Nine out of ten times, businesses fail because of one reason.
Products or services are not selling, no matter how great they are.
Or it could be a case of products and services not selling enough, or not selling fast enough. Whichever the case, the cause is typically a case of marketing done wrongly, if existent at all.
Simply put, no business today can create a product or service, and expect sales to roll in by themselves, some degree of marketing must be present. Marketing itself is also not all about selling and promotion
The prevention of such a tragedy is marketing. Again, this might seem too simplistic a statement. There are so many methods of marketing, and marketers and quite often, an error in strategy is equally a recipe for failure. To prevent the latter, marketing must be approached with the right mentality. This begins by understanding what marketing should be. The following marketer archetypes illustrate what proper marketing is and isn’t.
Nostalgic as they might be, the non-marketer’s approach of setting up and waiting for business, wouldn’t survive long in today’s markets.
The Non-Marketer is your medieval village storekeeper. He consolidates his products, sets up shop, and waits for business to come. Occasionally, he might perform some elementary promotion effort, such as coercing fellow villagers into buying from him. In short, however, his marketing model is that of waiting for business to arrive. The assured farmer waiting for crops to grow.
Such a marketing model has little chance of survival in our modern world if any chance at all. With millions of competitors, the technology for instant sales, and a myriad of communication channels, the non-marketer wouldn’t even be noticed. His business would literally be drowned in a sea of competition. Personally, I consider the non-marketer a business plan for disaster.
The Traditional Marketer
The Traditional Marketer embraces the fundamental principles of marketing. He collects relevant information and approaches the task from the classic “4Ps” of marketing viewpoint. He produces a sellable product or service, then he sets a sensible price. Finally, he determines the ideal place of business and works on informing potential buyers about himself. Sometimes, his promotion is enhanced by endorsements such as industry accreditation, client testimonials, and so on.
This approach is the polar opposite of the Non-Marketer. Already, it reflects a shift in mentality from waiting for business, to actively attracting business. Such an approach continues to have its merits in our modern world, except, how long is it going to stay effective for an audience increasingly sophisticated and informed? An audience that is also distracted by endless alternatives on so many fronts. In order to compete with these alternatives, would the Traditional Marketer end up incurring too much cost and time? With continuously diminishing returns?
More and more so, this traditional approach might be turning obsolete.
The Savvy Marketer
The Savvy Marketer does everything the Traditional Marketer does, but he performs it with finesse. He uses modern methodologies such as surveys and focus group discussions to consolidate market opinions. He also considers every possible channel to push his offers, a strategy similar to Jay Levinson’s guerilla marketing tactics. Every step of the way, he ensures he remains in active contact with the target audience. It could be said that every decision he makes is made specifically for his clientele.
In addition, the Savvy Marketer constantly relies on client opinion to refine his products and services. He cultivates the impression that it is not his product, but the product of his clients. He also doesn’t solely rely on information transmission during promotion. In other words, he doesn’t only distribute flyers or put up a website. He hunts for business actively. His instruments are modern channels of communication, such as social media. As much as possible, he narrows in and contacts his target audience without a middleman. Chance is given little tolerance in his marketing plan.
Most successful businesses today, big or small, are Savvy Marketers. These are the businesses that have embraced technology in the quest of shortening the journey to the customer. They make themselves available at any hour of the day, literally. They also project the image that they are the natural, if not the only choice for selection.
The Evolved Marketer
The Evolved Marketer is the Savvy Marketer with one additional game-changer. He recognizes fluctuating market demand could be a destructive force, so he devotes significant effort to manipulating demand. His promotional messages are subtly fine-tuned to imply superiority over the competition. In many cases, the promotional message itself is also crafted to generate new demand.
At the same time, Evolved Marketers embrace the concept of finite product life cycles. Few things in the world sell forever, so Evolved Marketers always pave the way for future product introductions. The decline of one product is negated by the birth of another. In this way, the Evolved Marketer sets in motion a recurring cycle. This cycle ensures he never runs out of things to sell, also that he is never short of things to promote. Over time, his influence over demand generation might even lead to industry leadership. Needless to say, this is the most desirable pinnacle for all marketers.