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What’s the purpose of marketing?

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Ivan Jerkić

Ivan Jerkić

I help businesses with my knowledge and experience. I might know a thing or two about technology, marketing, strategy, branding, and growth.

What’s the purpose of marketing? It’s a complex question. You don’t need marketing to sell to the masses. If you’re trying to do that, there is a big chance of failure. You will have some sales, but how much will you spend in order to get them? Running ads does not equal doing marketing.

You’re bullying people into buying your products. It works short-term, especially if people need your product (or rather said commodity) for everyday use, but the price you pay long-term is way too heavy. Long gone are the days of mass marketing. Internet killed them.

Do you remember Nokia? They used to be the number one cell phone manufacturer in the world. But, they did not listen to the market. 

The purpose of marketing is to listen, to see, and to create accordingly. Start from the audience, not a product. Start with “you” instead of “us”. Get rid of “we are”, “we do”, and etc. You should create the product which perfectly fits your smallest viable market, your future champion customers who will act as the best brand advocates you can imagine. Products that fit everyone are destined to fail.

You should build a product in a way that gives your audience social currency – bragging rights, something that they will like to speak about. Make it practically valuable, make people care about it by evoking emotion. Learn how to communicate with them and wrap it in a remarkable story, as we all buy the promise a product gives. We buy our vision of the product you sell, we buy ideas and dreams. Build ideas that spread. That’s your free ticket to the masses.

Be more like Apple and less like Nokia.

Make something people want, instead of making something they need. Avoid being labeled as a commodity. Commodities come and go. Perhaps tomorrow there will be a cheaper version of your product (commodity). You’re easily forgotten. If people want your product, you will be on top of their minds for a long time. And top of mind equals tip of the tongue.

Stop aimlessly walking around with an expensive key trying to find a lock to open which may not exist (spending millions in ads for a product someone maybe needs, but no one wants). Find a lock (your audience), then fashion a key to unlock it (by making a product for them).


This post was inspired by Seth Godin’s “This is Marketing”. I recommend it to anyone even slightly interested in marketing.

Sometimes it’s necessary to step back and ask ourselves “Why are we doing this in the first place?”

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