Marketing Lessons: What Every Smart Marketer Needs to Know
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Are you a budding marketer? Then you are probably already familiar with the basics of marketing. However, as a digital marketer, you need to constantly learn and build upon your existing knowledge base to generate great results.
While some marketing lessons are best learned from trial and error, we can learn a few of them from others’ experiences.
Learn from the experiences of seasoned marketers and leading brands, which are known for their flawless marketing campaigns. Keeping these lessons in mind can help you shine.
Following the promotion of our helpful guide to learning marketing skills, I have six marketing lessons to show you that I’ve learned over time. I wish I had learned them earlier.
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Lesson #1: People Don’t Buy Products; They Buy Stories and Benefits
People don’t care about how great your product or its features are; they only care about themselves.
Therefore, the best product marketing strategy is to not focus on the product but on how it will benefit the target consumers.
You should focus on showcasing how your product will:
- Make their life easier
- Make them a better person
- Help them grow
- Make them happier
The marketing lesson to learn here is simple: You should write your marketing copy for the ideal buyers, not for product promotions. If needed, hire talented copywriters who can create copy that your target consumers can engage and resonate with.
A Good Example:
When Apple launched the iPod, people were already using MP3 players.
What helped Apple reach and occupy the target market?
While a lot of features were different, a key aspect was how Apple marketed the iPod.
Telling your ideal buyers what they can do with your product works well for most businesses across industries.
Other than benefits, what entices consumers are emotional stories. You should tell a story to your ideal buyers. You could promise to make them happy, healthy, wealthy, or beautiful if they buy your product.
The famous shoe company, TOMS, says: “We’re in business to improve lives.”
This message is loud and clear and is not limited to their tagline. They also associate similar messaging in their marketing copy.
With their “One for One” slogan, they pledge to help one person in need for every purchase a customer makes, and they also share annual impact reports to showcase how your purchases are helping the world.
What story does this tell consumers?
It tells them that buying a pair of shoes from TOMS makes you generous and kind.
Lesson #2: Understanding the Purpose
Often, marketers only focus on the campaign at hand, the new product to launch, or the month’s sales target to meet. Have you ever thought about where each of your campaigns is taking your brand?
We can all benefit from understanding the bigger picture, especially the marketing teams.
By communicating the big picture, you can ensure that everyone’s on the same page and working towards the main goal. Doing so often helps teams work better together to meet marketing objectives.
The marketing lesson here is quite clear — you can plan and run high-converting campaigns when everyone on your team understands the purpose behind it.
Every marketing step should be aligned with your long-term business goals.
Lesson #3: Freebies Are Always in Trend
Giving away freebies scares many marketers because the main goal is to sell products and make profits — not to offer freebies.
Ironically, offering freebies can do more good than harm.
People love free products and services. If you offer them something free, they are more likely to share your product with their friends, family members, and social circles. Hosting a giveaway is a perfect method to raise awareness about your brand or a new product line. It can significantly improve sales and positively impact your brand building activities.
The marketing lesson here is that you should plan to offer freebies once in a while and let consumers do all the marketing for you.
However, it’s important to:
- Fix a budget for annual giveaways.
- Price your products accordingly to ensure you can always make greater profits than your investments.
- Limit giveaway campaigns for 24 hours, so you can keep a tab on the number of free products you’ll be offering.
- Associate a set of rules with your giveaway campaigns to maximize returns in terms of branding and recognition.
- Encourage people to use a branded hashtag to enjoy more benefits in the long run.
Lesson #4: Listen to Data and Pivot When Necessary
This is one lesson that I’ve learned the hard way: to track, analyze, and optimize campaigns on the go, using data.
As digital marketers, we often plan, analyze, and make assumptions about how our campaigns should turn out to be. While setting up a direction for your campaigns with milestones is important, you can’t be a stubborn marketer.
One marketing lesson that I’ve learned over time is that you can’t predict how consumers will respond to your campaign or what will convince them to take action.
You can only find out how people respond after you launch your campaign.
If things go against your initial assumptions, it’s okay to:
- Change the path midway.
- Optimize your campaigns based on real-time data.
- Stop putting more money into strategies that don’t give enough results.
To be a successful marketer, you need to track results, understand data, and leverage valuable insights to plan your next move.
Thanks to AI technology, various analytics tools, and A/B testing, everything in today’s digital world is trackable. You just need to use it the right way.
Lesson #5: Brand Value Matters
Regardless of the industry and business you’re in, brand value matters.
There’s no denying that the product or service you’re offering should be good and provide actual value. At the same time, the value of your brand plays an important role in driving sales.
If consumers have never heard of your brand, they don’t have any reason to trust you, and they will not buy from you — no matter how good your product is.
Every marketer will agree that investing in brand building activities is an absolute necessity.
Similarly, you should also build a personal brand for yourself that highlights your skills, achievements, and capabilities. You can either build a portfolio website or an impressive Instagram account to showcase how you can help brands. Doing so can add credibility to your profile and help you attract high-value work opportunities.
Lesson #6: Creating Compelling Content
Big businesses create a lot of content, but it’s always the quality over quantity when it comes to content marketing.
If you want to make it big as a digital marketer, you will have to learn how to create compelling content. Whether you’re writing a promotional email or Facebook ad copy, the words you choose will play a crucial part in your campaign success.
Take notes from a brand, like Zomato. They never fail to make people stop scrolling and engage with their fun, yet relatable, posts. You can see a few examples below.
What should you do to solidify your content creation skills as a marketer?
- Understand who you are writing for.
- Take up copywriting courses.
- Learn persuasion techniques.
- Identify and use power words.
- Follow brands and people who are experts in creating engaging content.
- Hire a copywriter to empower your marketing campaigns with better copy.
You can also become a renowned marketer, such as Gary Vaynerchuk, by publishing great content that can help people and brands grow.
A Few More Marketing Life Lessons
Some lessons that I learned as a marketer have also helped me grow into a better person.
Let’s take a look at these life-changing marketing lessons:
- You can’t do it all on your own and trying will only break you down. You should learn to delegate tasks and do it often. You’ll have to realize the importance of delegating at some point, so why not learn from others’ mistakes?
- Don’t compromise ethics, even if it hurts. Sometimes, short-term benefits can compel you to go the wrong way but, trust me, there is no shortcut to success. Being ethical and honest will help you go farther and climb the endless ladder of success.
- The key to success lies in following your passion. You need to be passionate about what you are doing to make a living. If you’re not driven by true passion, you will not be able to do it effectively or long-term.
- Never put all your eggs in one basket. While this advice is commonly given to amateur investors, it is applicable to different folks of life — including marketing.
As a marketer, you can’t rely on a single marketing strategy, an individual influencer, or a specific type of content. If you want to succeed, you should strategize, experiment, measure results, and invest more in the strategies that drive the best results.
- The foundation of growth is excellence. Marketing can help you get an initial boost, but your brand will grow only if you offer premium-quality products and services. You should focus on offering value to your customers.
Key Takeaways From These Marketing Lessons
There are a plethora of lessons to learn as a marketer, and it’s always better to learn from the mistakes and experiences of others instead of making costly mistakes on your own.
I hope that the marketing lessons I’ve covered in this post will help you rethink and analyze what to do and what not to do. Keeping these marketing lessons in mind can help increase your chances of conversions and, thereby, help you grow businesses.
What marketing lessons have you learned that you’ve spent working on in the business world?
February 25, 2021