Updated: Jan 3
Written by: Larry Goodfellow
Marketing has always been thought of as a way to sell a company’s current existing products. Following companies like Tesla who believe in marketing first and building second, preeminence is placed on marketing and regarded as an afterthought.
A New Take on Marketing
In a recent article by Mathew Sweezey for Forbes.com entitled, Has Marketing Lost Its Way?, the author surmises that the traditional concept of marketing needs to die and a new construct of marketing needs to replace it. The article begins by looking at the changing landscape of media and advertising where algorithms dictate what viewers see, and with technology that allows users to block ads. The current landscape has changed and become more difficult. We have seen that the popularity of online research communities comes from the fact that it removes the randomness of creating products or ads and helps you deliver the content your customers actually want.
The article sets out the differences between marketing concepts. One is Mercedes which sold 77,000 cars in 2016 in the U.S. and Tesla sold 325,000 cars. Mercedes however, spent 90 times more money on advertising their product and sold 3/4’s less. The difference is that Tesla markets its product first, sell second, then produce the product. Whereas Mercedes uses marketing to tell the world what they have already built which follows the “build first, market second and sell third model.”
Marketing that Becomes a Revenue Stream
Another example of changing the former model of marketing is Red Bull who has used marketing as the primary driver of the business and also a revenue stream in itself. The energy drink has done so well with it’s media marketing that Sweezey writes how it is “opening up the doors to an entirely new future (which isn’t tied to selling its core product). Only when we see marketing as a primary value of business can it evolve to its rightful place as the economic driver of modern business.”
Sweezey cites the book Killing Marketing, by authors Robert Rose and Joe Pulizzi who write how marketing can become a revenue source on its own. The example used is The Lego Movie which grossed over “$450 million and led to a 13% increase in toy sales the year it was released, and a 25% increase in sales the following year.” Sweezey states that the old model of marketing must be done away with, and this new model must replace it.
We agree with the author that marketing has to be rethought, and take into account the changing media landscape. Good marketing done right has always employed creativity, and a unique perspective that connects deeply with the intended audience. We believe that market research online communities can help understand how to connect with that audience and how to test ideas before they are put into production to save money and time.
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