Building a quality product or service is the beginning of marketing, not the end. Sounds basic and common sense, yet not well executed, especially in the ICT4D space (ICT4D = Information, Communications, Technology for Development). In fact, talking about what you are building as you are building it can be one leg of your marketing. And no, you don’t have to be pushy and arrogant, that is not marketing.
Marketing is about creating awareness and change. Part of it is sharing your understanding of a challenge and what solution you are creating for it. It is about engagement. Engaging the people you are seeking to help. It is about listening to them and learning with them. Telling stories. Creating short summaries and stories people can share. That people want to share. People love telling stories of journeys and origin stories even more than destinations.
A quality, reliable product or service is a part of this, but only a part. The product or service is can never do it on its own. Even those with great reputations rely on stories others tell about them. We are marketing all the time whether we are building or serving. The ‘how’ is as important as the ‘what’ perhaps arguably more important.
Photo by Kate Oseen