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Marketing has become a complicated endeavour. The two major platforms we have to reach your customers online are Facebook and Google – and it seems like you need a degree in both to be able to operate their marketing software. Add to the fact the interfaces seem to always changing (most of the time unnecessarily, in my opinion)
A lot of businesses owners don’t have the expertise or the time to be able to effectively manage these platforms so they hire Google or Facebook experts to do their online marketing for them.
However, the problem is that these experts tend to be experts in these platforms only but they don’t know the basics about marketing. This is akin to learning to run before walking. Google and Facebook marketers get all giddy over how targeted they can get with their messages, or how they can follow people around the internet with their remarketing efforts but they forget – or didn’t bother to learn – the foundation of marketing.
Technology is a great tool – but that’s all it is, a tool for marketers. How to create a carousel ad on Instagram shouldn’t be the first thing you learn. Don’t settle for these tools, that just scratch the surface with buzzword marketing. You want marketing that lasts and, funny enough, to do that, you need to go back to the beginning when we didn’t have these distractions.
The way we market to prospects changes all the time but the “how” hasn’t changed since ancient civilization. To be a great marketer you need to understand human psychology and human emotion. What stirs people to do something? How to use storytelling to communicate a brand’s message. We need to understand features and benefits of a product and how it will improve our prospects lives.
Without learning the basics of marketing we are blindly throwing money against a wall. Too few marketers understand what goes on behind the clicks, the likes, the images, the copy, the posts, to the detriment of the businesses they serve.
Why is all this important? Because if you use these marketing principles they will outlast the latest fads. You will stand the test of time and in the long run, creating marketing that lasts is actually cheaper than throwing money at Facebook and Google.
When you close your eyes and picture Santa Claus what do you see? I bet you see a plump old man in a red suit, black boots, with a long white beard. Would you be surprised to learn this image was created by Coca-Cola in the 1920s? Coca-Cola is one of the most brilliantly marketed products in the world. (You kind of have to be if what you sell is basically sugar water.)
The first Santa Claus ad appeared in The Saturday Evening Post and in 1930, artist Fred Mizen painted a Santa in a department store. The inspiration for Santa came from the 1822 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” Santa was matured over the years but for the most part, his looks have stayed the same.
The Santa Claus you pictured has become iconic. (Before Coca-Cola Santa was often depicted as a creepy elf. Definitely not the way to win the hearts and minds of little children everywhere.) The marketers behind Coke knew the value of communicating a good story and how to move people with emotion – in this case, some Christmas cheer. This type of marketing lasts for generations and is very profitable. How profitable? The Coca-Cola brand is valued at around $75 Billion; Coca-Cola makes every list of top brands in the world. Not too bad for sugar water.
With everybody focused on the latest technological advancements in marketing – AI being the latest – how do you learn the fundamentals of marketing? Does anybody even teach it anymore?
You can take a masters in marketing from some old stuffy professor, but there are quicker and easier ways of going about it. You can learn from the masters such as Eugene Schwartz, David Ogilvy, John Caples, and Claude C. Hopkins. These marketing giants perfected the fundamentals. If you don’t know these names, you should get acquainted. Read their books from cover to cover. Some of them even recorded their lectures. Listen to them in the car on your way to work. Listen to them when you exercise. Too few markets read and absorb the classics. The fads don’t trump the fundamentals which fade over time and eventually disappear. Santa is definitely not a fad.
Only after you read and understand the basics of marketing should you learn about how to use technology. With the basics in place, then the technology becomes effective. Would you decorate a house if all it had was plywood walls? Don’t be persuaded by recent trends and buzzword marketing but instead focus on creating long-lasting campaigns that are effective for decades to come.