When we try to understand the common purpose of marketing, we will realize that it is all about making profit; whatever companies create of various marketing activities – the bottom line is “we want to sell more to make more”.
Marketing in its essence however, is not about making profit – it is only a small part of it which is concerned with that – and it is sales. The true meaning of marketing is expressing what the brand has of values to connect with its customers.
If the sole goal of brands to make profit, marketing will be just a traditional tool of promoting what the company offer of products and services – and the buying process is not about that anymore.
There are many companies that can provide products and services, but few who can truly connect with their customers and in the process provide them with these products and services to facilitate their lives.
This leads us to another vital concept which mistakenly got connected with marketing – which is puffery, and it is about offering more than what can be provided or “puffing” the products and services to make them more appealing than what they really are.
When brands “puff” their products and services, they try to utilize the traditional means of promoting the products and services to create subjective awareness of exaggerated benefits that can be received when purchasing these products or services.
The “puffing” tactic or strategy can make the customers buy once however, if customers do choose to purchase on a “puffed” approach – continuity of the buying cycle will not be there, as what has been received is not what has been promised.
Brands has to ask whether they want to sell products and services and just make profit – or do we want to promote what values we have and connect with the right customer and make a long lasting profit?
When we watch an ad on TV or over the street, the chances of recalling that ad is as the chances of another ad being recalled – what brands really have to do is being noticed and remembered, and this can only happen when reflecting the organization’s philosophy, personality, and soul through authentic marketing.
The process of authentic marketing can be summed in the below:
1. Understanding what do you represent:
Brands should be asking why they exist – what is their purpose in the market? If the answer it is only make profit then brands will be allowing their products and services to be just an alternative to what is being offered – which can be replaced with a cheaper product or service.
What companies represent of values and sincerely held philosophies should be the core of the exchange process with customers; we don’t offer products or services but we are here in the market as to facilitate the lives of others with what we offer.
2. Understanding what the customers want:
Companies don’t offer products and services because they can, but rather because they want to fill the gap of the wants of the customers to make their lives better with what they offer. It is the customer who should be the priority in the buying process – to guarantee what will be offered is what will be purchased.
3. Being genuine and open about your problems:
Brands believe that customers will buy from the perfect company – our products or services are the best in the market and they can’t be compared with any of what is being offered; this is the easiest way to lose the trust of the customers.
It is transparency what makes the customers buy from a company and not because they are perfect or have the best products – we have had many problems with our products and services and this is what we did to become better; this is the way to truly connect with the customers.
4. Going above and beyond what can be offered:
The main problem doesn’t start when making a sale, but when the real problems occur after making the sale. The purpose isn’t to sell to the customer once, but to allow for what is being offered to repeatedly being sold.
The only way to guarantee a long lasting relationship with the customer is by going above and beyond what is being offered – is to provide the personal touch of assisting them making their lives better.
It is not about the products and services provided, what brands do is understanding their purpose of existence, using their products and services to fulfill that purpose while connecting with the customers, and making sure they are always there to help.
Marketing is not only about making aware of what you as a company or brand offer – or puffing what you offer; it is about connecting with the customers, assisting them with what you offer of products and services, and being there when they want any help – that is the true essence of marketing and authenticity, where profits are just a result and not a goal.
Where to find Dr. Islam Gouda,