Even if you have done your research and know there is a market for the new business or product you have in mind, you still have work to do before you launch. There are better and worse ways to structure your business or design your product to make it unique and attractive to your prospective buyers.
There are two kinds of Marketing — I call them upstream and downstream marketing. Upstream is the research and usability testing that helps you build the right product or business. Downstream is awareness and interest generation, and ultimately, sales (which in most businesses is considered a separate function). Too many people think marketing is just advertising. Seth Godin put it neatly in Which comes first, the product or the marketing?
Marketing is not the same as advertising [Godin’s italics]. 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. Jones Soda, too. In fact, just about every successful product or
service is the result of smart marketing thinking first, followed by a
great product that makes the marketing story come true.