If your product or service is lame, you can’t expect your marketing people to do some kind of magic and make it sell.
I have a few software development and software testing blogs in my feed reader, because one of my clients is in the software testing space. When I came across this blog post by Joel Spolsky, I found myself nodding enthusiastically, especially when I read the part where he says, “It is not the case (as commonly believed by nerds) that marketing is a substitute for code quality. The best marketing in the world cannot force people to pay for a useless product.”
It’s not just nerds – it’s also business owners and website owners. When someone approaches me and wants me to take on their social media marketing and upon visiting their site I realize it’s a bad site, or find that the product they are offering is useless, I either refuse the job, or I tell them that they would need to do website redesign (I am always happy to submit recommendations) before we can proceed with marketing.
If I do take on a client, it means that I believe their offering is a solid one – something that people would actually find useful.
A truly great product is going to become viral with very little marketing – if at all. Twitter is a great example. A bad product will fail even with the best marketing. For all the rest of the products, those that are somewhere in the middle, I agree with Spolsky – the better the product, the more impact marketing it will have.