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Marketing as an art……………………correcting the misconceptions

Thursday, December 10, 2020
Written By: 
Tatenda Marongwe

Many think the job of a Marketer is an easy one but it’s not.

People blindly interpret it as what it is not thinking that is what it is. Some say it’s about looking pretty, (no wonder it’s female dominated) yet others think it’s simply about printing t-shirts, designing and printing brochures, developing adverts, press or digital or even taking clients for golf or lunches. No no no that’s not it. Holistically marketing is an artistic approach to nurturing a brand and making the right audience fall in love with the brand.

There are many falsehoods about what marketing is yet simply put it’s an art to getting people to demand your product or service.

It’s interesting how everyone in the organisation think they know the best way to market a product or service yet for the rest of the functions they allow the expert to lead.  Should any legal matters arise in an organisation, the Legal guy is called immediately to lead the conversation without thinking. When it comes to tax remittances everyone is quick to call the Accountant to take charge. When there are Human Resource issues, everyone knows exactly where to find the Human Capital person. The list goes on but when it comes to Marketing suddenly everybody knows that a billboard is required, where it should be placed, what to write on it etc. They even know a press advert is required even the advert size, copy and publication. But why is that? In my view, it’s purely lack understanding that Marketing is an art. It’s not just random acts of doing things.

One of my former colleagues, who was in a “superior” department, in their view , used to boast up and down the corridor  saying  “Marketing  is easy, it’s just about knowing colours, different shades of them and knowing which ones are yours” until I challenged him with the artistic approach behind executions we all see everyday. Marketing is an art.

Marketing is like nurturing a baby. Two babies can be born exactly under the same conditions, in some instances by twin sisters but rest assured that the two children will never be the same. The way the children are raised will differentiate them. Even though the twin sisters may be given a standard manual to follow on how to raise the two babies the two can never be the same. Each must understand their own baby fully, identify pain points and offer relevant solutions to keep the baby happy. Some babies want to be fed into sleeping; others prefer a lullaby to sleep whilst others prefer to cry their voices out to sleep. Just like brands they can never be the same, they require different efforts to get them into consumers’ minds.  You don’t just develop a billboard because your competitor has, or to create a radio advert because you heard a certain company with one no there has to be a delicate artistic approach to it.

It’s sad to note that some parents, particularly those with children who would have earned low grades at A level primarily under Commercials “push” their children to study Marketing because it’s easy and it’s the next best alternative. Because it’s an art, you ought to have the calling and passion for it if you’re going to get marketing right and if you are going to be a distinguished marketer.

If marketing was easy then why would we have iconic and non-iconic brands? If Marketing was easy, we would remember all the brands we interfaced with from our childhood days to today. If Marketing was easy, there would be one master book with a few steps on how to brand and market products but no no it’s not that easy. It’s an art.

What exactly does Marketing is an art mean?

When most people see a  piece of art, particularly abstract, they think it’s just random splashes of paint thrown  about aimlessly and viola ……..What they don’t realise is there is a method to it, maths and science grounding in that….just like there is scientific and mathematical grounding in music and dance and theatre .

Marketing is about creating demand for a product or service which may be non-existent. Sounds crazy right? How do you make someone want to buy something they have never seen, tasted, heard of or imagined? It is the brilliant and artistic work of Marketing that addresses that through understanding human behaviour, gaps that may exist, that the human beings may not necessarily know and building a solution. Some of these elements can only be achieved from an artistic touch, for example how do you realise there is a gap in one’s behaviour, how do you know what to use or offer to plug the gap, how do you make the market aware that you have a ready solution, how do you package it, how do you price it and how do you know where to place it for ease of access?

All those questions may look simple to answer but real marketing  has a structured body of rules and governing principles that guide how to observe , dig for insights, proffer a solution , package and to standardise if the brand is to get the desired results. Marketing is a systemised, structured process for raising, awareness for a company’s products or service whilst generating interest amongst possible buyers. There are a lot of processes, steps, approaches and models to be adhered to and fused for the marketing execution to come out as a beautiful piece of art.

Without following the systematic approach then it’s just resource pumping.

Let the marketer use their artistic touch to develop an artistic piece of your brand’s story……………………………….

Tatenda Marongwe is the group marketing executive for Zimnat. She is a member of the Marketers Association of Zimbabwe. She writes in her personal capacity.

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