Last week, Om Malik (@om), the founder of GigaOm, wrote a post called What Makes a Hit (Consumer) Internet Service where he outlines the three things that are common across many successful consumer Internet services:
- They have a clear purpose.
- They are simple to use.
- They are fun to use or facilitate some type of entertainment or both
Now Om argues that you do not have to have all three but your chances of success are much higher if you do. He looks at Google, Netflix, Yelp, Groupon, Skype, Facebook while wondering if Quora and Foursquare have what it takes. As you can see, the case is compelling for these elements being the key to a hit Internet service.
As I read the article, I immediately realized that a clear purpose, being simple and having fun are also the keys to your marketing success. There will come a time and place where you will need to launch your product publicly and run a marketing campaign that generates leads or builds awareness of both for your start-up. It is then that you must remember these three elements (purpose, simple, fun) as the keys to making your marketing a hit. Let's take a quick look at how each element applies.
Your marketing efforts must communicate your clear purpose consistently through the value proposition for your product or service. Without your audience understanding how your company is different and how it will help them, then your product or service will be one of many and not a hit.
Too many products, web sites and marketing material are difficult to understand or use. Making things simple is difficult and a lot of work but it's worth it. You need to ensure your message and everything you do in marketing shows your product or service as simple to use and easy to understand.
Now having fun should come naturally to marketing but make sure your marketing is also fun for the audience. No one wants to read an eBook that's boring. No one wants to watch a video that doesn't grab their attention. It's not about you having fun, it's about making your marketing fun for your audience.
It shouldn't be surprising that the keys to a hit Internet company are the same as the keys to your marketing success. But Om boiled it down so well that I wanted to share these points and show how they needs to be apply to your marketing as well. The successful companies don't lose site of these elements so neither should you.