But beyond a source of blog format wisdom, Godin is also a marketing guru. And marketing was the topic of the conversation. The question he was asked was:
When should you start marketing your business?
Godin says something that would have saved many startups so much money and tears.
"At the very beginning"
Yes, marketing is the first thing you should do. If there's no market there's no business. It sounds trivially simple and obvious of course but it doesn't lessen its relevance.
This is a radical insight that more startups need to make.
Companies are usually not founded because of marketing insights. They're founded on ideas and dreams of cool new products and services. More often than not, founders are product people. Developers and designers. People that care about making something brilliant and perfect. Marketing comes as an afterthought. A very expensive afterthought as it happens in the world of startups where "build it and they will come" has long been the standard recipe.
This is something we hope to change because this recipe doesn't work. We want founders to become aware of whom they're building for and what their potential customers need, wish for and desire. Doing so greatly increases their chances of success.
This is why we in all our innovation packages start with helping the company form an understanding of their market. We're big proponents of almost scientifically formulating your assumptions about potential customers' wants and needs and then objectively validating those assumptions.
Only once you know who you're building for is it time to start building that thing that has so far only existed in your mind. But don't worry, understanding your market is time well spent and it's fun too. Write us a line, tell us a bit about your business and we'll offer actionable advice.