The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Fundamentals of Marketing & Personal Branding
Are you a beginner in the digital marketing space?
Are you a small business owner, a solopreneur, or an entrepreneur?
Are you struggling with the things which are not working for you?
Don’t worry! You are not alone.
There are a lot of people entering the digital marketing space these days. There are many small businesses/solopreneurs/entrepreneurs entering into the businesses.
But, most of them fail at it at the beginning itself because they are busy learning tools and tactics.
The top reason they struggle is that they don’t understand “the fundamentals of marketing”.
That’s what we are going to talk about here.
We will try to understand
- the fundamentals of marketing
- the basics of traditional vs digital marketing
- & how we can build a strong personal brand using integrated marketing and CATT marketing funnel.
Don’t worry if it makes you feel overwhelmed. We will go into it one by one in detail.
We will keep it simple. Promise!
The fundamentals of marketing
What is Marketing?
According to Investopedia, “Marketing refers to activities a company undertakes to promote the buying or selling of a product or service.
Marketing includes advertising, selling, and delivering products to consumers or other businesses.
Some marketing is done by affiliates on behalf of a company (referred to as affiliate marketing).”
Marketing makes use of the “marketing mix,” also known as the four Ps—product, price, place, and promotion.
Most people think of marketing as an art. But, it’s more of a science than an art. Marketing is based on science. NOT on creativity.
Creativity is one aspect of marketing, but marketing as a concept is more scientific.
Contrary to the usual belief that marketing should be done once the product is ready, marketing starts way before the product is developed.
It starts with understanding the customer and needs that lead to creating a product that fits in.
So, marketing starts before the product is even created and goes all the way after the sales. Maintaining relationships with existing customers is an important part of marketing.
Marketing: A tool of communication
Marketing is a tool of communication. Marketing is about sending the right message, to the right person, at the right time.
Marketing is not just about selling. It is also about understanding the needs of the customer as well as keeping an existing customer happy by communicating with them so that they can remain a customer for life.
Marketing is a means to an end. The purpose of marketing is to build a brand and capture a position in the minds of the consumers for the longest time possible.
“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer, so well the product and service fits him and sells itself… The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous”– Peter Drucker
Marketing: A game of perceptions
Marketing is the game of perceptions. The better the perception, the better the profit. But, the product is rooted in reality.
If your product is not good, and the marketing is; it will backfire on you. Never let marketing become more important than the product. A great product sells itself.
A great product minimizes your effort in marketing and converts your customer into brand ambassadors. Word of mouth marketing is the best channel of marketing ever.
There are a few components of marketing which we confuse to be marketing itself such as: –
- Advertising is one of the components of marketing.
- Copywriting is one of the components of marketing.
- Sales are one of the components of marketing.
The world’s biggest shoemaker, Nike, is a marketing company.
You need a great product. Marketing not just helps people discover the product, but also has a good perception about the products. (Ex. Apple)
Why invest time & energy in learning marketing?
This is really an interesting question to ask. Isn’t it?
Why should anyone invest time and energy in learning marketing?
If you look closely, everything around us revolves around marketing.
If a mom is convincing her child to eat veggies instead of junk food, it’s a form of marketing.
We will list down a few points to answer this question.
– Marketing education has a long shelf life because it is rooted in human psychology and understanding the market. If you learn a programming language, it might not be useful a few years down the line, the way things are changing and everything is moving to web 3. However, marketing will still be needed even if the programming language changes. Similarly, the majority of the fields are changing at a rapid pace. So is marketing, in terms of technology or methods being used for marketing. However, the fundamentals of marketing remain the same. Hence, marketing has a long shelf life as compared to any other skill set.
– Marketing as a subject has existed since the dawn of civilization – since the first market squares appeared in the first villages.
– Marketing is the most valuable investment in a business because it gives direct returns. If you set up a company, you will need initial capital to set up everything like Production, Manufacturing, HR, Accounting, Administration. These are expenses that don’t give immediate ROI. However, once you have set up everything and started marketing, you start to get sales and returns immediately.
– Marketing can not be outsourced to a marketing agency, completely. Most founders think that they can outsource the marketing to an agency and their business will be running on autopilot. That’s not a good approach. The founder should be a marketer. He needs to think like a marketer, even if he outsources the execution, or builds a team for execution.
– If you know how to market and sell, you have a safe career. Every organization needs a marketer and sales regardless of industry, its product/services, or offerings. You will always be in demand if you have invested your time and energy in learning marketing.
Building a Strong Brand
Building a strong brand is the ultimate goal of marketing.
To build a strong brand, you should not only aim to be the No. 1. But, to be the only one.
You should choose a category and become a leader in that category if you want to build a brand. Deciding where to compete is half your success.
Examples of a strong brand are Xerox, Google, and Zoom. These are the brand names that have become verbs now.
There are high chances that you can not be a leader in a category. So, you should be a leader in a sub-category.
Ex. BMW, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz.
There are many car companies. However, different car companies have established themselves as a leader in sub-categories.
People remember only the No. 1 or Max 2. Every market becomes a two-player market in the long run. (Ex. – First-person to land on the moon. First Prime minister of India)
Enter a competitive market, but have a unique angle. If there is competition in a market, that means there are buyers in there.
Digital Marketing vs. Traditional marketing
Understanding Traditional vs. Digital Marketing
Even though there is a lot of noise about digital marketing, traditional marketing still has way more reach than all forms of digital marketing combined, specifically in a country like India where internet penetration is still not to that great extent.
If a product is generic with a generic targeting, TV Ads can reach millions at a low cost. (Ex: Apple iPhone)
Let’s have a look at some data to put it into perspective.
- India has TVs in 197 Million Homes out of 298 Million Homes. With an average of 4-5 members per household, TV has a reach of 800 Million to 1 Billion people. The reach of Digital Marketing is nowhere close to TV based on numbers alone. (Source: Wikipedia)
- Radio has a reach of 65% of the Indian population. (Source: Financial Express)
- The newspaper has a reach of 465 Million People. (Source: Business Standards)
Digital Marketing is the best medium when it comes to reaching the affluent English Speaking population in India with spending power. ~ 100 Million Users.
Having said that, as the internet and mobile phones reach more people, digital marketing holds the potential to grow a lot more.
CATT Marketing Funnel
The CATT Marketing Funnel & Framework
In this part of the article, we will discuss the framework for marketing.
It’s called The CATT Marketing Funnel & Framework.
According to this framework, Wealth = (n)^CATT.
[n] Niche: Your success and wealth depend on the niche you choose.
[C] Content: Create useful and valuable content that attracts people from your niche. Blog posts, videos, lead magnets, live webinars, etc.
[A] Attention: Drive attention (traffic) to your content using SEO, Social Media, Paid Ads, and referrals.
[T] Trust: Build trust with your audience with tripwires, marketing automation, and retargeting.
[T] Transact: Convert your leads into customers with natural sales methods.
Once we have selected our niche, we need to create valuable and engaging content to grab the attention of the audience.
Slowly, we need to automate the marketing and Retargeting to create trust within our audience and eventually do the transaction.
Integrated Digital Marketing
The Integrated Digital Marketing Framework
When it comes to digital marketing, there are different parts to it. Such as – Email Marketing, Search engine Optimisation, Search engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, etc
Most people think of different methods of digital marketing as separate entities. However, that should not be the approach when it comes to reaching out to the maximum number of people.
If you utilize all different methods, integrated with each other in a way that each one of them complements the other and make a marketing engine of its own, that’s what we call integrated marketing
We will try to understand integrated digital marketing with the help of this image.
Personal Branding: MassTrust Blueprint
The Power of Personal Branding
The power of personal branding is really phenomenal. The best known will always beat the best one.
Humans are social animals.
We trust other people more than a company or a logo.
People want to hear from people, not brands.
We can understand the power of personal branding with the example of Elon Musk. He has a bigger following than SpaceX & Tesla.
The upside of Personal Brand
There are some upsides to personal brand.
A personal brand can give rise to many brands from his/her influence.
A personal brand becomes an influencer and a brand ambassador for the companies that they run.
The downside of Personal Brand
Even though the power of a personal brand is really phenomenal, there are a few downsides to the personal brand.
The biggest one is that it cannot be invested in & it cannot be sold.
You cannot sell a personal brand simply because it’s you.
The Evolution of a Personal Brand
Now that we have realized that personal branding is a big deal, the next question on my mind is, How can you become a Personal Brand?
Don’t worry. We got you covered.
We got a framework for that as well.
Here it goes –
- Learn: Learn a new skill through Concepts, Facts, and Procedures. Understand the concepts. Remember the facts and practice the Procedures.
- Work: Put your newfound skills to work. Go from practice to implementation. Implementing it in the real world will give you a better understanding. (Work = Job/Freelancing/ Own projects)
- Blog: Write about what you have learned and experienced through your work. When you write, you understand it better, but you will also start building your personal brand.
- Consult: Now that you have a personal brand through your blog, have work experience, and have learned the fundamentals, start consulting other businesses instead of working for them.
- Mentor: Mentor others who want to become like you. Mentoring will help you scale your understanding to a whole new level.
- Startup: Start your own product or service business with an understanding that you have developed about the market, the problem, and your own skills.
We have put this framework as circular because it’s a lifelong process.
We need to keep refining our skills to keep our personal branding game ahead.
Now that we have understood the Fundamentals of Marketing & Personal Branding along with some really interesting frameworks and models in detail, I hope it helps you get started in the right direction of your marketing journey.
Hey, don’t forget to share your thoughts down below. Smash the comments section. It’s all yours. 🤔💭.
And stay in touch as we will learn a lot of things together and grow.
Some more useful resources to learn about Marketing –
- Economics 101 – Alfred Mill
- Currency Wars – James Rickards
- Capital – Thomas Piketty
- Scientific Advertising – Claude C. Hopkins
- The Adweek copywriting handbook – Joseph Sugerman
- Confessions of an advertising man – David Ogilvy
- Ogilvy on Advertising
PS: This is part of the Digital Deepak Internship Program. If you want to learn digital marketing most practically and productively, check this out – https://deepak.me/internapply