John Dodds is a self proclaimed marketing deviant, which makes me love him before I’d read a word on his blog. John is speaking to geeks trying to get them to embrace marketing as their friend.
According to Dodds, rule number one is “Marketing is not a department.”
Is it me, or did angels just start singing?
His second commandment is “ Marketing is a conversation, but most people don’t speak geek.
I swear the room began to spin.Â I feel a religious experience coming on! Oh, maybe that’s just the Dexatrim kicking in.
Marketing IS merely a conversation between you and your potential customers. They have problems and you have answers. Marketing is communicating the availability of your solutions to your customer’s problems. It’s just that simple.
John addresses this in Commandment #8: “People hate hype, spin and unfulfilled expectations. They do not hate having their needs met.”
It’s hard for most geeks to understand marketing of their products and services. They honestly believe that if people would just RTFM (read the freakin manual) that using technology would be as easy for their customers as it is for them.
After 10 years in the web dev game, I can tell you that different people are wired differently. I recently received a 120 page fax from a client who had purchased software which promised to make him a web guru in a matter of days. My client bit, bought the package and found himself hiring me to install and configure the software. Sure, the software came with a COMPLETE video tutorial and a COMPLETE manual. After three months, my client threw up his hands and called me. (I designed his first web site in 2000. I’ve designed three other sites for him since. He was hoping that he could launch future sites without paying my fees.)
So, I’m installing “easy to use” software for him and I don’t begrudge him the effort or the dream. I hope that once I have the software installed and configured that he’ll be able to launch his various membership sites with very little effort. But for now, he still needs his “geek” and I’m here to help.
I have to admit, when I began the project, there was a part of me that was grinding… not with my client but with the purveyor of the program. The list price is about 7X what the software should have cost. His “manual and videos” are poorly put together and had I not had a sufficient background in software installation, I’m not sure I could have achieved a successful install by using his instructions alone.
Yeah, I get the geeks mistrusting marketing. Any geek who got a gander at this program would soon find his blood boiling as mine did. However, the lesson to be learned is this: providing exceptional customer service is what brought my client knocking on my door 6 years later when he found himself in a “geek jam.” He knows he can trust me and he refers me frequently to friends and colleagues.