Marketing is often misunderstood. It is not exact or definite, because it deals with the human psyche and our consumption and buying patterns, which are very unpredictable. When marketers fail to realize this fundamental reality, they fall prey to marketing “rules” which don’t exactly turn out to be rules.
Here is a list of six of such “pseudo rules” or myths.
MYTH # 1: MARKETING IS ALL ABOUT SELLING THE PRODUCTS THAT HAVE BEEN MADE.
Reality: Marketing is primarily about understanding correctly what people want. And when you have understood that, it is about creating good products that satisfy those wants and finally making them available to the customer.
MYTH # 2: ADVERTISING IS MARKETING.
Reality: Advertising is a form of promotion and promotion is just a small part of the overall marketing function. Advertising is not marketing. Also more advertising doesn’t mean more sales. Advertising makes people aware of the brand. Now whether they trust the advertising and go ahead and buy the product, is an entirely different issue.
MYTH # 3: ONLY BIG COMPANIES NEED TO INVEST IN BRANDING.
Reality: Branding is not one of the many activities of a company, it is the activity. Everything that a business entity does contributes or takes away from its brand identity. Even if the company is small and has limited customers, it will be perceived in some way by those limited number of customers. Then why neglect brand building and lose even them?
MYTH # 4: THE BEST PRODUCT OR SERVICE WILL WIN.
Reality: Apple’s iPhone still wins not because it is the best, but because it is perceived to be the best. You don’t go into a TV store and buy a Samsung instead of a Onida because you know for a fact that Samsung is better, but because you perceive it to be better. Remember, marketing or branding or advertising is all about perception, human perception.
MYTH # 5: COMPETITORS ARE BAD.
Reality: Competitors are good. Pepsi would not have been Pepsi without a Coke. Vodafone would not have been Vodafone without an Airtel. A competitor refines your own positioning. It tells the consumer, what you are not.
MYTH # 6: CUSTOMER AND CONSUMER IS ONE AND THE SAME THING.
Reality: They are not! Customer is one who buys and consumer is one who consumes and they may sometimes be different. Considering both to be the same might be misleading for marketers. Cinthol maybe your favourite brand of soap, but if the brand manager doesn’t also target your wife in its advertising campaign, she may just hate it and not buy it for you. Isn’t she the one who does most of the shopping?