I’m troubled. Some of the smartest, most successful people I know say marketing is dead. It doesn’t matter, they say. It’s a waste of time. Instead…
… just build great product. Disrupt a big market. The buzz will follow.
And it makes some sense. Did Facebook care about marketing, or product? What about Twitter? Amazon.com? You could say their product was their marketing.
Which, however, is something like saying higher education is useless because Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg all dropped out of college.
No doubt marketing is all mixed up and turned inside out these days. It’s still a strong force in big businesses with multi-million-dollar advertising budgets, but there’s this new world in which thought, content, effort and authenticity make up for money. You don’t necessarily buy attention in this new world – you can earn it instead.
But a lot of the core concepts — like understanding your target markets, and developing your main messages, and pricing as message, and managing channels – are as important as ever.
Because there are the brilliant exceptions to the rule, and then there’s the rule.