It is customers and not your product, per se that will create your product, get it adopted, have it talked about.
It was brought home to me personally, rather forcefully as I watched the relative successes of two of my recent posts on my personal blog.
The first one, an account of a recent trip back to my engineering college, IT-BHU, went viral on Facebook and LinkedIn. It had 410 FB likes and 10 LI shares. It had 70 comments on the blog, triggered discussions on FB and LinkedIn groups. Even today, it pulls in tonnes of visitors. As someone, who blogs infrequently and writes on no particular topic in general, this was huge. On a few days, the visitor count was more than 500.
On one hand, it was surprising to see it happen – the post had appeal to only a very small, limited group of people – only those who have studied in IT-BHU (around 10,000 to 12,000 would be alive today – given that our batch sizes were not more than 300 or so till very recently. Having more than 3000 views of this post, was surprising.
My take on the post per se’? It was well written, but I have written better ones. Many of which have sunk without a trace. Take another post that I did couple of months later. It described the life of a chaiwalla and his wife, who sell tea close to my office. I thought this was one of my better posts – but, it sunk, like most of my other posts do.
So, what is the lesson for marketers?
It is crucial to have a customer for a product you are building- having tonnes of them is even better and having a place where there is significant gathering of them is just great. Now, here we had a product (the first blog post) where we had a product called “Nostalgia”, we had the 2 alumni groups of ITBHU on LinkedIn and another on FB who were happy to read and pass it along.
As for the other product, the second blog above about the chaiwalla? It may be nice, but I am not known as a creative author or a celebrity blogger who anyway will get traffic. The market for this would have perhaps been on some creative writing sites where folks go to discover recently written articles. But, no matter.
What do you think? Do share comments and your own insights in bringing products to market.