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Subliminal advertising and your Subconscious mind

Subliminal advertising and your Subconscious mind

You may think you are wide aware of everything that happens around you, but you are not! There are cues and pieces of information that you store in your mind without your control and awareness.

The subconscious brain or subconscious mind is part of your brain which silently observes your surrounding even without your knowledge. Your subconscious mind is the real player behind your thoughts, decisions and dreams.

Subconscious dreams
Pic: freepik.com

We all know the brain is the most complex object in the world. Our brain has 10 to the power of 12 neurons. That means the number of interconnections linking these neurons is greater than the total number of atoms making up the entire universe. Implying, it is almost impossible to fully understand the capability of our brain.

One of the thousands of discoveries about the brain is the function of our subconscious mind.

Subconscious brain functioning was first coined in 1889 by the psychologist Pierre Janet (1859–1947), in his doctorate of letters thesis, De l’Automatisme Psychologique. 

Later, in 1893, renowned neurologist Sigmund Freud used the word subconscious. According to Sigmund Freud, what is going on in our mind and what we hear are two different things. He also claimed that the information grasped by our subconscious mind appears in our dreams or sometimes they are behind our behaviour.

Findings related to this topic (subconscious mind) have attracted loads of people around the world. The Marketers, the artists, the politicians, all use tactics to tap into our subconscious minds. They try to get into our subconscious by using subliminal messages. Otherwise known as subliminal marketing.

So what is Subliminal Marketing?

The root of the word “subliminal” is Latin. The Latin word for “threshold” is limen, hence the word subliminal suggests “below the threshold” of our conscious mind. According to Whitlow (2004)

Aylesworth, Goodstein and Karla (1999) define subliminal advertising as “the use of words, pictures and shapes that are purposely inserted into advertising materials so that the viewers of the material cannot perceive the imagery at a conscious level, but rather at a subconscious level”

Subliminal messages are of short duration and are not perceived consciously, but your mind makes a separate reservoir to save those flashes or intended messages. So, when you are ready to make a decision, they appear suddenly and guides your decision-making process or thoughts.

Certain subliminal cues can trick your mind because it is easy to influence or manipulate anyone if they are not aware of the real causes that determine their behaviour. This is the base for Subliminal Marketing.

Sometimes marketers embed subliminal messages to promote their products. They try to generate a response so that people will do things that they would not usually do. Like, for example unnecessary purchasing a product when they do not require it.

Evolution of Subliminal Marketing

The concept of subliminal advertising is not new. The subliminal advertising studies evolved in 1957 when James Vicary, a market researcher, used subliminal words like ‘Drink Cola’ and ‘Eat popcorn’ and flashed them throughout the movie Picnic. There was a significant increase in the sale of Coke and Popcorn, around 18.1% and 57.8%, respectively. However, with no proper recorded data of the sales figure, the claims by James Vicary were termed a hoax. 

James figures maybe a hoax but several other studies that have proved that our brain can recognise the subliminal messages and have the power to guide our behaviour.

Possible Proof of Subliminal message and marketing

In an experiment by Bargh, Chen and Burrows (1996), the focus group participants were given a sentence that contained words such as old, retired, wise, etc. The sentence gave an elderly vibe to the readers without their consciousness. The shocking observation at the end of the experiment was that the focus group exited the experiment room much slower compared to the control group participants. Suggesting they had internalised the elderly concept subconsciously. 

Here the sentence containing elderly words is the subliminal message and the behaviour of the focus group is the subconscious result of that subliminal message.

There are 3 sublimation simulation techniques

  • Brief visual stimuli with the help of a Tachistoscope. Tachistoscope is a device that was extensively used for carrying out psychological studies before computers were popular. For a subliminal experiment, Tachistoscope would display images faster than any human conscious mind would grasp. This was done to understand whether the images displayed are memorable or do they impact the subconscious mind and guide behaviour.  
A-participant-looking-through-a-tachistoscope
credits: research gate
  • The second technique was to insert low volume audio messages (subaudible) in high volume files. The low volume audio files will be hidden from your conscious mind, but your subconscious mind might notice them.
  • The third method that seems to work is adding hidden sexual imagery or hidden visuals in an advertisement. These messages are embedded in such a way that it’s hard to pursue consciously.
beer buzz
Credits: Buzzfeed.com

Do you see the hidden message in the picture above? Comment below.

Other famous cases of the subliminal message include

The picture above is an old subliminal advertisement for camel cigarettes. After carefully analyzing the picture you may notice a naked man with a cigarette. This was one of the oldest cases of subliminal marketing. The use of sexual imagery highlighted when Wilson Bryan Key released his book subliminal seduction. He claimed advertisers are unethically embedding subliminal messages and sexual imagery to hike their product sales. But does it really increases desired sales?

subliminal-glassup-lady-yellow-page

Another case of subliminal message in marketing is this advertisement from D.J flooring. You need a different angle to view the vulgarity of this advertisement. What seems a subtle advertisement is quite the opposite of it. Hint: See upside down.

CONTROVERSIAL BUSH AD
Image by © Reuters/CORBIS

The word “RATS” appeared in a frame in a Republican television commercial on prescription drugs that attacked the Democratic nominee’s Mr Gore’s Medicare plan. The word RATS lasts only one-thirtieth of a second in the advertisement when ‘The Gore prescription plan: bureaucrats decide’ appeared. Many advertisers believed it was a subliminal attempt to undermine Mr Gore.

Probable subliminal marketing case in India

One Indian example of using subliminal audio messages, which is rather interesting, is Zomato. Zomato is an Indian multinational restaurant aggregator and food delivery company. The audio that plays in their advertisements (according to my observation) is “Go-Go buy it buy it”. The audio is hard to understand at first, but when you listen to it carefully then you may understand my point. 

A Sad case of Subliminal messages in heavy metal music

Another case with the use of subliminal is of music Industry. But this case is rather infamous. “Better by you, Better than me” is a song by English rock band Spooky Tooth, released in 1969. Heavy metal band Judas priest reprised this song. Judas Priest version claimed to be responsible for two suicides. 

Raymond Belknap, then 18, and James Vance, 20, two young Americans committed suicide and their family accused that the heavy metal song contains subliminal messages such as “kill yourself” “do it” etc. and that had encouraged two young men to kill themselves. However, the case went in the favour of Judas Priest, but the claim of subliminal message in their song was not confidently eradicated. 

Conclusion

The subject of the subconscious mind is highly controversial as subliminal marketing techniques are illegal in some countries. Some people are not in favour of subliminal marketing techniques. They believe subliminal marketing techniques lure and manipulate the customer to spend unnecessary and can hypnotise them. The power of subliminal luring is still a question, but if it is true, then are we really free? or freedom is just an illusion?

Have you observed subliminal advertising or are you familiar with the concept? Do share your thoughts.

Want to know the secrets of colour psychology? Click here to reveal.

All about colour psychology and consumer behaviour

All about colour psychology and consumer behaviour

It is a proven fact and much research affirms that colour psychology is instrumental in defining the effectiveness of marketing activities. Let us understand what is colour psychology and how it can help you market your products better.

Colours can influence your consumer’s feelings and opinions about your product, and they can play an important role in promoting your business and increasing sales.

Every Individual has their personality and similarly, every product has its personality. Just like we perceive other individuals by their looks (first impression), in a similar way we perceive products by the colour they wear i.e, we try to understand the personalities of brands by the colour(s) in their logo, packages, or the product itself. Research shows that colours influence buying behaviour so much that 85% of people would consider buying a product based on the colour it comes in (Hemphill, 1996).

Let us understand the concept more clearly.

Why Colour Psychology

Psychology, we know, is a study of human behaviour, whereas colour psychology is the study of the impact of colours on human behaviour. Specific colours trigger certain sentiments in consumers. For example, health supplements or organic food items are never marketed solely in black colour. Here black colour may negatively impact the mind of a consumer as it does not correlate with health. Therefore in most cases, marketers consider using green or mustard yellow colour while marketing health-related product or services. 

There is an interesting observation. If you watch advertisements of any brand on visual media, you could notice the brand ambassador wear clothes similar to the colour of the brand. Brand ambassador wears similar clothing to brand because it increases brand recall and brand recognition.

We can see this not only in offline marketing but online marketing as well. If you notice, the landing page of a commercial website has vibrant colours that boost the call to action. That is the reason why top companies carefully develop a colour strategy for their product website.

If the product is designed well, but marketed with dull colours or colours that do not resemble the brand’s personality and identity, the chances of gaining assertive responses from the consumers will be low.

Selecting the right colours for the product is as essential as selecting the right employees in a company. 

Let us understand further about colour psychology.

Purpose of Colour Psychology

color psychology puzzle

Imagine life black and white and no other colour? Or maybe a life with only two colours? It seems threatening. Just a thought of it would make some people uneasy and appreciate the colours around us. 

Colours are important, so important that sometimes they are ignored. It is an oxymoron state when we talk about the value of colours. Colour stimuli are defined completely in terms of hue (which is the wavelength), brightness, and chroma (which is the purity or sharpness of colours containing more grey).

It is critical that the right colour is linked with the right emotions, especially when marketing certain products or services, with distinguished properties.

One such example can be seen in the case of Coca Cola and Pepsi, where Pepsi moved away from red colour packaging and marketed its product in blue, to claim a different personality of their product and differentiate itself from its rival.

Colour psychology is not only limited to selling a product or services, it includes awareness for a cause too. To prove this point, the pink colour ribbon is used as a symbol for awareness of breast cancer. Why pink? Pink is perceived as a feminine colour, possessing the quality of love, kindness, and calmness. (The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation).

Consumers, are humans filled with several emotions. Anger, happiness, sadness, fear, disgust to name a few. And every emotion has a colour associated with it, so is the sagacity of brands.

Colour psychology and researches on the subject

Colour psychology and its connection to human behaviour is a fairly limited research topic.

Those on a normal vision of colour, do experience a vast and intense chromatic palette, with valuations up reaching 2.3 million discernable colours (Linhares et al. 2008), seen together in an “ infinite” number of possible combinations (Ha˚rd & Sivik 2001, p. 4). 

Some early studies focus on topics concerning colour (e.g., Babin et al. 2003; Bellizzi et al. 1983; Crowley 1993; Gorn et al. 1997, 2004) but there more theoretically based research is needed to move beyond the meagre anecdotal mentions of the use of colour in consumer behaviour. 

According to the study done by Goethe, Goldstein (1942), colours have a physiological effect along with a psychological effect on humans. As per his study, the colours which have a longer wavelength, (eg: red, at around 700 nanometers.) are arousing and colours with shorter wavelengths (eg: Violet at around 380 nanometers) are more calming in nature. 

Following the study of Goldstein, Ott (1979), he proposed that colour produces physical sensations in the body that are evident in an individual’s behaviour. He propounds that pink and orange colours have an “endocrine-based” weakening impact on muscle functioning, whereas blue has an “endocrine-based” strengthening impact on muscle functioning.

Few other studies have divided the colours into two groups, namely warm colours, which includes red, yellow, orange, and cool group which includes colours like blue, violet, and green. 

An appealing study was carried out by Middelstadt (1990), in which he mapped the consumer behaviour at a store. The respondents were shown the slide of a pen against a blue and red background. A positive response was attained by the respondents perceiving the pen in blue background. 

This was also proved in a study conducted by Bellizzi, et al. (1983). In that study, respondents rated cool colour store environments as calm and pleasant than warm colour store environments. 

Not only to define brand’s personality, but colours helps in brand recall and retention.

Some colours are proved to retain attention and brand recognition up to 80% Morton J. [cited 2010 Dec 20]. In another study done by White, colours are not only used to decorate advertisements but increase the attention span up to 42% as compared with non-colourful advertisements. 

The careful selection of the colours in the movie posters also suggests the importance of colours. 

Movie posters act as a first impression and convey first-hand information about their genre, though it does not solely depend upon the colour of a poster. The human mind is an amazing chamber that can grasp a lot of information about a product or service, just by looking at the colours used. 

Particular genres form a similar colour pattern. If we pay attention to science fiction, they often use a dark colours such as blue and black, and a romantic comedy poster generally uses a mixture of colours such as red, and light colours such as yellow. 

As the world is changing along with technology, so are marketers. The digital invasion has created a new scope for marketers and companies. Communication about products and services happens via the internet. Companies have created a social media presence and online websites. It is a challenge to convince buyers and persuade them to hit that call to action button and buy the product or services, without interacting face to face with sellers.

In this case, colour strategy plays a vital role, especially in digital media where communication is virtual. 

 HubSpot Academy conducted a test on a website to prove this point. The researchers did not change anything on the website, except the colour of the call-to-action button. The results were interesting where a red CTA button exceeded a green CTA button by 21%. 

Colour is more critical for value significant products or services as argued to utilitarian type products (Ogden, et al., 2010; Akcay, et al., 2011).

Colour psychology is essential in logos and product packaging. As per the studies by Labrecque & Milne 2013, the most commonly utilized colour in logos of major companies is blue, which has been linked to high perceptions of competence, stability, and reliability.

The choice of colour has an impact on how a brand is perceived. As mentioned earlier different colours have different meaning. For my article, I have chosen red, blue, orange, green, yellow, purple, pink, and black. 

Let us learn more about the positive and negative perspectives of the selected colours and then you can decide which colour is suitable for your product or services.

Different Colors and their associations

RED

The colour red triggers powerful emotions. These emotions can have negative and positive interpretations. The interpretation of colour is found along with the context where it is being used.

Colour red drives a sense of urgency, and hence it is used to promote sales.

We can relate this with the CTA study done by HubSpot (explained above). Where the call to action button when changed to red instead of green, raised 21% clicks.

Red is also proven to encourage appetite because it is widely found in nature. A food that ripes, ripes in red, and hence it is the dominant colour especially in the logo of fast food and beverage companies.

Red also seems to have the longest wavelength, at around 700 nanometers.

Examples of companies using red are Kellogg’s, Coca-Cola, Pizza Hut, etc. to name a few.

The colour red is also related to sexuality and excitement. It is perceived as an arousing, exciting, and stimulating colour.

Positive aspects of the colour red

  • Power
  • Passion
  • Energy
  • Fearlessness
  • Excitement
  • Sensuality
  • Appetizing 

Negative aspects of the colour red

When we consider its negative attention, the colour red is associated with:

  • Anger
  • Danger
  • Warning
  • Aggression
  • Pain

BLUE

Blue is calm. It has a soothing effect on the mind of an Individual. Blue is rare in nature but it is one of the most valuable colours and is used widely elsewhere. 

Blue is used in beverage marketing but hardly a food manufacturing company would use the colour blue to appear appetizing. As blue colour eatables are rare in nature, studies have found that the colour blue suppresses the appetite, and therefore it may not be suitable as a dominant colour for marketing food products.

blue noodles
Are blue noodles appetizing? Source: Pinterest

Blue is a safe colour, but to adopt it in marketing a product or service, the offerings of that particular product and services should be considered.

After researching the characteristic of the colour blue, we can conclude why certain banks, fintech, and car companies use the colour blue in their logo, for their brand perception. 

Examples of companies that use blue colour on their brand: PayPal, Paytm, LIC, Samsung, American Express, Ford, Dell to name a few.

Positives aspects of the colour blue

  • Trust
  • Loyalty
  • Dependability
  • Logic
  • Serenity
  • Security

Negative aspects of the colour blue

  • Coldness 
  • Emotionless
  • Unfriendliness
  • Unappetizing 

ORANGE

The colour Orange is a combination of two primary colours i.e yellow and red. Orange reminds us of that beautiful sunset sky, or that citrus tangerines and orange fruit. It may suit non-corporate or fun brands, like Fanta.

The orange colour is not a sophisticated colour and its relevance with the colour of the sun gives it an earthly and warm perception.

Orange colour may work with price-sensitive customers as it is best suited for not so expensive brands. 

Some examples of companies that use orange colour are Amazon, Fanta, Nickelodeon, to name a few.

Positive aspects of the colour orange

  • Courage
  • Warmth
  • Friendliness
  • Innovation
  • Energy

Negative aspects of the colour blue

  • Deprivation 
  • Frustration
  • Immaturity 
  • Ignorance
  • Sluggishness

YELLOW

You create your own decoration. You choose your colour, you choose your mood. … If you are depressed, you put some bright yellow and suddenly you are happy.” —- Philippe Starck 

Yellow is a lively and highly noticeable colour of all colours. It is a colour so fresh as a youth, often related to happiness, fun, and sunshine.

The positively quality of this colour may nullify if it is not used in context, as in some situations, this colour can agitate the consumer, and so it may not be suitable in writing (just as the heading)a description about a product or services or painting a retail store all in yellow 

Some brands that use the colour yellow are Nikon, IMDb, Best Buy, CAT, Yellow, Post-it, etc. 

Just as the research suggests, all these brands have used yellow as a background, to appear lively and youthful.

Positive aspects of the colour blue

  • Optimism
  • Warmth
  • Happiness
  • Creativity
  • Intellect
  • Extroversion 

Negative aspects of the colour yellow

  • Irrationality 
  • Fear
  • Frustration 
  • Anxiety
  • Incomprehensible 

GREEN

Often a synonym of health and environment, the colour green is relaxing and soothing to the eyes. The colour green represents life and freshness, that is the reason why the seller of organic and pharma products often include the colour green in their marketing and branding. 

Imagine a company selling its organic products in black or red colour. Will it sell? Can consumers relate to what the organic product is trying to communicate? In many cases, it is a bad idea or negligence of the importance of colour in marketing.

As it is associated with life and growth they are also used to market financial products. 

Companies that use green in their brands are bp, Land Rover, Whole foods market, Starbucks, Animal Planet, Tropicana, etc.

Positive aspects of colour green

  • Health 
  • Hope
  • Freshness
  • Nature
  • Growth
  • Prosperity 

Negative aspects of colour green

  • Boredom 
  • Envy
  • Blandness 

PURPLE

In many cultures around the world, the colour purple is often associated with luxury and royalty. Many brands, thus, use this colour to communicate the luxury of their brand and appear prestigious in the mind of consumers worldwide. 

Purple is often linked with imagination and spirituality and creativity, that is why purple can be widely seen in fairy tales and magic shows as well as luxury products and services. 

Too much use of purple can reverse its positivity, making it appear as excess and extravagance when not intended to.

The brands that widely use purple are Cadbury, Yahoo!, Hallmark, FedEx, Asprey London, etc.

Positive aspects of the colour purple

  • Wisdom
  • Wealth
  • Spirituality
  • Imaginative
  • Sophistication 

Negative aspects of the colour purple

  • Excess
  • Moody
  • Suppression 

PINK

Pink is a flag bearer of femininity, also a sign of hope, often misunderstood as fragile, too girly, and weak, pink, in reality, is a bundle of emotions. 

It can be impactful to give youthfulness to a formal brand. 

Out of many examples, some powerful examples of the colour pink can be seen in breast care awareness. Also, that bold, strong feminine logo of Barbie. A secret to intimacy, Victoria’s Secret PINK, Innovative T mobile, musically progressive Pink Floyd, Nykaa is such powerful examples of using this colour.

However, with its close relationship with red, the colour pink can sometimes be rebellious and as it is always associated with femininity and perhaps is not a good choice to market male-dominant products such as beard gel. 

Positive aspects of the colour pink

  • Imaginative 
  • Passionate 
  • Caring 
  • Innovative 

Negative aspects of the colour pink

  • Outrageous
  • Rebellious 
  • Impulsiveness 

BLACK

It’s not a colour, instead, it’s all colours. (When you mix all colours you get black).

Black goes with products that relate themselves with power, mystery, luxury, elegance, simplicity, etc. 

Like other colours mentioned, the black colour association also varies with individuals’ personal experiences. Although, there is a common ground perception of the colour black that several bands, worldwide exploit.

Black is a popular colour in many luxurious retail stores, like Chanel and Nike.

Black is not suitable for brands that promote health or cleanliness, as using black as a dominant colour in marketing their products would bring reverse results.

Positive aspects of the colour black

  • Sophistication
  • Security
  • Power
  • Elegance 
  • Authority 
  • Boldness

Negative aspects of the colour black

  • Coldness
  • Evil
  • Mourning 
  • Heaviness

Conclusion

Years ago Egyptians examined the influence of colours on mood and used them for holistic improvement, they figured out that colours tend to elevate mood. Till now many studies have proved these claims to be true and effective. And many top companies do consider colours seriously.

Brand colours are the first impression for consumers. Every colour has its value. Many top brands pay utmost attention while choosing colours for their logo such as Google, Cadbury, Adidas, Nykaa, etc.

The element of colour is highly predominant in identifying a brand and communicating the offerings of the brand. For businesses, the colours should be on par with the personality of their target audiences. 

Marketers and entrepreneurs should consider the need for the right colours while branding their products and services as every colour has emotions correlated with them. Choosing a colour as opposed to their offerings may harm the sales of the company.

Many researchers resist themselves from giving assured statements about colour and its importance in the domain of consumer behaviour. One of the reasons is that consumer attitudes and behaviours are presumed to be influenced by country, race, sex, and age.

Have you experienced the power of colours? What are your thoughts on this subject? Do share your and thoughts in the comments.

References

  1. Hemphill, M. (1996). A note on adults’ colour–emotion associations. The Journal of genetic psychology, 157(3), 275-280.
  2. Lee S., Lee K., Lee S., Song J. (2013). Origins of Human Colour preference for food. Journal of Food Engineering.
  3. Online article: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/psychology-of-color
  4. Web article: https://coschedule.com/blog/color-psychology-marketing/ 
  5. Online article: https://www.fastcompany.com/3028378/what-your-logos-color-says-about-your-company-infographic 
  6. Web article: https://coschedule.com/blog/color-psychology-marketing/ 
  7. Kotler, P. (2003). Marketing Management. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice-Hall
  8. Singh, S. (2006). Impact of Color on Marketing. University of Winnipeg: Canada
  9. Blackwell, R., Miniard, P., Engel, J.: Consumer Behavior, 10th edn. Thomson South-Western, Mason (2006)
  10. Image source: Freepik.com [convertkit form=2402507]

Want to know the science of Chocolate? Click here to read this exciting article from my blog.

Are you understanding marketing like the leaders do?

Are you understanding marketing like the leaders do?

Leaders way of Marketing

Have you ever wondered why some companies and leaders excel in promoting their products and rule the market? What is that secret formula that not many people talk about? Let us find out in this post.

A leader king in the chess board game

It may sound a cliche but good marketing is no accident, neither it is all about creativity. Marketing is more than just creativity, it is a blend of art and science. It is about understanding the psyche of consumers and communicating the brand value to the best interest of the target audiences.

No matter how great your product is, it would not sustain in the market if there is no demand for it. Any financial success of a product often depends upon its ability to communicate its value to the consumers in an effective way, such that people realize the need for a product in their life, that your company can offer.

The biggest hindrance to any business would be the lack of thoroughly understanding the consumer’s need. If you have all the confidence and profound market research about the problem that your product can solve, and ease the life of your target audience, then all you need is great marketing practices to boost your business.

So here the biggest question that arises, is how to understand consumers better in the first place? Let us find out in simple steps.

1. Find your niche market

Not everyone likes the same ice cream flavour or the same movie genre. There are differences when it comes to people. There are differences in their personalities, differences in their choices, and also their ideologies differ. That is why a company should segment its pool of audiences by their psychographic and behavioural differences to select the best segment they can serve with their competencies.

After you segment your audience, the next important step for you is to find your niche, i.e. your target market. You need to find your target market that aligns with your market offerings and grab the opportunity by studying them and their pain points.

So what lies next?

After you segment and find your target market, the next big challenge is to position yourself as someone who can satisfy the needs of your target audiences by solving their problems.

For example, Taylor swift produces songs that narrate a story that mainly targets English-speaking teenagers (67% of them being female) whereas the target audience of bands like Linkin Park is young adults (18–34) who like to listen to smooth rock.

Here, Taylor has positioned herself as queen of pop music and Linkin Park as the Kings of smooth rock (debates are welcomed in the comments).

Another such example could be cars.

Porsche targets buyers who seek excitement and pleasure while driving, whereas Volvo builds cars for those whose №1 priority is to be safe while driving.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that Porsche is not safe to drive, or driving Volvo is not a pleasurable experience.

What differs here is the pain points of a different set of audiences and the marketing strategy to position themselves differently in the market.

2. Developing connections with the customers

To develop long-term relations with the customers, you should answer certain questions before developing marketing strategies.

Let us understand with an example.

Suppose you own a laptop manufacturing company then the right questions that you should seek to answer are: Who buys a laptop and why? at what price they are willing to buy it? What features are they looking for? Where do they go shopping?

Seeking answers to these question can help you build a rigid marketing strategy that will help you gain more customers as well as understand them better.

3. Adopt Social Listening skill

With an example, you may understand it better.

Your friend owns a bakery shop (Because you own a laptop manufacturing business, check above) and he/she is probably the best in the market. You hear few customers in your friend’s shop talking about how delicious his/her pastries are, but the price could be revised so that they can enjoy the delicacies more often. You communicate this to your friend.

He/She then builds up a survey and finds out that indeed there is a scope to revise the price.

Well, this is what social listening is. You were the listener, similarly, social media helps us in social listening, but in a wider scope.

We live in an era of the new economy, where many people are using the internet to share their views, give feedback, or provides new ideas for improvements.

Internet is a boon to marketers. As a marketer, now you understand your customers better as you analyze, understand, and track their conversation about your product or your competitor’s. You can then develop strategies from those insights.

Who knows, maybe you will outperform to be the №1 in your niche, by actively social listening to your dear audiences.

4. Communicate well with your customers

Marketing is not just limited to the sale of a product it starts well before creating a product. It is a continuous process and lasts as long as the business exists.

A brand needs to have its online presence to reach the customer and all the queries of customers should be considered.

You need to continuously communicate with them over social media and by adopting direct marketing techniques to achieve a personalized communication with your prospects.

The best way you can serve your customers is to join the conversation in their head, and often people converse about their thoughts and feelings over different social forums such as Quora, Twitter, Reddit, etc.

You can start with:

  • Social media mentions
  • Relevant hashtags
  • Talks on current trend and fads
  • Social media mention of your competitors

Tip: Communicating is easier when you don’t complicate it. The secret of effective communication is to write as you speak, and then you can be sure that it will be understood by others. Of course, if you are not a dreamy writer, in that case, your niche is different.

After learning about the basics in marketing, let us move towards new marketing trends.

Let us begin with the debate on Traditional Marketing Vs Digital Marketing.

Traditional Marketing Vs Digital Marketing: Which one is winning today?

Traditional marketing consists of conventional techniques to communicate about a brand. Much of this is taken by various research done in the marketing field as well as research conducted in the field of psychology.

Traditional Marketing is advertising on print media such as newspapers and magazines, placing advertisements on radio or television, or printing a large hoarding that is strategically placed in a location to attract the right buyers.

And it worked pretty well as expected until the world moved ahead and the large public pool shifted to the era of the digital economy.

As the audiences shifted so did the marketing practices. Companies after following the trend, have now moved their marketing practices over the internet, using social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. and community forums, such as Reddit, Quora, etc.

Marketers still pay an advertisement fee whenever their internet advertisement is clicked by a prospect. We call it Pay Per Click (PPC)or Pay per (PPM) million as well as Cost per million (CPM) or Cost per Click. (To know more about these terms, check out my post dedicated to Digital Marketing concepts)

And this briefly explains what Digital Marketing is.

Digital marketing is cost-effective as compared to traditional methods and it can reach your audience faster as well as connects you directly with them globally. Analyzing that your marketing practices are in fact paying you back in terms of sales, is much more realistic when you adopt digital marketing practices.

So it becomes important for a marketer to understand the scope of digital marketing.

In layman’s language, Digital marketing is marketing done online i.e. digitally.

So back to our original question, which one is winning today?

Of course, we require both. And the right question that should be asked is:

How to utilize both traditional marketing and digital marketing practices to attain maximum benefit for a (your) brand?

The answer?

Let economics explain you.

How to grow financially

The figure highlights two strategies. You can either increase the price of your product (left to right in the figure above), or you can increase the number of customers you can sell to (right to left trend in the figure above).

Hence you can spend in grabbing the audience via print ad when your target group falls in a specific category, example: people of a certain age who do not use social platforms (kids or elder population), so the communication can be through hoardings or newspapers, T.V etc.

Whereas for young adults, digital platforms are boons.

You can adopt either of the strategies to attain maximum profit, all you need to do is remember what value you are providing to the market and persona of your ideal prospect, as well as where to find them (Digital, Traditional or both platforms).

After further research make sure you also understand the target groups “willingness to pay” for your product. Map your customers and competitors customers, understand the market shift and trends and be updated.

As COVID-19 have increased the importance of digital platform, let us learn how leaders are still leading digitally.

The integrated digital marketing framework for leaders

Integrated digital marketing framework

Integrated digital marketing framework is a conglomerate of different methods. It is important to use the full potential of each contributor in the framework. But before that let us understand each keyword.

  • Content Marketing:

Content isn’t the king, it is the Kingdom.

The more quality content you produce, the more it will help in your brand awareness and contribute to trust-building. Make sure the content you are producing is relevant to what you offer i.e., relevant to your niche. Content could be a video, a blog, social media creatives, etc. Make sure your content follows the “Tripple E” principle of Engage, Entertain and Educate your target audience.

  • Social Media:

 Narrowing down the content aspect, social media is much more focused and reachable to those audiences who have the potential to be your future customers. It is essential to use the power of social media as it is the greatest tool for digital marketers to connect and engage their audiences and communicate persuasively.

  • SEO: 

Search Engine optimization makes you visible over search engines such as Google and Bing. It helps you to be noticed by your potential target group and provides you better opportunities to sell in your niche, compared to a business that does not optimize its online presence and is lost in the jungle of myriad similar businesses.

  • Paid Advertisements:

Just as in traditional marketing practices, an advertiser needs to pay for advertising on Television, over the internet they pay for advertising on social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, etc. They also can utilize Google Ads which is on a bid-basis. Here you pay Google to appear on top of the result for a particular keyword. (as shown in the picture below).

  • Email: 

Undoubtably email is the most reliable communication tool for marketers. It helps your target audiences to recall your product or services or helps your prospect to know more about you. More personalized email can bring wonders to your business as it connects with your prospects and increases the conversion rate.

  • Sell and Convert: 

All’s Well That Ends Well” if you are generating sales that suggest that your marketing practices are going in the right direction. All you need to do is.. well.. keep up the good work.

Do you know all this can be briefed if you knew the secret formula that leaders always remember?

The nCATT model of wealth

Let me introduce nCATT which is the formula of attaining wealth, also known as the nCATT marketing funnel.

As the figure above instructs you that all the components here are interdependent.

Niche diagram
  • [n], here represents niche as we discussed earlier. Your success, to a larger extent, can be determined by the niche you choose. A niche market is a segment of a larger market that has its own unique needs, likes, or identity that makes it different from the market at large. Niche is that area where your passion, your skills and an opportunity exists and overlaps.
  • stands for Content“Good content is not storytelling. It’s telling your story well.” — @MarketingProfsAfter you decide on your niche, you need a content strategy to reach target audiences. To begin with, it is simple, have a plan and purpose for every social media post or article that you publish. Make a purpose-time table and abide by it.
  • attains for Attention: Creating content sometimes gets tricky but it is much more difficult to get your audience attention. Internet is cluttered with information and if you don’t select the right medium to reach your target audiences, then all that creativity might be stuck with you forever. Use the integrated marketing framework (discussed above) to grab the right audience for your business through the right social media platform.
  • “Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.” — Andrew Davis. You probably guessed that here T represents Trust. You can build trust by listening to them, establishing a personal bond with them, and above all understand them and solving their problems.
  • T here suggests Transaction. When you find your niche, develop a content strategy, grabbing their attention and successfully gain trust by solving problems of your audience, you are all set for a change where your audience converts into your customers.

Tip: Remember the figure, it is a continuous process, a wheel to successfully drive your business ahead, towards the destination.

Let us move on to the last aspect but the most important factor for the longevity of your business.

I will start with some intrinsic thought-provoking exercise. Think and answer to yourself.

Do you have enough passion to reach that pinnacle of your desire?

How do you want people to perceive you in your journey?

What is your passion

In this world of capitalism, not only the brands are favourites, but the people behind them matters.

The pioneers, the leader, the thinker, the creator, they matter.

You matter, more than your lawful entity.

And therefore personal branding is important.

It is how you market yourself (in a good sense). It is about your beliefs or your altruistic personality, your reputation, your motivation, your never give up attitude. They all are valued (even monitory)and have an impact on your business.

One such example of the importance of a personal brand is given below (notice the highlighted part).

Tesla Branding
Source: Twitter @Tesla
Elon Musk Personal Branding
Source: Twitter @ELon Musk

Another question that comes to mind could be how to improve your “personal” brand like leaders?

We are humans, we adopt new skill-sets and constantly improve our existing skills. Learning is life long process that demands change.

MassTrust is a framework that explains a cycle that you go through in your lifetime as a learner.

Every leader is a learner first.

This explains the above argument that learning is not limited to “going to school”. The picture below will help you understand the cycle of MassTrust.

MASSTRUST BLUEPRINT describing the journey of a Leader

After all, people do not do business with companies but with the people they like and the people they trust.

This may be the end of this article but the beginning of new leaders.

Be the leader, lead the name. Your Name.

Who is your inspiration, when it comes to “personal-branding”? Do comment, along with your thoughts on personal branding below.