Noke Kiroyan's strategic marketing wisdoms you should know

The endgame is making people buy more stuff from you and repurchase it again and again. To thrive, not survive. And to get there, get the science and art of marketing right. 

Noke Kiroyan's strategic marketing wisdoms you should know
Illustration by Ijey

Public Affairs legend Noke Kiroyan talked about both countries' trade opportunities at the Australia – Indonesia Alumni event in 2017. His points stay relevant to date. 


To put ‘strategic’ on the title is important because there are elements of deep-thinking, analysis, and the long aspect of it here.

Many practitioners choose to jump into the tactical level of marketing and communications rather than considering the strategic aspect of it. 

And, when they do the content, communications, or advertising, they’re all hardly noticeable, let alone remembered or thought-provoking.

Being strategic is about: 

  • being research-minded
  • being creative at the same time
  • executing the tactics consistently

So, it’s never been about haphazardly posting this and that, here and there, now and then for the sake of MBOs, BSCs, PMs, OKRs, KPIs, or whatever metrics that matter to you and your boss. 

David Abbott, the founder of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, said, "shit that arrives at the speed of light is still shit."

You need a strategy before deciding to create articles, IG posts, TikTok videos, YouTube videos, podcasts, or whatever you (or your boss) want to make for marketing.

No matter what technology it gets by, if it’s rubbish, it will die. Always do In this order: diagnose, strategy, and tactic.

Noke talked about the fundamentals from his +40 years of experience as a C-suite executive and consultant in the world’s most complex archipelago and beyond.

Remember, you can’t bend the rules before properly understanding the principles.

I write his essential gems of strategic marketing from the talk, so you don’t have to.

You’re welcome.

1. Consumer-minded

“We can produce this excellent product, so people will automatically like and buy it, right?” 

“If consumers don’t want to buy it, there must be some dirty competitions out there against us, right?” 

The answer is a resounding ‘No!’ 

Stop thinking from the product or production perspective only. 

Research your consumers properly. Be market-oriented. Only sell products or services your market needs.

Before finding elaborate solutions, get the problem right first and foremost. It’s never just about understanding the job, it’s always about understanding people. 

Einstein said, “If the world’s going to end and I had an hour to save it, I’d spend 55 minutes on the problem and 5 (five) minutes on the solution because if I got the problem right, the solution would be easy. But if I didn’t get the problem right, there wouldn’t be a solution.”

His point: research, mapping, and planning have great value to problem-solving.

Get a better picture of what product or service you want to sell, where you want to sell it, to whom you sell it, why they should buy it, and how you’re going to sell it.

2. Mental Switch

You’re not the consumer. Don’t think or act like you are.

In your head, you may think your product is great, the idea is brilliant, and the features are perfect. It’s been your darling all over. 

Breaking news: do people give a hoot about that? You don’t know for sure. That’s just the harsh truth.

That’s the typical inward-looking of your business. And it’s rarely helpful.

Start doing the outward-looking of business. Be a good listener. Comprehend consumers’ needs. Add values to their needs when you see the opportunities.

It’s about your consumers. It’s about seeing them succeed. It’s about making them the heroes.

It’s never been and shouldn’t be about you and your darlings.

3. Size doesn’t matter

As implied in the video, Indonesia (272 million people) tends to see Australia (25 million people) as a small country which means a small market, and may not be profitable.

But, Australia is the world’s 13th biggest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) country with US$1,327,836 trillion, leaving Indonesia three levels behind with US$1 trillion according to the World Bank in 2020.

That means Australia is a 30% bigger economy than Indonesia, which also means superior purchasing power for Indonesians.

Smart people look beyond size.

4. They won’t sell by themselves

Do the marketing and advertising.

Marketing means doing all the thinking, mapping, and planning. While advertising and contents are the voice of marketing. 

Communications through advertising and content are to make your product and service visible and be heard by people at large. 

Position your products or services on the market, help ease or eliminate consumers’ pain points. But, how to do it properly? 

Do we follow what competitors do? Do we just have to play it safe? Of course, not.

Get the right people to blend the art and scienceharmonizing Da Vinci and Newton.

The blend of analytics with intuitions. The courage of addressing the obvious (needs of consumers and the solutions) in a fascinating way.

Where do we go from there?

There’s no better time now for brands to rethink their marketing, content, and advertisements strategy.

Get your basics right first. If the basics aren’t done right then the marketing is of no use.

Indonesian brands will compete with brands from global brands in Australia and vice versa. They all need to stand out from the crowd.

Brands need to be fascinating, informative, and persuasive about their products and services at the same time to consumers in their respective countries.

After doing the strategic marketing planning properly, professionals behind the brands must have capabilities across art and data, and across creativity and mathematics.

Advertising legend, Sir John Hegarty, says selling is an art, not a science. But it’s the combination of art and science working together that drives the best results.

Avoid being generic. Grab consumers’ attention through communications and advertisements that work. 

Being uniform as other brands simply make your brands voiceless and get you washed away in no time.

Before making bold moves, make sure you’ve aligned the definition of “taking risks”, “being different”, and “being different” with the bosses. 

How bold is bold, how different is different, and how risky is risky to them and to you as practitioners, make that crystal clear?

The endgame is making people buy more stuff from you and repurchase it again and again. To thrive, not survive. 

And to get there, get the science and art of marketing right. 

When your competitors' zig, you need to zaggracefully.