“If you build it they will not come…”
It took me a long time to actually accept that phrase. Â Coming from a software and engineering background, when someone would mention the word salesÂ I would naturally think of aÂ sleazyÂ used car salesman.
“Who needs that?” as any good engineer would say. Â “Why can’t these people see that the other product sucks and ours is way better?”
I always thought that I just needed to build cool product then I would have customers beating each other over to pay me money for itÂ like on Black Friday. Â After all, that is why I got into computers in the first place. Â Build it and they will come. Â I could hardly wait.
The truth is a product never sells itself. Â Even Peter Thiel agrees. Â People may get it and they may even love it, but IT WILL NEVER SELL ITSELF!
What about Google you ask? Â They didn’t do any marketing in the early days.
Yes that is true. Â But even though they didn’t market themselves it doesn’t mean that there wasn’t any marketing going on behind the scenes. Â Google’s early users were marketing for them. Â Viral marketing is still marketing.
Ok, so what is a honest guy to do? Marketing is not so evil after all; but I still feel like that used car salesman while selling my products.
Don’t think of it as being deceptive because that is not the goal. Â In fact, if you are going to market a great product, you must deliver on that product as well.
Instead of thinking of marketing as shameless promotion, think of it as simply a pivot.
But instead of recreating the product, you are simply displaying it in a new light so others can better resonate with it.
Flickr, the photo sharing website (now part of Yahoo), originally started off as a online multiplayer game. Â If the founders hadn’t noticed how people were actually using the site, and re-marketed it as something else, Flickr probably wouldn’t have been what it is today.
Marketing is simply discovering that angle that resonates the most with your target market. Â Some businesses know it immediately. Â Others search aimlessly for it.
So if you are like me and look at marketing and sales as deceiving. Â Look again. Â Marketing can and should be honest.
Marketing is necessary. Â Learn to embrace it. Â Zero users equals zero dollars.
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