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HOW IMPORTANT IS MARKETING FOR AN INNOVATIVE COMPANY?

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Hey, Tech Innovator, how important is marketing for an innovative company? ~ Technically Baltimore

In September, this Tech Innovator was honored to present at Columbia Tech Breakfast on the topic of BI Analysis.  I shared stories of my early failures as an entrepreneur, which led to my company’s current sustained growth.  And I showcased some technology innovations.

Here’s the clip of the motifworks BI:analytics presentation.

Afterward, a reporter from Technically Baltimore asked if I had any advice for my fellow technology innovators, who are trying to grow their companies.

“No matter how good a product is,” I said, “you need to let people know about it.  Just creating a product or service is not good enough.”

It’s true.  Facebook and Twitter are enormously popular, and you may be tempted to think marketing can happen by word-of-mouth on social media, with minimal effort.  You may say, “People will come to me,” but it usually doesn’t work that way.

As I told the reporter, sometimes a product catches fire.  But the vast majority of the time, you need to understand how you are going to reach people.  But even before you get to that stage, you need to come up with why people are going to be interested.  Why should they use it?  Even if it is free, that’s not compelling enough on its own.  It still requires their time and attention.  Perhaps you help people to save time, be more efficient, be cooler, solve a problem.  Whatever it is, it better be interesting, and it better have value.  If it doesn’t do something new or better, it doesn’t matter how much marketing and advertising you do.  No one will want it.

Can it go viral?

Let’s say you’ve got an interesting and valuable (and therefore marketable) product or service.  Have you given the people who will use it a way to promote it further?  This is another secret to effective marketing.

Dropbox is a great example.  On Dropbox, users can share files on the cloud, and whomever you share it with will come to know about Dropbox. They will use Dropbox while working with you, will see the value, and may want to use it for their own files.  When they share their files with others, Dropbox spreads.

Does your offering have some component to make it viral?  Give them a way to promote it.

It’s who you know

One of the best ways to reach people is to reach those who are connected to large numbers of your audience.  Who are the bloggers that are writing about this product?  What events are happening that you can attend in your area?  Can you speak and be more involved in those communities?  Networking is where business starts.  It’s where you first get a chance to share your passion with others.  With limits on time and money, it makes sense to reach out to people who can help you reach other people.

New and yet familiar

My company, motifworks, is not a marketing company, per se.  We are an innovation company with a focus on building cool, useful mobile apps.   But marketing is also an innovation.  And any innovation relies on marketing to promote the innovation.

The way we see it, innovation is nothing more than making new things familiar and familiar things new.  Marketing, too.  That’s why, when we help companies use technology solutions to innovate, we know that we are helping them expand their ideas and grow their business through marketing, as well.

Check out the interview: http://bit.ly/RBZo0G

Motifworks (www.oldwebsite.motifworks.com) is a partner in emerging technology and innovation for business problem-solvers. Companies as large as Microsoft and Sears and as small as one-person start-ups rely on motifworks for lower cost, better delivery and more innovative thinking. For a partner in emerging technology and innovation, contact motifworks at info@oldwebsite.motifworks.com.

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