Is marketing broken?

Rod posted a quote I made recently about Trade Me. The emphasis is his:

Trade Me wasn’t about technology. Sam’s insight was that marketing was broken. Rather than wasting lots of money on big billboards and TV ads (’it’s shopping on the internet’!) he instead decided to focus on building a really great product, which people like to use and tell their friends about.

Andy Lark disagrees. At least, Alex from Base4 thinks he did.

To start, you need to understand the context. It was a light-hearted breakfast debate put on by Synergy Fronde to launch their new brand. The topic was: “We’d all be better off if IT people ran NZ business”. I was on the negative team. The affirmative team, lead by Tom Scott, had painted Trade Me as an IT success story. So, we were running the “inmates are running the asylum” line.

Perhaps I got a bit distracted in talking about marketing as part of this. But Ferrit, with their flashy conventional marketing and crappy product, are just such an easy target. I couldn’t help myself.

That aside, I don’t actually think that this is a disagreement. Here’s the quote again, this time with my emphasis:

Trade Me wasn’t about technology. Sam’s insight was that marketing was broken. Rather than wasting lots of money on big billboards and TV ads (’it’s shopping on the internet’!) he instead decided to focus on building a really great product, which people like to use and tell their friends about.

So, Alex, aren’t both Andy and I saying the same thing?

6 thoughts on “Is marketing broken?”

  1. Rowan,

    Thanks for noticing. I agree I’m sure it was all very light-hearted. Maybe ‘all rilled up’ wasn’t the right phrase, although to me it does kinda mean a little hearted disagreement.

    The real point I suppose was that I personally didn’t agree 100% with Rod, but just didn’t speak up, so it was nice to have Andy do it for me!

    Alex

    PS has Chris Auld talked to you about Auckland Code Camp yet?

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