The Purpose of Marketing
Is NOT to make your product sellable.
Most of us have the idea that marketing should make our product sellable; that we need logos, branding, great website design, and tight messaging in order to make our product sell. If that is why you are doing marketing, you’re in trouble.
Bad marketing works really hard to sell the product. It has too, because the product won’t sell itself. A lot of people can’t sell anything until their marketing is in full swing. That should be a red light.
Good marketing works really hard to inform people of the product and more importantly, expand the reach of people who are hearing about what is already a great product. The product doesn’t need cheap parlor tricks to sell it, it would sell itself. It simply needs more exposure.
The best marketing simply makes more people aware of a product that would sell without any marketing at all.
Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be
People buy great marketing once. If your marketing is what is selling your product, you’re in trouble. The overwhelming majority of sales are to existing customers and referrals from existing customers. Great marketing can actually make a nominal product even less referrable. When someone buys based on a very high expectation created by the marketing and it doesn’t deliver, they’re not going to refer it.
Is your marketing trying to sell your product, or make more people aware of the great product you have?
How to Know Your Marketing Sucks
1) The “marketing is the key” approach – You’re hoping your marketing will convince people to buy your product who wouldn’t buy it by just being presented with the product itself.
2) The delayed “magic” info – You make people listen to or read a bunch of hype, hyperbole, history, and hooks before you get to the “three things that will change your life”, or “the thing we’re selling that will transform your business”. Blechh.
3) The bait and switch – You pretend you are presenting an article, news, research, etc., when you’re just using these cheap parlor tricks to suck people in to your marketing. The Motley Fool does this all the time – I unsubscribed.
4) The free lure – it’s not really free.
5) The offer maze, or Pied Piper – start with the free lure, then talk some more, make a slightly bigger offer, talk, bigger offer, talk, the big offer. The 50’ long website that gives the big pitch after scrolling to the bottom. Cheap parlor trick. Real products don’t need this kind of marketing.
6) Focus on new clients – This is the big one. If your marketing is focused largely on getting new clients, you’ve got the wrong focus. It should be aimed at people who already know and love you, and it should give them tools and reasons for getting others on board.
Great marketing gets people to buy a great product who then carry the lion’s share of the marketing for you as Raving Fans.
Don’t use marketing to make your product sellable. That approach is sleazy, inauthentic and lacks any staying power. You’ll have to keep up the marketing assault on new customers in order to stay in business, and everyone will tire of you quickly.
Focus on Your Raving Fans
Use your marketing to give your existing customers (Raving Fans) simple ways to sell for you, and to expand the reach beyond your existing market, who will then carry the ball for you as well.
Use your marketing to build relationships with your existing clients. It’s much more powerful.