VC Fred Wilson writes “Marketing is for companies who have sucky products.”
Yes. And No.
I absolutely agree with him that the key is to build a great product and not force or pay for marketing. But much of building that product … is marketing.
Fast growth doesn’t magically happen.
Marketing is the difference between technology – which is a better widget – and a product – which is a better widget that gets used. Marketing is THE customer expert and advocate.
Marketing is responsible for understanding customer pain and market competition and opportunities. Marketing ensures that product has the right features, optimal positioning, pricing, packaging, and promotion, and a market and customer-oriented product roadmap. Marketing typically writes the business and marketing plans and develops the pitch and slide deck to help gain funding. Marketing directs the UI, grows and supports evangelists, handles outgoing and incoming communications, articulates and writes benefits and copy, and develops partners and channels.
All of this is critical to fast track the product so it can go viral and be a great success … without spending the unnecessary money or time on PR, SEO, and other external programs that Wilson cites.