02 Jun 2013

Marketing for dummies

There are lots of people who’re eager to learn marketing whether it’s because they’re pursuing a career in Marketing, starting their own business, they like to promote social causes or to promote their favorite political party or candidate and they’re always asking about a text book they should read or a course they should apply for to learn everything about marketing and the very next step is that they sit down to write really really long marketing plans with ridiculous budgets and then comes the moment of truth when they admit that it’s impossible to market a new business, a social cause or political candidate we really believe in without a big budget to start with.

Well, I don’t claim I know all about marketing or  that I authored a marketing for dummies book to help you get started, but when it comes to marketing I have 2 simple rules that I believe you should consider if you’re really passionate about marketing, no guarantees here, just use them and tell me if they worked.

Rule #1: ” If you want to learn marketing, then do marketing

It’s as simple that, don’t get caught up on MBAs and marketing management big outdated textbooks. Join a non profit organization or a startup and learn while doing it, just don’t forget to ask for help when you feel lost or when you need to know the academic terms for a specific activity or tactic you plan on doing.

You can find tons of organizations and startups who can really use your help as a volunteer to help them market their products, services and programs and you’ll get to learn a lot in return in which you’ll deal with real market challenges that you have to figure out creative ideas and plans to survive in the market.

Rule #2: ” Today, Marketing is a function of the width of your brain, not the width of your wallet

I believe that this rule is very important and it just changes everything because all you need to do now is work very hard to increase the width of your brain! And what does increasing the width of your brain mean? It means that you become more capable intellectually, more creative and more knowledgeable. To do that, here are some of the resources you must put your hands on if you’re really serious about learning marketing:

A- Follow Seth Godin blog

Seth Godin is a marketing genius, he writes a daily blog about marketing, entrepreneurship or change making and this daily blog post is a must read for the valuable insights and tips he shares with his followers.

Also, Seth Godin authored many best selling marketing books which are straight to the point, full of amazing ideas and stories. All Seth Godin books are awesome, but I highly recommend three of them to start with:

All Seth Godin’s blog posts are amazing, but here I’d like to share one post which is a masterpiece in my opinion:

What Every Good Marketer Knows

  • Anticipated, personal and relevant advertising always does better than unsolicited junk.
  •  Making promises and keeping them is a great way to build a brand.
  •  Your best customers are worth far more than your average customers.
  •  Share of wallet is easier, more profitable and ultimately more effective a measure than share of market.
  •  Marketing begins before the product is created.
  •  Advertising is just a symptom, a tactic. Marketing is about far more than that.
  •  Low price is a great way to sell a commodity. That’s not marketing, though, that’s efficiency.
  •  Conversations among the members of your marketplace happen whether you like it or not. Good marketing encourages the right sort of conversations.
  •  Products that are remarkable get talked about.
  •  Marketing is the way your people answer the phone, the typesetting on your bills and your returns policy.
  •  You can’t fool all the people, not even most of the time. And people, once unfooled, talk about the experience.
  •  If you are marketing from a fairly static annual budget, you’re viewing marketing as an expense. Good marketers realize that it is an investment.
  •  People don’t buy what they need. They buy what they want.
  •  You’re not in charge. And your prospects don’t care about you.
  •  What people want is the extra, the emotional bonus they get when they buy something they love.
  •  Business to business marketing is just marketing to consumers who happen to have a corporation to pay for what they buy.
  •  Traditional ways of interrupting consumers (TV ads, trade show booths, junk mail) are losing their cost-effectiveness. At the same time, new ways of spreading ideas (blogs, permission-based RSS information, consumer fan clubs) are quickly proving how well they work.
  •  People all over the world, and of every income level, respond to marketing that promises and delivers basic human wants.
  •  Good marketers tell a story.
  •  People are selfish, lazy, uninformed and impatient. Start with that and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you find.
  •  Marketing that works is marketing that people choose to notice.
  •  Effective stories match the worldview of the people you are telling the story to.
  •  Choose your customers. Fire the ones that hurt your ability to deliver the right story to the others.
  •  A product for everyone rarely reaches much of anyone.
  •  Living and breathing an authentic story is the best way to survive in an conversation-rich world.
  •  Marketers are responsible for the side effects their products cause.
  •  Reminding the consumer of a story they know and trust is a powerful shortcut.
  •  Good marketers measure.
  •  Marketing is not an emergency. It’s a planned, thoughtful exercise that started a long time ago and doesn’t end until you’re done.
  •  One disappointed customer is worth ten delighted ones.

Obviously, knowing what to do is very, very different than actually doing it.

B- Follow Guy Kawaski on Twitter 

Guy kawaski is the former Chief evangelist at Apple, author of Art of the start, enchantment and the Co-Founder of Alltop.com, he shares links from all the popular blogs across the world and he shares lots of posts about social media and online marketing.

C- Read InBound Marketing by Dharmesh Shah

This is the book where I quote rule #2 from, so if you really want to master InBound marketing, this is the book to start with.

D- Read the Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

This is the best book I’ve ever read in my life and not just in business, this book is not just about marketing, but it’s about Sociology and Psychology in which Gladwell is a great storyteller who makes his points by telling fascinating stories.

This is just the start, let’s start with those resources and let’s see how far you’d get after using the above resources? Also, please share with us marketing resources you find very useful that can help us in our quest to learn marketing.

Sherif Ahmed

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