6 Powerful Tips to shift into a Marketing Mindset
MANILA – How many times have we sat down late hours in the office, drained and tired after a marketing strategy we worked on didn’t do well as planned? Low sales, slow return of investment, bad conversions–these are very haunting metrics.
Others see marketing as a “spray and pray” game, others nail it, but easily give up after consecutive failures and analysis by paralysis.
It’s understandable. “Maybe it’s not my skill, maybe I’m not born a marketer, maybe I need to retire from marketing, and move to accounting,” you might think.
With numerous marketing tools up to our arsenal, what gives?
How about we try social media? How about we do the massive leafleting at the high traffic area nearby the entrance of the mall post-office hours? Or how about spending a huge amount of money to an advertising campaign we’ve desperately thought of after sales slump and see how that works out?
The thing is, we only know so much. Here’s the good news and the bad news.
Bad news: There’s no perfect formula to marketing. Good news: I will introduce you to something that can be game changing.
In marketing, it’s not what you do, it’s how you think.
To win in a marketplace, all it takes is a positive attitude and a shift of paradigm. To become storytellers than product sellers; To become relationship-builders than transactional purveyors; To be positively tuning in, tweaking (and re-tweaking) until eventually getting it right; To become the most interested person about your target market so you can build your product around their evolving lifestyle, desires and insights.
Thus, I introduce you to #marketingmindset. (I used a hashtag to motivate proper social media index for your commentary about this article.)
Carol Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success proposes, “Mindsets needn’t be set and fixed.” Fixed mindset doesn’t make you win in the marketplace, a growth #marketingmindset does. A fixed mindset is to go through business avoiding challenges and failures. A growth #marketingmarketing mindset, on the other hand is one in which your ideas as fluid, a work in progress. When you shift into a #marketingmindset, the challenge of which marketing tools to use becomes simply intuitive and cohesive.
Here are six important tips you can use to shift into a #marketingmindset:
1. Always be ready to pivot
In a nutshell, if your strategies aren’t working, tweak and launch it again until it prospers. Make flexibility and your intent to listen to your market the core strengths of your company. Instagram started as Burbn, a geotagging social network, pivoted after slow user acceptance, and eventually became a photo app. It has garnered hundreds of millions of users around the world ever since!
Our first ideas seldom work. We would need to evolve them after trials and errors. Given enough feedback, we begin to know better.
A person with a #marketingmindset would say, “In executing my marketing strategies, if the results aren’t promising enough, I’m willing to improve on feedback and response. I believe this is the most logical way to get market fit.”
2. Vague? Boring? Reframe!
Marketing is a storytelling game. Here’s a clincher: It’s not just a battle of products, but also a battle of perceptions. Our clients and customers respond to not only with what they see and hear, but also the meaning behind it. The problem is most businesses sell themselves exactly the same way as their competitors! If your business is boring, or a “me-too” in the market, reframe what you stand for.
Take Fitness First for example. They’ve positioned themselves as a complete facility, premium fitness gym in a sea of other competitive gyms. But Fitness First has reframed their business from a widely known “global” fitness gym into a more dynamic brand that is fitness-powered that “gives people ‘fitness-rich’ moments and interactions that form long-lasting habits.” Never has the brand been this exciting.
Reframing is also powerful if you are selling a product. Take advantage of its leadership in the marketplace, whatever that is. Smallest chip, first international donuts chain, largest low-cost carrier, the only Halal-certified, fastest growing, freshest ingredients. Consumer gives instant credibility points to brands that are leaders in a category or concept. If you don’t have a category you can lead in, make one.
A person with a #marketingmindset would say, “If my current brand image lacks the immense potential for my brand, I’m ready to reframe the story according to the current insights of my customers while staying true to our core values.”
3. Put yourself in the equation
Here’s one of your brand’s most competitive advantages: You.
Presently, the trend in branding and marketing is authenticity and I can see it will stay that way. Richard Branson, one of UK’s most serial entrepreneurs is as funky, young-spirited and dynamic as how he projects his series of brands to be.
Stand true to what you truly believe in on how things should be done. Customers respect brands that are committed to their fundamentals. Like how a young team of baristas who operates a coffee shop in Iloilo called Fuel.ph are committed to serve strictly fair-trade coffee from Benguet while at the same time foster communities, not just customers. Or how an online booking company named FlipTrip.ph differentiates itself from the giants like Agoda by promoting tourism and empowering local tourism operators. The founder believes in not just booking rooms as its business model, but also by empowering the local operators to become competitive, visiting them and training them.
Also, it would be increasingly difficult for your competitors to catch up because they can’t replicate your passion and originality.
A person with a #marketingmindset would say, “My brand represents something more than just a product or service. I want my customers to believe in my brand as much as I believe in what we’re advocating.”
4. Stop selling, start resonating
Seth Godin, in his book “Tribes” wrote, “For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”
Your brand should be a platform of like-minded communities that is basically your selected niche, or your primary target market. Snoe Beauty, a homegrown make-up and personal care brand, has reached more than 50 stores nationwide in just five years because it stays true to its core message of being “fine, fun and fabulous.” The brand is translated by its witty product names; funky world-class packaging that resonated well to its female buyers. When you affirm your market’s longings and desires, accentuate their lifestyle, direct them to the next big thing, and resonate with them, the symbiotic relationship becomes effortless.
A person with a #marketingmindset would say, “My brand is a platform for my dear customers so they can be freely themselves, enjoying shared interests, fantasies and ambitions. Here, they’ll feel accepted. They’ll feel their part of something bigger than them.”
5. Want to go viral? Be really, really good first.
According to Paul Rand, author of Highly Recommended, “A true social business is based on being the most highly recommended brand.” This digital age has seen the fall of many brands that have been reported by websites for inferior customer service, posted in Facebook as faulty products. The internet has given back the voice of the people. We have a thumbs-up or thumbs-down mentality, and our brands now depend more than ever on the social commentary of our clientele.
Here’s what you can do: make a superior, elegant product or business first. You can even reinvest your marketing budget into improving your business; improve your store design, train on superior customer service, extend your waiting area because your clients are standing because of lack of chairs, offer rewards and incentives in their every visit. Make your brand so extraordinary that it compels your clients to talk about it, share it, and yes, recommend it.
Remember, word of mouth is the holy grail of marketing. You can build your entire strategy plan in designing to court positive feedback. Understand “the science of social proof” and use it to your advantage. Usually, when a lot of people are doing something, it is the right thing to do.
A person with a #marketingmindset would say, “I have to start in making my business extraordinary enough that it’s worthwhile to share. It’s good karma.”
6. Most importantly, have fun!
Marketing doesn’t have to be frightening and expensive. In the contrary, it’s immensely exciting and lucrative! It gives you the opportunity to know your market up-close and fathom what ticks their imaginations. With those insights, you now have an understanding on how to improve their lives with what you uniquely offer. Once provided, it returns to you tenfold.
A person with a #marketingmindset would say, “I am having the time of my life doing this because while creatively marketing my product and services, I also get to reach my fullest potential.”
(Business Mentor’s note: Ralph Layco is the Chief Marketing Officer of SAM Holdings, Inc. He also consults for the Department of Tourism-Region XII. He recently finished his continuing studies course in Integrated Marketing at New York University for Spring- 2015. Offered an internship and possible career in New York, he returned home because of his advocacy to help the country in his ways. He’s a marketing nerd, and spends his day remote managing his team from a coffee shop. He believes in the power of great ideas. He believes that our itch, if we look closely enough, is a clue to a possible business breakthrough. He supports the movement of empowering young people to entrepreneurship and fulfilling their passions that’s why he organizes seminars where he can advise business owners and budding entrepreneurs)
Source: Abs-Cbn News, PH