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Marketing is Not a Substitute for a Great Product or Service

Posted by on July 29, 2009


At the core of any successful company is usually a great product.  Behind a great product sits a great strategy and a great team of people that can execute on that strategy (among many other things).  However, a great product (or service for that matter) is only a great product for so long.  Eventually you will need to update, upgrade, or redo a product to stay up to date with current technologies and current customer demands, Apple is a great example of this.  Take a look at at virtually any product you can think of all of them are:

  • offering 20% more
  • have essential special vitamins and minerals
  • can burn a cd 15% faster than before
  • store up to 50 more gigs of information
  • are now offered in 100 different colors

The problem with a lot of these things is that they focus on marketing and not on the actual product itself.

Some organizations understand this and others don’t.

Marketing a product or service ONLY makes sense if the product or service you have is great.

Olivier Blanchard made some great points on his blog the other day that address this (part 1, part 2).

Throwing more money at marketing or sales (or anything else for that matter) does not compensate for having a great product.  As an organization if you see that your marketing spend is going up or staying the same while your customer satisfaction or sales are staying flat, then maybe you should re-visit the core of what you are offering before you keep pushing it out onto the world.

Social media (and the internet in general) is one very effective and powerful way to get direct customer information on a product or service at an effective resource spend (time and money).  Think about all of the data or information that is gathered online through blogs, forums, twitter messages, facebook groups, linkedin questions/answers, articles, etc.

  • Why has the brand of hand soap that I use not changed anything about their product?
  • Why do PC manufacturers still keep sticking demo and garbage products on their machines?
  • Why does…(stick product here)

So let me ask you, why; with all of the data and the information that we have in the world – are most of our products still staying the same?

  • seoworkgroup1

    Very good article, nice piece of information, I really like it. Thank you for sharing.

  • Great point. We're invited into companies to boost sagging sales and owners don't want to hear about the fact their product may be less relevant than, oh, say, when sales were NOT sagging. They just want a new ad. Which isn't always the solution. I can't just fault owners, however. Marketing and advertising people, at least in the small business world, tend not to want to take on product issues. They just want to do a new ad. ALL of us need to make sure we're not focused solely on a new coat of paint.

    • hi hamilton,

      thanks for the comment. you do make a good point, sometimes it is the marketers/product folks that don't want to take the responsibility or the risk of changing or developing a new product, it's not easy!

  • That's for sure. Good marketing and advertisingcan get a lot of products sold, but it won't get you repeat business if the product is crap.

  • KarenHaney

    Although Carhartt outerwear is some of the toughest and most durable in the industry, there may be a time in the product’s life when a zipper breaks carhartt coats or some other repair needs to be made.

  • KarenHaney

    Although Carhartt outerwear is some of the toughest and most durable in the industry, there may be a time in the product’s life when a zipper breaks carhartt coats or some other repair needs to be made.

  • You’re telling the truth. There are not many products that have been improved. Instead of hearing about improvements, we hear the word “new!”, which doesn’t necessarily mean better. I believe that if your company has a great product for a reasonable price your marketing strategy may be substituted by the product – people will talk about it and spread the word really quickly. If you do some marketing in addition – you’ll get extremely high ROI. Am I right?

  • Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it,Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! By the way, how could we communicate?