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The Great Zero Marketing Lie

The Great Zero Marketing Lie

One of the most pernicious tropes in tech is that you can succeed with "zero marketing."

This should offend you not because you're a marketer who takes it personally, but because it's lazy, incorrect thinking, and lazy, incorrect thinking prevents you from learning.

Here's what's wrong with "zero marketing":

First, if conflates marketing with paid advertising.

Whenever you hear someone celebrate "zero marketing" what they're really saying is that they were able to get traction without making an offering to the altar of the Google and Facebook gods. This is indeed remarkable and something to be celebrated. But running ads and doing marketing are not the same thing.

Second, it reduces marketing to a line item, instead of realizing that it's an unavoidable part of the product development process.

Marketing is not a line item, nor is it just a department. It's a process that begins the moment you create something for public consumption.

Whether or not you were aware of this process doesn't change the fact that it happened. Historically, marketing refers to the choices you make across the 4 P's - price, product, place and promotion. Deciding who should buy your thing is marketing. How you price your product is marketing.

Third, embedded in "zero marketing!" is a presupposition that "marketing = bad" or "marketing = waste of time." For so many engineers and techie people, marketing is the boogeyman, the realm of empty suits who lie to people. It's the department that desecrates "my glorious, beautiful code" into something palatable to the normies.

Marketing is much more than just running ads, writing blog posts, or the team that runs the twitter account. Market-ing is a process, one that you need to understand and execute well if you want to have repeated success over the long term.