Marketing is one of the most vital activities in any business, for the simple reason that it is an indispensable and time tested strategy for taking the product or service to the target customers. Marketing is vital for creating business visibility by educating prospects and customers about you, your products and services, and how you can help them solve a problem. It is an investment in time, creativity, resources and energy. Successful marketing is an art and requires certain skills, which can be developed by any person of average intelligence. There is a growing realization among businesses that effective marketing is the key to sales maximization and revenue generation. The more a company invests in marketing, the greater business success it will have.
Nevertheless, many organisations are finding successful marketing as a challenge for them for the reason that the general preference and orientation of a majority of the staff is towards non-marketing activities and particularly against field level marketing. This is a cause of concern for many companies. There are some reasons behind the lesser inclination on the part of the staff to take up marketing activity.
Marketing is a concept which is associated with a host of mis-conceptions and myths which are far from and often contrary to reality. And the real facts around these myths form the core elements of marketing. Let us have a look at some of these myths and the actual facts.
MYTH – 1: Price is the predominant factor in successful marketing.
FACT – Research studies have revealed that people often make their decisions about which product to buy basing on the over-all product features and not just on price alone. Customer surveys on home loan products have proved that only about 30% of the customers bother too much about interest rate differences and that the time conscious, quality conscious customer’s (today’s breed) final choice of the loan provider depends on a few other factors like quality of service, absence of procedural hassles, speedy processing etc. The marketing person should present the value and not the price of the product for successful marketing.
MYTH – 2 : Successful marketing means a high conversion rate.
FACT – Conversion depends on the market competition and is not a determinant of marketing success. Higher the competition, lower the conversion rate and vice versa. When competition is acute or when the environment poses many challenges, successful marketing necessitates maximizing the number of contacts. Inability to convince all prospects, to convert all leads should not disappoint the marketing person. Ironically, if all the prospects get convinced by the marketing person and decide to buy the product, an organization will have really tough times! No organization might be able to cope with cent percent conversion! Even a conversion rate in the range of 25-30% is considered as a fairly good conversion rate.
MYTH – 3 : Marketing person need not take up the role of product advisor.
FACT - A successful marketing person is one who has the expertise to counsel the customer on the product and give him advisory services. For this, adequate product knowledge on his part is a must.
MYTH – 4 : Marketing does not mean identification of the needy customer, but only selling the product to those who approach.
FACT – A successful marketing person is one who has the ability to identify prospects who have a need for the product. For this, a proper understanding of the market is a must. His role is to have maximum product knowledge, to develop good presentation skills, to present the value rather than price of the product and to maximize the contacts.
MYTH 5 - Marketing has an instantaneous effect.
FACT - The relationship with your target audience is not instantaneous and getting results can take time. Marketing is to be thought as an investment and one that can take time to see the greatest gains, even though some marketing tactics can produce instant visible result. Sustained contact with your target audience to make sure they know who you are and what you can offer them is what is needed in marketing.
MYTH 6 - Social Media is pointless for an older target audience.
FACT - A survey made by ‘Social Media Today’ revealed that 43% of those aged 65 years and above are engaged in social media. It could be a crucial mistake to miss out on connecting with and building relationships with these users through social media platforms.
MYTH 7 - E-mail Marketing is not effective anymore.
FACT - You can drive a very focused and effective email marketing campaign; particularly when integrated in your content marketing activities, such as videos, blog posts etc. If done the right way, e-mail marketing can strengthen your relationship with customers and drive revenue.
MYTH 8 - A mobile website is pointless for small businesses.
FACT - With the increase in use of smartphones and tablets, a mobile responsive website is very important for all business as potential opportunities could be lost, especially businesses with a physical location, as they could be preventing being noticed by ideal clients. Mobile responsive websites create a better user experience and are also cost effective as small businesses can use one website that responds to all devices, whether you’re on a browser, tablet or smartphone.
MYTH 9 - Lower cost means higher sales
FACT - If this was the case, no one would buy expensive cars and would always go for the cheaper version. Many buyers are believers in the “you get what you pay for” moto! That is why it is so important to target your product or service correctly so that you can provide the maximum value at the right price. This also applies to your website: cheap is not always best! You need to think about the quality of what you are paying for and how it will perform.
MYTH 10 - Marketing and Advertising are the same
FACT - Although you might use advertising to communicate messages about products and services, marketing is more about educating your target market about what you can offer them and why they should buy from you. Advertising can be online in the form of website advertisements, or offline through magazines, newspapers, billboards etc. For most small businesses, the cost of traditional advertising outweighs the value, so it could depend on your business and client.
That is the case with marketing. The reality is that, that company gains maximum which takes pains to train its marketing staff and builds up the ability in them to distinguish between the myths and facts associated with marketing. That realization on the part of the marketing staff would give them a balanced perspective, better confidence and better results and also generate genuine interest in the task of marketing.