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There are two very basic rules I always start with when it comes to marketing:

  1. Know your product/service (and the benefit it offers to consumers)
  2. Understand your target audience (what influences their buying decisions)

I can’t stress the importance of these rules enough–but it always amazes me how many people don’t think about either of these when they market!

Here is an example I just ran into today, of a company that ignored these two rules:

A video hosting platform sent me the following unsolicited email:

Hi Brad,

I am trying to connect with the person in charge of managing the video aspect of your website. Are you the person I should be speaking with? If not, will you help me out and point me to the right person?

[Company Name]  provides a Video Management Platform which is being heralded as the easiest to use & most affordable.

Please let me know if you are the correct person or if I should be in touch with someone else. I am hoping to set up a time to introduce in more detail [Company Name] and learn about your video needs.

You might also find these white papers useful:

Video Publishing Buying Tips [This was a link to a PDF]
Introduction to Monetizing Online Videos
[This was a link to a PDF]

Thank you in advance for your help.

Now, I don’t mind the overall message.  It’s personalized, asks for a referral, and has a call to action.  BUT, let’s revisit rule #1: “Know your product/service (and the benefit it offers to consumers)”.

This company provides a video hosting platform–meaning they help companies leverage video in their marketing efforts.  What baffles me is that they don’t use their own service, in their own marketing.  Instead of creating videos to explain the value of video publishing and monetizing online videos, they offer PDF downloads.  Don’t get me wrong, I think PDF downloads are great–but not when you’re trying to sell the opposite of a PDF download!

Long story short–if you provide a service that your company doesn’t even use, why should anyone else consider buying it?

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