Seth Godin argues that smart marketing comes before the product. Blasphemy! But, I concur. Here’s Seth’s rationale:
Well, if you define marketing as advertising, then it’s clear you need the product first. Marketing is not the same as advertising. Advertising is a tiny slice of what marketing is today, and in fact, it’s pretty clear that the marketing has to come before the product, not after. As Jon points out, the Prius was developed after the marketing thinking was done.
Now, that’s how Steve Jobs probably thinks before he creates the next Apple wonder of the world! But, interestingly enough, I just realized that movie marketing functions in exactly the same way. You dream up the movie trailer with its target audience in mind before you even attempt to put together a movie.
The producer Brian Grazer, whose films include “Frost/Nixon” and “A Beautiful Mind,” mentioned a potential remake of a James Dean film: “I have the book ‘East of Eden’ and a script by Paul Attanasio”—an A-list screenwriter—“but I don’t know how I’d ever make it, because I don’t know how I’d sell it. With this material, I can’t reach you emotionally, tell the story, or be visually transcendent in a thirty-second TV spot. And there’s no ‘Holy s#$!’ moment for the trailer.”
Some laws are universal.