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Understanding Marketing Volume I: The Golden Rules

Posted by Stanley Malyszka, Marketing Manager, fi360, Inc. on June 19, 2015

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Budweiser.  Geico.  Coca-Cola.  What do these three companies have that you and I do not?  If you guessed hundreds of millions of dollars to pour into marketing and advertising campaigns, then you would be correct.  But you don’t need hundreds of millions of dollars and a 100 person marketing staff to be successful.  All three had to start somewhere.  They were in your shoes at some point along the way.  So how did they grow their business and get to the point they are today?  Well, the first step in the process is having a product or service that people want.  If you have that, then you can market and grow your business without the benefit of a large budget or even an ounce of marketing talent running through your veins. 

In this series of posts, I will walk you through the basic Need to Knows of Marketing and hopefully help guide you in the direction of developing an efficient and effective approach.  For now, we’ll start with the 3 Golden Rules of Marketing.

The Number 1 Golden Rule of Marketing: Know thy customer 

If you don’t know who you’re prototypical customer is, then you need to find out before pursuing any type of marketing.  Gather as much data as you can: age, gender, income, profession, likes, dislikes, favorite restaurants, favorite movies...  OK, I may be going too far with the last two (although a lot of companies out there know this about their customers), but the point is that the more you know about your customer, the easier and cheaper it will be to reach them.

The Number 2 Golden Rule of Marketing: Simple is better 

Attention spans are short.  Time is limited.  Everyone is on the go.  So the quicker you’re able to grab someone’s attention and the easier it is for someone to understand what you’re selling, the more successful you’ll be.  It’s that simple, yet this is the rule that most people struggle with as our human tendency is to make things more complex.

The Number 3 Golden Rule of Marketing: Quality is better than quantity

Ever hear of the “Law of Averages”?  From a marketing and sales perspective, it basically means the more people you reach, the more sales you’ll have.  Although probably true, you’ll also spend way more money than you need to, way more time than you need to, and have an extremely low return on your investment (ROI).  There’s a better mantra out there that I like to live by, “Work smarter, not harder.”  Marketing should always be focused and targeted and your measure of success should be based on ROI, not the total number of sales you get. 

These rules are by no means the end-all and be-all of marketing but if you can stick to them then you’ve built yourself a solid foundation for your marketing.

In the next post, I’ll visit the Need to Knows of Marketing and give a brief overview of the marketing channels that you should be aware of and potentially utilize.

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