Marketing is Hard – And It Is Your Fault

Marketing is hard. Marketing isn’t hard because it is inherently complex or difficult to do. Marketing is hard because the world which we created makes it too easy to copy after what other people are doing. All you have to do is log on to Facebook or Twitter, make sure you follow at least three people or companies, and within twenty minutes you’ll see someone doing marketing better than you are. But what happens next is even worse.


Once you see how great other people are doing, you’ll try to get in on the action yourself. Apple does great at product branding, so you think “I’ll be great at product branding too.” So-and-so has an awesome life story, so you think “I’ll have an awesome story too.” This other person made a million dollars with Twitter, so you think “I’ll do that too.”

Thanks to the visibility and attractiveness of marketing efforts, you’ll start to copy what other people are doing well. But then things don’t turn out like you want them too. You don’t make the next iDevice. Your story life story doesn’t stick with an audience. You miraculously lose money on Twitter. You get frustrated. You don’t understand why these great marketing activities aren’t working for you. Out of jealousy and rage, you give up.

Marketing is hard.

But it shouldn’t be. Mankind has been marketing to each other for thousands and thousands of years. Facebook has been around since 2004. Twitter, 2006. If you allow the last decade or so of marketing efforts override thousands of years of previous experience, you probably shouldn’t mess around with marketing.

Marketing is not about chasing after what other people do well. Marketing is about discovering your internal strengths and doing those things well. If you want marketing to be less hard, perhaps you should try uncovering what makes you, your idea, or your product great and start with strength. Those strengths, multiplied by the time using those strengths, create a true power that is difficult for others to challenge.