Sometimes very cool marketing can make a bad product shine. But that’s not how it goes usually. And it shouldn’t be this way.
Think about it: Do you want your product to shine because your marketing convinces people to buy it? Or do you want people to buy your product because you have a great product that solves a problem for your clients?
Marketing isn’t there to fix your product. Marketing is there to let people know about your great product. Marketing is there to forge your brand, a brand that is known for great products. Marketing is there to let people know that your brand is producing great solutions to peoples’ problems all the time.
Marketing is there to let people know that your company cares about peoples’ problems. This also is the reason why it is never too early to start marketing. But marketing is not the sales fix to get rich on crap – and trying to do this is never a long term strategy.
But Wait… Isn’t This What Everyone Does?
No. It’s not, it may be what a lot of people want, but it is not how this works. Now you, the reader of this post will probably throw examples of big brands at me – Apple, Blackberry, General Motors or others – who have at least once in the past released a product that stayed behind expectations (to say the least) and have managed to not just make it a success but managed to have it sell like sliced bread.
But the truth is, these products didn’t just sell because they were marketed. They sold because the companies in question had long before started to build brands. Apple can today release about anything because they’ve been building a brand that people believe in, and they began building their brand decades ago.
Chances are, if you are reading this, that you are decades away from that situation.
The Importance of Products for Getting Marketing Right
So you are an entrepreneur, you got your product. All you need is to sell it, right? Here is where expectations on marketing usually differ from the reality – marketing doesn’t sell products on it’s own, active marketing needs something to depend on.
In case of the large companies and big brands I’ve talked about before, they have just that which they can depend on – the brand. A brand, that over the course of years has become robust enough to even survive an occasional exception to the general quality of their products.
You don’t have that. You need something else to depend on.
Active marketing doesn’t sell products, but products do sell products.
A great product will always find its buyers if it solves their problems. Marketing, on the other hand, won’t sell your product. It won’t convince people to buy your product.
So what do you need marketing for? To let the people that need or want your product know that it exists.
For marketing to be effective (at least when you are starting out), you need to have a product that you can trust.
So Marketing Starts When the Product Is Right?
If you’ve been asking yourself when is the right time to start with marketing, the chances are that you are already late to the party. While I’ve just told you that marketing’s job is to let your target audience know about your product, modern marketing has a few tricks up its sleeve that are not just useful but often indispensable within almost every business process.
Marketing lets your target audience know about you – it puts you into direct contact with the people you need to reach. And this communication needs to be a two-way street. When you do marketing right, you will be able to employ direct intelligence into your product development processes. Marketing has the power to make sure that you are building a product that your audience wants and eventually… buys.
But there is an even more important side to this: This way, you build your brand. Modern marketing gives you the chance to create a brand even before your product has ever existed. Even before the idea for your product ever existed.
A good product derives itself from a need – and modern marketing can build your brand on the existence of a need within your target audience and not the presence of a (probably half-baked) product that hopes to satisfy the need.
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What About Marketing Budgets?
That is a question that rightfully always comes up when talking about marketing. For decades marketing has cost big money. But marketing has evolved and today many marketing opportunities are available to everyone who is willing to put in more work than money.
And the beauty of this is – for once you are not getting the scraps from the plates of the big guys. There are very few large enterprises which are getting modern marketing strategies right, most of them are currently stuck.
New marketing acts quick and the big guys are stuck in corporate processes. Marketing has not just been essential to business since the introduction of Facebook or even the internet, marketing was always essential. And the corporates of this world have been built around marketing processes of the past.
You have your chance to build your business (no matter how big it is or will become) around modern marketing – you are still at the forefront of a revolution.
In modern marketing (whether it is social media or something else) budgets are of course still important, but marketing doesn’t start with the budget. Marketing starts with the question: “What is the discussion I want to have with my target audience?”
Once you answer this question, you will then define a way to have this conversation with your target audience within your budget, and often a conversation can be had for almost 0 budget.
What is modern marketing?
Is it Social? Is it online? Is it advertising?
These are the wrong answers to the right question.
Modern marketing is a conversation. Social media is just a tool to have this conversation. But modern marketing is often more than just a simple conversation: It’s a many-to-one conversation that your target audience can have with you.
Unlike many of our articles, this article doesn’t give you directly actionable advice. This article was written to highlight the often neglected concept that is apparent in every single successful marketing strategy in recent years. The concept of conversation in marketing is all too often neglected especially by startups.
So, whatever you do – stay in touch!
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