Why do 95% of people suck at marketing/advertising their business? Originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
It is true that the vast majority of marketing is uninspired. It stems from many things, starting with a misunderstanding of what marketing is. Marketing is about how you are perceived out in the world, and the actions you do to create that perception. Doing phenomenal customer service and getting those people to be raving fans that leave reviews is a form of marketing just as much as writing a Facebook ad.
So where are we going wrong?
First off, many businesses are undifferentiated. They want to sell their products but really have no compelling reason they are better than the company next door. Until that business finds their differentiating value proposition they will find it tough be good at marketing.
Next, people follow the herd too much. Some people are telling them it’s this or that social channel, some people are telling them it’s SEO, some people are saying it’s blogging, retargeting, or insert shiny new strategy etc. etc. etc.
Finally, the ways that people measure ROI for marketing may be well intentioned but it is often deeply misguided, either overvaluing or undervaluing their efforts by substantial margins.
So let’s cut through the fluff.
The reality is that great marketing starts first and foremost with exceptional customer experience, an exceptional product and an exceptional story.
An Exceptional Customer Experience
Think about the brands you really love. It can be from any industry. Changes are you have had a good experience interacting with them. Maybe it was something that went wrong that they handled super smoothly. They turned a negative in to a win. Maybe it was a human element, where you felt like they genuinely valued you as a customer, not just a dollar sign. Maybe it was a time they went above and beyond to make your experience amazing. Whatever it was, it left a mark on you and that’s why you will always keep coming back and keep telling all your friends…
An Exceptional Product
You can have the most amazing team and the most amazing story but if the product is weak, you will still fail. Think about brands like Nike, Apple, Tesla, Disney etc. They have a great product/service. They pay attention to detail at a level that the competition doesn’t and guess what…. You notice. They invest heavily in engineering and design and you appreciate that the product quality seems a tier above the rest. With an exceptional product you will have great word of mouth. With an exceptional product you will have a great NPS (Net Promoter Score) and thus customer referrals and retention. With a great product you will get natural PR in your industry.
An Exceptional Story
When you use an apple product, or you wear gear from REI or you drive your favorite luxury car brand… How do you feel? The story behind a company is directly tied to their brand. Disneyland isn’t about roller coasters, it’s about quality family time. That is part of the story they build around their brand. The story is also tied to the “why”. Why does it matter that your company exists? You don’t have to be SpaceX to have that powerful why. A pizza company that is a cornerstone of a community can have an amazing why. But really think about it and invest in it and make sure that people know that when they buy from you, or spend time with your product, they also are investing in that “why”.