At Funded Today, we not only believe in marketing, but we rely upon it.
We’ve seen it turn five-figure campaigns into six-figure ones, and sometimes help formerly-failing projects to far surpass their goals. Sometimes, all that a struggling project needs is to reach out to just the right audience and effectively invite its members one-by-one to come consider it. We’ve helped this to happen from time to time and we LOVE it!
Marketing can be marvelous in that respect.
But we also recognize that marketing has its limits.
In fact, there are some “secrets” to marketing that other businesspeople (including our clients) might do well to understand, one of which is this: it’s not magic—it can’t supernaturally change the fundamental nature of reality, including the nature of either products or shoppers. And (objective) reality always constrains (subjective) perception. For instance, whether you view a glass as half-full or half-empty, it won’t quench your thirst any more or less. Similarly, a wise real-estate agent might call a small kitchen “cozy” rather than “cramped,” but this still won’t alter its size. And, no matter how skilfully a store clerk may present a sow’s ear to you, it will never mystically transform into a silk purse.
This truth has some profound implications for marketing that I’d now like to explain in greater detail, starting with a classic joke…
An Old-But-Good Marketing Joke
Marketers may sometimes retell an old joke about a hubristic dog-food company executive who attempts to promote his product through the best marketing that money can buy—the greatest endorsements, the highest-profile news coverage, the most persuasive ads, the slickest packaging, et cetera—but then doesn’t see any improvement in sales… and, as he struggles to determine why, he’s finally informed by one brave employee that the dogs just don’t like it.
Humor often conveys truth in surprising ways and, in this case, this persistent joke conveys a rather profound truth about marketing, which is (again) that its success is innately limited by what it’s trying to sell.
So, although a skilled seller can present a given product as persuasively as possible to a potential buyer, the buyer's response will ultimately depend less upon the pitch (although the pitch definitely helps) than upon the costs-and-benefits of the product itself, which are entirely beyond the marketer’s control. A superior product-and-price combination is (and will always be) the single most vital factor in sales, no matter how skilfully it may be presented and/or promoted—and, relatedly, even the best salesmanship on Earth can only do so much to talk people into a bad deal.
In short, the pitch can never exceed the product.
And this principle is both timeless and universal, applying not only to old-fashioned retail sales, but equally to new-fangled e-commerce, including crowdfunding.
Which, by the way, is why those cases mentioned above in which skilled marketing single-handedly saves a failing crowdfunding campaign are statisically more the exception than the rule—it’s far more common for a campaign that’s been struggling without marketing to continue struggling even with marketing. Which can be very disappointing for some—but that’s simply how things are.
And, with that fact in mind, I’d now like to elborate upon this principle even further…
Pitching Online Products
Creators normally believe wholeheartedly that their products/services are highly-desirable, or else they wouldn’t devote so much time to developing them. They may spend countless hours slowly perfecting their creations, until those creations are finally ready to be released to the world.
At that point, if they’re selling via the Internet (or raising funds on a crowdfunding website), then they may create a well-designed attractive webpage that will effectively showcase their creations while skilfully persuading viewers to become buyers—and they may also skilfully invite their most-likely buyers to come view it.
As those potential buyers respond to such invitations by visiting this webpage and considering its sales “pitch,” they may agree that they’re being shown a highly-desirable product at a highly-affordable price—but not always. Marketing can’t coerce people’s feelings and/or thoughts—it can only persuade.
A persuasive presentation can potentially influence their perceptions for the better by presenting reality in the very best light possible—but, ultimately, it can never change that reality, which innately constrains it. Or, in other words, marketing can always focus on the sunny side, but it can never change the weather.
In some cases, marketers might attempt to defy reality by overstepping its limits to engage in outright fraud, but that’s both wrong and (ultimately) counterproductive. Although some marketers might temporarily delude people into believing that black is actually white, reality (and justice) will ultimately prevail.
When all is both said and done, things are what they are, and a product is going to be right for some people but not for others—and, if some shoppers decide that a given item’s benefits (to them) aren’t worth its costs (to them), then they simply won’t consent to buy it, no matter how skillfully it may have been presented to them.
Again: in sales, how something is presented is ALWAYS less important than what is being presented!
The best products/services innately tend to sell themselves, in which case a skilled presentation and/or promotion will merely enhance their success, whereas the worst ones will never catch on, and even the best marketing on Earth can never ultimately save them.
We touched upon this same subject in a previous blog entry about our Crowdfunding Success Matrix, by the way, for those who would like to read it. And we mentioned it briefly in our previous blog entry about Learning from the Mistakes of the Edsel, as well.
So, if you hire the best marketing gurus on our planet to entice people to come visit your “showroom,” where they encounter the most persuasive sales-pitch possible for your new “car,” to which those visitors respond by deciding that your “car” is actualy more an Edsel than a Mustang, then (rather than blaming the market and/or your marketers) you might want to reconsider what you’re trying to sell.
While engaging in such reevaluation, by the way, you might want to consider this blog entry about what sorts of projects are most likely to get crowdfunded. You might also want to study our other popular blog entry about the 7 P’s of Crowdfunding Success, along with this video that presents those same principles in greater detail.
Successful Crowdfunding Marketing
Funded Today has emerged as the world’s most successful crowdfunding marketing company partly because we’ve both discovered and embraced truths like those presented above—including the principle that, as video-producers and page-designers and (especially) marketers of various sorts, our success relies heavily upon the desirability-and-affordability of the products/services that we promote.
And we’re very grateful to have worked with so many worthy projects—in fact, since our founding in mid-2014 until the time that I’m writing this blog entry in late 2017, we’ve worked with nearly 2,000 crowdfunding campaigns on both Kickstarter and Indiegogo, and we’ve been able to help several hundreds of those projects to raise over $150,000,000 altogether, including more than two dozen projects that raised over $1,000,000 each. We thank their creators for bringing us so many great projects, and we’re always eager to welcome more.
If you have a crowdfunding project that you believe has what it takes to become one of our next big (or little) success stories, then we urge you to please apply for our services right away!