Sunday, May 5, 2013

As Product Marketing, and vice versa

This does not happen often, but sometimes the marketing of the product itself. And in rare cases, the business has evolved no organized marketing.

Typically, a good marketing beats good product. But it was lovely "if you build it, they will come" cases can be very exciting to watch.

As I write this, I am evaluating a startup that looks to me as though it could be one of the success-driven products to grow without a lot of focus on marketing planning. Yesterday, founder showed a video-rich web and design their building rich platform. It seems incomplete, but it was really good. And the creators have very little to say about marketing.

So there RUB. If it's as good as I think users will love it and recommend it. Then, the user excitement shown on Twitter and Facebook and Google+. And that means that the buzz. And a marketing buzz. Plan or not.

Related: The Secret of the 10 Most Trusted Brands

These guys are some general ideas on marketing. Seeing present several major conferences, adding of strong references to online media and get some influential names and companies to use their products early. In short, he relied on word of mouth, which now means social media buzz.

While startup looks like the head in the right direction, there is no clear assignment of responsibilities, no dates and deadlines, no metrics and no budget. So as an investor, we write them for lack of a marketing plan? What would you do? I'll tell you what I think after I checked a few other examples.

Let's start with Facebook. It started as a site for students to see other students. In an interview, founder Mark Zuckerberg talks about programming, he's all about the product and very little on marketing. He said the success of Facebook is about Do you think investors taunted on Facebook for not having a marketing plan "to make bold decisions about the product."? If anyone did, I'm sure they regret that now.

Related: 5 Tips for Surviving the First Year of Your Startup

My second example is Twitter. Twitter was taken in 2007 when consumption tripled during the South by Southwest conference. True, attend marketing conferences, and may have a great plan. Steven Levy of Newsweek wrote, "Twitter people cleverly placed two 60-inch plasma screens in the conference room, exclusively streaming Twitter messages." Of course, for marketing, but it's all about good products. Do you agree?

My third example comes from nearly 30 years ago. I promote the board of directors of a company called Borland International was very successful due to a great product. It was in the 1980s, before the Internet, but the general idea is still valid.

Entrepreneur Philippe Kahn at Borland start a tight budget, with no outside investors, and turn it into a public company with annual sales of $ 60 million in less than four years. The first product, Turbo Pascal, spectacular, so everyone with a PC like this. Less than a year later, he released the Sidekick, and all will be well. This does not mean that Philippe could care less about marketing. Full page ad in direct response is important for Borland in the early days, and direct mail will be important later. But for Philippe, marketing is always secondary to the product. However, Borland was a great success.

Related: Branding 101: Five Tips for solopreneurs

So, back to my previous question, we discount the company because of the lack of a strong marketing plan? I do not think so. Do you?

I believe design is about decisions and good management plan and business each and every situation is unique. Despite the usual list of what a business plan should include, always special cases that focus on the product makes sense at least to finished product, released and is getting buzz alone.

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