1 min • Marketing

Marketing 101

What's the role of marketing? Depends on who you ask.

 Illustration of glue

What’s the role of marketing? Depends on who you ask. For product people, it’s growth. Knobs and levers to twist and push. For sales people, it’s leads. The more the better. For advertising folks, it’s storytelling. Make it interesting and the business will grow.

Great founders and marketers understand that true product differentiation is rare, sales without profits is useless, and a great story can only go so far without a great product.

Marketing is the glue that combines product, distribution, communication and pricing, and binds it with customer needs. It closes the loop on creating, distributing and capturing value between customers and the company. As Seth Godin eloquently puts it:

Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.

The first step for marketing success is accepting customer-centricity.

This subtle but powerful shift in thinking opens up a whole new world of opportunities. The role of marketing evolves from a necessary evil, a task to be completed, a “hack” to be stumbled upon, into a dialogue with the market: a process of discovery, development and distribution.

Understanding that you are not the customer forces you to ask who the customer is, how best to solve their problems and how to communicate with them.

The reluctance to talk to customers and to assume their true needs hold founders and marketers back. The curiousity and the openness to get to know customers is the foundation for marketing success.