Lesson Learned

You Are Not Normal

That is right! I don’t mean there is something mentally or physically wrong with you, I mean that if you are reading this article you are not a normal person. Regardless of what your business is, almost certainly the people you are now, or will try in the future, to sell, market, convert to your brand probably are not interested in reading articles about marketing practices. The fact you are makes you “not normal”.

You see normal people just “get on with life”. They may be selling things, marketing things, they may be developing new products or services for others to buy, they may just have a job where they are doing what they are instructed without getting in to problems. They may be the boss of a major company worrying about all aspects of the business. The one thing they all have in common is that you, the reader of this article, are different from them. Because … you are reading this article. You are interested in marketing and its practice and looking for a tip, a lesson as to how to do it better. And, in truth, most people are just not interested in that. So you are not normal.

WHICH WOULD BE A VALUABLE LESSON ON ITS OWN BUT THINK A BIT MORE ABOUT THE IMPLICATIONS:

• If you are not normal… how qualified are your views and experiences in deciding how your target group of people will find, judge, accept your marketing efforts?
• If you are not normal… how are you finding out about “normal people” and what they think?
• If you are not normal… are the people you work with or who work with you normal? Or are they also “not normal” because their experience in working with you, in working in your business makes them different from your real target?

OF COURSE YOU MIGHT NOW BE THINKING… THIS IS ALL CONFUSING. SO LET’S CUT TO THE REAL LESSON.

If you are marketing you are in the act of “understanding what people want and how your product or service can fulfill their need, and then creating messages and variations on the product that will attract them”. This is a version of the same definition that has guided marketing for generations. Changing in media forms, in availability, in sophistication of people’s behaviors and experiences does not change this.
The key to good marketing is understanding what “real” people want, need, desire, fear and seeing how your product applies to their lives. It is never a case of thinking “well, my friends and I think this” or “well, I asked my wife, mother, girlfriend, secretary what she thought”. Good marketing is ALWAYS about scientific research to understand the target market.
The ONLY way to approach marketing is to undertake proper market research. Now that can exist in many forms: structured surveys, independent qualitative discussions by expert moderators, deep analysis of combinations of data drawn from sales, sales experiences and sales trials, it might be done by using artificial intelligence based platforms that analyze what everything on the internet is telling us about a subject. It is never about “in my experience” or “in my opinion”. That is the route of the amateur or egoist, but not the marketer.
Personally, I learnt that lesson years ago when trying to understand the sale of tomatoes. Of course I had been eating, buying, and cooking them for years. I thought I had a pretty good idea of what mattered about tomatoes. Then I met and married an Italian and discovered that there was so much more to tomatoes than I had assumed! And so when I had a client who wanted advice on marketing vegetables I learnt to ask the key question for all marketers – “what do the normal people I am trying to market to know about this”.

LESSON 1: Forget what you think you know, you are not normal. Go do some real market research.

Marketing Futures is an Inititaive of Ideamax Creatives Limited

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