Patrick McKenzie on twitter:
I think people in the tech community tend to undervalue large portions of the marketing skillset, and e.g. building a narrative for a decisionmaker persona then solving backwards to the artifacts that would create it is useful.
But in many phases of the business, this works:
The secret to marketing, and I’m 100% serious, is to not do it very well. That way you are charmingly, endearingly incompetent and constantly build up reserves of trust and goodwill from all the value you’re leaving on the table
Patrick then continues:
A good portion of some advice in the community, like “write for yourself”, is a shortcut on having to do the whole decisionmaker thing, because you’re overwhelmingly likely to yourself have problems that at least some other people do and to speak in a way some of them will like.
A semi-considered guiding light I had when writing for many years is “Just write about things you would have found surprising 5~10 years ago in a way that you of 5~10 years ago would have found maximally compelling.”
I do tend to believe that if you can figure out a way to create compounding value over time then things will often work out swimmingly, though you do have to continue putting work into the other things.
(A tragedy, and I mean that phrasing, is when someone who has figured the value creation thing out then ends up in starving-artist land and has to curtain their output and get a job doing something much less important simply because the job is competent at turning work into $.)
I think the ideal marketing is when you are able to build narratives for key decisionmakers but no-one can see you actually doing it. It’s hard as hell but if your team can pull it off, it’s the best of both worlds.