Since my childhood, I’ve been hearing the term “Marketing” always along with “Sales”, rarely without it. It’s almost as if Marketing and Sales are a couple, Marketing being the boyfriend and Sales being it’s melodramatic girlfriend. But in reality, that isn’t the case.
On behalf of all the marketing professionals in the world, I’d like to clarify here that Marketing and Sales may be dependent on each other in some specific businesses, but they are never the same. Sales is the process of convincing an individual person or entity into buying something whereas Marketing is about changing the thought process, or fundamental belief, of a large group of people, usually the entire world.
When I was trying to figure out my career path about 5 years back, I was on intensive exploration into every career path that was out there. Don’t get me wrong here, I wasn’t clueless about it. I was always a techie, which means I knew my way around coding, building stuff and I am an Engineering graduate, with specialization in Computer Science & Technology. But having a skill-set or knowledge about a subject doesn’t define the career-path for you. It’s how you decide on utilizing those skills that defines your career path. So while I was exploring the career-path on which I would apply myself – I found my love for Marketing. Below is one of the videos, that actually defined the meaning of Marketing itself to me, in context of Food Industry. Do watch the video, it’ll put things in context to what’s next.
We are living in 21st century. It’s the Information age, and its a competitive market. And every fucking field, every damn sector is being led by Marketing today – be it education, government, rebellion, industrialization, innovation, science – you name it.
Marketing isn’t about selling things anymore. It’s about selling of the idea. It’s about changing how people fundamentally think. And finally, it’s about creating a psychological impact. I think those are just a few big lines I’ve thrown out, so let me put things in context for you.
Suppose you want to drill a hole in your wall. You’ll pick up a hammer and a nail, you’ll put those two things in place and you’ll start hammering the nail. Mission successful, hole made. Suppose you want to dig a hole in the ground. You’ll pick a shovel, you’ll start digging the soil out of the ground and eventually, there’s a big hole right there and you can even hide a dead-body in it. Viola!
Let’s go a little bit further. Let’s suppose you want to dig a terrain to build a large building. You’ll need cranes and other heavy machines, so you’ll arrange for those and they’ll come and do the same.
But what if we go further than that? A hole of size of a city? You’ll need a atomic bomb may be. Let’s go bigger? A hole of size of a whole country? Nuclear Bomb? World War 3?
Consider the example – the bigger the hole you want to create – the more amount of planning and strategy goes into it. A hole on wall takes no planning, is almost instinctive but a larger impact takes more amount of planning.
What if you’re trying to create a same level of impact – that’s almost as big as a nation, but instead of digging a physical hole in ground, you’re trying to make a change in psychology of people? What if you are trying to fundamentally change how things work? That’s what Marketing is all about.
It’s about controlling the narrative. It’s about bowing a seed in people’s mind, that grows into an imagination, building up their thoughts and principles. It’s about manipulating the ideas, the thinking process of every targeted individual.
And how do you achieve that? With a strategic, tactical plan. The bigger the objective or the targeted impact, the more sophisticated plan you’ll need.
The first step is identifying your objective. What impact do you want to create? There’s really nothing in the world that can’t be achieved with a good, sound plan. If you want to break the moon, or reach the stars – anything is possible. But even to begin, you need to know where do you want to reach at the end. So define your objective.
Once you’ve decided an objective, you’re already ahead of half of this planet’s population, because most people don’t even dream.
The second step is, breaking it down to smaller parts/objectives – If you want to reach from point A to point Z, which has 24 other mile stones (B, C, D… etc) in between them, then you need a plan to reach from point A to point B, then from point B to point C and so on. And finally, you reach to point Z.
Once you’ve completed step two, you are ahead of 90% of the world’s population, because most of them give up believing that their objective can’t be achieved. They give up too easily. If you are trying to do something great, obstacles are always going to be there, as problems, as people who cause those problems, as limitations of any system, anything could be an obstacle. But you have to cross it. Once you’ve made up your mind that you’re willing to do anything it takes, you’re in top 10% of the world’s population when it comes to mental capacity and the hunger of growth.
The third step is to act. This is where most people fail. They dream. They plan. But only a very select few start acting upon that plan. And all those who have acted upon it – though there are only a handful of them, you know them by their names. That’s the kind of legacy they’ve created. Wondering who’s that? Whomever’s name you remember – Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Elon Musk. Ratan Tata, Aditya Birla and Dhirubhai Ambani.
The only difference between these people and the other 10% of the world’s population that had a plan was that – these guys acted upon it. And I don’t have to justify their success – their actions speak for them.
Enough with the words of motivation, let’s come back to our original topic: The art of shaping the new world.
It has to be subtle. It has to grow like a seed into people’s brain, like the movie inception. It has to register in people’s subconscious, affecting their decision. That’s how you marketing things today. You connect with people, bring them into thinking that you are their best friend. That you are working on their behalf. And that isn’t possible unless you are actually committed to those people. You can only achieve this once you start feeling and thinking that you are ‘responsible’ for them. The rest falls into place itself. Let me explain this with a live example.
The reputation of PM Modi or Arvind Kejriwal is a direct result of good marketing. How you remember them, their personality, their identity, their nature – that is a carefully crafted image that has been placed on your subconscious by the amazing marketers who are working for these guys. They used the same tools which are available to you – the internet, the social media etc. They control the media, hence they control the narrative. They control the narrative to lead you to believe whatever they want you to believe.
A human mind is keen and trusting. We always believe whatever he hear a little too often. If we hear the same thing from a multiple sources at different times, we tend to believe that without going at the bottom of the whole matter. We are innocent that way. And that’s the quality of humans that Marketers bank upon.
As marketers, we set the narrative for you. Let’s take an example of “kya aapke toothpaste mein namak hai” – a common statement that is being used by tooth-paste manufacturing company, roughly translating to “Does your toothpaste contains salt in it?”. It’s an amazing example of setting the narrative. It registers in people’s mind, leading them to think that salt is important in a good tooth paste. Then it registers in your subconscious and the next day, when you are brushing your teeth and it doesn’t taste salty, you subconsciously start to wonder if this is a good toothpaste for you. Eventually, the more you listen to that statement, the further this idea grows into your brain and you switch your tooth paste to something that indicates the presence of salt. For all we know, that statement could very well be a gimmick, but it did impact your decision of buying your tooth-paste. Beautiful use of Marketing right there!
The positioning statement that’s used by OnePlus is another great example. The phrase “Never Settle” defines the personality of the brand for you. And it doesn’t need to say a single more word over it. And yet to further drive you, it brings another adjoining phrase on it’s product: “Lead with speed”. As a result, you believe two things in your subconscious – That OnePlus is a brand that thrives for evolution, and it’s performance is best in the market. Do you have any proof? Not really. What most people aren’t aware of, is that the company that manufactures the OnePlus phones also manufactures the Oppo and Vivo phones, as all the three of them have the same parent company – Oppo Electronics. OnePlus is just a tag name that’s given to it’s expensive range of products. So Oppo and Vivo can as easily be identified as the economic range devices of OnePlus. Reflect upon it a bit?
So now you know the secret of Marketing and you’ve learnt the art of shaping the world. You shape the world by changing people’s psychology about things and you do that by banking on the fact that people are ignorant about facts and will believe almost everything that you feed in their head. This is not an insult to anyone’s intelligence, but it’s just how the world works. And if you don’t accept that, well that’s your ignorance for not seeing something for what it is.
With this information, you have everything you need to start your own brand, shape the tomorrow’s world as per your dream. So what are you going to do next? If you want my help with the plan, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected]
If you are clueless about where to start, do read my article “Are you lost in life?” that’ll help you find your calling.