Being a marketer means a lot. To reach a point where you can receive feedback and be known by doing everything and learning what not to do can lead you to results. Here are the 34 Marketing Principles: Must Know
For many years in a marketing career, sometimes things went slow and didn’t go the way we wanted. It was because we kept making mistakes and repeating the same mistakes over and over again.
So here is the list of marketing principles to never break to ensure that we may not repeat the same mistakes over and over again by adding to the plan that can help you succeed, not only as a marketer but also as an entrepreneur.
Hopefully, the list of principles below helps you get to where you want in life.
The 34 Marketing Principles
1. Don’t be the first
At the same time, you don’t want to be the last either. The key is to be an early adopter. Once a channel is picking up
steam, that’s when you want to jump on board and see if you can leverage it for your business.
2. Ride it while it lasts
Every channel that works eventually gets saturated. Some fade away, but most stick around, and some don’t work as well.
Digg used to be a fantastic site that drove 100,000 visitors to a place in less than 24 hours. Google AdWords used to be a cheap way to drive sales. It still works, but it is expensive.
When you find a channel that is working amazingly well, push hard and milk it for as long as it lasts. As time goes on, you’ll want to keep leveraging it, but you’ll naturally have to scale back as more competitors jump due to price increases.
To truly grow, you need to understand the whole picture. How someone comes to your site? What are they looking for? How to sell, upsell, and retain a customer.
It would be best if you thought about the whole cycle a customer goes through.
For that reason, a company eventually needs a Chief Revenue Officer (especially in the B2B world). A CRO is someone in charge of both sales and marketing. The departments can run separately, but they need one boss.
When both departments don’t roll up into one boss, there is typically a disconnect. That will cause the conversion rates to be lower.
4. Go all in during recessionary periods
The market moves in cycles. When things go down, people pull back on marketing. Don’t optimize for short-term gains; optimize for the long run.
Marketing tends to be more cost-effective during recessionary periods. It is the time when you should be spending more, doubling down, so that way, you can beat your competition once the recession is over.
5. If you aren’t thinking long term, you won’t beat your competition
Most publicly traded companies optimize for a return within the first 12 months. Most venture-funded companies have a 1 to 3-year outlook. If you want to beat these companies, you need to have a 3-plus year outlook. It will open up more marketing channels that your competition can’t look at due to investors and outside pressure.
It doesn’t mean you have to lose money for three or more years to beat your competition with your marketing. It means you have to get creative. For example, “I know marketing costs are rising each year, so I’ve invested in software to generate visitors at a much lower cost than CPC Advertising.”
Doing these sorts of things requires patience, as it can take years for creative ideas to come to fruition.
6. Never rely on one channel
Profitable channels eventually become saturated, and it’s too risky if your marketing is solely based on one channel.
If it goes away or stops working for your business, it will crumble you. You can’t control algorithms, and you can’t always predict costs. Focus on an omnichannel approach.
7. Marketing tends to get more expensive over time
It’s rare for marketing to get cheaper. As much as you focus on marketing, you have to focus on conversion optimization. It’s the only way to keep you in the game as costs increase.
Try to run at least one A/B test each month. And don’t run tests based on your gut. Use both quantitative and qualitative data to make decisions.
No matter how compelling your traffic generation skills are, you won’t win if people don’t understand why they should buy from you over the competition. A great example of this is Airbnb. They beat Home Away and are worth roughly ten times more.
They both have a similar product, and they both executed well. Airbnb came out much later, but they nailed their messaging.
Spend time crafting and creating exceptional messaging. Typically, memorable messaging requires storytelling and understanding your customers.
You may have to survey your customers or talk to them over the phone, but eventually, you can develop the right messaging using qualitative data. And once you’ve figured out the right messaging, retest each year as market conditions can change, which will affect your messaging.
9. The numbers never lie
Opinions don’t matter!
Marketing should always be a data-driven approach. Follow the numbers and keep auditing them as things will change over time. What works now may not in the future due to external factors that you can’t control, such as privacy and security concerns.
For example, if your users claim to hate exit popups, the data shows an exit popup increases your monthly revenue by 10%, then continually uses the exit popup.
People within the organization will complain and argue with you, but as long as you aren’t doing anything unethical, follow the data.
10. The best thing you can do is build a brand
Whether it is a corporate or personal one, from Tony Robbins to Nike, people prefer brands. By building a brand, you are building longevity with your marketing.
Don’t ever take it for granted and start building it from day one. No matter how small or big your company is, it would be best to improve your brand continually.
There are lots of stories behind it. Why it exists to showcasing it wherever you can push hard on branding? It will not produce a positive ROI in the short run, and it is hard to track the value of a growing brand, but it works.
When people want to buy sports shoes, they don’t always perform Google searches. Instead, they think, “Nike.”
When people want a credit card, they think of Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express.
Brands are powerful and create longevity.
It’s better to have less traffic and sales in the short run than it is to tarnish your brand in the long run. If you stain your brand, you’ll find it hard to recover and cost more money.
12. Don’t take shortcuts
Every time someone presents a social media or SEO shortcut, avoid it. Typically, they won’t last long, and they could set you back through penalization. It’s better to be safe and think long-term.
It will be tempting but say no.
13. Don’t market crap
Building a crappy product, service, or site just won’t cut it. With the web being competitive and more comfortable to start a site online, you need to make sure you have something incredible.
It’s ten times easier to market something people love than to market something people don’t care about.
No matter how good a marketer you are, it’s not easy to market something people don’t want. So first, focus on creating something unique.
14. Hire a full-time affiliate manager from day 1
It’s the right long-term way to grow without having to invest a lot of capital. Even if your product or service isn’t ready, hire this person from day one, as it takes six months to build up a good base of partnerships and affiliates fully.
15. Go against conventional marketing wisdom
Doing what everyone else is doing won’t work for the long haul. Doing the opposite usually works much better.
It may sound risky to go against the grain, but it is one of the best ways to grow when you are in a saturated market.
A simple example of this is how Gmail grew when it first came out. Space was crowded and even though their tool was great, so were a lot of the competitors. Gmail grew by creating the illusion of exclusivity. People had to be invited by other members to get a @gmail.com email address.
16. If you aren’t scared, you’re not pushing the limits
If you’re cheering about everything you are doing when it comes to marketing, something is wrong. It would help if you were scared and be going through a mix of emotions every time you launch a new marketing campaign.
If you aren’t, then you’re not pushing the limits. Testing campaigns that your competition won’t ever dare to try, and, of course, be ethical when doing this.
The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. Those who push the limits tend to have a greater reward.
17. Don’t be unethical
You are going to have opportunities to gain quick wins at the cost of your customers. Always put others first. It’s the only way to survive in the long haul. In general, if you are going to have trouble sleeping at night, you shouldn’t be doing it.
An excellent example of this in marketing is how affiliates use forced continuity. So when they sell physical products for free, as long as their customers pay for shipping. These customers don’t realize that they will receive the same product every month, and they will get a bill every month as well.
Make sure your influencers are related to your business or won’t work and will be a waste of money.
For example, if you are selling B2B software, you don’t want half-naked Instagram influencers promoting your product. It won’t work.
But if you are selling fashion products, having influencers on Instagram with popular fashion channels will help drive sales.
People want to connect with you and your company. If you aren’t integrating video within your marketing, you are making a big mistake. Whether you like being on camera or not, the video should be in your strategy from day 1.
When you create videos, don’t just put them on your site. Put the same videos everywhere, from social networks to asking other websites to embed your videos on their site.
You should even test running video ads as they tend to be more effective than text-based ads. They are more expensive to run, but the conversion rate is typically higher.
20. You don’t know everything
Marketing is always changing. No matter how good you get at one tactic, never stop learning. Having the attitude that you are great will only hurt you. Have an open mind and be willing to learn from anyone, especially newcomers, with little to no experience as they bring fresh insights.
21. Don’t hire arrogant marketers
If you have arrogant marketers on your team, consider replacing them with people who are open to learning (assuming you aren’t breaking any HR laws).
Arrogant marketers are stuck in their ways, and they aren’t open to change. Just because someone doesn’t know as much doesn’t mean they can’t learn.
Arrogant marketers tend not to experiment, and they prefer sticking to what they know.
Social media has empowered everyone. Don’t take people for granted, even if they don’t have money. By helping everyone, it will cause your brand to grow in the long run.
Don’t worry about a direct ROI when helping others; it will cause mouth marketing.
Because of social media, everyone can impact your brand in a good or bad way. So make sure it’s in the right way by helping everyone out.
23. Continually test what’s working
Because of external factors that you can’t control, things change over time.
For example, 3rd party authentications are used to boost conversion rates, but now people are concerned with using them because of privacy concerns.
Always retest what has worked in the past every six months to ensure it is still helping you.
When you don’t retest, you’ll find that your conversion rates will drop over time, and you won’t know the cause of it.
24. The majority of people don’t read
If you write a masterpiece, expect the majority of the people not to read it. Make sure your content and marketing landing pages are easy to skim. Without this, you’ll lose out on a large portion of sales.
Things like design, spacing, colors, and typography affect readability and how easy it is to skim. Yes, messaging is essential, but if no one reads it, you won’t generate sales.
25. Headlines are more important than content
8 out of 10 people will read your headline, but only two will click through and read your content. Spend as much time coming up with a headline as you do writing content. If you have a fantastic masterpiece and a terrible headline, it won’t get read.
You shouldn’t stop with one headline either. Consider A/B testing a handful of headlines, as this will help you come up with a winning version.
26. Expand once you’ve figured out your primary market
The English language is always competitive. But markets like Asia and Latin America don’t have as much competition, and people within these regions are willing to spend money.
Translate your website, content, product, and service as quickly as possible. It will open up more marketing opportunities and revenue streams.
When picking new markets, don’t just look at GDP look at the population as well. If one region has a slightly lower GDP but a higher population, consider going after the one with a broader community.
27. Be willing to start over every year
If you expect to grow by just doubling down on what worked in the past, your growth will slow down.
By having the mentality that you need to start over and redo all of your marketing initiatives each year, you’ll grow faster as you will be receptive to change.
It doesn’t mean you should ignore what worked for you in the last 12 months; it means that you need to keep doing that as well as go back to the drawing board to try new tactics.
28. Ideas are a dime a dozen, but good team members aren’t
You’ll have dozens of ideas that you’ll want to test, but if you don’t have people to take charge of them, they won’t go anywhere. Don’t bite off more than your team can handle.
And if you have dozens of ideas, don’t just hire any marketer. If you don’t hire the right person with experience, you’ll find that the marketing channel isn’t working out too well for you.
There is nothing wrong with hiring people who need training, but it will cause your growth to slow down.
If you want more traffic and sales ASAP, you can’t hire people that need hand holding or training. Hire marketers with industry experience that know how to get off and running from day 1.
Ideally, it would be best if you ever considered hiring marketers who have worked for your competition and have done well for them.
30. It takes three months for a marketer to get ramped up
No matter how skilled a marketer you hire, even if they come from your competition, it typically takes three months to find their groove.
So, when you hire them as a full-time employee or a contractor, be patient and be willing to give it at least three months before you decide what you want to do.
Of course, you should see results within the first three months (even if they are small), but you still need to be patient.
31. People love stories and always will
Storytelling goes back centuries. They were effective back then, and they still are today (and they will be tomorrow as well). Integrate stories within your copy. It will help you craft a better bond with your audience.
With a better bond comes higher conversion rates.
32. Don’t take trends for granted
If you see the market moving in a direction, even if you don’t think it will last forever, consider riding the wave. Even if you don’t like the trend, you’ll find that it typically makes customer acquisition more manageable and affordable.
Use tools like Google Trends to help you determine which trends are popular and see how the market is moving.
A great example of this is MixPanel copied the KISSmetrics product, but they grew faster as they rode the mobile analytics trend.
Looking at numbers like monthly visitors is excellent in marketing, but it isn’t the most crucial metric. Optimizing for leads isn’t enough either.
When looking at your funnel, keep in mind that it shouldn’t stop with a purchase. There are upsells, repeat purchases, cross-sells, and even churn to consider.
34. Follow the rule of 7
People need to hear about your brand or see your brand seven times before they’ll convert into a customer. In other words, you need to be everywhere if you want to win market share.
With every company having similar products and services, people have difficulty deciding who to buy from. If your brand is more prevalent, people are more likely to choose you.
Make sure you are leveraging as many proven marketing channels as possible.
Some of the principles above may seem obvious to you, while others may not. But you’ll find that both you and your team will make many of the mistakes no matter how obvious they seem.
Whether it is the principles above or your own, consider creating a list of your own for your team to follow. And it shouldn’t just be for marketing.34 Marketing Principles: Must Know