The Marketing Guy

Rooting for Good Marketing Since 2009

How “Baked In” is Marketing to Your Product?

I found a really interesting article on line at warc.com (a great marketing clearinghouse website) today entitled “Brands seek to create “product experiences.”” It’ definitely worth a read, and brought up a great point that I’ve seen repeatedly in companies of all types—that being that it’s much easier to market your product or service to the customer if marketing is not treated as an afterthought or an add-on to the go-to-market process.

Too often a product is devised and readies, and *then* marketing is brought in to somehow figure out a way to differentiate it in a very crowded marketplace, where the average consumer has the attention span of a flea, given the sheer number of messages they’re bombarded with all day long.

I’ve talked to lots of marketers who get incredibly burned out by being called on to rescue a product launch or come up with a new tagline or positioning only when the product or service isn’t doing well in the marketplace or when it’s too late to change anything about the offering that may help it be better positioned to the prospective customer base. As we all know, if you’re coming into the game that late, the cause is likely already a lost one.

Instead, and as the article points out with some classic consumer-oriented examples like Apple and Virgin, consumers today respond to experiences, not just features. They want to be associated with products and services that speak to their aspirations, values, or personal view of themselves or the company they represent. And it’s marketing that’s ultimately responsible for creating the image and the feeling that the customer ultimately responds to, that provides what I call “the compelling reason to purchase,” whether you’re marketing to a consumer, a business, or a governmental agency.

To really achieve its potential then, marketing can’t be an afterthought, and it can’t be something that’s tolerated just because it’s the vehicle to launch a product or service into the marketplace. Instead, it needs to be “baked in” to the product development process, to ensure that the experience you’re trying to create for the consumer goes hand in hand with the promise of your product from the outset, not when it’s too late to make any difference to the marketplace.

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