Marketing is more essential than you think

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Back when I got my first marketing degree, my professor said that while business schools teach the importance of fully funding marketing, this is also the area CEOs are most likely to cut out. We see people lining up for movies, for devices like music players and iPhones, and once, when Windows 95 launched, they even lined up for an operating system, all at because of marketing.

Let’s talk about why it’s essential that marketing is properly staffed and funded, and why demand creation doesn’t have to be harmful.

What is Marketing?

Marketing is the manipulation of human behavior on a large scale. People who are very good at it, like Steve Jobs, are expert natural manipulators. And, like any tool, marketing can be abused and misused. This month we lost one of the greatest marketers of all time, Ron Popeil, died at the age of 86. This guy could be on TV and convince millions of people that they needed things like a fishing rod that would fit in their pocket or head paint to cover up baldness. These are just two of his products that most would have thought unsaleable, but he has sold a lot with marketing.

In other words, marketing is sales on this scale. No matter how energetic, a salesperson can only reach a handful of people a day; a great marketing campaign can reach millions of people in a minute. Marketing, for volume products, also costs a lot less than sales commissions, and when it works, people come to you asking for the products – you don’t have to track them down to convince them to make the same purchase.

Some of the best campaigns – and issues

While many point to the 1984 Superbowl advert Apple did to market the Mac as great marketing, and that was great publicity, the Windows 95 campaign was much more impressive. For a while, Macs performed well after this announcement, but people didn’t line up for things like they did around the block for Windows 95, and Windows 95 wasn’t even a whole; it was an operating system that went on a PC that still had to be purchased. It would be like standing in line for car software. Why? But for over a year, and I was attached to this campaign, Microsoft created so much enthusiasm that when the product appeared, people went crazy for something that they really didn’t understand and didn’t understand. hardly any idea how to use it. .

It was ironic that after this launch Microsoft decided to never start over again because they couldn’t handle so many requests. This result was a bit like having a race car with revolutionary technology but so fast that the pit team couldn’t keep up and then, rather than speeding up the pit team, slowing the car rather than running it down. ‘speed up the crew.

Apple, under Jobs, co-opted some of the best tech journalists of the day; they built an almost unmatched marketing engine, which got people to buy Apple products that Steve Jobs said was crap when he first took over the company. And he made those people almost go mad for an MP-3 player that cost almost $ 500, and then again for a smartphone that was an iPod with phone features that were initially nil. Mainly with marketing, Jobs took the business from failure to success. Yet the vast majority of that marketing engine has now been dismantled as if all of this incredible success didn’t matter, and Apple hasn’t had a successful product since.

At IBM, Louis Gerstner took a bankrupt company, whose brand had gone negative (where people would pay more for an unbranded product than an IBM product), and brought the company back to profitability and value. brand by building one of the most capable marketing organizations on the planet. One of the first things his successor did was dismantle this group because it was too expensive.

Intel had the Rabbit campaign who puts Pentium on the map and made the company equal to Microsoft during the Windows 95 years. The campaign did wonders for the brand; the kids got the stuffed figures back like the Disney characters, and Apple was so threatened that they thought they had to create disparaging advertisements to compensate the effort. The campaign could have gone on for decades. Instead, he was killed when they decided to run a Super Bowl commercial to turn the Bunnypeople into thieves.

Don’t neglect marketing

The number of times I have seen companies rouse failure from the mouth of incredible success amazes me. Yet the public sector doesn’t get that either, even though they just watched a guy with no political experience take over one of the major parties largely through hype. If they adequately funded and dominated a Covid vaccine marketing campaign, we would be primarily vaccinated now because marketing can and has changed hearts and minds.

If your business is underperforming, if you are struggling to find customers, if your sales are not what they used to be, chances are the problem is underfunding and understaffing. marketing. But convincing people to adequately fund the effort is like trying to teach a child how to steal from a kid who might be Peter Pan but who doesn’t understand that marketing is the fairy dust of the industry.

I look around and see some marketing going out to spread conspiracy theories and all kinds of anti-science BS, and I wonder if the main problem is that we don’t embrace and use the same skills to good. As a result, they are used for evil. Maybe the way to fix the world, and our own businesses, is to hire these talents again and focus them on things that will make the world a better place to live, rather than creating an even bigger mess. .

Further reading: The channel has changed. Channel marketing needs to catch up


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