We are all busy. We are definitely doing something wrong.
We have more things to do today than we could do in a whole week. More often than we’d like to, we produce things and forget we have to "sell" them.
It does not matter how good what you create is, the need to market it is always there—people need, somehow, to know about your product. There is no way they can give it a chance if they don’t even know it exists.
Along the same lines, you need to let them know what you are up to. No matter what you are doing, it is extremely important to **give your potential customers a way to keep track of what you are working on—**especially if what you are pursuing is to build a tribe, a community. May it be a mailing list (which you should already be rolling out), an RSS feed, or a social media account, your users must have a way to follow your work, one that they are comfortable using already. The best case scenario is, probably, a combination of all of those mentioned, so the user can choose how she'll be hearing from you.
It’s one of my biggest business mistakes, not setting up an email list for several years. —Ramit Sethi
Giving people a way to know about what you are doing is key to any activity that relies on a tribe. Even more important, is providing users who value your product with ways to pay for it. Remember that store that couldn’t take your money because they didn’t accept payments by card? The worst thing you can do is having users willing to follow and pay for your work and not letting them do it.
This essay is part of the book I am writing on how to organize your life in order to create more and better. If you want to receive new parts of the book as I write them, please join here, and check other posts that will be on the book.
More and more, online services are making their best to provide free services in exchange personal data [trust, and habits].
The currency used to pay this services—like Facebook, Twitter, or Google—is private data, which turns out to be, pretty often, really sensitive information.
Everytime you click an ad on Google, a hashtag on Twitter, or content on Facebook, you can expect to be bombarded with similar content on the future, with related products to buy, or with brands that advertise specifically on the terms you searched for.
Gently lent your computer to a friend who had to look for flights to China?
Expect a lot of ads with sales to fly to China in many other pages.
It is when we see this kinds of things that we realize we are actually being tracked with a purpose. Have you ever regretted a click? I have.
It's tragic but not surprising to watch the marketing of another epidemic unfold. [...] Ebola doesn't 'know' that large funerals are traditional, but it certainly takes advantage of them to spread. Ideas don't 'know' that bad news travels fast, and that the internet makes ideas travel faster, but they take advantage of this to spread.
Cable TV voices that induce panic to make their ratings go up are directly complicit in amplifying the very reactions that magnify the impact of the virus. Attention-seeking media voices take us down. All of us.
It's tempting to panic, or to turn away, or to lock up or isolate everyone who makes us nervous. But we can (and must) do better than that. Panic, like terror, is also a virus, one that spreads.
We have an urgent and tragic medical problem, no doubt, but we also have a marketing problem.
Quite often, people forget time needs to be spent to prepare the work done so others can see it. Even when everything seems to be done, a project is not finished. Marketing is part of it.
If you design something for yourself, you could stop when everything is done. But if there is a slight intention of sharing it with others –for example if you want someone to produce your design– more work has to be done in order to make your product understandable by others. That last bit, is marketing.
Marketing helps people to better understand what you do, it makes people want to buy what you create. If your product lacks quality, your marketing will try to lie to people, in some way, so they buy your product.
On the other side, when you have a high quality product, people will miss out if there is not enough marketing. They will not get to see how great your product is, they won't notice it.
Every product needs marketing no matter how good it is. Things that people need have to be marketed, but even more marketing is needed for things people do not need. That last type of marketing tries to induce people to want what you are selling.
Invest equally in the definition and documentation stage so that solutions can be normalized and compared, even if the solution is a failure. — Rober Fabricant
The documentation stage is marketing. It does not imply that you have to stop the design stage radically and then start making what you are doing understandable or prettier. It means that you should refine and prepare things to be actually in a finished state at some points. This will help to finish and to make all the small decissions that are usually taken minutes before a deadline, allowing yourself to judge what you have done, and how others will see it.
If after reading this post you still do not agree with the statement Everything Needs Marketing, a clear example I commented a while ago is how even sliced bread needed a huge amount of marketing to be the success that it is today. Even the ideas that thrive nowadays and seem so obvious that they had to be a success needed to be installed in everyone's brain, convincing them of how good they are.
But is the utility of the product the main way people shape their desires? No way! And that, in two words, is why you need the ideas in this book. In almost every meeting I go to, people are desperate to understand why their product or service isn’t selling better. They always begin by pointing out how good their product is, how much better/faster/more durable it is. They are obsessed with the utility and they can’t understand why the market isn’t responding to their microanalysis of the difference between their offering and that of their competitor.
We don’t need what you sell, friend.
We buy what we want.
— Seth Godin
Source | All Marketers Are Liars
Design is a competition.
Almost any idea you can think of has already appeared in other people's mind somewhere else.
If you search enough, you will probably find that others have experimented with similar concepts. If you don't manage to find your idea around the Internet, it is probably sitting somewhere outside the Web. Still, somebody already thought about your same idea and probably experimented with similar concepts.
In House of Radon's beautifully rendered think-piece documentary PressPausePlay, artist Bill Drummond rightfully suggests that when it comes to the creation of art, "technology always comes first." Technology dictates, primarily, what we make. As humans, we like looking forward. The internet, as a technological form, offers us a democratic version of culture. We can all make music in our bedrooms. We can all publish our writing. But is it having a detrimental effect on our creative output? Or, are we, as suggested in the documentary, "on the verge of a cultural dark age"?
Technology always goes ahead of art. And art pushes technology. So one of the safe ways of being original is being early adopters of new technologies? Being the first to explore the possibilities which new tech provides?
The key factor to originality is understanding what originality really is. An original creation does not necessary have to be radically new. Things that we call new are usually 'standing on the shoulders of giants', as they are possible thanks to previous work of others. Originality usually arises from a reinterpretation of what is existing, from its mix, and from how the designer understands things should be.
Also, big part of success relies in good execution. For sure, new ideas will be easier to market, but we just need to look to the big ones to see how good execution can ideas which have already been marketed for years.
As Chris Guillebeau states on The two problems of aspiring entrepreneurs, one or both of the following issues are usually related with the difficulties young businesses find to succeed:
They don't make the right product or services.
They don't connect with the right people.
Chris Guillebeau points out that apart from being good, an idea needs to respond to people's needs. 'Solve a problem. Make people happier. Remove something negative that exists in their lives.'
The most important part is not if your idea is good or bad. What is important is how people respond to it. If people like it.
For a product to succeed, you need to connect to the right audience —people who will like and use your product.
##Is it then about making the right product or about spreading your idea?
Well, it depends.
While big companies can make almost any product viable with a marketing campaign and have the ability to survive big product failures, aspiring entrepreneurs aren't usually able to take big risks when they start.
Seth Godin said talking about the sliced bread market:
For the first 15 years after sliced bread was available no one bought it. No one knew about it. It was a complete failure.
Nobody wanted sliced bread until somebody [Wonder] found how to spread the idea.
A really good product wasn't successful until its idea reached its audience.
Nowadays, different mediums make it easy to spread an idea regardless of what the idea is. The importance of a product is not in what it is like. The important part is if you are able to get your idea to spread or not.
Ideas that spread, win. — Seth Godin
When an idea is good on itself and people like it, it is likely to be spread on its own, by people themselves. This is why a lot of new products from small businesses find their way in between big companies like Google or Apple. Ideas that reach people can go viral without huge marketing campaigns, spread by the users and the media.
In the future, advertising is like sex. Only losers pay for it. — Chris Guillebeau
This does not mean that a good product has no need to be sold. Every idea -even the best one- needs to be spread to success.
The important part is. Make your idea easy to be spread. Make it strong. Make it clear. It will reach your audience, and if they like it, they will be the ones spreading it.