Which is more important: product or marketing?

Let’s say you have a startup idea of a web application or mobile application. If you were to have a casual conversation with people on what is more important for the growth of that startup idea, some will say product and some will marketing.

Generally when I talk with people from IT background or who are passionate about technology, they say marketing is more important than product. When I casually talk with people from business background or are keen towards business, they generally say product is more important than marketing.

In business, we know both are very important. There is no business without a product and there are no sales without marketing. However, this question or debate pops up every now and then when a new idea comes to the market. Usually a technical founder knows he/she can pull off the product, but is he/she ready to market the idea or sell it. And a business savvy founder knows or already has ideas to do marketing and increase sales but can he/she build the product fast and explain its value proposition in the market. That is why it’s better to have co-founders with complementary skillsets: one who is very good handling the technical stuff and the other handling the business stuff.

For a product or brand to sustain long term, I would say first the product has to be great and then comes marketing. There is no question that the product has to be continually improved and marketed properly. Marketing creates awareness of the product and without awareness people are not going to know about it, trust it or buy it. So even the best product without marketing or not getting coverage will see no traction.

Makes me think of how most Hollywood movies are made and marketed. They are made with quality. Then after that its all about marketing.

Also check out my blog on Evolution of Nepali movies which is related to product/marketing



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