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Laws of Marketing ? The 10 Immutable

Most marketers believe that anything is achievable if you are energetic, creative or determined enough. But laws of marketing follow laws of business, and if you violate them, you risk your marketing dollars. The conventional answer to all marketing questions is money, which is not true.

1. Law of Leadership ? it's better to be the first than it is to be better. People tend to stick with what they've got ? e.g. girlfriend and spouse.

2. Law of Category ? if you can't be first in a category, set up a new category you can be first in. Prospects are defensive when it comes to brands ? but they have open minds when it comes to categories because everyone is interested in what's new and not what's better.

3. Law of Mind ? it's better to be the first in the mind than to be the first in the marketplace. Being first in the marketplace is important only to the extend that it allows you to get in the mind first. Once a mind is made up, it rarely changes. If you want to make a big impression on another person, you have to blast your way into the mind.

4. Law of Perception ? marketing is not a battle of products but a battle of perceptions. All truth is relative. The only reality you can sure about is in your own perceptions. If the universe exists, it exists inside your own mind and the minds of others. Marketing is a manipulation of perceptions. What makes the marketing battle more difficult is that buying decisions are based on second-hand perceptions ? the 'everybody knows' principle.

5. Law of Focus ? the most powerful concept in marketing is owning a word in the prospect's mind. You 'burn' your way into the mind by narrowing the focus to a single word or concept ? the ultimate marketing sacrifice. Eg IBM is computers.

6. Law of Opposite ? if you're shooting for second place, your strategy is determined by the leader. If you want to establish a firm foothold on the second rung of the ladder, study the firm above you ? how do you turn their strength into a weakness? Eg Pepsi turned Coke's century old product into 'choice of a new generation'. Always present yourself as the alternative and don't be timid ? attack the number 1.

7. Law of Division ? overtime, a category will divide and become 2 or more categories. Each segment has its own leader ? use different brand names for different segments. What keeps leaders from launching a different brand to cover a new category is the fear of what will happen to their existing brands.

8. Law of Perspective ? marketing effects takes place over an extended period of time. The long-term effects are often the exact opposite of the short-term effects. Having a sale decreases business in the long term by educating customers not to buy at 'regular' prices. The same goes for line extension ? they increase sales in the short term but decreases sales in the long term. Less is more ? narrow the focus in order to build a position in the prospect's mind.

9. Law of Candor ? when you admit a negative, the prospect will give you a positive. This is because no proof is needed for a negative statement. First admit a negative and then twist it into a positive.

10. Law of Hype ? the situation is often the opposite of the way it appears in the press. History is filled with marketing failure that was successful in the press or advertisements.

Whether you're new or experienced in business, looking to increase your sales or just want to fight the recession, Effective and Profitable Marketing is the way to grow your business.

In summary, these laws are very useful and practical. I myself practiced laws 5 and 8 and derived good results from there. That's why I want to share them with you.

Gordon Goh is author of the free, informative website Simply Motivation offering quality useful tips for Motivation

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