Marketing is a journey not an event


Marketing can seem like a dark art best left to the experts. The problem is that experts are generally quite expensive. Mongezi Mtati, the founding MD of word-of-mouth marketing firm WordStart suggests that marketing needn’t be an expensive exercise if you follow some basic steps to increase your chances of winning new business.

“If we start on the premise that marketing is everything, then every single encounter is a marketing opportunity,” he says.

Mongezi says the following simple actions can help you wow potential clients:

Impressions count: Phone calls can be long and dreary, or highly energetic. Don’t underestimate your ability to make a better impression, and even help improve the recipient’s mood. Work on your telephone call skills to become the person existing and potential customers want to speak to.

Get to the point: People are inundated with emails and other forms of written communication. Cut through the clutter by writing short, concise, informative emails that clearly state who you are, what you do and why you are writing to the recipient of your email.

It’s not all about you: Social media is a fabulous new (inexpensive) way to connect with your audience. The operative word is ‘connect’: use social media to share useful, industry and market insights that add value to your customers, network and colleagues.

It’s not all about the money: Show an interest in people as people first. There is tremendous value in establishing a relationship based on mutual benefit and getting potential customers to take a personal interest in your business. Reciprocate this interest by connecting them to people in your network that they will benefit from knowing. Getting the sale is important, but relationships are the basis of securing that order.

Follow Mongezi on Twitter at @Mongezi


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    Especially in the online space marketing is a journey. It takes time to build an audience on social media build a ranking website and to see the benefit of a refined target audience within programmatic media buying. I would say marketing is a journey made up of many events that add to the overall objective.
    What are some events that you think add to the journey of marketing?
    Short-term and long-term marketing are both necessary to produce sales. Though it may seem that short-term marketing efforts are bringing in all the sales it's really the result of both marketing types combined. In order to create consistent sales cycles and a positive growth trend you need to engage in both short and long term marketing efforts.
    Marketing as a strategic initiative and function within the operational efficiency of a company has elements phases and functions. It is crucial to remember that Marketing is a continous journey of events and definitely not a destination.
    Lets break that down a bit : Marketing has 5 elements : 1. Offline -Print -Broadcast -In-person 2. Online -Digital media -Social media 3. In our case - it may have a Pan African strategy if that is the company's strategic objective to grow this market 4 Public sector 5. Private sector
    More breaking down : Marketing has 6 functions : 1. Marketing 2. PR & Media 3. Advertising 4. Events & Activations 5. Strategic alignments 6. CSI initiatives (if applicable)
    Apply the 7 P's of marketing (my preference for the number of P's there are in Marketing these days) to ensure your strategy and implementation is aligned to your core strategy : P - Place : what is your distribution network? Where is your brand located - both online and offline? P - Price : Are you too cheap too expensive for your target market? Target Market being the key words P - Promotion : Action plans to promote the brand and products (how much budget can you allocate who is your target?) P - Product : What is unique about the product or brand? What is the value proposition of the product against its competitors? P - Process : People want to know how their consumables are made? They want to know that their clothing was not made by a 6 year old somewhere across the world for example. They want to know that the factory that a cake or sweet was made had nuts. They want to know that the best quality ingredients were used in a product. They want to feel the value they paid for that product - think truffle sauce made with the best truffles from France P - Physical environment :Think buying milk and the ad you have in your mind is a supermarket brand showing how their cows live/graze - healthy perfect looking cows grazing in a lush green pasture ... this influences the consumer to believe that that particular brand of milk is superior to others because of the way their dairy cows are treated and process used to extract the milk - healthy for you! P - People : the most important of all the P's - the people who buy it the people who make it the people who developed it the people who sell it the people who use it (because it could be different to the person who bought it so consider carefully who your target market is ... think a mom who buys razer blades for her teenage son - completely 2 different target markets)
    I think CSI initiatives should always be applicable whetheryou are a start up or a multi national corporation. There is always a way to give back and not only is this morally beneficial but I think it positions you as a company that cares making you more human as a business and not just a faceless corporation. What are your thoughts?
    Finally the reason why the Marketing aspect of a business is journey because it is cyclical : The Marketing Strategy process involves the following steps : 1. Understand your customer - its ALL about them not you your brand or your products - if they don't like it they don't buy it meaning no matter how great YOU think your product is its not about what you think its ALL about what they think! 2. Analyse your market : whats happening in your market? Is there a recession is there an economic boom? Is your age group changing? Is the market changing from a wealthy suburb/region of high LSM's to a more medium LSM? 3. Analyse your competition : What are they doing differently? What market share do they have vs. you? How are they maintaining or increasing their market share? Are they setting the benchmark of the industry or are you? etc. etc. 4. Research Distribution : Continually keep your research machinery moving - know what is happening around you at all times in relation to your business. Are there any significant changes in your physical environment - is there an increase in crime for example? 5. Define your marketing mix ... I speak of the 7 P's of Marketing ofcourse!!! 6. Financial Analysis : ROI - how much is your marketing spend VS your sales income. It should be about 1:4 and above so for every R100 you spend it should directly or indirectly give you an income of R400. 7. Review and Revise : the single item that determines the continuation of the journey of marketing - look back on the year and decide which worked which didn't what new trends you can link to what is stale and no longer relevant. Decide on a new action plan for the next 6-12 months that will allow you to remain relevant Remember RELEVANCY is directly correlated to PROFITABILITY .. relevancy = demand = profits !!! Good Luck !!!
    The secret to marketing is having FOMO ... just remember that! If you are not looking externally to ensure that your brand and products need to be part of what people are talking about what they are interested in and what they believe is something need! You don't have to do everything that is trendy you have to look at what is relevant to you your bramd and products and most importantly your target market.
    Marketing cannot be done in isolation - it MUST link to the strategic goals and achieve the returns and contribute to that. All efforts need to be linked and need to be leveraged in various spaces - think critical mass. It is not an event once off its a process of interlinked things that all come together to position the brand effectively Its a continuous journey of discovery and understanding and then delivering ! Again Good luck on your journey to brand greatness !!!