It’s not selling! More marketing? Or back to the drawing board?

Dear Aunty B,

We are having a big brawl at our office and we would like you to adjudicate.

We have launched a new product that is not doing well. My marketing team blame the marketplace and say it is just a matter of educating them. They want to spend a lot of money on getting the message out.

My gut tells me the product is too hard to get, and we should go back to the drawing board. But they won’t be convinced.

Please have a look and tell me what you think.

John S,


Dear John,

I got cross just looking at your website. What the hell is your marketing team doing? I had to STUDY your site for a good FIVE minutes before I got a sense of what you are selling. Even now, I am not quite sure what the benefits are.

And your marketing team wants to spend MORE of your money getting THAT message out?

Absolutely not. You have two issues to resolve. Is there market validation for the product? In other words, does the market want it the way it is? Or at all?

To find out quickly, practice some very simple lines that spell out the benefits. Then send off to existing clients and test it out. What lines work? Do any lines work? Is this a product that clients want? Or should the product be tweaked or redesigned?

If you are satisfied the product is right, then it is the message. Again work on this with existing clients. When you see the light flick on in the eyes of the client, then you know you have hit the magic lines. Go and incorporate those messages into your marketing.

It is the simple, smart rule. (Consumers are not stupid.)

The best businesses I see have a simple structure, a simple product offering and a simple message. Many businesses have been built on the back of simplicity. They might not have an innovative product. But they have taken a product that is badly marketed, repackaged it, rebranded it and sold it to the market, making a lot more money than its mad inventors.

Don’t bother educating the marketplace. Start educating your marketing team.


Go with your gut!

Your Aunty B,

Aunty B - Your problems answered by SmartCompany's business bitch
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