The Magic Pill of Marketing

by Rebekah Rhys

Here’s what I know to be true: meaningful change doesn’t happen overnight.

Marketing is often a buzzword we throw around that we think is defined as “a creative and mysterious process that magically produces bags of cash and world renown in a few months.” I think this misunderstanding comes from the reality that many people do not understand what marketing entails, and how to approach the marketing process.

I mentioned in my last blog that my background is in the music industry. So a lot of my understanding of business comes from having been behind the glitzy, glamorous curtain and the illusion of music. And I’ve always loved the term, “overnight sensation.” Lady Gaga was an artist that seemingly appeared from nowhere, and was often referred to as an overnight sensation. One day you had never heard of her, and the next day she was in magazines, on billboards, her music was on the radio, on TV, she was on awards shows, her social media accounts had thousands (wait, millions) of followers, and you almost felt dumb for not knowing who she was almost immediately after she appeared on the scene.

This sensation happened through the magic of marketing, but the preparation process it took to launch such a cohesive (and expensive!) campaign to push Lady Gaga into a household name in just a few months was staggering. It took thousands of people, millions of dollars, and an expertly crafted strategy over the period of a few YEARS to make Lady Gaga an “overnight success.”

Too many times we believe the magic of Hollywood when we see companies emerge on the scene that have great marketing, and don’t dig deeper to learn the story behind the success. Any real and lasting success always has an incredibly dedicated team of people who have been working at their goal for months and years.

I like to advise clients that marketing isn’t a magic pill. It doesn’t immediately bring results, and in fact, immediate results can often stunt or inhibit better successes in the long run, as they can seem forced and fake.

Let me pull back the curtain for you: there are no overnight successes.

Marketing is really the final step in the process of creating and promoting a great product or service, not the first. Success begins with testing your product in the market. It is there that valuable lessons are learned, and through the honest feedback of customers you are able to learn exactly who your ideal customer is, how they tick, what makes them excited, and how they like to utilize your service or product.

Once you understand the market, you can build a killer plan that utilizes the ideal media for your target market to share your story with them and tell them how you’ll help them solve a problem.

On the other hand, if you’re marketing an untested product, you’re wagering a huge bet with your business. In marketing a tested product, you’re able to know the who, what, where, when, why, how of the market, and craft a great marketing strategy that accomplishes your goal.

So spend time perfecting your business. Make it the best it possibly can be. Uncover uncomfortable truths and examine it from every angle. And then examine it again. Your excitement about your service can only carry you so far. When you know people are excited about your product and service, you have a much stronger platform to build upon as you tell your story in the marketplace. And as buzz builds, your bottom line increases. Show your customers there really is a Wizard of Oz and not a man behind a curtain.

Take the time. You’re running a marathon. Your product is amazing. But don’t expect everyone to fall in love right away.