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The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing Summary

Here’s The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing summary. Learn the principles how businesses succeed through effective marketing.

Overview

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing authors Al Ries and Jack Trout provide insights on how to succeed on marketing. They distilled them into 22 laws that anyone can apply.

They start with the law of leadership. We always remember the first, rarely the second. That’s why we should strive to be the first in something if we want to be remembered.

About the Authors

Al Ries and Jack Trout are both successful marketing consultants. They are also both pioneers in the branding and positioning fields.

Al Ries works with his daughter (Laura Ries) to help companies focus. They have experience working with top corporations such as Disney, Ford, and Microsoft.

Jack Trout specializes in positioning and marketing warfare. His consulting firm has already worked with international and huge corporations such as Du Pont, IBM, P&G, and more.

Main takeaways: The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing Summary

Let’s discuss the key takeaways from their book:

  1. Be the first in the mind of your customers.
  2. Marketing is about perceptions.
  3. Use candor to your advantage.

Be the first in the mind of your customers

This is important. Once you have your product ready, market aggressively. You have to move fast so you get in the mind of your customers first.

Why? That’s because we always remember the first, rarely the second. Who is the first person on the Moon? Who is the first President? Who is your first love?

However, there’s a distinction. I said that you have to be the first in the mind of your customers. You don’t have to be the pioneer who introduced a revolutionary product.

That’s why you need to market aggressively. If someone has already occupied the first position, you should find a category or demographic that will make you one.

For example you sell shoes in your area. You have dozens of competitors. What you should do is to find a category or demographic that’s not been occupied yet. Maybe you should market to female teens who have interest in passion.

Key here is to get in the mind of your customers first. You don’t have to be the pioneer. You can market aggressively and improve your service along the way.

Marketing is about perceptions

Marketing is not about the products. It’s about perceptions. If it’s all about the quality, we should be all buying the same products and brands.

We consider quality and cost when buying. But how come we buy different products and support various brands? It’s all about the perceptions. We have different “realities” in our minds.

That’s why brands have different core messages. They try to shift people’s perceptions to the company’s favor. Often they focus on one demographic. This way their messages have a focus.

For example a company is selling fast food. Most people know that it’s junk food and there’s not much nutrition. If that company tries to sell healthy meals, that strategy might backfire. People already perceive the company as a source of fast food.

That’s an extreme example but you get the idea. Whenever you market your business, think of perceptions. You’ll have a higher chance of success that way.

Use candor to your advantage

The best example of this is what Avis did. Avis is a rental car service in the US. Years ago they can’t be number 1 in their industry. Sales are not doing good. They’re just number 2 in the rent-a-car niche (remember being the first is important).

What they did is just to admit what they are. They said “When you’re only No.2, you try harder.” That’s candor. They just admit what they are. The result is good. The ad is such a hit. They got more customers.

Use candor to your advantage. Say the cons upfront, not just the pros. Say to your customers what are the possible disadvantages of using your product. Be honest.

Also tell them that your product is not going to solve all their problems. Maybe your product is not the best fit for them. This is the way to earn the trust of your customers. Maybe they won’t buy from you now. But they might mention you to their friends. Or they will come back to you another time.

Aside from being the first, using perception, and using candor, you will also learn the following from The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing book:

  • Using trends not fads when marketing
  • Focusing on one strategy might be the best thing to do
  • Use a strategy depending on your market position
  • Don’t rely much on hype
  • Change is constant. Respond to it always.

My personal takeaways

The examples are outdated. But the principles remain the same. Notice how local companies still apply the laws today.

Companies now still try to be the first in the mind of their customers. They market aggressively. Whenever they have a new product, they run ads in both television and social media.

They also take note of people’s perceptions when marketing their product. This way their target customers can connect with their brands. Some companies also use candor to earn the trust of their target customers.

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