The F of Marketing- It’s not what you think!

“What the f..!” The first time I said this, I remember how my mother had reprimanded me. She looked at me like I’d just left the refrigerator door open after drinking water. (Every desi household knows what I am referring to). Moving to today’s date, the F of Marketing plays a pivotal role in deciding my approach to work. But what is it? Let’s find out ahead. 

It all started last evening when I was sipping my evening coffee and received a colleague’s call. I got talking to him as he wanted tips to design a fresh marketing campaign. Before I tell you more, I’d first like to share his usual approach to new campaigns. He first does a SWOT analysis to understand the brand’s position and then takes the next step. So I asked him what exactly he wanted to know and he replied that he was looking for a new approach to marketing. He couldn’t think of anyone better to talk to, and thus dialed my number! 

When I heard his dilemma, I instantly knew what I had to tell him. I shared my marketing secret with him, that I thought everyone knew by now. Turns out, I should have discussed it earlier- the F of marketing. That is when I decided that while the F of marketing had always been on my mind, it’s an interesting topic to share with all of you. 

My realization went deeper than I had thought. 

You see, being a marketer, these insights intrigue me. Talking to my colleague, I understood that all this while, he had been living under the impression that he needed to focus on selling the product. But now it’s time I gave you my secret mantra to effective marketing- creating a demand for yourself. 

When I discussed this idea with my colleague, he was thrilled. He told me how he had always thought marketing to be a subjective topic but this approach of keeping the client’s needs in the center can definitely change our company’s growth graph for the better. The idea is simple, understand buyer needs-market yourself to provide solutions-get loyal customers. One of the biggest challenges in today’s communication driven and the attention-deficit world is to reach the point of demand creation.

As a marketer in the highly competitive industry, it comes as no surprise that professionals suffer sleepless nights when marketing a new product or thinking of collateral strategies. The sole question remains- how can I create demand? 

My daily diary carries my marketing motto 

Let me give you another secret quote from my marketing diary- in French, it reads, “”C’est le ton qui fait la musique.” It literally translates to, “It’s not what you say. It’s how you say it.” Sometimes, you do not need complicated ad campaigns or ad jingles to get the audience’s attention- all you need to do is present it in a manner that influences the customer’s perspective. 

Let’s take the most basic example- try talking to a toddler. If you scold him with a smile, he will smile with you. If you coddle him with an angry expression, he will assume you are scolding him and start crying. So, you see, messages, when presented differently, have different meanings for the audience. Right out of a psychologist’s jargon, this is referred to as the F (Framing) of Marketing. Yes, F is Framing and nothing else! 

To put it across in a nutshell, if your product’s communication is the king, then the way you say it is its valued queen. Let’s consider another example. Menstrual hygiene is a big taboo in society, even in the 21st century. Being a global citizen, I strongly feel for this cause. Talking about it in front of a white wall will not be impactful. However, if you show visuals of ladies from the deprived section and their discomfort in discussing it, then it is most likely to have a more profound impact on your audience. 

The key is to move the masses towards feeling for your product. Framing is how you spin the factual details to have the desired effects. (I’m patting myself on the back already!) 

A proven plan to create effective marketing strategies- 

Reporting at work today, I decided to educate my entire team about a checklist to follow when they are devising marketing strategies- 

  1. Who is it for? You need to identify your target audience and get into their shoes. Try to think about how they would look at things. Empathy is the key to cracking this. 
  2. What is it for? What is your campaign’s purpose? You must understand what you want to achieve and work accordingly in that direction. 

What is framing in marketing?

I continued with my team that we can divide framing into two distinct categories- 

Direct framing- 

  • Values

Discuss the values of the company and the product you are marketing. For example, let’s consider the Ayurvedic products made and sold by Patanjali. It rides high on its values of using traditional home-remedy products, usually natural ingredients. 

  • Benefits for the customers 

Directly tell your customers why they should buy your product and what benefits they will experience. For example, most of the washing detergent ads follow this pattern of framing. 

Indirect framing- 

  • What will the customers lose if they do not purchase it? 

It is where brands can use a more conversational tone with their buyers and use sarcasm. For example, Chipotle, a US-based restaurant of Mexican cuisine, used sarcasm on their ad to show how they are promoting sustainable farming. 

  • Facts to define history in the genre 

Brands can use historical facts in the most authentic sense or create satirical spinoffs, depending on the team’s creativity. It can be used in the food and beverage sector, garments, lifestyle, and more. 

Elements of framing- The 3 U’s to follow

  1. Use Simplicity- Your marketing campaigns must be easy to understand. Since the global citizens are always enveloped in countless information sources, you should present everything to them on a platter, as they have come to a breakfast-buffet. Make selection easy for them! 
  2. Use a Storyline- Following a storyline for your product creates a good impression on your client’s mind. They not only understand your product but also show a higher possibility of brand loyalty. Your thoughts must align with theirs. 
  3. Use Persistence- You must remember “out of sight, out of mind.” Thus, ensure that your target buyer comes across your name and message on multiple portals, in different places and ways. Be a constant companion to them that they cannot overlook. Creating a relatable jingle and self-memes on the internet can be worthy.

To sum up, the F (framing) in marketing is a concept we all need to understand and incorporate in our marketing strategies. The same message can be interpreted in different ways if presented differently. Imagine going out for dinner, and they serve your pizza without any garnishing. On another day, the same chef offers a side cooler, sprinkled cheese, and two garlic breadsticks. Definitely, the second one is more impactful. Keep the framing elements in mind and define your target audience before you start. Now, I gotta rush to get some grabs for abs! 

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