Startup Blog

Is Marketing or Product King of the Company?

Posted by Mike Volpe on 1/31/11 10:30 AM

chicken and eggI was browsing the web and after following a series of links I ended up on an article on Jeff Chausse's blog, which has the following paragraph:

As a company, your job is to make a product you know how to market, not to market a product you know how to make.  Remember Coleco? The toy company behind the Colecovision videogame system? Well, Coleco originally stood for “COnnecticut LEather COmpany”. They also made plastic portable swimming pools, oh, and Cabbage Patch Kids. In the 21st century, making stuff is easy to outsource. Even idea generation can be outsourced. Successful marketing strategies are the hardest thing in the world to come by. If you have one, throw everything else out.

The argument makes sense.  But on the other hand, some great products don't need much marketing at all (DropBox, Survey Monkey).  And in an era of increasing transparency, it is hard to cover up a bad product with good marketing.  Which should come first, the product or the marketing?  Should the product adapt to the marketing?  Or should the marketing adapt to the product?  Does the answer differ if you rely on inbound or outbound marketing?  I'm particularly curious about what YOU think... leave a comment and let me know?

Mike Volpe

Written by Mike Volpe

Mike Volpe is a startup advisor and angel investor based in Boston.

Topics: branding, strategy, startup marketing

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