Marketing is NOT an afterthought | Truly Social

Marketing is NOT an afterthought | Truly Social

Fellow marketeers…how many times have you
encountered THIS scenario? You get approached by a potential client who
has a thing they’ve made and they say, “I’d like to hire you to market this thing!” And then you ask, “Uh, what is that thing? And who is the audience?” Mark Zuckerberg (The Social Network), “We
don’t even know what it is yet. We don’t know what it is.” To which you get a blank stare. (sound of wind blowing through empty streets) Right? Today, I’m going to make the case for marketing
as the thing that comes BEFORE the thing, explain why you set yourself up for failure
when you think of marketing as an afterthought, and give you some resources that will help
you integrate marketing into your process long before you produce anything. My name is Tara and this is
…Truly Social. So, I think the problem lies in the way that
marketing has been…erm…marketed to business. Even the dictionary definition is problematic. A quick search tells me that marketing is… “the action or business of promoting and
selling products or services, including market research and advertising.” Krusty (The Simpsons), “Ehhhhhh.” At least they mentioned market research? But in the definition, it assumes that
marketing is a thing you apply to something that already exists. And I think that is what most people erroneously think
of when they think of marketing. Dr Cox (Scrubs) “Wrong wrong wrong wrong. Wrong wrong wrong wrong.” But the Business definition of marketing,
according to the Business Dictionary and any marketer who knows her stuff is: “The management process through which goods
and services move from concept to the customer.” In other words, marketing happens BEFORE [ Make
BEFORE a big word over this to accentuate – feel free to try an ‘instant replay’
on this one, too!], during and after the process of developing those products or services. If you don’t bring marketing into the mix
before you develop products or services, you will probably end up with something that is
completely UNmarketable in that it has no market to which it can be marketed to. Andy Warhol (Basquiat), “I can’t even
see what’s good anymore.” If you think this is rare or a non-issue,
let me tell you that 90% of businesses that have approached me over the years have come
to me with a product that has an ill-defined audience. These businesses are under the erroneous assumption
that everyone is the audience for their product or service. But, as we’ve covered before on Truly Social,
everyone is NOT the audience and, no matter how much of a special snowflake you think
you or your product is…you are wrong about it being for everyone. So…how do you apply marketing to something
that doesn’t even exist yet? Well, that’s easy. You create and test your assumptions. Felix (The Odd Couple) – “When you assume,
you make an ass out of you and me.” One of the first things I gift new clients
is Giff Constable’s Talking to Humans It’s a fantastic book that helps businesses
in early stages of ideation make certain that they have a product market fit. Talking to Humans is a gosh-darned gift to
any business. Big Bird (Sesame Street) “What a world,
what a place, what a gift…” In it, Constable outlines clear and simple
steps to testing your assumptions about the product or service you are creating in order to make
certain it matches the needs and expectations of your market. It’s all about getting outside of your bubble
and…talking to real human beings…in a customer discovery process. #1. You first, you list the assumptions that you are
basing your entire future success on, such as: We believe that a certain group of people
really, really need this product or service We believe that our early customers are this
specific group of people We believe that this specific group of people
will buy our product or service because of this reason
We believe that a certain group of people will pay x dollars for this product or service
We believe that the best way to reach this group of people is through this channel
We believe that they will stop using the product or service they are currently using because
of this reason (if you have competitors). And so on…Constable supplies amazing templates
to help you get your assumptions right. Then he supplies multiple ways to test those
assumptions…beyond your own biases. Or asking your friends. BTW, friends are not good test subjects. If you follow Constable’s advice, you’ll
end up with a better product or service with a clearly defined audience and a better path
to reaching that audience, which will make the sales, promotions and advertising a piece
of cake, which is what we all want in the end. So…next time you find yourself thinking
that marketing is something you do when it’s time to go to market, give yourself a quick
kick in the butt and pick up Giff Constable’s Talking to Humans. Or…hire a marketer that focuses on research
first and foremost. Rocky (Rocky Balboa), “That’s how winning
is done!” My name is Tara and this has been
…Truly Social.


  1. Great video! Thanks for sharing. The most challenging thing I have learned as an entrepreneur, is exactly what you explained in this video. Haven't read the book but a close friend did work with me on some of the premises with the book. I can vouch that it is very helpful!

  2. So nice meeting you the other week at the Jays Game! Looking forward to hearing more of your marketing tips! 🙂

  3. Thanks for the information! Ironically, and as you said, marketing has been marketed wrong, there is TOO MUCH happening before and after the promotion and sales.
    I recommend reading Principles of Marketing from Phillip Kotler, such a great and useful book!

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