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Rod Drury > Marketing is broken

Rod points to a quote made during a debate in NZ about how TradeMe (NZs eBay) got marketing right.

As a marketing guy I’d say that Sam’s genuis was taking an idea that was working stunningly well offshore and being first to market in NZ with a very good replica with some better features and racing stripes.

As far as eschewing conventional marketing, that was smart and reflected exactly what others did also.

As both a user and marketer I’d say what is really broken is product development and management in most Web2.0 companies and start-ups. Some get it right, most don’t even have a crew focused on the user. The full extent of their marketing effort – if they have one at all – is a couple of marcomm specialists or a PR agency. So, before blaming marketing – get a marketing function or leader.

It’s sheer nonsense to draw a correlation between insight into marketing being broken, then, marketing communications, then building a better product.

I could equally pepper the world with ludicrous notions like:

"Most software and web developers are brainless idiots who while great at code writing have no real understanding or care for how real people use products. Most have never met or spent time with a customer. Sam’s genuis was not putting-up with this and forcing developers to build a product that users would not just want to use but love to use. And, to infuse software/web development with some marketing nouse."

In short, what Sam really did right was make the User and customer a priority for every function in the company. Me thinks the engineers and developers protest too much!

6 Responses

  1. By Website developers on February 8th, 2007 at 8:53 pm

    “Most software and web developers are brainless idiots who while great at code writing have no real understanding or care for how real people use products”

    Was he talking about M$ ??

  2. By Andy on February 8th, 2007 at 9:02 pm

    Hey, remember – I said it was a ludicrous notion. I know many developers that are amongst the smartest people about. Much like many of the marketers I know. We can spout off endless remarks that piss everyone off. Doesn’t make them right.

    Whether in marketing or developing code, you’d better be focused on the customer.

  3. By Alex James on February 8th, 2007 at 9:38 pm

    Two sides to every story – Engineers vs Marketers….

  4. By James Sugrue on February 8th, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    I agree. TradeMe won not from genius marketing, or being better than the rest. TradeMe won by being first. Ask yourself, if TM is so good, if it were introduced now, would it become as popular as it is now.

    The only answer can be no.

  5. By Andy on February 8th, 2007 at 10:11 pm

    Yep – Marketers are from Mars. Developers are from Venus.

    Great companies get them together and break the barrier.

  6. By Steven Kempton on February 11th, 2007 at 8:04 pm

    IMHO the real genius was in getting a whopping $600 million for it. I defy anyone to have predicted that a company would be willing to pony up that sort of money for a NZ focused website. All other abilities (marketing and software development included) pale in comparison to pulling that kind of money out of someone’s pocket.

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