The product in the background

There is a common belief, particularly in business-to-business organisations, that in order to be a good marketer you need to know the ins and outs of the product (or service) you are marketing.

That is a myth.

Much more important is to understand what problem the product (or service) is addressing, how high it is in the list of priorities of your potential customers, and what type of benefit it will bring to them.

Having both (knowledge of the product and understanding of customers) might seem ideal. But I would argue it is not. If you are too much into the product (or service), it is most likely so that the customer is somehow secondary, that your main focus is on how to sell rather than on how to match, and that you are already to far away in your assimilation of product-ese to actually speak in a way that is valuable to those who might find what you have to say interesting.

Focus relentlessly on customers, speak their language and understand why they would care. Keep the product in the background, as something to reference when it is appropriate. This is what being a good marketer is all about.

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