Subhakar Rao Surapaneni

Investor, Sales and Marketing Pioneer, Author, Technology Champion, Philanthropist, Leadership Mentor

What’s wrong with the modern marketers and how they can fix it?

Marketers are so heavily tempted to flirt around with all the existing digital channels to find, engage and get more new customers; that it has become an absolutely mindless rat race. They have become so obsessed with words like traffic, visibility, open-rate, click rate – that I feel most of them are marketing for the sake of marketing only. They pursue all the available digital channels, broadcast their marketing messages at the top of their voice caring little if they are making any sense to the people they are reaching out. No wonder; there is too much noise and clutter all around; but sadly, no relevance and purpose.

So where the modern marketers have went wrong? If I have to answer that in one word it would be: mindset. Marketers have become to think and act like a publisher. Let me recount a story here. Recently, I met a digital marketing friend of mine who was running an account for a big IT Network Company in San Jose. He said he was having immense difficulty in targeting so he has opted for most convenient route: spray marketing content on all the digital channels, to garner traffic and hope for some leads.  And this precisely, is the problem of the modern marketers.

Today, marketers are more concerned with the “how” of marketing rather than “why” of marketing.  They are more concerned how to blast an e-mailer, how to run social media campaigns, and how to make themselves available on every platform without ever asking why. They chase after channels rather than considering the basic element of marketing: “helping out the customers in their journey to purchase”. I think this phrase is so important that every marketer must have it inscribed in big bold letter at their work station. Marketers need to constantly remind themselves that they need to stop chasing customers and start focusing on helping them on their journey to purchase. Because real marketing begins with customers and not channels.

Marketers must begin with how the product or service they are going to market can serve or help the customers. Once they nail on it they can proceed to the next step: researching where they are more likely to find the customers for their product or services. But unfortunately, the word “research” has become a lost art for today’s marketers. They have forgot the fact that the more you research about your customers the more likely you will be able to serve your customers and therefore, the more accurate marketing message you will be able to draft that will connect you to the customers. So, it’s high time for marketers to bring back customer focus as number one priority in their marketing agenda. As I said earlier, a marketer’s primary job is to help out the customers in their journey to purchase. Once a marketer develops the mindset to help customers, I think they can’t go wrong.

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