What did I unlearn today that will help you be a better digital marketer?
It’s said that there is no end to learning. It is a continuous process. The more you learn, the more opportunities open up for you.
It can be learning a new subject, a new language, a new skill, or a new way to keep yourself healthy.
There are many benefits of learning new things. It can give you a successful career, keeps your mind active and happy, and benefit others.
And it is in this process of learning new things in my Digital Marketing Internship Program that I unlearnt many. Things that I earlier knew were correct but were proved wrong.
I am confident these will help you in your journey to be a better digital marketer.
Let me share them with you
The word ‘digital marketing’ consists of two words, digital, and marketing. Digital as you know, represents the electronic medium by which marketing takes place.
Marketing is the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising. (As defined by the Oxford dictionary).
Though it has been explained in 16 words, marketing is much more than that.
We will first talk about marketing and then move to the digital part.
A short talk on Marketing (which I didn’t know)
Marketing to me was, contacting your customer, offering them your product or service, and selling it to them.
And that was it – which in reality is not.
I admit I was quite blunt about it.
Marketing comprises many things. It starts with market research, finding gaps in the market, a product that fills the gaps, reaching out to customers, and making them aware of the product – all of which increase sales.
But have you ever thought about why people should trust and buy from you? Would you buy something from a person who is a stranger?
You know the answer.
If you want people to buy from you, you have to first earn their trust. How do you earn their trust? By regularly communicating with them, not only before making the product known but also after the sale is done.
It’s not a one-day game. It’s a game to be played every day if you are serious about building a brand that has the trust of its customers.
Let us now get to know some basic facts about marketing. If you are already aware of this, then it’s awesome and I love you for that. And even if you are not then I still love you and would like to share them with you.
There are four P’s of marketing: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.
The four combined are known as the ‘marketing mix’ and are a concept that is more than 50 years old. McCarthy introduced the 4 P’s of marketing in his book Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach.
Although more than fifty years old, these four form the solid foundation of what marketing is today.
I am confident you will find them useful to drive more sales. But I must warn you, though they may look easy, they are not and it will take time and patience to master them. This I learned the hard way.
Here, I will be giving you a holistic view as anything in-depth on them is beyond the scope of this post.
Product: As I shared with you before, it is not enough that you have a product. You have to know where it stands.
A market is not made for a product but a product is made for the market.
Don’t get fooled by the idea that you have a great product and it will be a hit with the consumers. Maybe your product is great but did you bother to check whether consumers need that product?
Whether it can solve a particular problem or can make their life easier?
Remember, your product is the glue that helps to bind your brand with your customers. And the better it is, the more will be its bonding power.
Marketing is based on facts and not what you think of your product. It is what consumers think of your product and whether they find it useful, is what finally matters.
To know the answers to the same, you need to do market research. This is overlooked by many including me. This ignorance had earlier resulted in my dreams being crushed like a paper cup.
Research allows you to know how to benefit your customers. Whether they need your product or something else?
Research also lets you know about the quality of your product and how you can improve it by studying the feedback from consumers.
It is the ultimate deciding factor that tells you how you should build your product or service. This helps to fill the gaps in the market and come up with a winner.
Price: Would you buy from me a high-priced commodity or service when someone else is offering the same at a cheaper price? You know the answer and will not bother to look at my product anymore.
What will this result in if you are launching a new product? You will lose market share even before you can make any sizeable sale.
How do you overcome this? By market research of course. This activity tells you what price your customers are comfortable with, and what your competitors are offering. How you can beat them with better quality service and at a lower price and more.
It is wise to start with a low price and scale slowly as consumers become more comfortable with your brand.
Market research lets you peek into the minds of customers, and know what, when, where, and how they want something from you. Remember, it is always what they want and not what you want.
Place: This is the age of the Internet. Its power enables you to reach out to a global audience. But if you think you have customers everywhere, then you’re mistaken, my friend.
You have to find the places where your ideal customers are and sell your product there. Whether you’re selling online or offline, location is important as it will help you find your target market.
For example, you are running a Facebook ad, which is meant only for people residing in Tier 1 cities. Would the ad give you results if you target Tier 2 and 3 cities?
If you have an online product, such as a content marketing course, then would it help if you advertise on TikTok? It won’t because none of your target customers are there.
If you have a physical product, you need to know where the brick and mortar stores are located. And plan accordingly.
Research and find out if these stores are located near your target customers so that it is easier for them to buy.
It boils down to the location. Plan your marketing where the audience is interested in listening and buying from you and not where they aren’t.
Promotion: The last pillar in the 4 P’s of marketing is Promotion. Once you are ready with the first three, it’s time to place your product on the market and test it.
You may have a fantastic product; it is economically priced and affordable, you know where to market your product, and now…
… you need to make people aware that there is a product that will erase their problems and promise them a better life.
How do you make it known to them?
By Promotion, of course.
Promotion includes advertising, selling, public relations, or sponsorship.
If you want an offline promotion, you can do it through newspapers, magazines, leaflets, banners, hoardings, and so forth.
If you want the promotion to be online then there are many channels to try and find out which works for you.
These channels can be Google ads, Facebook ads, Affiliate marketing, Content Marketing, and e.mail marketing, amongst others.
But it just cannot be any channel. You have to research and know where your customers frequently visit and make your product known there.
You need to snoop and study the ads that your competitors are running, also where and when they are running.
If your product is seasonal such as Christmas decorations, or clothes that people wear in summer then you need to promote them accordingly.
Remember, it’s always what the customer needs, when they need and how they need.
Now that you have a fairly good idea of what marketing is and how it should be done, let’s know a bit about its digital form, i.e. Digital Marketing.
The modern-day avatar of marketing
Digital Marketing occupies almost 46% (Forrester Research report) of the total global marketing effort.
Any marketing that appears on phones, tablets, personal computers, and other electronic devices is known as Digital Marketing.
Digital is just a medium by which marketing is done. It is a means to help you reach your ideal customers. And it is solely dependent on the Internet to perform its functions.
A world today without the internet is unthinkable. With 4.66 billion active users (source: t.ly/I06H) it is a huge, market, with billions of dollars in sales happening every day.
It has become the ultimate place for science, entertainment, love, and gossip between friends. And is the new playground for marketing.
It has where businesses are born, expand and flourish.
It is a playground, where you can explore, establish your presence and sell your product.
Such is the presence of the Internet that websites and social media are fast replacing the conventional ways of marketing, such as print ads, hoardings, or even TV.
Digital marketing offers unique benefits that aren’t there in traditional marketing.
Some of them are:
Global Reach: Digital marketing happens on the internet. This means you can reach anyone, anywhere, anytime you need.
You needn’t be restricted by logistics, currency, or location. It offers unlimited advantages to make yourself or your product known to a global population.
Earlier a small business owner wouldn’t even dare to think of reaching out to a global audience. This was mainly due to the cost involved.
But now their business is within easy reach of almost anyone through an online store, website, or a blog.
Easy to learn and apply: Digital marketing is easy to learn if you are serious and diligent enough. You can market your products and services yourself, and not engage some expensive digital marketing agency to do so.
There might be bumps in the journey but you will find out what works and what doesn’t… and use its full potential.
Greater engagement: This form of marketing enables you to directly interact with your audience. You get to know their pain and provide a solution accordingly.
Also, it’s much easier to pursue and convince your would-be customers with customized e.mails or content and build trust with them. The more you interact with your customers, the greater their trust will be in you.
If your customer likes your blog then they can share the same on their social media accounts. This will result in more leads and sales for your business.
There are a ton of other benefits that comes with Digital Marketing, which I will be sharing with you in a separate post.
I hope what you read till now, has caught your attention. If so, there is more for you, which I want you to read to do well in Digital Marketing.
Traditional vs Digital Marketing
Both Traditional and Digital Marketing are two different forms of Marketing. Their end purpose is the same, only the means are different.
Traditional Marketing has been there for hundreds of years. It is what companies used and still use to capture market share.
Traditional Marketing in a gist can be defined as a form of marketing that doesn’t use the Internet to spread its message.
Some forms of Traditional Marketing are – Billboards, TV, Radio, Magazines, Newspapers, Direct Mail, or Telemarketing.
Coming to Digital Marketing, here I will only share some examples of the same since I have already shared facts about it earlier.
Examples of Digital Marketing are – E.mail marketing, Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Podcasts, and so forth.
Though Traditional Marketing is still there and will be there, it has lost much of its market share to Digital Marketing.
And there are several reasons for it.
Let me share with you some facts and figures that separate these two.
Traffic Engagement: With Traditional Marketing, there are limits to how much you can engage with your customers. Beyond a certain point, it becomes terribly expensive.
Not all businesses, can afford to run daily ads in newspapers to woo customers, thereby losing out on market share.
Nor can you afford to run worldwide print ads unless you are a cash-rich company with deep pockets.
With Digital Marketing, you get unlimited access to your customers. Once an ad starts running, it will always be there unless you decide to stop it. And the costs are remarkably low when compared to Traditional Marketing.
You also get the privilege to showcase your products, to anyone, anywhere, and not get restricted by physical boundaries.
Measurable returns: With Traditional Marketing it is difficult to measure how many people are reading your ads or are responding to them.
Much of your marketing would then depend on guesses unless you have a mail-order business where you can expect people to reply with prepaid envelopes.
With Digital Marketing you can easily know how many people are clicking on your ads, subscribing to your newsletters, or making purchases.
You can even know how many people are visiting your website, adding products to their cart but not buying. This phenomenon is known as Cart Abandonment.
And all these are measurable with Digital Marketing.
Targeting: Traditional Marketing doesn’t give you the choice to target a select group of people residing in a particular area, or people with some form of characteristics.
For example, if you are promoting sports shoes that are for people in the age group of 22-30, then it can’t be done with Traditional Marketing.
It is like throwing stones in the dark, without knowing if they will hit their target.
Laser-targeting is not possible with Traditional Marketing, but it is possible with Digital Marketing.
Digital Marketing saves you money and time by giving you the option of choosing your target audience and then directing your marketing efforts at them.
Communication: With Traditional Marketing, it is one-way traffic. You can only direct your marketing efforts to a huge audience without knowing what their reaction is.
This medium also doesn’t allow you to get any feedback from your audience.
Digital Marketing is just the reverse. With every marketing message that you send, you can always interact with the audience and get their feedback.
This will help improve your products/services and build solid trust with your customers.
This brings us to the end of our discussion regarding Traditional and Digital Marketing.
Now we will talk about the customer journey starting from the customer seeing your ad to making the final purchase. This journey in marketing terms is known as a funnel.
The funnel that we will discuss here is the CATT Marketing Funnel, devised by my Digital Marketing Mentor, Deepak Kanakaraju.
CATT Marketing Funnel
Wealth = n ^ (CATT)
(n) = Your niche
C = Content
A = Attention
T = Trust
T = Transaction
Puzzled by the formula? Don’t worry, I’ll explain it to you.
If you look at the formula you will see that the first word is Wealth. Wealth is what we strive towards every day.
Why are you reading my post? Because you want to create wealth by being a better Digital Marketer.
Why am I writing this post? To gain your trust by providing you with quality content and will finally try to sell you some of my services.
What I am trying to do here is build wealth for you and me.
But how do you do it?
Let’s dive deeper.
Niche = n stands for the niche you choose to work in.
You might ask what a niche is? Though I am confident that as a Digital Marketer, you already know the answer.
Niche is a particular space in the market where you are specialised to deliver your products or services. A space that you are comfortable working in.
For example, if you like to design, print, and sell t-shirts, then a t-shirt printing business is ideal for you.
If you love writing, creating content, and marketing, then content marketing is for you.
Niche is a combination of your talents + your passion + the market that exists for the first two.
And the three have to bond with each other to give you success.
Content = Content is what lets you engage with your customers. You can place content on websites, blogs, e.newsletters, videos, webinars, or post as a guest blogger.
Use any medium to display content that will help you get more traffic. Make sure you provide valuable content, as it is only then that people get attracted to you.
People want something in return for the time they spend on you. The more informative your content is the higher will be their interest.
Attention = Now that your content is ready, it is time to grab attention. You can get leads with the help of social media, paid ads, and e.mail campaigns.
You can also engage influencers to promote your product or services in their group.
Another option is to build a mailing list and regularly engage with them by providing valuable information that matters.
Trust = Your content is ready, you have managed to catch the attention of your prospects – Now is the time to build trust with them.
One vital thing to remember is that everything sells on emotion.
People buy with emotion and then justify it with logic. This is where you need to focus and build trust with them.
You can cultivate relationships through loyalty programs, ask for feedback, be committed and honest, be helpful, and show people that you care.
Send customized messages to people so that they feel that you are communicating with them one to one and build trust with them.
Transaction = The first three steps culminate in this final one. All the effort that you gave to create content, get attention and build trust finally results in the customer making their first purchase from you.
This should be a natural sale and not a forced sale. By this I mean your relation with your customer and the trust that you have built with them be so terrific they should naturally buy from you.
But you need to have webinars, sales calls, and retargeting to keep the motion running.
It does not end with the first sale. You have to continuously nurture them, by e.mails or regular posts to constantly remind them of you. They should be eager to hear from you and know more about your new product or service.
If you have nothing new to sell, even then you should continue to engage with your customers. This helps them to remember you, so you do not have to start the process once again.
To summarise this section, you first need to select a good niche and then use it to create wealth using the CATT funnel.
How much wealth you can create depends on how powerfully you can use the CATT funnel with your niche.
Integrated Digital Marketing
This is another framework by which you can market your products or services.
What some people do to get traffic is that they use only one platform of Digital Marketing to promote their products. And expect great results from the same.
Some use only Facebook ads to get results. Some use only e.mail marketing to do the same. Others use SEO to get more traffic.
Each of them has its strengths and weaknesses. And you cannot rely on a single one to deliver results.
Think of it as going to war and using only your infantry. Wouldn’t it be more effective if you used your tanks, airforce, and navy, strategically to deliver a bigger impact?
The same goes for Digital Marketing. You cannot rely on any single platform to get more traffic and sales. You need to use all the channels like a well-oiled machine to achieve your goal.
Now there are various platforms that you can use. It can be Facebook ads, Google ads, e.mails, podcasts, webinars, or YouTube.
If you have a blog where you post content, you cannot expect incoming traffic if you have no subscribers. You can offer your visitors a freebie in exchange for their e.mails. Once you have their e.mails, you can start building a list.
You can then start sending new content to the list so that they again come back to you for more.
Once you have enough traffic, you can use the power of paid ads to further boost your content. When traffic starts flowing in you can use SEO to make the search engines rank you on their first page.
If the search engines find your content valuable, they will start sending more traffic to your page.
If people like your content they will share it on social media bringing in more leads. By this, you slowly begin to build trust with your audience.
Once the trust is built, it is time to reveal your products and make a pitch to them for buying.
Though it may sound simple, this process takes time to deliver. But it’s a very effective one provided you use it with the CATT marketing funnel.
Personal Branding can be defined as the process of how you promote yourself to the world.
You may be super talented in a particular niche, say copywriting. But if people do not know you and your craft, then how can you succeed?
If you want the world to know more about your skills, your experience, or how you work then Personal Branding is the way to go.
Let’s face it, no one wants to speak or hear from a brand. People to people conversations are much more popular than people speaking with brands. It is much more comfortable hearing from real people than from a brand.
Many personal brands in the world are much bigger than the companies they have built. Take Walt Disney, for example. Though many know Disney World, Walt Disney always takes first preference when people think of animation.
Walt Disney became famous for creating the cartoon characters Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. So, how did he build his brand? By displaying his skills to the world.
He first established his brand, earned the love and trust of millions, and then built his empire. Though he is no more, today his brand is the owner of companies such as ESPN, Pixar, Marvel, and National Geographic amongst others (source: t.ly/3Eyk).
While all this is good, the downside of a personal brand is that it cannot be sold. How can you sell yourself? You can at the most, start a new company with the trust that your brand name carries.
Think of a train engine. It’s the main part that pulls an entire train. Its strength and stability are what make the rest of the train follow it along the same path. Without the engine, the rest is nothing.
Think of yourself as the engine, and the train as the companies you are promoting with your brand.
If after a certain time, you feel that you don’t want to pull the carriages then you can disconnect and move on. This is the same as building a company, seeing it grow big, sell it for a high price, and move off to build others.
But as long as you are with the company, you can use the power of your Personal Brand to help it grow and prosper.
But how do you do this? Is there any process by which you can build a Personal Brand?
Indeed there is my friend, which I am about to share with you.
You first start by learning a new skill that fits your niche. You need to study, research, and learn all you can about this skill.
But studying alone won’t do. To remember properly what you learned, you need to practice.
How can you practice?
By working on live projects. Even if you have to work for free for some time, do it as it will clear your concepts about what works and what doesn’t.
Another benefit of doing real-world projects is that you will learn to overcome hurdles, which you seldom can by only studying.
So the rule of thumb should be, to learn, practice, and implement.
If you want to share your knowledge with the world, you can start writing a blog. Remember, in your childhood you were always told to write what you have learned.
Writing enables you to remember more and clearly.
By creating a blog you can practice your learning and teach the same to a worldwide audience.
In the blog, you can share your practical experiences to overcome problems that people are facing. This will help you gain more followers and traffic. And this is where you slowly start building your brand.
People will look forward to you for solutions and will keep coming back for more. Your content slowly helps to gain the trust of your audience. Once trust is established, you can pitch your products and get a sale.
With the knowledge and experience gathered, you can start offering consultation in exchange for a fee. You can do this in addition to your regular business activity.
What you get is another source of income, in addition to the existing one, and a growing tribe of people who trust you.
You can even do group consulting or teaching, which is known as Mentoring. If you start teaching a group of people, you can share your experiences faster and to a larger audience.
This helps you get more recognition and acceptability with the masses.
Now, that you have the trust it will be easy to start a business and promote the same. Your Personal Brand will help boost the business and spread it further.
People will say “Oh, he is associated with this brand. It must then be good. Let us buy something from here.”
This happens because people know and trust you. This is the value of Personal Branding.
Walt Disney first built his brand, gained the trust of millions, and then started his first company – Laugh-O-gram Films studio (t.ly/Ji3I). The rest as they say is history.
So you see this is a continuous cycle, known as MassTrust. You can see it more clearly in the MassTrust Blueprint graph below. Here each factor is dependent on the other.
Take the example of the cogs of a wheel. Cogs are tiny teeth that fit together, making the wheel turn. If one cog is missing, the wheel will not turn and the car will not run.
In the MassTrust blueprint, each element has to start as soon as the earlier one finishes.
It is a continuous cycle that you have to be engaged in. You have to learn, remember, practice, implement, teach, build and start again.
With that, this brings us to the end of this post. I know, this is a pretty big post but I am confident you will find it useful in your journey as a Digital Marketer.
Whatever new I have learned I have shared it with you. I could do this as I continuously strive to improve myself and be successful in my niche.
I know you will do the same for you too.
Let’s summarise what you learned till now.
Marketing is everything and anything you need to do to promote your product on the market. A lot of research and pain goes into making a product successful.
And there is no end, it. The more research, the better you can understand your target customer and the market.
Your research should gather more info on Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. These we have already discussed in detail.
Living in the modern-day world, you cannot ignore the power of Digital Marketing. The power that it holds over the masses and the sales you can generate with it at a low cost.
While learning about Digital Marketing, you also need to know a bit about Traditional Marketing. This is essential for you to decide which marketing channel to choose and why?
In addition to what you learned, research more and find out what makes Digital Marketing a better choice than Traditional Marketing.
What is the process that your marketing effort should go through? You already know the answer – the CATT Marketing Funnel. It lays down the stepping stone essential to build support and sell your product.
Integrated Digital Marketing teaches you how to blend Digital Marketing channels and the CATT Marketing Funnel to give measurable results.
Though each can generate leads, customers, and sales on its own, the results are more effective when combined.
And finally, you learned how to build and scale your Personal Brand. This is essential if you want to build a business based on your Personal Brand.
All the steps required to do so have been laid down for you to learn and implement.
Before I end this, I would highly recommend that you read these books to scale your marketing wisdom and reach your goal.
Written by world-renowned gurus of marketing, these books are a must-read if you want your marketing efforts to bear fruits for you.
Building a Story Brand – Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller
Commonsense Direct & Digital Marketing by Drayton Bird
This is Marketing by Seth Godin
From here I can only wish you success in your Digital Marketing efforts. And always remember – never stop learning, implementing, and teaching. It always results in a better version of what you were yesterday.