Wednesday, May 03, 2006

It's only fair: Kawasaki on Marketer's Lies

Last week I got all hot and bothered by Guy Kawasaki shining a light on the Top Ten Lies Engineers Tell.

It's only fair that I should point out he followed up that post with The Top 10 Lies of Marketers. Sigh.

I hate to tell Guy though, that one of his commenters came up with the best one (which to his credit he moved up into the post):
"Our product is so unique that it has no competition." (Maura Welch).

It has no competition for two possible reasons: (a) You're clueless and don't know how to use Google; (b) there's no market for it so no one else is dumb enough to do the same thing.

This just makes me laugh because it's soooo common.

Being on the consultant side of life now, though, I have to say I hear this more often from founders of start-ups than I do from Marketing folks. Last year I had a potential client who went on and on about his product's uniqueness, and how it was going to be a Godsend and simply everybody in his target market would want it, no question. Then about 4 weeks before the official product launch it turned out there was a HUGE competitor, a market dominator, in fact.

How could this person not know about it? Because this person had simply invented a product that would help him in his job, and he didn't use that competitor's product in his job. And he didn't use that product because clearly wasn't tasked with sourcing applications for his company of employ. So he had the kind of mind that wants to come up with solutions from scratch, not seek answers that already exist. Nothing wrong with that, of course, we need people like that. But a little market analysis wouldn't have hurt the guy!

[And in case you're wondering: no, he wasn't seeking a proposal for such analysis. He had it all figured out and just wanted to tell the world!!!]

Of course the lesson in all these Top 10 lists is that in every walk of professional life there are common lies...and they all start with the lies we tell ourselves!

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?