Medieval Marketing: master the basic marketing concepts before Social Media

Forget guerrilla marketing or Social Media Marketing, we first need to think Medieval.

Marketing is NOT Advertising and Promotion or Sunday Circulars or even “Sales”.  Let’s go way back to understand… Take a walk with me into a Medieval Marketplace!

Medieval Market Place

Esslingen am Neckar Christmas Markets!

Way back when, “Marketing” literally meant going to the Market.  Hold that thought.  Lets  go to an old fashioned Marketplace.  Think of a local Flea Market or Farmers’ Market.  If you can imagine a Medieval Town Center with various shops and stalls then here is where we will go to Market today.

Why are you here?  Because you want things that you do not have and can trade things that you do have.   Or so you hope.  What will you trade (sell)?  Well, what can you do differently than the other people in the Market?  And more importantly do they want it!  Is there even a “market” for it?  With me?  The first question is always Market Research.  Think about the farmer’s market…  How many people are selling eggs?  How many chicken?  How many honey?  The more sellers the closer all the pricing gets.  Besides, if you can buy eggs at 20 places already there is not too much room in this market for your eggs.

So walk around your market place.  Chat with the people, try to understand what they really want!  Know your customers, really.  Forget your product, take a big step back and try to understand both what the customers want and then what you can do… There are many different ways to conduct Traditional Market Research and I’ll refer you here for more information.

You have some idea about what people want in the Market.  Let’s say you have goats and no one else does.  So now you define your products, the first of the famous 4 Ps.

  1. Product – goats!
    What you are selling are all of the benefits and value that the product brings.  In this case goat meat is unique, no one else offers it right now.  Maybe you have a special recipe handed down since 1213!  You have by products such as milk, cheese, powdered horns, and wool.  These will all find some place in your market.
  2. Price – 5 dozen eggs for 1 section of cheese.
    Stay in the Medieval Market still, how do you know you have a good price?  Because as you experimented with pricing 10 people initially walked away and went somewhere else and then 18 of the last 20 traded or bought from you.  Price is always relative in a market.  You have goat cheese made from an ancient recipe but the Gloucester Cheddar wheel two stalls down is selling for 2 dozen eggs.   You want to always maximize price by experimenting.  Be vary careful of this trap (marketing 501 preview) if your price is really high  then you are begging competition to buy some goats…
  3. Place – outskirts of town or middle of the market?
    Where you are always matters.  You might not want to be in the middle of the Market if the local Sheriff is taking a cut.  No one may find you on the outskirts of town.   Distance is critical, even to on-line businesses — think of Amazon’s distribution centers or the ability to pick a book up locally from Barnes & Noble.  Fish where the fish are.
  4. Promotion – GET YOUR FRESH FISH HERE!!!
    The original promoters probably did shout out their products or have their sons and daughters chat up travelers.  You have a great product line, healthy pricing, and a wonderful location but you must promote them all.   People may never heard of goat meat.  Tell them how your grandmother lived to 565 and had most of her teeth.  They may not know where your stall is located or cannot find it in the middle of the chaos.  Raise your goat banner high overhead!  Get viral, give out goat on a stick samples on the other end of the market.  Tack goat fliers on the trees or sponsor the next local hanging. Explain why someone wants to use Powdered Goat Horn in their tea.

Get back to the basics!  Try to understand what people want or need.  Look past your original ideas of products and listen to the voice of the customer.  Armed with Market Research implement the 4 Ps.  What is your Unique Selling Proposition?  What are you bringing to Market?  Can people find you easily?  Any time you have a question take yourself back to the basics, go Medieval!

Today, you will do Market Research also using Internet Tools and Keyword Research. For more on keyword research see this pending post (coming).

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3 comments
Joseph Gier
Joseph Gier

Im stiff trying to wrap my head around the concept of Social Media.. its very much like your village analog ..perhaps whats old is new again... with distance compression vis-a-vis the internet and its client conveyances.

Joseph Gier
Joseph Gier

Gold... the ultimate social currency!

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