When I tell them my profession, I often hear people ask curiously, “What does a Marketing and Branding consultancy do? I mean “exactly” what is it?” People guess…Cobblestones Consulting is…………..hmmmm….a sales agency?……..a content firm?……..a media house?…public relations?……..event management?………… sales training?…….digital marketing?
At Cobblestones Consulting we are all this and much more!
We look at ourselves as “Prosperity Plumbers” for our clients. We facilitate their business by empowering them with the necessary tools required to crack the market code successfully. How do we do this? By creating reasons to buy.
That is all there is to it! Profitability mantra decoded.
Managing a business in today’s connected world is fast becoming a precise science. With new algorithms being offered by business pundits every second day, it can get quite difficult for business owners to sift wisdom from knowledge. However, all business owners and experienced executives intuitively know that strategic decisions and tactics depend heavily on context.
And in the real world the context is more confusing than cracking The Matrix.
So what gives? The way to profitability is coupling the “science” of marketing with “creativity”. This is what Ted Levitt stated in his widely read essay “The Marketing Imagination“ and I quote below:
“The marketing imagination is the starting point of success in marketing. It is distinguished from other forms of imagination by the unique insights it brings to understanding customers, their problems, and the means to capture their attention and their custom.”
(Source: accessed on 28.07.2015 at http://www.rites-of-passage.com/…/Levitt_TheMarketingImagin…)
The reason why businesses bring in far less customer numbers than they planned for is because they fail to understand that people don’t buy things (products or services) but buy solutions to their problems. When I buy cosmetics I am not buying beauty products. I am buying hope (I will look beautiful wearing these cosmetics!). When I shop online instead of at a brick-and-mortar store, I am not seeking convenience. I am seeking autonomy in my purchase decisions.
Understanding this nuance is where the marketing imagination makes an inspired leap from the obvious to the meaningful. “Meaning” resides in its implied suggestion as to what to do. For businesses, this means they must find out what problems people are trying to solve. This is the route to creating reasons to buy. And when a business can do that, their product or service “sells” on its own. This is the default mode marketing needs to move into.
In recent times this argument is brilliantly represented by Shunanshi Tokuyama Zoo in Yamaguchi, western Japan. This Japanese zoo is trying to do the impossible — improve the image of cockroaches – by putting on an exhibition of one of the world’s most hated insects. There are a whopping 4,000 species of cockroach on the planet. These hardy insects are famed for being capable of surviving almost anywhere. The zoo exhibition has around 200 creatures from a total of 15 species on display. One highlight of the exhibition will be a five-way race among cockroaches, where visitors can watch the worryingly speedy bugs whiz down a track. If that’s not entertainment enough, the zoo is offering the chance to get your hands on a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach, which can grow as long as 7 centimetres. No need to worry about this, though, assures the zoo — Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches can’t fly. But they can hiss.
The exhibition is already proving popular, the zoo spokeswoman was quoted as saying, adding that 70 to 80 per cent of visitors are stopping by.
These zoo guys have it pretty well figured out – in the pens they keep animals, in the zoo, they sell conservation. What a brilliant way to get the cash registers ringing!