Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Marketing: the ingredient towards success

If you take a look at recent success stories in the mobile and web worlds there’s always a common thing: Inside every successful business, there's excellent marketing. If you're selling the right goodies to the right customers at the right price in the right way, you must win: get the marketing quartet wrong, and so will be the results.

Super-salesmen, true, can flog refrigerators to Eskimos. But super-marketeers find an irresistible use for fridges to create a lasting Eskimo market. Yet many mobile music businesses, great (as for ex. sonynetservices) and small, rely on the brute force of selling and never think in marketing terms. That’s not our case.

During the last two weeks amazing events have taken place in the sales and business development side: we got a couple of leads asking for mobile full-track music distribution and willing to launch what they considered an outstanding and state-of-the-art technical approach.... really? we said. Really, they answered.

We have to say that it was end 2005 when we commercially launched our mobile full-track software release, and mid 2006 when we included the mobile to PC dual delivery service. A year has gone from that date and for that reason, the management team decided that it had come the time to sit down and think which was the best product evolution strategy for the next 18 months. We had an interesting brain-storming session trying to understand which was the best mix between our client’s needs, the market evolution requirements and our own innovation ideas. As a result of that session, a product roadmap was defined, a product prioritization was established and lots of different to-do’s were assigned to each of the involved areas (product development, sales and technology, basically).

A week after that meeting we received the call of one of this leads mentioned before. And do you think they were asking for any of the latest futuristic and flashy features thought in our management meeting? Obviously no. They were asking for what we considered old-fashioned features, fruit of our marketing investment more than a year ago. Perhaps not so old-fashion, right?

This have made me think of the importance of marketing for our business success. We were really innovative two years ago, and I think we’re still in front of some of our main competitors. The question is: where’s the trade-off between marketing investment and innovation vs sales and business development efforts? It’s apparently easy to decide once you have a minimum financial wealthiness, but let me say it’s not that easy to defend that marketing investment will unveil results in the mid term when short term results are expected not to go on with the business but for surviving.

In any case, there’s a lesson learned here that I wanted to share with all the readers of this blog: investments in marketing and innovation are never worthless as marketing is one of the most important ingredients towards success.

Carlos Valdecantos - 10th july 2007

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