I’m catching up on some lost time so you’re correct if you notice that I’m referencing some articles which are a few days old. BFeld had an interesting blog post last week that he grabbed from Chris Moody of Gnip. The article was about marketing and more specifically, “thought leadership.” If you’re wondering what the heck he’s talking about, Chris defines thought leadership as “this is why we are doing what we are doing and why it is important” which is comparable to the “hey, look at me” type which I assume encompasses traditional marketing. Yunno, the kind we learn in MBA class. Marketing rightfully gets a lot of attention at B-school because no matter what you end up doing in the world, it will always involve communicating value to other parties. That being said, traditional marketing tactics sometimes get a bad rap for startup mentors because they feel like the startup team is diverting energy to efforts the might be better spent adding value to their product.
In his post, Chris via Brad argues that there is actually value in marketing for modern startups, but that the value is in demonstrating thought leadership. No one is going to argue that the internet has fundamentally changed the way we communicate and in turn they way companies market. The way I see it, there are two takeaways.
1. Market doesn’t have to be an either or deal. The ease at which companies can communicate with millions of customers is such that there is little excuse for not taking some time to communicate to your potential customers that your stuff is the best.
2. Conveying thought leadership is just as beneficial as a tool to crystallize strategy for the company as it is a means of getting your message out to others. This is pretty much the reason why I started blogging because it is not a coincidence that pretty much every influential member of today’s startup community is taking time to write down there thoughts. Sure the cynics might pass it off as marketing, but it feels more like strategy to me.