How To Learn Marketing – The Expert’s Way
When I think of how to learn marketing, I’ve noticed most people believe the only way is to go to college. Now, there is some truth to this – I went to college and studied it for four years, BUT the first two months out of college I did marketing consulting for a client and didn’t use anything I learned in four years with a degree.
So, in some ways you could say that I didn’t use anything from college to get my head start in the industry. You have to understand that regardless of your degree, marketing is a lifelong pursuit. It is something that will always present new challenges, if you are not willing to grow with it, you will fail. So approach this with an open mind, no matter what your level of education. With that being said, the question remains…
How Do You Learn Marketing?
I am of the opinion that you have to keep learning marketing. You don’t just “learn how to market” one day, and then your business success is an easy walk in the park from then on. Marketing is the same as any other profession – it’s a lifelong journey, a skill to be developed over the long-term.
Look At The World As A Marketer
You have to look at the world as a marketer. If you walk by an expensive fashion store in your local city, you should notice its flashing lights, dynamic font styles on the advertisements, maybe a shiny window setting or something of that nature.
Let’s say that it looks like it’s designed for a female audience. The music will probably be pop-oriented, the interior will exclusively sell women’s clothing, and so on. You should be able to take note of this quickly, and understand that components that make it appealing to that audience – lighting, music, logos, etc. If you enter a store exclusively designed for men’s clothing, you should notice the differences in that storefront as well.
Learn To Market In EVERY Industry
The other day while visiting Miami in the United States, I was looking for a hairdresser. I came across a very peculiar storefront in this industry. On the window, there was $3 beer advertisement, as random as can be for a salon, and it caught my attention. I walked in, and the interior was actually very nice and trendy. It was completely different than any other hairdresser I’d ever seen.
I quickly realized their marketing tactic. South Beach Miami is a tourist-heavy area, with lots of new pedestrian traffic going by. The chance of having a nice cheap beer while on vacation seems enticing. Once the tourist is lured into the salon, sees the ambience, and talks with the staff, they are quickly sold on the $20-30 haircut on top of the cheap beer they wanted originally.
What can we learn from the hairdresser? You have to be different, you have to stand out, you have to market better. Use your trendiness, get something to lure them in, and master your ability to create a great atmosphere on the interior of your building.
You can extend this to your online business, even. If you want them to get on your email list, you can offer them a lure that quenches their immediate needs before plugging in a higher cost option later on.
How To Learn Marketing – Street Sales
One example of what not to do: We’ve all seen the folks on a busy shopping street who just randomly hand out flyers to you for a store not even in the immediate vicinity. Don’t do that.
First of all, you can’t track your sales, and anything that can’t be tracked is basically useless. Secondly, a much better way to do it is take the example of a club promoter – stand DIRECTLY in front of the venue, and lure people in so you can track your business.
If you happen to not be near the place of sale, you should walk your business there. Take the group of people with you to the place you’re promoting. Lastly, if you have a discount on your flyer, you can have your customers give the discounted flyer to the store you’re selling from, and the store clerk can track sales for you that way.
Attend A Marketing Seminar
You should have a very deep knowledge of your target audience, much like that female fashion store example we talked about earlier. One way to develop your knowledge of audiences is go to marketing seminars. At these events, your peers and people very far ahead of you in the marketing field are dishing out their latest ideas and tactics. Use this resource.
On the other hand, you don’t just want to follow the veterans at a seminar – you should be talking to your peers in the audience. One of the best ways to learn marketing is to talk to your peers. Many of them will be in different industries, applying skills that you’ve never even heard of, or perhaps using some old-school tactics that you thought wouldn’t work anymore… but could.
Record EVERYTHING You Do
On a last point, you should be recording and writing all of your knowledge down, as I am doing right here. You need to have a way to materialize your knowledge. You should have a record of your growth, and a consistent plan to fine tune and better explain what you know. Give away your best stuff for free on a blog or in an online community, as I discuss here.
What this does is force you to learn new things. You will increase your larger momentum by building your past knowledge, while always being put in a position to HAVE to learn new information on the cutting edge. Trust me when I say that anything that you put on camera or recite in a blog, you will remember for the rest of your life.
If you want to look at the world as a marketer, you have to keep learning as a marketer. You should be doing this every day, evolving and changing with the times. Let your peers and other leaders influence you in the right directions. Follow the success of others and then create your own lane.