Somebody much wiser than me (yes I know that doesn’t narrow the field much, work with me here) once said something along the lines of “Build a better mouse trap and people will beat a path to your door.” Put it into the context of the century in which the saying was first coined and maybe there is a glimmer of truth in it. The better saying would be “When people hear that you have built a better mouse trap they will beat a path to your door.”
Why would I want to change a perfectly good saying in that way?
Because I am in marketing and feel the need to self justify.
The point I am making is that you might have produced a product or service that is the perfect solution to a real and present need that a part of the market has; but nobody is going to buy it until they know it exists. You might think that the Internet would make that easier but it doesn’t. Why? Well, the Internet allows a million other companies, individuals and scammers to make bigger and bolder claims than you do and if they manage to clog up the first few pages of the search engine results, your product, the genuine article, will never be found. Seriously, when did you last go to page three of the search results delivered to you. I just typed ‘mouse traps’ into Google and got 2.35 million results at ten per page. I didn’t bother to look, mostly because it isn’t that easy, but someone’s product was sitting way back on the last page, probably.
Is that fair? No. Is it likely? Afraid so. You see, while you have to spend a great deal of time and effort creating and perfecting this fantastic new product of yours the competition who have just cobbled something together, have more time to spare to convincing people that they actually have the better product, the only product or the cheapest product.
Marketing then is all about getting the word out about your product and somehow beating through the fog and spin of those lesser competitors who are trying to sell substandard goods to YOUR customers. Actually marketing also has the task of selling against those competitors who are every bit as good or, dare I say, better than your product.
It is no longer enough to make the best product, in fact ‘best’ is probably a very flexible term. Some people will need a minimalistic product to just do a few things while others will want a highly specified product to meet more of their needs. Some will claim that this purchase is low priority so there is only a low budget while other actually want expensive. The car market is proof of that.
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