This is an exact quote from someone I heard recently but ask any developer about marketing and they're likely to give you some variation of this. Even five years ago, I would have said the same thing.
But... that was before I knew what good marketing was.
Good marketing is understanding what people need and helping them get what they want.
Good marketing is in service of others.
Good marketing creates the dots from a pain to a solution.
Good marketing is, in effect, i n v i s i b l e.
Good marketing doesn't feel like marketing.
Here's what I mean.
Let's say you're a technical person who hates marketing. Great. Let's say you use VS Code to do all your development. Cool.
You're well aware then that VS Code is not the fastest ship in the sea of IDEs. We've all had to Restart TypeScript Server. But hey – you like using it.
Now imagine that Microsoft created a next-gen VS Code but for reasonable technical reasons, it couldn't "just" be an update to VS Code – let's call it VS Code vNext. Maybe it was rewritten from the ground up in Rust and it ends up being 20X faster.
Would you want to know about this or not?
"Well yeah, I'd want to know... obviously."
Okay then. Ask yourself:
- If you received an email from Microsoft on the announcement of a new VS Code vNext that's 20X faster, would you be upset?
- If a buddy in your group text sent you a link to that same announcement blog post, would you be upset?
- If you saw a trending post on HackerNews on a video by Scott Hanselman that goes deep into the new features, do you feel upset when you click ▲?
- If you subscribe to The Changelog newsletter and saw a text ad in the latest that featured a benchmark between VS Code, VS Code vNext, and JetBrains WebStorm, would you be upset?
I have news for you.
If you've ever clicked on a top /r/frontpage to some new announcement or tool, that's marketing.
If you've ever signed up for a newsletter to learn more something that interests you, that's marketing.
If you've ever seen an ad on YouTube that you happily watched all the way through without skipping, that's marketing.
Here's the thing...
If you're not interested in helping people, of being of service, then you may want to ask who you're building software for if not other people.
And definitely think twice before quitting your job – because I'm here to tell you: marketing is in everything that is in any way successful.
And if you clicked that link above because you're interested in getting good developer news – you guessed it, that's marketing.
Find Me IRL
Automate Building Wealth Using the ESI Framework – Connectaha, April 24. (Omaha, NE)
Tired of Tech? Hit Reset with a Sabbatical or LOA – React Summit, June 2. (Amsterdam, NL)