Saturday, October 5, 2013

Marketing's Golden Rule

Since writing my book and delivering my TEDx talk, several people have reached out to me and asked a variation of the same question: "What's the most important thing to do in marketing?" They're looking for marketing's Golden Rule. Well, the answer is actually very simple:
Create a product or service that is so awesome everyone will want to tell his or her friends about it.
"But that doesn't have anything to do with marketing" is a typical response. Actually, it does. Product features are a critical part of marketing (in fact, "product" is one of the traditional marketing 4 Ps). A slick marketing campaign and great packaging can't fix everything in the long term. Sure, you can quickly sell a lot of a bad product or service if you pour a bunch of money into marketing communication, but in the long term, people will figure it out and tell their friends how bad your product is. 

Buyer Beware
I love infomercials. Seriously. I watch them as often as possible. They're the happiest place on earth outside of Disney World. Recently I saw one for an expandable garden hose called the Pocket Hose. I thought it would be perfect for the front of my house. So I Googled reviews about the hose and learned the hose has terrible reviews on Amazon. So I didn't buy it. A great infomercial doesn't beat hundreds of authentic, negative reviews.

Add This To Your To-Do List 
If you aren't earning customers who have been referred to you by other customers, it's time to take a critical look at what you sell. You may need to stop spending money on marketing communication and improve your product or service. You can't sell a nicely polished turd forever.

There's never a lack of ideas.