This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn To See

It is the end of February. And here’s our first ever book review & learnings.

Seth Godin’s description of a Marketing professional is a wholesome one. He describes a true Marketer as someone who finds long term, sustainable solutions to marketing problems. He expects the average marketer to dig deeper beyond the superficial definition of Marketing beyond just selling Goods & Services with added value in the form of Customer Service or After-Sales Service.

Marketing is beyond the definitions that Merriam Webster, American Marketing Association and all such large organizations confine it to. It is a solution. Seth’s firm belief is to not direct the market, it is to let the market direct you. Thorough audience research and an understanding of problems and market needs can help you put together a product that will serve a purpose. Most marketers, as per Seth do the opposite of the same. They create the product and expect the Market to go along accept it. We must serve the market, and not vice-versa. I would like to dig deeper into this concept with the help of a very popular fast-food brand’s example- Mcdonalds’.

McDonald’s’ was originally owned and created by Richard ‘Dick’ McDonald and Maurice ‘Mac’ McDonald until it was taken over by Ray Kroc. The two brothers after a struggle of around 30 years, they built a fantastic custom made kitchen, suited to their audience’s demand. At that time drive-thrus were a hip concept. The main problems they came across in such a system were:
A) Cutlery being stolen/broken.
B) High delivery time
C) Higher Staff Overhead
D) Incorrect Order being delivered.
They came up with a solution to the same.
a)Paper wrappers instead of Chinaware.
b) People placed and took away their own order, instead of staff serving them at their cars. This employed lesser staff, reduced overheads.
c) Faster Stove-to-counter Orders, lesser possibilities of errors.
Absolutely Brilliant! The reason why, even after rising to be one of the strongest brands in the world, their success is determined by their understanding of the market and this concept.

He further delves into the concept of selling an idea and not a product. He firmly believes in building a story, a wholesome narrative that draws people in. However, it must be backed an equally strong product. The product must be something that the audience shall benefit from and care about. Marketing must be a roaring river – always gushing with freshness, benefitting and nurturing all on the way. New and original ideas, that benefit those who care about it.

Consistency as per this book is key. This is true for most aspects of life, not just Marketing. Seth explains that the more you show up, the more people will take notice. The more they take notice, the better they realise your presence and your offering. This increases the chances of association and recall of you and your brand.

In conclusion, Marketing is not just a process that sells you something while adding value. It is almost like a living-breathing organism that is not visible but impacts one in a significant way, along the way benefiting the economy as well.

P.S.: These were the top ideas that emerged from this book. Having said that, this is a comprehensive book and provides numerous ideas here that cannot be compiled in one blog post. We shall keep re-reading this master piece and keep adding ideas by-and-by, as we understand it deeper and better.