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Mary Schmidt Business Builder & Renovator


Idea Pool

“I’ve Got A Great Product. Now I Need Some Marketing.”

Mary Schmidt

Feb 09, 2009

As heard around the entrepreneur lunch table.

Hmmm....that’s - well - great.  But, here’s the not-so-great part:  the speaker has (once again) confused advertising (or brochures or web sites) with marketing.  As I note in my tag line, “Everything you do is marketing.” 

And, one of those things should be market evaluation BEFORE you file a patent, build a prototype and go after MOUs and a “proof of concept” customer. 

You can ALWAYS find one person to buy one of something, particularly in the alpha or beta stage.  Unfortunately, that’s no guarantee there’s an actual market.  I worked at Nortel when they formed an entire division around what ONE customer wanted.  Hundreds of bleeding-red millions later, the division was shut down.

So, here are some sanity check questions:

Are you solving a problem?  Does the potential customer agree there is a problem?

Are you different?  Are you different enough

Have you ever taken that great product out into the field?  Have you asked someone who knows nothing about it to use it?  “Great” may turn out to be “terrific in the lab, as tested by the developer…terrible when used by a real-live customer.” 

Just how high is that barrier to market entry?  How much will you have to spend to even get noticed? (This always pops into my head when some young fella talks about their new search engine that out-googles Google.)


P.S.  You really should have an identified market and a product before you produce a brochure. 

Related Posts:
All those boring bits of marketing
No, I Won’t Write Your Brochure.
Real-World Marketing: Goals Before Budget

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