Do marketing efforts really make that much of a difference or does the age old mantra “If you build it, they will come” apply for your small businesses as well? After all, if you create an amazing product or service that is clearly head and shoulders above the rest, you should have no problem converting that into easy income, right?
As much as we would all like a product or service that “sells itself,” at Green Pond Creative, we think there are quite a few more factors at play in the pysche of the average consumer that play on sales, or a lack thereof.
I read a very practical book recently called Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky. Highly recommended for the creative types who have more ideas than they seemingly have time or energy to implement. At any rate, this one story stood out to me and spoke volumes about the true value of marketing for any product, service, or business.
The story goes like this:
“On January 12, 2007, the Washington Post conducted a rather odd experiment involving a $3.5 million dollar Stradivarius violin, a Washington, D.C. Metro station, and Joshua Bell, arguably one of the most famous and critically acclaimed violinists in the world.
“A few days earlier, Bell had performed at Boston’s Symphony Hall, where even the cheap tickets go for a hundred bucks apiece. But on this winter day, at the height of the morning commute, Bell positioned himself in the busy L’Enfant Plaza Metro station, dressed in street clothes and a baseball cap, and played some of the finest classical pieces ever written, such as the Chaconne from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Partita no. 2 in D Minor, and Franz Schubert’s “Ave Maria.”
“As Bell delivered a virtuosic performance, more than a thousand busy commuters rushed past him on their way to work. Nearly every single one failed to appreciate his skill, and only a single person recognized him. After playing for forty-three minutes, Bell had collected only $32.17. In short, his precious gift went largely unnoticed.
“In some ways, it is deeply depressing that someone as talented as Joshua Bell could not break through the cacophony of an everyday commute. At the same time, people would likely have been awe-struck by the surprise performance had they been given the right context clues – like a sign announcing Bell’s use of a $3.5 million violin, or a velvet rope surrounding the performance area.
Clearly, marketing matters.
What kind of velvet ropes accompany your amazing product? What (sometimes subconscious) responses do you want to illicit from the general public who are often too consumed with the hustle and bustle of everyday life to turn a head and notice you? How can you meet them where they are AND stand out from the crowd?
Marketing, my friends, whether it is through a website, social media, mail-outs, or a message written by an airplane in the sky, definitely matters.
The Green Pond Creative Team