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2007-05-09 13:51:44

How would you reach YOU?

Here's a marketing question to think about:  How would you tell YOU about your product?

Awareness is one piece of the marketing puzzle.  In fact, it is quite obviously one of the essential pieces.  Nobody can buy your product if they have never heard of it.

So we marketers do all kinds of stuff to spread the word.  We run ads in magazines.  We go to trade shows.  We interact with press people and try to get reviews and articles written about our stuff.

And then we wonder.  How many people have heard about our product?  Did everybody hear our message?  Did anybody hear our message?

Most marketing people end up convincing themselves that they do a good job.  I do.  I think our marketing efforts are pretty darn effective.

But every time I go to a trade show, I encounter someone who has never heard of us.  I am delighted to have the opportunity to talk with them, but I am also distressed.  How could this happen?  What did we wrong?  How could somebody not know about SourceGear?

I usually end up realizing that remaining ignorant of our products is a lot easier than I think.  In fact, this truth recently hit me like a ton of bricks without even going to a trade show.

I was sitting in my office chatting with my coworker Jeremy Sheeley.  Jeremy leads the dev team for Vault and Fortress.  In the course of our discussion, I suddenly realized that none of our marketing efforts would reach Jeremy.  He doesn't go to trade shows or conferences.  He doesn't read magazines.  He doesn't read blogs.  He doesn't go to user group meetings. 

Jeremy is a decision-maker for the version control tool used by his team, and nothing we are doing would make him aware of our product.  How many more Jeremies are out there?

Two caveats apply here:

  1. Jeremy isn't in the market for a version control tool.  If he were looking for products like ours, he might be more likely to find us.
  2. I later realized that it's not really true that none of our efforts could ever reach Jeremy.  We run ads on Google.  Everybody uses Google.

Still, I think this stuff is worth thinking about.  Pretend that you are a potential customer.

How many of your current marketing efforts would you simply never see?

How long would it take you to become aware of your own product?

How would you get your product message to YOU?