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TODAY’S STORY
31 Mar
,
2022

It doesn’t work that way.

Software engineers are a cursed species.

They love machines. They love how they work, they love how they’re designed, and most of all, they love to solve complicated problems with code.

And herein lies the problem —

The man has a hammer and he goes around searching for fun and interesting nails to hammer down. And ignores every other important challenge at its expense.

Throughout my life, I’ve seen so many bright engineers fall prey to the “if we make it they will come” syndrome.

They start developing something because to them it is fun and poses interesting challenges. And what they end up doing is building solutions in search of a problem.

And even if they start with a common problem they might’ve noticed many people facing, they make the mistake of thinking that product marketers are “launch people” who take a finished product and bring it into the market.

After they figure out what they want to build, and after building it, they pass the product to the marketing team hoping for a big bang launch and 100,000 copies sold on Day 1.

It doesn’t work that way.

You have to bring marketers in right from the inception and ideation stages. So that they can talk to consumers, know what the market wants, and inform product features.

Another mistake product teams driven by engineers make is that since they are not well-versed with marketing, when they try marketing their product, they try to exploit all channels at once.

It doesn’t work that way.

If you were to watch interviews and podcasts with founders of successful companies, here’s something you will never hear them say:

“We tried eight different marketing channels — AdWords, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WhatsApp, events, PR, referrals, and so on. All of them contributed partially to making up our revenues. Then we focused on optimizing each of them, doing minor improvements on all channels every month, and our revenue doubled in a year.”

Yeah, that does not happen.

What all successful companies do, to begin with, is first find one or two channels that really work — channels they know their customers frequent, channels they personally use and understand, and most importantly, channels that as a medium are aligned with their product.

Once they fully optimize these one or two channels and exploit them to their maximum, they layer on other channels.

Success in social media marketing is an outcome of the match between your brand personality and the norms and language of that channel. And to build a presence needs serious investment in the channel, often even before you start building your product.

Don’t leave marketing as an afterthought, thinking that if the product is good, it will sell itself.

It doesn’t work that way.

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