Marketing in the Making

Marketing; Thoughts and Questions

Archive for the category “Traditional Marketing”

Word of Mouth Marketing is Not Dead

The most valuable way to get the word out about your company and/or event is through word of mouth. It has been a long lasting successful tool. According to a study by Yahoo! in the end of 2010, word of mouth as a marketing tool still proves valuable in passing along that all important message about your company.
The study also pointed out that although social and new media in marketing is growing, when people are discussing the brand, they reference the company website more often than the various social media platforms. To me this makes sense, since the most concrete information needed about a company will be primarily on their website. However, social media has played a role in assisting word of mouth.

Yes, you can still turn to your friend down the street and ask about where is the best place for some clam chowder, but social media allows you to get more opinions and options. Your friend down the street only knows maybe a few places, versus asking your friends on your social media platforms through a simple tweet or status can give you back even more places to choose from. Having this ability to ask so many people so easily gives you a better chance to find what you are looking for. Why would you trust these people? Because the idea of your friends on these sites is that you have built a connection and a relationship with them that provides you with a reason to trust their recommendation.

Word of mouth marketing is what I believe, as well to be one of the most valuable marketing tools available and luckily cheapest as well. The key then is to find the right people to pass the word on to…but I will leave that up to you to discover.

Marketing is Everywhere

I finally started my first college Marketing class this week!  One of the first questions our teacher asked us was to “name something that didn’t have any marketing in it”. Then another student would have to find how marketing really does effect it.

What was the point of this?  To prove that marketing is everywhere!

Every pen you pick up, every door that you use or even where you park has some hint of marketing in it.  Why did you choose that pen?  Was it the grip?  Or, the way it writes?  How about the color?  The design of this pen was inspired by BIC’s (for example) consumers.  Consumers were looking for a pen that was comfortable to write with for long periods of time, writes well, and is a pretty and hip color.  BIC discovered this through there market research.  Then, BIC created just that, told their customers about it in an innovative way and made it available.  This is when you and I went out and purchased the pen.

How about the door?  The designer choose to put that particular door there for a certain reason.  Maybe it was random but he/she definitely wondered at one point or another “where are my customers going to want to enter?”  There is an actual whole science behind how stores are set up and the positioning of each and every bit of it. This also applies to the parking lot.  Where should each space face and how much room is needed.  This depends on the “type” of customer, what types of cars they tend to drive and if they are good drivers or not.

I am reading a book about just that now called “Why We Buy:  The Science of Shopping” by Paco Underhill.  If you get the chance I definitely recommend reading this one.

What I am trying to get at is that marketing has an incredibly large influence on the world we live in and what we do.

Now I want to play the same game that I played in class (the one I told you about at the beginning of this post).  Give me an example of something, anything where you think marketing has no influence.  In response, I will try to point out how marketing has efected it.

What is Marketing?

What do you think of when you hear marketing?  Are you thinking of advertising?  Anything else?

From what I have learned, marketing is a very broad topic that is responsible for more than just the advertisements you see in either magazines or on television.  And even within that, what is considered marketing differs from industry to industry and company to company.  According to Wikipedia, “marketing is the process by which companies create customer interest in products or services.”  Within this process, there are multiple aspects.

The aspects that fall under marketing include but are most definitely not limited to:

  • Advertising
  • Branding
  • Product Development
  • Market Research

Now, let me give you a few examples of these terms.

Advertising would include creating that page in a magazine or the billboard you see driving down the highway.  However, something important to realize is how much work actually goes into this.  Each part of the advertisement must align with the company’s mission and goals, as well as match the vision of the design.

Branding, as I have understood it, has more to do with the basics and how the company is perceived.  The font used and how the company presents itself.  When a company is rebranding themselves that means they are trying to reinvent how people perceive them through changing the way they look.

Now, product development does involve the R&D and productions of improving and creating the actual product, however, there is also a marketing aspect.  This part deals more with the look and feel of the product.  What colors will be available and how the packaging will work and look.

The market research portion deals with understanding the customers.  Here, the company or a hired company will speak to customers who fit the ideal target market about what it is they are looking for in the products they buy.  This can be done in a variety of ways including focus groups and shop-a-longs.  With market research, the company is able to learn what it is their products must be able to do and how they can best cater to their customers needs to get the business they are looking for.

Within each of these parts that make up marketing, there is usually a strategy portion and a design portion to create the best possible campaigns.

What else makes up the field of marketing?  I would love to hear about it!

Traditional Marketing is Still Alive!

So, we know that Social Media is growing and not going away anytime soon, but what about all the traditional forms that everyone has been working for years to perfect?

Yeah, that’s right, I mean the direct mail, brochures, the posters in the subway stations (or on the trains as in the picture above), the radio advertisements, the billboards and of course the television commercials.  Well, they are all still there, and I think, just as important…well, maybe not the television as much.  With TiVo and the ability to skip over the commercials, television may be changing as well, but we will get into that another time.

I personally think that there is something to be said for the idea of being able to see something in person, touch it or hear it live.  The connection grows that much more.  I would still rather purchase a CD than buy songs off iTunes.  Being able to have the album art makes the purchase so much more worthwhile.

The same idea goes for brochures.  Why do we take the brochure when we know that we could just as easily find all of the information online and we are going to through it away as soon as we get home?  It makes you feel special.  It is as if someone thought about you when creating the collateral.  These traditional forms, make the product or service you are selling just a little more personal and special.

Although social media is definitely an important form of marketing that should be utilized, it should not overpower traditional marketing tools.

Before I started writing this post, I searched Google to see what people had to say about traditional marketing and social media, and I found a few similar posts, such as Stephen Nellas’ blog, Business is Pleasure.  He has a post, titled “Does Traditional Marketing Still Work?”  He made a good point here, which I completely agree with.  “[Social Media] is an important element, yes, but it’s not supposed to replace proven forms of promotion.”

Social media is there to partner with our traditional forms of marketing and make them stronger and that much more effective.  Social media is like that one extra support that keeps the building just a little more sturdy in the wind.  It is not completely necessary, but it will make your brand or company even more powerful.  The traditional marketing makes up the part of the structure that is necessary to keep it together.  Together, your building will be strong and last longer.

Remember, being able to touch the collateral is still just as important as it used to be and should not be disregarded.

What are your thoughts?

iPod Subway picture credited to Lost Art of Blogging

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