We all know that a key to technology success is user-friendliness. Consumer hardware is “plug and play.” And software – both consumer and B2B – should require no particular expertise from the end-user. Gone are the days when you needed a 500 page manual on your desk in order to be able to use an application. All the hard work is at the back-end, where the user never sees it.
And so it is with marketing.
The best marketing programs have an elegant simplicity about them. The message shines through, simple, clear, and easy to grasp. The wide variety of mechanisms we use to reach out to a potential audience all work together, with a synchronization that is smooth enough, cohesive enough to be both self-evident and transparent to the casual viewer.
But, as with software, the simpler it seems at first blush, the more back-end effort is required
Effective marketing, just as with commercially successful technology, demands blood, sweat, and tears that are never seen by the customer. The blood, sweat, and tears are not the customers’ problem. They are only interested in the benefits.
Today, we are offered an every-increasing stream of programs to automate marketing efforts, “marketing for dummies” guides for so-called best practices, social media “how to” webinars, and increasingly narrow and specific tools and mechanisms, means and methods that, we are told, will inevitably increase our marketing success and revenues.
Successful software starts with a vision, moves to an architecture, and only then begins to build code.
Successful marketing starts with a vision (who you are, why what you offer is beneficial to the marketplace, why customers should buy from you and not your competitors), moves to an architecture (a strategy and plan that assumes, and subsumes, all of your prospect/customer outreach efforts), and only then begins to build code (the specifics of implementing your vision and your plan).
You don’t build successful software by starting out building code. You don’t build successful marketing programs by starting out with tactical implementation.
If you do it right, though, it will be obvious. And those who don’t know, will say “I can do that.”