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From the archive: What I learnt at advertising school

I found myself talking with a friend the other day, swapping ideas about product marketing: “I feel like you can tell you studied this,” she said. “I hated the one marketing class I took because it was all about SWOT analysis.”

My experience studying Advertising & Marketing Communications was very different. It purposefully wasn’t about marketing, although we covered marketing strategy just as much as we covered PR, research, and creativity.

Check out the post in the archives to find out the seven lessons I learnt at advertising school that I still keep in mind today:

1. Marketing/advertising should drive behavior change

2. Use unconventional wisdom

3. Use customer insights

4. Creative only works if combined with effective strategy

5. Don’t forget placement and distribution

6. Balance new audience growth vs repeat purchases

7. Your market position determines your marketing strategy

Good product marketing starts with research

If you’re not basing your product marketing, product strategy, sales process, marketing channels and more on a deep understanding of who your customers are, you’re missing a trick.

Continuous customer discovery is a superpower, whether you’re using research to build positioning or to validating product direction.

Related: speak to humans

I 100% agree with Greig’s statement: Good user research upfront will 100% result in higher quality and quantity of experiment ideas.

I also like the framing of speaking to ‘humans’ instead of customers, prospects, users.

One of the things I try to get across in positioning workshops and generally in my work is that good product is about being the thing for someone, not something for anyone.

That means understanding who your customer is as a human. That means learning what’s going on in their life, what their dreams, aspirations, and fears are… not just their user preferences.

Keep that in mind.

Ending with a meme

If a product feature is released and nobody knows about it, does it have an impact?


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