Product or marketing?

by Ralfs
19 replies
Years ago copywriters like J. Carlton said that advertising is more imporant than the product itself. He said something like there's a graveyard filled with products that didn't make it.

But what about 2018? Has the equation changed?

I would say that the product has become more important for building a business and having success. People have been conditioned to consume better products.

Even many of the hypey Clickbank products have vanished.

People generally gravitate towards more interesting and "better" products.
#marketing #product
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  • Profile picture of the author jbsmith
    It's always been about the product and marketing - marketing to get the product or service in front of people and convert, product to deliver value, differentiation and satisfaction to the customer so they a) Pass along positive word-of-mouth (this is where things have changed, social influence means opinion - good and bad - are far more widespread today) and b) they continue to buy from you again and again so you can maximize the customer acquisition cost (think upsell and cross-sell funnels for example)

    You can always make the argument that nothing happens until you gain the market's attention, interest, desire (role of advertising, lead-gen, funnels, etc...) but yes, the product is critical too - especially today.
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  • Profile picture of the author CarpeNoctem
    It depends. How many brands do you know of that don't offer the best product but are at the top of their industry in terms of sales? I can name tons.

    Take web hosting. A number of EIG web hosts (Bluehost, Just Host, Hostgator, iPage, etc) offer an absolutely lousy service and an inferior product, however every man and his dog hosts with them.

    Take GoDaddy. Their customer service is abominable, however they are the largest domain registrar in the world.

    Take BT. Review pages signify how terrible their customer service and product is, yet they are one of the largest ISPs in the UK.

    Advertising and marketing is more crucial than ever - the 'market' is a LOT bigger than it used to be.

    To give you an indication as to the shift in this in recent years, Huawei, a Chinese brand, is the now the world's second largest mobile phone manufacturer - ahead of Apple - based on sales volume.

    To give you another indication, Windows is no longer the most popular operating system in the world by installations, Android is.

    It isn't so much about marketing and sales as it is gaining market position, and annihilating the competition. The bigger the market gets the more the largest companies consolidate their positions; when they consolidate their position they generate more revenue, and become even more powerful (and expand into new verticals)

    Even looking at something like Wordpress themes, Envato has become so big it's now impossible for anyone else to establish themselves in that sector to any noticeable extent.
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  • Product?

    You want a sales funnel with a product line to market to your target audience.

    Even if you have the best product/service, if nobody can find your business, then you are really not in business.

    Marketing is the lifeblood of any business. If you don't know how to market, then pay reputable professionals to do your marketing for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Here's a question for you...

    How, exactly, are people supposed to figure out which product is "better?"

    How do you decide?
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  • Profile picture of the author Ralfs
    Likely because of something like reviews, testimonials, likes, votes or recommendations from other people.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Ralfs View Post

      Likely because of something like reviews, testimonials, likes, votes or recommendations from other people.
      Reviews -- Bought and sold every day. Fake reviews are one of the big problems on review sites. Don't believe me? Unless they've clamped down, Fiverr has a booming market for reviews.

      Testimonials -- Again, there's a thriving market for testimonials. Look at the WSO section and look at the glowing reviews from people who got review copies and post their testimonials long before they've had time to actually use the products.

      Likes and Votes -- Very easy for marketers to manipulate. Another thriving market on Fiverr and similar sites. Post a gig on Amazon Turk, and you can buy likes and votes for pennies.

      Recommendations from other people -- If you're getting them from people you know personally, this is good. If you're trusting online celebrities like gooroos and bloggers, take the recommendation with a grain of salt. If there's an affiliate link attached, especially an undisclosed one, change that to a handful of salt.

      As a marketer, I will hand-pick the reviews and testimonials I present. I promise that even honest ones (the only kind I'll touch) will show my product or service in the best light possible.

      And I have bought products/services based on all of the above. Sometimes I'm left wondering if there was a mistake, as the product/service bore no resemblance to the reviews.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnVianny
    Marketing is about perception: if you can manipulate the perception you can sell bad content which don't last and in a second time ruin also you,

    OR good content.

    It's up to you. But Marketing IMPERAT.

    Of course if it's a good marketing you have to enlight something that your product satisfy better than your competitors, and it needs a product which has value in itself.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Originally Posted by Ralfs View Post

    Years ago copywriters like J. Carlton said that advertising is more imporant than the product itself. He said something like there's a graveyard filled with products that didn't make it.

    But what about 2018? Has the equation changed?
    Nope, and never will. It's supply and demand. It's about the starving crowd of hungry folks who only have $5 left in their wallet and is desperate as hell to eat anything.

    At this point they want anything - not the Big Mac in particular.
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  • Profile picture of the author YourGoToWriter
    I think it depends nowadays. Before, when the product is really good, word of mouth is enough to market the product. Nowadays, there are many ways to market the product especially through social media where you can get paid reviews and paid promotions.

    Loren
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Marketing will always trump product.

    I made a video a year ago talking about this issue. People would come to me, wanting copy for their product. Many of them have been working on the product for so long they're sick of it. Seriously. Years.

    I'd ask: "OK, what's the traffic source you've got lined up?"

    Crickets.

    "Oh, well we're not a fit, then," I would tell them.

    That's just one side of the problem.

    Another side, which I cover in the video: a stick--

    A STICK--

    could do better than whatever the fancy product may be. Tell a story, wrap it up. Tap your partner with the stick and Presto! something magic happens. Yes, it's up to your ethics as the marketer whether you avoid snake oil or not...but it demonstrates my point.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fred Kimberly
    Marketing is still doing wonders for so many piece of crap products and its not on the internet only. With hundred of thousands of new products popping up every day, you need a strong marketing strategy to sell those products to the consumers. Not every product have a long lifetime so its the marketing that help you sell it quickly so you can be ready to sell a new product to your customers.

    This is happening a lot in ecommerce and specially giant retailers like Amazon and eBay are getting new products every minute. Sellers have intense competition, its the marketing that help them to unload their products.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Originally Posted by Ralfs View Post

    Years ago copywriters like J. Carlton said that advertising is more imporant than the product itself.

    IMO, Carlton's statement is still true today. The marketing landscape continues to get more and more cluttered as time goes on and it is harder and harder to get your message in the right hands (your targeted prospects).

    Here's the thing: how does someone ever experience a product (to know if it's top quality or not) without purchasing it first? Without the marketing, great products don't get sold.

    I'm not saying the product isn't important - it is - especially as the word spreads and as product creators want to make repeat customer sales. But crappy products are sold everyday with great marketing and many wonderful products never experience great sales because they are not marketed as they might be.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author tyronne78
    If you want to be really successful you need an irresistible offer with great marketing to go with it.

    If you're marketing is great but your product sucks you'll have high refund rates.
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  • Profile picture of the author heavysm
    Product quality must be high enough to the point that it can sell itself even if there wasn't marketing - the marketing must to great enough such that if the product looked like crap, the marketing would still sell it.

    Sort of like the pray like you can't work, and work like there's no one helping you. (i changed that on purpose here)

    The quality should always be sky high for both product and marketing. We all know the amazing products that should be marketed better, and we hate the highly marketed products that turn out to be crap when you finally get them.

    Quality must affect product and market equally, or else you have a lop sided business.

    I know of several businesses that rely on customer referrals for their sales, and they have customers literally in a line that stretches past the front door (we all know those businesses).

    Conversely, i know of some businesses that lose their shirts on marketing because the customers literally walk through the front door, but walk out with nothing because they can detect that the product quality just isn't there.

    The quality needs to be both ways BUT the product quality needs to be there before the marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author R0b328
    In most cases, I definitely think that the one who markets the best wins. It's not always the one who has the best product, but the one who can market and advertise the best wins.

    Perfect examples of this are:

    1) Mcdonalds, they don't necessarily have the best product, but they do market it very well which is why they are/were on top for such a long time.

    2) Apple. Take a look at some of the features they have on their iPhone, they haven't always been the first to market with certain features, but somehow they're able to market in a more appealing way. The whole wireless charging capability has been around way before the iphone 8/X, but they market slightly better in my opinion. Which is why they have had a slightly higher market share. It's only until recently that Samsung caught up and took the #1 spot in market share
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  • Profile picture of the author Maxxx333
    Hello guys, personally i'll say that the equation didn't changed, it's still the same think according to me. The best you advertise, the more you could sell. The tools you use for advertising are crucial for your campaign, so you should better really invest on that, and try to use the right one that will help your campaign to be very productive
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    advertising is more imporant than the product itself.
    Of course. If you don't get the word out (advertise) in some way, you will sell nothing, in which case the quality of your product is meaningless.

    I usually create the ads first and have run ads for products that didn't yet exist.

    And as far as the refund rate, I've seen tests that sold completely worthless products to see how many people would request a refund. They sold the product through TV Infomercials. The tests found even with a worthless ($49.95) "product" only 20% of buyers requested a refund.

    The reason so many fail is not because they can't create/affiliate quality products. It's because they have no knowledge of advertising.

    The key to this business is traffic. Without it you have nothing. You get traffic through response to your "advertising", whatever form that takes.

    If you're no good at advertising your BE doesn't matter.

    Brent
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  • Profile picture of the author cearionmarie
    depending on what you plan to do. You can have the product first but then sales would be slow without marketing. It can work but it need a little more time. You can go straight to marketing and have the product later on, I see it often and they call it pre-selling.
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