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03.09.2022 Neil Patel

7 Underrated Marketing Lessons

Seven underrated marketing lessons. I've been doing marketing for over 20 years and I've learned a lot of lessons in that time. Some of the lessons are obvious and others are not so much. What's funny is the lessons that most people don't think are important, in other words, the underrated ones, are usually the ones that matter a lot. Here are seven lessons that you shouldn't take for granted like I did. In other words, don't make the mistake I did.

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Lesson number one, it's easier to market in a big town. My first few companies struggled to get really big. It wasn't the marketing that was the issue, it was that the market was too small. TAM stands for Total Addressable Market. It's hard to market your company in a small market, even with no competition, because there isn't that much revenue to be had and marketing still costs money.

On the flip side, if you go after a massive market, even if you capture a really, really tiny fraction of a percent, you can create a massive company. Just make sure the market that you're marketing in is really big. Ideally, a 100 plus billion dollar industry, if not a multi-trillion dollar industry.

Lesson two, all good channels eventually get crowded and competitive. It doesn't matter how well you are doing from one marketing channel, eventually, it just won't perform as well because the algorithms won't help you out. You just have to come to terms with that. It doesn't mean that you shouldn't leverage it, and it doesn't mean that you should give up. It just means that you need to go after all the main channels out there.

Lesson three, branding is everything. When you think about sports shoes, what brand comes to mind? Probably Nike. People buy based on brands. The way you build brands is by being in business long enough and taking an omnichannel approach.

So you got to be patient. Sure, you still need to do marketing, but you got to be patient, because over time, your brand will generate a lot of your revenue for you.

Lesson four, jump on new channels early. Always thought that if you have money, you can just be a late adopter when it comes to marketing? It is true, but it's expensive and money doesn't always buy your way to the top. You ideally want to join new platforms right when they come out.

Sure, you may end up wasting time on a platform that may go nowhere like Clubhouse, but it's okay, it's a numbers game. By being early, it gives you a huge leg up and one that money usually can't buy later on.

Lesson five, marketing gets better over time. I can't stress how important it is to be patient. I remember when I started doing business, I wanted results right away, then I started consulting with other companies and a lot of them wanted results right away. But marketing is all about taking small, incremental steps and just chipping away at the problem.

Eventually, you can get to where you want to be, but it won't happen overnight. And if you aren't patient and you don't do it for many years, I'm talking about five, 10 plus years, you won't build a company that you want.

Lesson six, traffic isn't everything. I remember one of my early companies, Kissmetrics, we had 10 times more traffic than our competition Mixpanel. Our valuation at the time was way less than 50 million bucks.

On the flip side, our competition had a valuation of roughly $800 million. It just goes to show that traffic isn't everything. The question you have to ask yourself is, do you have the right traffic? Are you converting them well enough? Is your product or service amazing? Because if it isn't, then it won't matter. Yes, you want more traffic, but don't obsess as it isn't everything.

Lesson seven, the best form of marketing is product marketing. It is easier to market by creating a great product or amazing service. Taking the route of marketing through paid ads, SEO, email, social media, and even content is great, but what is even better is having an amazing product or service. You can't market crap. Excuse my language.

See, because when you have a great product or service, it creates word of mouth marketing. That is way easier than just continually buying traffic and relying on it. That only gets you so far. It's not what most companies focus on. Instead, they look for the quick alternative, which is, "Hey, how many visitors can I buy?" And that's not the right way to do your marketing.


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