst its target segment?
- Which channels should be used to sell its product and how these channels will add value to the brand
are some of the questions that have to be dealt with in the go-to-market strategy phase. This phase is important because it defines the positioning of the product and sets the way forward for its acceptance by the target customer. It also prepares the company for the possible challenges to expect from its competitors and from the market in general. It is that last breath of readiness you take before you plunge head-on into the real scenario.
This is the story telling phase, the phase where companies entice their customers to buy their offerings.
- Defining their positioning
- Describing their product's unique value proposition
- Understanding the consumer profile and segment and customizing the brand messaging
- Defining the marketing methods and ( advertising, social media, PR, Email marketing etc.), channels to be used to reach out to their desired market segment.
This phase of marketing is critical because it helps build the brand, ensures brand adoption and retention and persuades the company's customers to invest in its offerings. Also creative and ever evolving marketing strategies ensure the brand successfully penetrates deeper into its market segment and acquires a larger market share.
This is the where the role of marketing comes full circle, when it tries to connect with the consumers of a brand to find out,
- How they see the brand?
- Do they think the price justifies the end product?
- What is it that they like about the product?
- How do they see the product evolve?
- Would they recommend the product to someone else?
Customer feedback is pivotal to the success of any brand, it helps a brand to re-evaluate its offerings and correct it to fit the needs and requirements of its consumer base. It also helps it to understand the issues and concerns of its consumer base and design solutions which will address these concerns and help their customers enjoy their offerings better. Customer feedback also helps a company's marketing team to decide on whether it needs to change it's messaging and positioning to make the brand more popular.
So next time when you budget your marketing spend take into account all these phases and not just the marketing strategy and execution stage. Marketing is not that thing you spend heaps of money on, once you are ready with a product to sell, but it is a thinking, a process that should be part of every phase of your company's journey of turning an idea into a successful reality.