Marketing is Not Magic

Marketing is Not Magic
Heather Rubesch - Thu Sep 15, 2011 @ 09:16AM
Comments: 24

magic_hat1.jpgEvery summer my kids get me hooked on America’s Got Talent.  We love watching those brave hopeful performers taking their chance at stardom.  Every year some of my favorites are the magicians.  This year a talented illusionist, Landon Swank, made it all the way to the final 10.  The best a magician had ever done on the show. As much as I love magic as entertainment, I believe it has no place in marketing.

A Cautionary Tale

I recently relayed a story to some of my Savvy Sisters about working with a client whose product was about 75% production ready.  They hired me to do a big launch promotion.  Under their direction I wrote email copy, solution briefs, product specification overviews, etc.  All the while they were to be completing development so we would reach the prescribed moment when the product was ready and matched the wonderful things that had been said about it in the marketing materials.

To make a long story short the product never lived up to its hype.  The management of the company thought they could get by with a 75% demo until they could sell their first customer who would then finance the development of the last 25%.  Unfortunately the launch promotion I developed was successful.  Their trade show booth was packed with people.  Their appointment calendar filled up with sales meetings.  And after two years and approximately 120 prospect demos they had no clients and exited the market.

This is such a common tale among start-up B2B companies particularly in the down economy that every one of the Savvy Sisters could spin the same yarn I just told with slightly different details.

The Fix

You must constantly ask yourself – Does my product live up to the marketing?  If the answer is no then something has to give.  Either you pull back and reflect some of the features as “in development” or “planned future enhancements” or you put in the hard work to develop them as part of the base product.  If you market your product as having features that aren’t reflected in your demo you are pulling a bait and switch.  Even the best sales staff will get called on the slight-of-hand eventually.

In the case of my client they have now burned bridges at 120 companies because they went in with a half baked product.  Do you think they will be able to get meetings with those same prospects again if they do finish the product development?  Maybe some will agree to see the “new and improved” but they will always be skeptical about what they aren’t being told the next time.

Not Just a Small Company Problem

Overstating benefits or ROI is not just a small company problem.  Even some of the big B2B solution providers have been in trouble for performance guarantees that didn’t come true.  I live in Kansas City and a local example that played out here a few years ago between Sprint and IBM was eventually resolved.  The two companies continued to work together but when you have to file lawsuit against your vendor to recover damages the relationship had to have been strained at best.

A more recent example is the current fight between Lawson Software and CareSource Management Group.  Their ongoing legal troubles stem from the fact that CareSource isn't finding Lawson's software as "seamlessly integrated" as their marketing had indicated it was.

As B2B marketers we do our clients little good to make them sound better than they actually are.  We aren’t writing infomercial copy.  We need to focus on proven results and documentable case studies as the sharpest tools in our bag.

Do you have a tale of marketing magic gone awry?  Share it in our comments section.

About the Author: Heather has spent the past 15 years advocating for the customer perspective in her approach to software development and product marketing. Her penchant for collaboration is what drew her to the Savvy B2B team. Read more of Heather's posts here or contact her directly at heather@idea2paper.com.

 

Comments: 24

Comments

1. chinna   |   Wed Aug 27, 2014 @ 10:16AM

Great Blog really, I like this blog so much, Thanks for sharing, My blogs are http://mrqe.in and http://www.seotraininginameerpet.in

2. Raja   |   Fri Sep 12, 2014 @ 01:13AM

Thanks a lot for sharing the detailed list of Senate names of farm bill Conferees. Most of the members are new to me. This subject has interested me for quite some time. I have just started researching it on the Internet and found your post to be informative http://www.usafashiontv.com http://www.avignaseoservices.com and http://www.avighnaseosolutions.com

3. franklin   |   Thu Jun 25, 2015 @ 04:42AM

ive been examining this blog site for a while and also have a matter probably you'll be able to support its h
http://inkpromocode.us
http://inkpromocode.us/category/printer-ink-toner-discount-codes/
http://ecigsdiscounts.com
http://inkpromocode.us/all-ink-stores/

4. sagar   |   Sat Mar 19, 2016 @ 06:37AM

good The best way to make use of new Snapchat http://snapchattrophiess.com Narrative responses. nice.

5. Sara   |   Fri Apr 01, 2016 @ 06:05AM

Thank you for sharing. The advice is really brilliant. If you have problems with your email adress, please take a look at http://gmail-emaillogin.com/

6. Vidmate For PC   |   Fri Apr 15, 2016 @ 12:09PM

Vidmate For PC download

7. Olivia  |  my website   |   Sat Jun 04, 2016 @ 03:02PM

Good writeup! Amazing you've written there.. you can visit this web page if you've any issues regarding your Email service.
http://gmailemaillogins.com

8. FileZilla  |  my website   |   Fri Jun 10, 2016 @ 01:52PM

Awesome blog .. Thanks alot for sharing :)
http://goo.gl/ex7OSZ

9. gmail email login  |  my website   |   Fri Jul 01, 2016 @ 01:46PM

problems with your email adress, please take a look at http://gmail-emaillogins.com/

10. zumbi tsunami  |  my website   |   Sun Jul 03, 2016 @ 02:24AM
11. gmail  |  my website   |   Mon Aug 01, 2016 @ 04:24AM

Get free email account from here http://gmailsignup.org/ and then start using gmail best features.

12. gmail login  |  my website   |   Sun Aug 07, 2016 @ 09:20AM

New gmail account. gmail register http://gmailinboxsignin.com/

13. Subway Surfer Game  |  my website   |   Thu Aug 11, 2016 @ 07:12AM

nice content

14. Passport Seva  |  my website   |   Thu Aug 11, 2016 @ 07:13AM

thanks for sharing

15. slither io  |  my website   |   Fri Sep 02, 2016 @ 10:24AM

click to play slither io

16. wingsio  |  my website   |   Fri Sep 02, 2016 @ 10:24AM

play the best free games wingsio

17. abc  |  my website   |   Fri Sep 02, 2016 @ 10:26AM

let's play abc

18. vikas  |  my website   |   Mon Sep 12, 2016 @ 03:51AM

There's nothing free on this planet, but ensure that you Buy facebook reviews exclusively from legitimate sources for successful recognition on-line.

19. visit url  |  my website   |   Sun Sep 25, 2016 @ 03:34AM

Everyone needs money for their use and want to earn money.Follow here to get free money.

20. kingroot   |   Thu Oct 13, 2016 @ 03:57AM
22. Blackmart Alpha For PC  |  my website   |   Sun Oct 30, 2016 @ 12:00AM

Black Market Apk Download
https://blackmartapkdownloads.com/blackmart-alpha-for-pc-mac/
Blackmart Alpha For PC

23. Techrofl  |  my website   |   Wed Nov 02, 2016 @ 10:01AM
24. iTube For iOS  |  my website   |   Wed Nov 16, 2016 @ 11:54PM

Post a Comment




powered by Doodlekit™ Free Website Builder