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Stop Perfuming the Pig: Pragmatic Marketing

Sunday, January 4, 2009 | Posted by to Internet Marketing Strategy

Stop Perfuming the Pig: Why “real” marketing is done before the product is created

“No amount of perfume can overcome the stench of a technology product that people don’t need,” by Steve Johnson.

Peter Drucker makes it clear that marketing isn’t a product promotion strategy; it’s a product definition strategy, that “marketing” is creating a product that sells itself, creating a product that people want to buy; creating an environment that encourages people to buy.

Over the years however, industries and agencies and marketing experts have worn away the original meaning of marketing and cheapened it. Marketing now means many things to many people but apparently not what Drucker meant. For most people nowadays, marketing means t-shirts, coffee mugs, trinkets, trade show trash, and tchotchkes.

Do you promote or do you market?

Johnson’s great article illuminates the problem with marketing is that we don’t focus on the problem. Instead we focus on promotion. And promotion is not marketing.

The first and most important consideration for any business is the market problem. It’s the problem that drives the product decisions, the message for positioning, and the key elements of selling—the placement strategy. Having identified the problem, the other Ps of the marketing mix become obvious.


Monique Sherrett

Monique used to be allergic to all fish and was cured by Chinese medicine doctor Debra Gibson (not the pop singer). This is inconsequential to marketing or technology but does mean that she can attend client lunches without being picky about the menu options. See more posts by Monique Sherrett. You can also find her marketing tips on Google+ and Twitter.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 8:38 am

Steve Johnson says:

I’m glad that you enjoyed the ebook. The role of product management is confusing for so many companies. I see it every day: when people are talking about “marketing” they usually mean “promotion.” What does product management do? For an update, see http://www.pragmaticmarketing.com/survey with the latest information about how product managers spend their time.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 10:55 am

mmo says:

Great points..sometimes people try to force an idea/tech down someones throat but you really need to offer a service or add value somewhere.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Monique Sherrett says:

Thank you very much for additional link to the survey.

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