October 17, 2006

Marketing Is Too Easy... To Screw Up

And the wise Mr. Godin says...
    Marketers and designers will be quick to tell you that marketing and design are critical to the success of any venture.

    That's why it's so sad/disturbing/surprising/wonderful to discover that so many successful ventures were created by amateurs. Yes, they were professionals at something (coding, perhaps, or raising money or managing or even selling) but the marketing and design was not created by a 'professional'.

    The list is long, and runs from the Boy Scouts to Google, from Nike to the New York Yankees.

    One possible lesson is that marketing is easy.

    The other, more likely lesson is that marketing is way too important to be left to professionals. Every person is a marketer, and anyone crazy enough and passionate enough to start something is definitely a marketer. It's not great programming that turns one Net company into a success while another flounders. More often than not, it's about how good a job the amateur running the marketing and design did.

Marketing and design seem simple and uncomplicated to many because it is easy to tell yourself your own story. You know all the characters, complications, and twists. You have heard all the objections and eliminate them before they arise. You know the ending before you begin. Telling your story with passion and expertise is easy. Telling your story effectively and persuasively, on the other hand, can be tricky.

Smart and successful businesses realize the importance and necessity of having a professional help them tell their story (but not tell it for them). Having another perspective interpret your story and translate it to the masses, or at least the interested few, can drastically increase its absorption.

It is the same reason you hire a plumber. You could fix the garbage disposal yourself, but it will work better and the job will be done faster when a professional is involved.