A Little Louder For The People In The Back
The old philosophical mind-bender that I’m sure you’ve heard before asks “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” There are two facts evident in this statement. One—the tree fell, so an action has indeed occurred. Two—no one heard or observed it, so while the action has occurred, it is as if it didn’t occur because it is unable to gain the attention of anyone. This is why the fourth marketing mix principle “promotion” is so critical to a product’s success. You can have a great product at a competitive price and it can even be in the right place for the right audience, but if the audience doesn’t know it exists, it’s as if it doesn’t exist. Promotion is about making the relevant audience aware of the product that’s there for them.
When I first started working, people would ask me what I was working on and I would shyly avoid the questions or share only minor details. I had the idea that speaking about yourself is always perceived negatively. Eventually I kept receiving feedback that I was too quiet and people didn’t know what my talents were. That’s when I had a wake-up call. I quickly realized the folks getting promoted were the ones capable of promoting themselves.
They made their talents and value known and in doing so, there was no question of their worth. A friend of mine recently tweeted that some folks expect magic or that the things they want will somehow just fall into place. That only happens in fairytales; in this world, you get things only by going after them and making it known that you are qualified to receive what it is that you want.
The most successful companies devote substantial resources into promoting their product because they truly believe that marketing is critical to a product’s ability to sell. If you have a tangible product, benchmark off of the strategies of some successful companies with comparable products. If the product is you, promotion is just as important. You need to let the people you are working with know what you are capable of.