Is Marketing the most important function of an organization?
Is marketing important? Should companies spend on marketing?
This debate has been going on since the term “Marketing” is coined.
In this article, I would explain some reasons to state why Marketing is so important that it can make or break your business.
This article is useful for all the professionals, entrepreneurs, businessmen and anyone who is out there in this cruel world trying to make a mark.
Below are the most important reasons to showcase the importance of marketing:
Importance of Marketing for product-market fit:
Market research has always been the most overlooked, say ignored part of most businesses.
Well, that explains the success rate of 1%, isn’t it!
It is rightly said that “Knowing where to compete is half the battle won”
Most companies/ startups usually follow the below method to validate product/ idea:
Ask a few friends/ family. If they approve, which they usually do, the idea is validated.
The above method is the most common reason for the death of startups.
We all prefer to be in silos and fear rejection.
Hence, we avoid getting in touch with strangers who, believe me, can give the most honest and valuable feedback.
Here are some of the ways to collect genuine feedbacks with decent sample size:
a. Free sampling and collection of feedbacks
Having worked in the FMCG sector, I feel that this is a good method to test market viability and product-market fit.
If the targeting is done right, you are bound to get your first set of customers from this sample.
b. One-on-one interaction:
This is perhaps the most underrated, yet the most effective way of collecting feedback about the product.
This also leads to an amazing rapport between the brand and the customer.
And some really cool customers do give taglines, new product ideas and a lot of iterations which can be game-changer for the business.
Some companies have dedicated teams which connect with each and every customer and gather detailed feedback.
The decisions which are taken on the basis of these feedback goes a long way in contributing to the overall growth of the company.
Importance of Marketing for Effective Communication:
Yes, you heard that right!
Any communication that goes out from a company is a form of marketing in one way or the other.
Be it as small as product packaging or book cover.
Or as big as TV ads or celebrity endorsement.
Everything is a component of Marketing.
Even Sales, which is the revenue factor of any organization is a component of Marketing.
Sales is a component, rather a byproduct of Marketing.
If the right thing is communicated to the right person at the right time, sales become automated. That is called Effective Marketing.
But it is easier said than done.
Effective communication is something that even the greatest marketers struggle with.
Hence the term, Integrated Marketing Communication has come into existence.
Now, what the heck is Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC)?
Well, it is a concept under which a company carefully integrates and coordinates its various communication channels to deliver a clear and consistent message.
Let us understand this with an example:
Coca-cola is one of the most valuable companies in the world. But it is one of the best marketers as well.
It wants to convey the message of “Happiness” with red color through all its communication.
If you visit their social media, you would find posts and messages related to happiness with a clear indication of red color. In fact, their Instagram wall looks red.
If you visit their website, the videos of people spreading joy and happiness are featured.
If you see their TV ads or youtube ads, the message of happiness, joy, and laughter is conveyed with a clear showcase of red color.
This creates memory structures in the minds of customers wherein as soon as someone sees red color or a cheerful ad, instant reference to Coke triggers.
This is the power of IMC.
Now let us talk about ways to leverage IMC to for effective communication:
a. Funnel Creation
Funnel in marketing is an important framework to understand.
In very simple terms, funnels is the journey of a customer from
Attention > Interest > Desire > Action > Retarget
All of us want to generate leads and then want our leads to take certain actions.
Maybe we want them to make a purchase or fill a form or sign up, all these are steps of the funnel which ultimately leads to conversion.
Let us take an example of Retail vs Ecommerce funnel:
Below is a pictorial representation:
Hope you got a fair idea about funnels, isn’t it?
Funnels are extremely important because:
They help to qualify leads.
Mercedes Benz got 100 requests for a demo ride over a week. Will they entertain everyone?
No, they will create a funnel by asking questions like
Which car do you own currently?
What profession are you into?
What is your household income? And so on
The above questions will help them filter out non-serious buyers so they can focus their energy on serious ones and get maximum conversions.
Here comes the role of Integrated Marketing Communications:
- to effectively reach out to potential audience
- get them in the funnel
- filter out unwanted leads
- qualify and prioritize them
“There are two types of businesses that exist on the planet. One is brand and the other one is commodity. People pay extra for brands and bargain for commodities. Regular Atta is a commodity, Ashirwad Atta is a brand. Now it’s for you to decide which category you want to fall in”
Branding is not only about fancy names and colorful logos. It is a perception in the minds of your consumer about your company.
The founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, says it even better: “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
The easiest way to assess brand identity is to ask your consumer below question:
What are the 4 words you would use to describe our brand if it were human?
Four words to describe Cadbury – Sweet, Soft, Cheerful, Social
Four words to describe Red Bull – Daring, Party lover, Energetic, Strong
You can pick up any of the successful brands and you will find there will always be adjectives to describe the same.
To create a successful brand, companies should always focus on being the only one rather than always striving to be No. 1.
This is because in the long run, eventually, every category becomes a 1-2 player game.
Let us talk about the two main types of tools that aid in brand creation:
These include all the traditional forms of advertisement like TV, radio, billboards etc.
They are mostly interruptive and it is very difficult to assess ROI.
These are tools like SEO, Email marketing, Social media, google ads etc.
These can be easily tracked, assessed and optimized for better ROI.
These have become more relevant in post covid times.
One of the most scarce commodities in the world is “TRUST”.
People do not trust easily. If they don`t trust you, they won’t buy you. If they won’t buy you, you will be out of business.
Hence, effective communication plays a huge role in getting customer trust.
We can understand this through a widely used and accepted funnel devised by my mentor Digital Deepak.
This funnel is called CATT (Content, Attention, Trust, Transaction)
It means the process of trust building starts with solid, well-written and precise content.
This content can then be leveraged to gather attention from the target audience through various means such as email marketing, paid ads, google ads, SEO etc.
The attention is then nurtured through constantly providing value thereby cultivating trust.
The final step is making use of the trust gained and compelling the user to make a transaction with you. This is the most important step because, without this step, the cycle won’t complete.
The trust earned is one of the biggest assets owned by any company. It can also be used to increase the LTV of the customer and to continuously bring in revenue.
So to put things in perspective, we have provided enough reasons to highlight the importance of marketing in an organization.
Do you Agree or Disagree? Comment below and let us know.