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What comes before Marketing

Its not Marketing.....Its real!

I read an article by Mitch Joel a couple of days ago which talked about Scooter Braun's claim that the fame of Justin Bieber is not as a result of good marketing, but because of his talent. You'll also find in the article (but this is pretty common knowledge too) that artists of this genre (pop) will usually fizzle out from stardom and hit obscurity in a matter of a couple of years.

The first thing that came to my mind after reading this was the marketing shenanigans that I see around me day in and day out by one and all to promote the brand of their own self, hoping to be snapped up by the highest bidder. Like many pop stars that manage to get their first album branded as a 'hit' and then struggle to sell follow-up albums, these desperate marketing stunts may only get you that one success. The key here is to keep in mind the word 'may'. There is absolutely no guarantee. Then, I hear people complain that getting a good internship is all a matter of luck. How can you complain about luck being the main factor when all your preparation takes into account the fact that luck is the main factor?

Everyone is interested in quick-fixes and short-cuts. I hear people saying the 2nd year of the PGDM course is not of much use as it isn't counted for the placement process. Some go as far as to claim that it is only the first out of 6 terms that REALLY matters while the other 5, not so much. This is sure shot recipe for a marketing suicide. Try marketing a product without substance, without value and see how well you can do it. For goods that have a short life before replacement at the customer end, you may manage to find many people who are willing to buy your product for the first time after they are targeted by your marketing strategies. Try and get them to continue using your product and not replace it with a new one of a different variant for the second cycle of use and the percentage number you observe will have you giving serious thought to shutting shop and going home. But what if the product is you? There is no option to shut shop then. Where do you go from there?

This is precisely the scenario you'll find yourself in if you try to market and sell yourself without keeping in mind a long term perspective. You can never be an effective leader if you cannot feature a long term perspective into your current plans and actions. Marketing is essential, but is meaningless and self-destructive if there is no value in the product. Value addition must always come first and marketing, just before you go to the market with your product. If you spend your R&D cycles thinking about how to market your product and fail to add value that gives you competitive advantage, you will only bring disrepute to your product and your entire brand when it fails to deliver on its marketing promise.

The 6 terms of the course are akin to your R&D cycles. Add value during this period. Jump ahead to the final step of Marketing instead of doing this and your brand might (again note that there are no guarantees) give you short term profits. Add value and you will have established the foundation for a company bound to give you higher returns and over a much longer period of time.

It is not marketing that will ensure success, but the value of your product.

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