Here's A Marketing Secret the Gurus Won't Tell You

See that sign? I didn’t write that.

It’s for the parent and child cafe across the road from my house. Every morning, I walk my dog past it.

I think it’s a cracking sign. If the people who owned the cafe knocked on my door and said “Andrew, here’s a grand. We need a sign that shows off our commitment to local products, has a touch of humour, and makes us look like we’re sensible community members instead of flash bastards with an eye on world domination.” I’d tell them to keep their money and keep that sign.

I like that sign so much that I took that picture and put it up on LinkedIn. Mentioned that the sign clearly worked, because the cafe was always full.

Everyone agreed. Good sign that. Well pitched at the audience. Great bit of humour.

Then an old colleague of mine chirped up. James. He’s in telesales, and he is as far from a guru, ninja or hashtag influencer as it’s possible to be. And he pointed out one little marketing secret that I’ve never seen a guru mention in my 12 years of marketing.

Here’s what he said.

Could that be down to the cakes being tasty, the tea being hot and the service with a smile as opposed to the A-board ? I’m only saying from a catering background it tends to be the experience and product that sells it?

Hole in one.

Yeah, the sign’s nice and it gets people through the door. But the reason people keep coming back to fill up the cafe is that the tea’s hot, the cakes taste great and the staff are lovely.

Gurus always seem to miss that part out. They’re too busy selling you the new hotness to find out whether or your product’s any good.

So here’s the secret. Before you hire a copywriting agency, before you set up a Facebook ads campaign, before you go to a content marketing workshop, do this one thing.

Make sure your product’s great.

If it is, you’re onto a winner.

If it’s not, all the award-winning graphic designers in the world can’t help you.

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