The short answer: Because money.
The slightly longer answer…
Let’s be honest, “marketing” your product is often not the sexy or fun part of doing business.
For many entrepreneurs and small business owners marketing is the task you’ll probably procrastinate, you’ll put it off and do it last, it’s the “pain point” of your business. After all, your brilliant idea, the wonderful “thing” you want to create is so much more exciting – than actually trying to SELL the thing.
Let me state the obvious.
It might seem ridiculously obvious, but making a compelling connection between your product/service and your customers (or app users) is absolutely critical because it is this connection that will translate into real cash money flowing into your bank account.
Put quite simply, with no customers or no users for your app, all you have is a cool “thing” that no one knows about – that you’ve invested serious time and money into with no revenue.
A familiar tale of woe…
I recently encountered a potential client who had spent about $175k on a “killer” app that was going to disrupt a particular industry that will not be named here. He’d mortgaged his house, used up all his savings, and borrowed money from family and friends. The website was launched, the app was almost built and he’d run out of money for marketing his app. The result? He had a really cool app, but no one – apart from family and friends – knew about it.
“Oh I don’t do marketing.”
It seems that everyone these days is building a cool “thing”, a killer app, disrupting an industry. Wanting to be the next Uber, or the next Facebook.
What I see around me are hordes of incredibly talented “builders”: the architects, designers, coders, usability (UX) experts and engineers of the digital realm. They know how to build really cool stuff, but I often wonder how many of them know how to SELL the thing?
It’s almost like selling the thing is an unpleasant afterthought to the entire process. In fact, many of them loathe anything to do with marketing or sales! “Oh I don’t do marketing,” they’ll say proudly, “I’m a UX specialist (or insert other niche specialist here)”.
But I’m pretty sure their focus is to get paid for what they do – am I right? And therefore, marketing the thing must be a necessary “evil”.
Money is your “laser beam of truth”.
A wise person once said that the highest priority in any business is simply getting money into the bank account. That’s why cash flow needs to be your ultimate “laser beam of truth” – in everything that you do.
Sounds so obvious right?
But all too often we’re so in love with what we’re building, so wonderfully engaged in, and by, the process that we forget the basics of running a business. That’s when the *ego* is in charge and you’re in dangerous territory. In fact, the guy running the corner store will probably know more about the financial side of running a business than you do.
I repeat: your highest priority is to get the money into the bank account.
That’s it. Everything else flows from this. Everything.
This simple “laser beam of truth” should drive everything that you do. It’s the thing that will cut through any confusion and the thing that will help you prioritize your tasks every single day.
(PRO TIP: Put a dollar sign ($) next to the tasks on your to-do list that will bring the money into your bank account and do those first thing in the morning.)
Marketing is not a dirty word, so get over it.
A digital marketing strategy is what connects your big beautiful idea, your “thing”, your app, your product, your service – to your customers and/or users.
It’s what gets the people (real human beings) to open their wallet and give you money for your big beautiful thing or wonderful service. And you deserve that don’t you?
This is why marketing (there’s that dirty word!) is so damn critical.
Marketing – a dirty job but someone’s gotta do it.
A good digital marketing strategist should act almost like a good accountant: their role is half cop, half midwife with a strong dash of courage and creativity.
Their job is to help you birth your big idea into the world and make sure it grows into a happy healthy bouncing business. They’ll help you make sure that everything you do in the digital realm aligns intimately with your business strategy so that money goes ends up in your bank account.
(PS. ONE LAST PRO TIP: Get your marketing strategist involved at the beginning of the process (not the end). Put them in the same room with your CFO, your accountant, HR person, and your investors.)