Yes, you read that right. There’s a strong likelihood your [post-design] marketing is better than Apple, Inc.’s efforts. The difference is, Apple introduces marketing much earlier in the product cycle, out-pacing the competition in delivering what rabid consumers are craving. Furthermore, Apple is highly effective at following French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s words, “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
Look at the introduction of the Mac, iMac, iPod and iPhone. Rather than creating the most capable, complex, impressive product then marketing it to the masses on it’s capabilities, Apple chose better marketing in the labs, stripping away unnecessary clutter on the outside— and inside— of their devices. Reading their website tells the tale well; you don’t see a long list of device specs and vendor part numbers found on competitors website, though the hardware IS inside the device. Apple chooses to limit the amount of “ice cream headache” or “brain freeze” consumers feel when choosing their next hardware purchase.
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” -Antoine Saint-Exupéry
It’s Even In The Ads
Looking at Apple’s “Mac vs. PC” ads run during the early days of their hockey stick of profitability in the last decade and a half, we see there isn’t much mention of functionality, but of simplicity.
The “oh look, shiny!” marketing has worked wonderfully for them, not because they designed a product first, but because better marketing exists in the creation of the product or service being offered. Know your market, design to their needs, not wants, and get in front of them with as simple a message as possible.
Lately I’ve been baffled by the number of lost item trackers hitting the market, yet they all do basically the same thing, with only a few stand-outs. A Li-Ion battery with a serialized bluetooth chip so you can hone in on your lost keys/wallet/child. It’s a great idea that’s turned into a grand opportunity, with numerous players all capitalizing on the same idea.
The problem is, what if your device was left in a friend’s car, or at the hotel? A marketing/research-first approach would dictate that a second tier product should exist, given today’s technology. Wi-Fi and cellular chips have become very low-power and significantly smaller than years past, why not bundle those instead for distance geo-targeting? Only one player I’ve seen has even considered this opportunity, and their answer is to mesh their existing users together to report lost items through the Web. Yes, you need widespread adoption for this to work.
Turn Your Marketing Into Better Marketing
I titled this post rather tongue-in-cheek to point out the fact that when we create products and services that are a “good idea” and have all of the latest technology and feature-rich, then think about marketing we are working harder to create The Irresistible Offer that convert to sales. Marketing is survival, Better Marketing is profitable. It’s great to have a strong marketing team pre-sales, but if they aren’t involved in the product creation process, they are working harder to have an equal impact on revenue.
Marketing is survival, Better Marketing is profitable.
While you may have a rockstar marketing team putting together a compelling story for how your product or service meets the need of the target customer, a better marketing approach is to build the marketing team into your R&D.
If I’ve struck a chord with a challenge in your organization, I’d love to hear from you. Either fill out my contact form or drop me a line at (630) 635-6015.