We marketers, and our profession, often get a bad rap. I mean, when the product is horrible and lots of people buy it because of “great marketing,” it’s our fault. I must point out to you that there are lots of companies in the Fortune 1000 that have average to below average products and great marketing (Oracle comes to mind). Equally, there are lots of companies in the Fortune 1000 that have great products and great marketing (Apple) and tragically, there are lots of companies not in the Fortune 1000 that had great products and bad (or no) marketing. You may wonder what I said to my client who dreamed of a world without marketing:
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Or, if no one knows you have a great product, how will they be able to buy it?
It’s not going to end world hunger, cure cancer, or alleviate poverty but for those organizations and individuals that do try to address these problems it sure does help to get the word out. Or as we marketers like to say: raise awareness.
And here’s the good news for those smaller companies (you know the startups and SMBs) who aspire to become Fortune 1000 companies, or heck, maybe just grow their revenue 20% year-over-year: great marketing does not necessarily require a hefty budget. Today, you can do a lot with a little—you just need to know where to cut corners and where you will need to make some investments.
The digital world that we find ourselves in has become a great marketing equalizer. There are lots of free or near-free marketing tools you can take advantage of to launch a company, a service, or a product. You don’t need a storefront, you can stock and sell inventory out of your garage warehouse via your online store. You don’t need to pay $10,000 to launch a modest web site, you can do it yourself with a little elbow grease and $299 per year.
But (there’s always a but) keep in mind that you can use these tools and channels wisely or you can crash and burn. You can spend time upfront thinking about your brand, targeted market, value proposition, and how you message all of this stuff or not. And if you believe in doing things on the “not” side of the house, I will simply repeat a wise marketing statement that is applicable to so many things:
Garbage in, garbage out.
Thankfully, this blog is not about garbage. Rather it is about marketing matters. I will post about tools, ideas, strategies, analytics, and hot topics like privacy and security. Welcome to my blog—and I hope you share your thoughts as well!